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Visiting Montreal

  • j

My husband, 6-year-old daughter, and I will be visiting Montreal for the first time and are wondering where we need to eat. The 6-year-old is a good eater and patient even with long meals (usually lunches) - as long as there is promise of a playground afterwards. Any suggestions - both high-end and low-end - would be appreciated.

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  1. style of food you prefere ? where are you staying, do you care to "travel" a little bit (car, taxi, metro (safe) ) ?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      We're staying at the Fairmont Hotel (not sure of the exact location) and we won't have a car. We love French food, Asian. . . up for anything really. We'll probably want to have at least one really blowout meal.

      1. re: jcf

        The Fairmont is right in the middle of the downtown core, and attached to the train station/metro. There are a lot of recent threads on the subject of where to eat, so I suggest you check them out.

      2. re: Maximilien

        PS - we won't have a car, but are very comfortable with public transportation. (We're from NY.)

      3. There is a place on St-Laurent street between Des Pins and Rachel called Schwartz's(http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/). It is a smoked meat place where you can eat in close quarters with total strangers if you care to ask them to pass the ketchup. I think it is a part of the Montreal heritage that you can enjoy. There probably will be a line up even at 4pm on a Saturday. Keep some room for some ice cream afterward in the area.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lsmeteor

          You must visit Toque on Jean-Paul Riopelle for that blow-out meal! Also maybe tea at the Ritz just for fun, at de la Montagne and Sherbrooke, not far from the Queen Elizabeth--is that where you're staying? Lots of great little places for grown-ups around. The Pied de Cochon on Duluth is popular. Kid friendly too, I hear.

          1. re: bakersdelight

            There is not a chance I would recommend taking a 6-year-old to Toque, no matter how well behaved or patient she may be. There are many places far more appropriate to bring a child and still have a blow-out meal - and several recent threads which discuss them.

            1. re: cherylmtl

              I once went to Toque with a 1 year old, and they were pretty accommodating. I think if you have a very-well behaved 6 year old, it would be fine. There was a very funny article a long time ago about a person who took his toddler (2-3 years old) to many high end places in NYC. It turns out that high-end places are used to high-maintenance customers who change their mind on a dime and expect every whim to be satisfied. So a toddler was no problem!

              1. re: moh

                Yes, but a 1-year-old is easy. They sit in their car seats and sleep if you're lucky. While you can take children almost anywhere (and I certainly didn't hesitate to take my son to high-end restaurants when he was much younger, if I was on vacation), the issue is that a 6-year-old will probably really not enjoy sitting around for a 3 or 4 hour meal. I don't think it would be a problem at all for the restaurant, but I do expect it would be a problem for the 6-year-old.

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  Cherylmtl, this one year old was not so easy. She was awake and needed to be kept entertained. We did have to rush it a bit. But the resto was great with her, and helped us keep her happy while we were there.

                  I guess it depends on the 6 year old. I have seen kids that age manage just fine. Really depends on the kid I think. But I agree that you are taking a risk, and that you may have to plan on cutting things short in the event of a breakdown, and I guess that is a big risk when you are paying big bucks for a meal!

        2. Regarding playgrounds, there aren't any that I can think of downtown per se, but plenty of them nearby. My personal favourite is Westmount Park (Sherbrooke and Melville), which has a great playground for kids with lots of swings, jungle gyms, and sandboxes. And as an added bonus, it's right next to Westmount Library, which has a large kids' section of books downstairs, and a big seating/play area, so you can pick up books and read them with your kid for as long as you wish.

          Another smaller playground is at the corner of Sherbrooke and Wood, just north of Atwater metro station. There's a decent playground in Jeanne Mance park, if I'm not mistaken, which also has a wading pool. And there's always the Old Port, which might not have an actual playground, but plenty of other things to keep a 6-year-old amused (and the Science Centre to visit, if she's interested).