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Jun 13, 2009 10:59 AM

Grocery/supermarket/food store recommendations near Old Montreal

My husband and I are looking at getting an apartment in Old Montreal (close to the Mechant Boeuf on Rue St-Paul O.). We're moving up from Rhode Island, and aren't familiar with Montreal food shopping practices. Are there any supermarkets or grocery stores in Old Montreal? Also, if anyone lives near there, where do you buy your food? In the US, I usually shop at Stop & Shop, Shop Rite, or Kings (or Wegmans when I was in NJ). Thanks!

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  1. there is a metro (local chain) store at the corner of Notre Dame and de la Montagne, it's the closest to old montreal I can think of right now. old montreal itself is definitely not a "grocery store" friendly area due to the old buildings, there's just no space for a superstore-type thing.

    fyi, our main grocery chains are metro, provigo, and loblaws. I'd also recommend akhavan, adonis, and mourelatos for your exploring and web-searching.

    1 Reply
    1. There is an IGA supermarket in Complexe Desjardins on René-Lévesque corner St-Urbain.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pinalafina

        The advantage of the aforementioned IGA is that it can be reach via the underground city from Old Montreal. Useful in the winter.

        Even closer is Chinatown which features a number of grocery stores.

        As well, there are a few speciality feed stores on McGill.

      2. The Jean Talon Market and Milano, the great Italian supermarket, and the other stores of Little Italy are a short walk from the Jean-Talon metro station on the orange line, the line that runs along the north edge of Old Montreal. Similarly, Atwater Market is a few blocks south of Lionel-Groulx station, also on the orange line, albeit in the opposite direction. Both markets also have convenient parking.

        There are a few small markets in the old city -- Marché de la Villette (324 Saint-Paul West, 514 807-8084) is the best I've found -- but their selection is limited. Everyone I know who lives in the area grocery-shops outside it.

        1. Obviously from the original post they are looking for a close by supermarket. Old Montreal has nothing so going to the IGA in ComPlexD is the best option as pinalafina mentioned. Not to far and as good as any to stock up on the basics if you live down there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: everyonelovessushi

            The IGA is a good supermarket: that branch in particular has a lot of ready-made foods not just for tourists in Old Montreal and the festivals, but also for the many office workers nearby. Both the Québec and Federal governments have a lot of offices nearby, in the Complexe Desjarins building, Guy-Favreau Federal building across the street, Hydro-Québec and Revenue Canada buildings very close by.

            By the way, there is also a new IGA supermarket in Place Dupuis shopping mall, at Berri-UQAM. A while back there was a new poster who had just bought a condo due south of there at the eastern edge of Old Montréal. I imagine that he has discovered this for himself. This has greatly improved food availability for people in that area, the Gay Village, and for students and faculty at UQAM.

            1. re: everyonelovessushi

              I agree - I live in the Old Montreal, very very close to where OP is planning on buying and I go to IGA for the groceries. I walk there and back (about 10 minutes) and have it delivered.

            2. I also know people in old Montreal that go across to the IGA in St-Lambert to avoid the parking in Complex Desjardins. It's about a 10 minute drive on the Victoria bridge, once across the bridge one ends up on Laurier and the IGA after the second light. The one thing to note is that at rush hour traffic on the Victoria bridge is one way. So in the morning it's one way into the city and vice versa in the afternoon.

              Shopping on St-Laurent (the main) and going up to Marché Jean Talon is way more fun though.

              ObAside: Note that Old Montreal is a bit of a ghost town at night in winter.

              1 Reply
              1. re: blackjackshellac

                Further to blackjackshellac's comments, while it is very quiet in winter, Old Montreal is major party town in summer. Noisy at all hours, as it echoes quite loudly in many areas due to the narrow streets.

                Other options for grocery shopping, if you have a car, are the Costco on Bridge Street (very close), or zip up to St. Jacques and head west to the large Loblaws at St. Jacques and Cavendish for a very decent selection at lower prices than you'll find at the downtown grocers, and their President's Choice house brand products (although the store is presently under renovations, and they've moved everything around, and half the aisles are closed off, but normally it's okay). It's probably closest to what a large U.S. supermarket would be. Most of the Metro stores are much smaller (and groceries there tend to be pricier), so unless you're used to shopping in Midtown Manhattan for groceries, you'll probably be happiest with Loblaws for basics, and trips to the Jean Talon or Atwater markets for produce and meats, Milano for Italian goodies, etc.
                You'll probably want to spend a bit of time visiting a few stores once you get here, and see what they carry, and you'll have a better idea of where you want to shop on a regular basis, and what will work when you only need a few things.
                One thing you can be sure of - you won't go hungry here!