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Another tourist here...

I'll be driving up to Montreal from Toronto in two weeks and I'm trying to figure out some places I'd like to check out. I've done some research and I made a list of potential places I might visit:

1. Au Pied de Cochon (I'm looking forward to their foie gras poutine!)
2. La Banquise for poutine
3. Schwartz (my buddy from Montreal is always talking about this place)
4. Le Fromentier for baguettes
5. Olive & Gourmando for breakfast
6. La Brasserie Brunoise
7. L'Academie
8. Patato Patata (are their poutine worth a try? how are the burgers?)
9. Byblos
10. Boustan
11. Romados
12. Cafe Stash
13. St. Viateur (to load up on bagels to take back to Toronto)

I'll be there for 3 days only so I'll probably have chance to visit only about 6 of these places. Which ones should I cross off? And if you have any other recommendations I'd very much appreciate it. Also, I've heard a lot about Montreal bagels but are they worth trying or would one be able to find similar stuff in Toronto?

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  1. I forgot to mention, I'll be staying in Old Montreal so anything near the area will be great. But other places are okay too. Thank you in advance!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kimmich

      I would definitely scratch l'Académie off your list... it is a decent BYOB that has mass appeal but by no means great. I would go to Banquise for poutine over Patati Patata. Cafe Stash is also decent, but by no means a must-do if you're only here for 3 days.
      No.1-3 and 13 are a must though! You will DEFINITELY not find the same type of bagels in Toronto. You will probably be able to fit everything else in, especially if you count snacks because a lot of those places are places that you can try, without sitting down and having a full meal. Have fun!

    2. 1- There are better places for poutine ( La Banquise) and PdC offer so much other great food than that.
      2- Yes.
      3- Ok, but depending on the time there can be a long line.
      4- Why not
      5- Never been there, I prefer Réservoir for brunch (week-end only).
      6- Been there once, see no real reason to go back (not in my 'hood)
      7- SKIP SKIP SKIP
      8- It's Patati-Patata, great fries, cute little burgers (little is the keyword, but it's their thing)
      9- Never been there.
      10- "
      11- I think it's a "Take-Out" only, for sit down, go to "Le Roi Du Plateau"
      12- don't know about that.
      13- Yes, or Fairmount bagels (buy from both places and compare).

      If you are here on a week-end morning (better imo), go to Marche Jean-Talon and around, and do "Caffe Italia" for coffee, walk around and eat in the Market, there are few places where you can buy prepared food.

      1. Cross off l'Academie. I would skip Romados too (its ok, but not if you only have 3 days). If you are a fan of smoked meat and delis, by all means Scwartz, but if you don't love deli, skip it. Buy St.Viateur bagels--nothing like T.O. or elsewhere.

        On your list, I would say the MUSTs are APDC (you'll love anything you order--be sure to make a reservation) and Boustan--my fave fast food in town. You might want to add Lemiac to your list and make a reservation for their terrace for the late dinner special---nothing says summer in Montreal like dinner on a terrace!

        1. So far the comments are reasonable. I completely agree that 1,2,3 and 13 are must do's! I can assure you that the TO bagels are really a different beast altogether, there is no comparison, they are a different food product. Make sure you leave stomach space to eat a bagel fresh and hot!

          I would agree that Le Fromentier is a must do for a baguette,not to mention croissant, chocolatines, and other such lovely French Pastry. My personal favorite for croissant (regular, chocolate and almond, as well as delightful pear/chocolate and banana/chocolate croissant) is Fous Desserts. It is harder to find places in TO to match the kind of French pastry they have here, so this is a must do.

          Olive and Gourmando is good, but I actually wonder if they are better for lunches. I had a breakfast there a few weeks ago, and I was not overly impressed by their breakfast pastry, but I was very impressed with their breakfast sandwich. So I think I would consider a lunch there.

          Have not been to La Brasserie Brunoise yet, so no comment.

          L'Academie: agree with skip skip skip. If you want to go to a nice French Bistro (which I agree is a must do, again, French food is one of the great strengths of the Montreal food scene), then I would agree with Lemeac or L'express. Lemeac has a lovely terasse, it makes a wonderful lunch place!!!

          Love Byblos! So inexpensive, yet so unique! Great place for brunch!

          Boustan is excellent, good inexpensive food, very tasty. But if you want to go a bit further afield, Abu Elias is a bit of a trip from downtown, but makes great sandwiches (my favorite is the kefta kebab), great lebanese pastries (wonderful fatayer filled with chard i believe, delicious kibbe, and yummy cheese samboureks), and an insanely good lamb and rice dish on weekends, best heated up, but still very delicious eaten cold (just need to salt it a bit). And when you are done with savoury, you can head down the road to Patisserie Amal Bohsali or Patisserie Mahmouse for the most wonderful selection of baklawa and Lebanese pastries. These three places are very special, you won't find many places like this in North America. It makes for a very nice food tour, good way to spend a morning/lunch.

          Romados is excellent, but I do believe it is pretty easy to find good Portuguese in TO, so maybe if you already know good places in TO, wouldn't make a special effort to go here.

          have fun!

          1. La brasserie Brunoise is not the same as the oft-recommended Brunoise, in case you didn't realise. The old Brunoise has closed and I've seen very mixed reviews of the brasserie.

            Olive & Gourmando seems more like a place to go for lunch to me.

            Patati Patata has a very different poutine from La Banquise. I like them both, so if you're really into poutine, go for the comparison. For amazing burgers, try La Paryse. L'Anecdote is also pretty good.

            I second the rec for Resevoir's brunch.

            I enjoy Romados, but agree that it's probably not worth it for a short visit and when you can probably find as good at home.

            I would suggest a trip to the cheese shop just down the street from Le Fromentier (used to be inside, but they've recently moved) and then take your goodies to the nearby park for a picnic. Bo-Bec is just across the street from Le Fromentier and the cheese shop on the corner (they had no sign yet when I was there, so I'm not sure what it's called) and you can get ice creams to go with your picnic.

            1 Reply
            1. re: eoj

              It's called Le Maître Corbeau. That being said, Bo Bec is more across from the Métro grocery store and a few streets down from Fromentier (or up depending where you're walking from).

              ALso, Byblos is on that stretch on Laurier St. so you could combine it all with breakfast or an early brunch. Not to miss also on Fabre just south of Laurier, Maison Kakao for amazing chocolates. Close to Byblos is also Les Saveurs du Plateau for great pastries and fine cakes, just as good as Fou Dessert IMO. Fou Dessert also have great chocolates that are made on site.