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Dec 2, 2008 08:54 PM

Planning a trip to Montreal filled with good food...please help.

Hi all my SO and I are planning on traveling to Montreal from the 21th to the 24th and would like some suggestions of good places to dine out. We've both been to Montreal before on numerous occasions but this will be the first time where we'll have this much freedom to look for stuff to do/eat. We're both quite into good food but not so much into wine. We've done numerous Winter/Summerlicious events in Toronto and we really enjoyed restaurants like Nota Bene. We're just looking to fill out out trip will new experiences. The following are some of the things we'll be looking for.

First of all, we will not have a car hence we will only be able to commute downtown since we're staying at Sheraton downtown.

We will be there for 3 nights and would like to do one fancier dinner. She's really into Foie gras and duck confits so I'm definitely going to do that for one of the nights. Since we won't be drinking, I'm thinking a price range of $100 for the 2 of us should be enough for a couple apps, 2 entrees and one dessert. The other two nights, I would like to check out something a little less expensive, like a nice bistro or something with a unique atmosphere preferably somewhere with a prix fixe.

Moreover, she's really into desserts and chocolates. I would like to take her to a couple of nice bakeries that we normally don't see in Toronto.

We would also be looking for a couple of good breakfast places as well as nice lunch spots near the Sheraton that we can check out.

Thanks a lot guys. Any input would be great.

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  1. For foie gras and just a great dinner experience, the best place is Pied de Cochon.. just take a cab or the subway, it's definetely worth the travel! And do not forget to reserve way in advance!

    1. I agree with the fois at Au Pied Du Cochon. They just do crazy things with fois.

      For duck confit, combined with the nice bistro part, I strongly suggest Le P'tit Plateau. Big plus? It is a bring your own wine, making it much cheaper to drink high quality wine with a meal that begs for it.

      For bakeries, there are many choices, but my current favorites are Cocoa Locale for cupcakes and cakes (I think she would love the chocolate chai cupcake), and Fous Desserts for croissant and desserts. I am also a huge fan of Bouchees Gourmandes. These are all smaller places, but that's part of why I like them.

      You can search the board for more info on all these places, they have all received much print. And in those threads, I am sure you will also see many other suggestions. All the places I have mentioned can be reached fairly easily from downtown, either with a $10-15 cab ride, or by bus and metro, or even by walking (more like a 30-45 minute walk, not a bad idea to burn off the calories. But then pack good water-resistant walking boots). I really enjoy walking to these places, Montreal is a great walking city.Have a good trip!

      6 Replies
      1. re: moh

        Thanks for the help so far I will look forward to visiting some of the above places. I have done a search and found a lot of good info on must visits and etc. I guess I really need to map out the routes before hand if I was to visit all the places. SO loves Cora's, are there anything better for breakfast?

        1. re: ragged25

          I personally have issues with Cora's, but if it is a SO favorite, you may just have to do it. I prefer a few other places such as Cafe Art Java on Mont Royale which has great coffee and very good breakfasts. Or El Dorado, also on MOnt Royal where the coffee isn't quite as good as Art Java but the choice of breakfasts appeals more. Both of these places are good choices if you want to do some funky shopping after, as Mont Royal has tonnes of cool hip shops. Also the bakery Kouin Amann (?spelling) is nearby, and they have lovely Kouign amann, a real treat. If you prefer more upscale shopping, St. Denis is also nearby, plus there is the added bonus of a visit to Au Festin de Babette for a fine hot chocolate and some delicious baked goods to go along (They have a limited selection of pastries, but all are very delicious). Another nearby breakfast/brunch place (but I believe only on weekends) is Reservoir on Duluth. The breakfast here is a bit more adventurous/upscale than the basic breakfast at Cora's. The quality of the brunch items is excellent, but the cost would be a bit more than Cora's (but still reasonable, about $20-25 per person), and the portions not as monstrously huge. If you want original and more-refined, this is a nice choice, but if you want large quantities and more traditional choices, stick with Cora's or the other two suggestions I made.

          Point being, the whole MOnt Royal/St. denis/St. Laurent area is great fun to walk around in and to eat. Ideal if you want to do shopping that is not mall-based and more boutique-y and original.

          1. re: moh

            Also on Mont-Royal there's La Grand-Mère which, in my opinion, is miles ahead Cora in term of home-style breakfast. If you feel advanturous, there's Café Byblos on Laurier Est, just a few blocks north of MOnt-Royal avenue. Iranian food such as feta or tomato omelette with great coffe, min tea or cardamom hot chocolate and home made preserves on grilled pita or brioche bread. Quite yummy.

            1. re: Campofiorin

              Ah yes! Grand mere! I agree they are way better than Cora! And yes, Byblos is a lovely place to eat. The fare is much lighter at Byblos, so it might be a welcome change from allthe big filling breakfasts and huge dinners. Not far from Fous Desserts either. It is so great to have so many choices in walking distance.

            2. re: moh

              Definitely if you're coming in to the plateau, Reservoir is great for brunch, on the weekends. If you're in the plateau and Reservoir isn't serving brunch, Bagel Etc. isn't too far away (about Rachel/St. Laurent - a few blocks north toward Mont-Royal from Duluth). You'll get your Montreal bagel fix AND a great breakfast :)

            3. re: ragged25

              On de Maisonneuve near St-Mathieu (walkable from the Sheraton or just a metro stop or two away) is the one-of-a-kind Cocktail Hawaii, for brunch or breakfast. Love the crepes chock full of fruit and achta cream & fresh-fruit drinks. Not upscale, but friendly, delicious, and fun.


              1645 Maisonneuve O, tel. 514-933-8887

          2. I agree with everything recommended so far (well except for Grand mere, which I've yet to try) and I'd like to add la Binerie on Mont Royal to the list. It is a Quebecois diner, and much more authentic than Chez Cora. The food is very rich (good enough for a lumberjack, no egg white omelets there), and it is made with care. A typical breakfast is eggs, ham, bacon, cretons, beans, potatoes and campfire toast. Don't skip the beans and plan for a 2 hour walk to burn your calories after eating.

            If she is also into desserts and chocolates, another option could be Bouchees Gourmandes. If you search for their specific thread, you'll see that they have many fans.

            Au Kouign Amann has become somewhat unreliable, so I wouldn't count on it if it was my only pastry option. Sometimes you get heavenly pastries, sometimes they are off (I am starting to suspect humidity).

            There are a few chocolate shops that are constantly talked about in town. Check for the chocolate thread for that as well.

            1. Once again, thanks for you the help, luckily I have a couple weeks to plan this, there's no doubt we'll put on a few pounds when we leave Montreal.

              We've been to Cora's here in Toronto and it's alright IMO, but she likes it more in Montreal when she had it. But I will definitely take up on one of the other suggestions to open her eyes up a little, the problem now is to decide which one haha since there are so many options.

              1. Oh BTW, are oysters in season right now? The one time we tried oysters we quite enjoyed it. Just wondering whether it would be wise to look for them during our visit.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ragged25

                  raw oysters are being offered on a lot of menus as appetizers. Should still be available in a few weeks. I have recently seen lucky limes, pickle points (I think this is the name), tatamagouche and beausoleil.