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May 19, 2008 05:04 PM
Discussion eats and cheese

visitng montreal (from toronto) for the beer festival and need some help from montreal chowhounds. So here is my wish list:
a) best farmers market
b) best gourmet food store
c) best cheese store...(I will happily visit more than one...LOL)
d) best cheap of those "chowhound finds" know what I mean?..something yummy, something local, something unique.
e) best poutine?...

I know thats a big list...(my apologies),..I will have access to a car and will be staying close to the festival.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. a) Jean-Talon Market (JTM), no question

    b) at the JTM, Saveurs du Marché in the southeast corner specializes in gourmet products from Quebec, at the Atwater Market, Douceurs du Marché has great gourmet goodies from around the world

    c) I defer to others as I'm not a big cheese-eater. There are several good cheese shops at the JTM you can visit while you're there.

    d) Chalet BBQ for rotisserie chicken and great fries & gravy, Schwartz's for "Montreal" smoked meat, fries, dill pickle & a Cott's black cherry. Ma'am Bolduc for incredible tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and other traditional Québécois specialties. Cosmos Snack Bar for a greasy breakfast (the "Creation" and the "mish-mash" are their specialties) and incomparable atmosphere. See this recent thread for lots of other ideas:

    EDIT - if you want something a little more exotic and are willing to venture a little further afield, check out Aux Délices de l'Ile Maurice in the suburb of Verdun - a small resto specializing in food from Mauritius. No menu, real character, extremely filling and very inexpensive.

    e) I'm no poutine expert, but many have recommended La Banquise, open 24/7. Check out this thread for more poutine recs:

    Have fun!

    1. I would agree with Kpzoo's suggestions, and I think Jean-Talon market would take care of a,b,c and d on your list in one fell swoop! The thread she links to has links to other threads too. You could spend weeks just eating through the places that are listed.

      Here also is a link to a discussion of cheese shops, especially Yannick:

      There are also multiple other threads linked there. This should give you a good start!

      3 Replies
      1. re: moh

        thanks kpzoo and moh for your suggestions!!! Something tells me the Jean-Talon Market is similar to Toronto's St.Lawrence Market. Cant wait to check it out....

        1. re: domesticgodess

          > Something tells me the Jean-Talon Market is similar to Toronto's St.Lawrence Market.

          Yeah, it's kind of a cross between Kensington Market & St. Lawrence Market, but with a unique flavour all its own. Hope you like it! BTW, Little Italy is also steps away from JTM, you might also want to check out Milano's Italian grocery nearby on St-Laurent. Lots of cheese and other Italian goodness. :-)

          1. re: domesticgodess

            If you like middle eastern flavours, you have to go to le Petit Alep when you go to Jean-Talon Market, it is a real gem. Very unique.

            Oh yeah, not mentioned in those threads: If you like Italian Pastry, and you love cannoli, check out Patisserie Alati-Casserta on Dante (277 Dante) which is walking distance from the market. They are fabulous there.

        2. I would agree with what the others have said about all the other points, but here are some more cheap eats ideas:

          -There's amazing Guyanese food at Jardin du Cari on St. Viateur near St. Laurent. Potato balls, peanut punch, amazing filled roti and patties... My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
          -Natas (Portuguese egg custard tartes) from Bela Vista on Pins
          -Bagels from St. Viateur bagels at Parc and St. Viateur
          -Shish Taouk/Shawarma/Falafel from Boustan on Crescent
          -Amazingly cheap Indian food at Maison Indian Curry on Jean Talon near Acadie
          -Really tasty Thai food at Bangkok in the Faubourg food court at Ste. Catherine and Guy
          -Not super cheap, but the cupcakes at Cocoa Locale (Parc and Villeneuve) are worth every penny because they're insanely delicious!

          3 Replies
          1. re: killedwithkarate

            I agree with the Jean Talon Market being THE place for cheese and for coffee as well by the way...

            I also recommend (from memory) Sangria at St Sulpice...then up the street for dinner at Fonduementale ( have options regarding price depending what you want to eat - it's great food in an excellent ambiance....

            Shwart's is a MUST - make sure you get the medium and not the's fabulous!

            Great baked goods at L'Exception on Queen Mary - we picked up sandwiches and pastry on our way home from Montreal last weekend and were VERY happy! Besides the fact that it is far better than the usual pit stops along the 401, the ingredients, bread, pastries, etc were all fresh and very tasty.

            Shed Cafe used to have excellent food and desserts from what I recall...the fries with mayo were's a fun hang out place too. It's on St Laurent which is a great place to hang out and look around. They have fabulous European shops on St Laurent as well...we used to walk around and pick up all kinds of goodies including sandwiches which were made from smoked sausages and other hot meats...yummy!

            1. re: zengirl18

              «Jean Talon Market being THE place [...] for coffee as well by the way»

              Please explain. Are you referring to beans or to brewed coffee? to the market per se or the market plus Little Italy? Which shops specifically? Thanks.

              1. re: carswell

                Brewed coffee actually but I can't recall names or much since it has been so long....sorry...maybe someone can add their two cents on this?

          2. a Jean Talon
            b Chez L'epicier in Old Montreal is inside a great restaurant---not a big selection, but worth a peak if you are in the neighbourhood
            c Hamel at JTM
            d Boustan on Crescent, Bangkok in Faubourg, Merguez on a bun at JTM
            e Au pied de cochon for spectacular but untraditional

            Have fun!

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