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Veggie Restaurants dwntown Mtl?

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We're planning to spend a day in Montreal this coming Saturday. Can I get some recommendations for good vegetarian (not necessarily vegan) restaurants? We don't want to go to the Commensal...I find a lot of their food greasy and salty. Downtown would be preferable, because we want to make sure to hit Cafe Myriade, too. We're pretty open to any ethnic flavours, although we probably wouldn't choose Middle Eastern because we can get that in Ottawa.

Thanks!

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  1. I'm afraid that there isn't anything truly vegetarian in downtown Montreal, so you'd better spot some good restaurants and go for whatever they have that does not feature meat. There are some places on the Plateau (like Chu Chai, Aux Vivres) but nothing is truly upscale.

    1. Burritoville, on Bishop (East side, just above de Maisonneuve) is completely vegetarian, and mostly organic and locally sourced. They are open day and evening, sometimes with live music. Very affordable, cozy place. I love the food there.

      1. Chuch or their more formal sister Chu Chai might be the best vegetarian option for your case, especially if you are into Thai food and/or fake meat products. While they are not downtown, it is not a long metro ride to go to Myriade from there (closest station to Chuch is Sherbrooke and Myriade is steps from Guy-Concordia).

        1. It's not a vegetarian resto, but you can eat really well without ordering meat at Avesta, a Turkish restaurant on Ste-Catherine West within walking distance of Myriade. Meat-free dishes that come to mind are the spicy potato or the feta and spinach gözlemes (on delicious fresh lavash), the "soup of the day" (lentil soup), and the feta and spinach borek. They also have a lot of mezzes which are vegetarian.

          If you're not looking for anything fancy you can have decent vegetable thai dishes at Bangkok in the Faubourg food court (it's a board favourite and you will find many mentions if you search this board).

          4 Replies
          1. re: mainsqueeze

            Good suggestions. And while I've not tried putting a vegetarian meal together there, I'd be surprised if you couldn't do so at Cuisine Szechuan.

            1. re: carswell

              Just a heads up. The food in both Szechuan and Bangkok will have hidden animal flesh ingredients in them, either as some sort of stock in the sauce; or in the case of Bangkok, the fish sauce. I think Bangkok even has warnings about the fish sauce content in their food in their menu; also important for allergy sufferers. So if you are a strict vegetarian, these places won't suit you.

              Avesta on the other hand should be vegetarian, unless you order a dish that has meat in them. You can ask, they are very friendly. The boreks and gozlemes are really nice and most mezzes should be (as tradition) vegetarian unless they have some "secret ingredient" in them. But it is Middle Eastern, perhaps not the most unique offer since you already can get it in Ottawa.

              1. re: emerilcantcook

                Good call on the fish sauce. I had not thought of that. Do you know if you can order dishes without it?

                1. re: mainsqueeze

                  I don't think so. I have their take-out menu and it specifically states all dishes contain fish sauce; I interpret this as it being non-negotiable.

          2. You might try Cafe Lola Rosa at 545 Milton East. It's all vegetarian, and the one time I tried it, it was pretty good. I had the hemp burger, but they had some more involved items on the chalkboard. That night the menu had a bit of a Moroccan slant, but that may vary. Good desserts too. I've walked by a place called La Faim du Monde at 4110 Saint-Denis. The menu looks interesting, but I haven't tried it yet. And for what it's worth, my wife is vegetarian, and she loves Aux VIvres. Wherever you go, you should call ahead, because some places are closed for holidays. And if you want Ethiopian, believe it or not, you should stay in Ottawa.

            4 Replies
            1. re: william_howard_taft

              I believe there is a branch of Lola Rosa on Sherbrooke in Westmount just west of Claremont.

              1. re: william_howard_taft

                There is a really tasty ethiopian resto on St Denis just above Sherbrook called Le Nil Blue, amnd while our service was pretty crappy, the food was AMAZING!! As well, in China town, St. Laurent below Rene Levesque, there is a place called Hong Kong, and they have a fully vegetarian menu, with lots of the stuff easily made Vegan!

                You can go onto happycow.com to find LOTS! My favorites are ChuChai and Aux Vivres though.

                1. re: Pinky_JV

                  I agree that the food at Le Nil Blue is fantastic. Some of the best Ethiopian I've ever had, but unfortunately very pricey in my view. And my experience with their service is the same. What is it at about that place? A lot of people seem to run into the same thing. If I wanted that much attitude I'd go to a GWAR concert.

                  I've lived places with several good, cheap Ethiopian restaurants with no pretense, nice people, and good music. That doesn't seem to be the case in Montreal, although I still need to try Magdala on Rue Bishop. Maybe the immigrants to Montreal are attracted from different regions than in other North American cities, but I'm just speculating.

                  1. re: william_howard_taft

                    Thanks for the tips everyone. There seem to be plenty of options to keep us busy for the day. I wanted to hit Olive and Gourmando, too, but it looks like they're closed until 19 January. Is there anything in the same vein in the downtown area?