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Aug 2, 2009 10:40 AM

Lesser known Montreal institutions

I'm relatively new here (well, 3 years this month) and am mostly only familiar with Montreal institutions in the plateau, downtown and old port. We're in the process of a move and stopped by Ikea this weekend to check out some new furnishings, and on the way back, since we were at the cote vertu metro, I had a hunch that Decarie Hot Dog was nearby... so I walked a bit up the street and there it was, so we checked it out. It got me thinking that this was the only place I know that isn't in a certain downtown core that I've really heard that much about.

So my question is, what other Montreal restaurants, that are still open, would be considered "institutions" in the areas less or untouched by tourism? Everyone knows of the bagels and the smoked meat and the star chefs, but what else is out there that's stood the test of time?

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  1. Lived in NDG for 10 years, still head back regularly for a dose of the following:

    La Louisianne -
    - don't miss the hushpuppies, and my staple dish is the Chicken Panné
    If you are in a boozy mood the Bayou Brew is a nice stiff Bourbon Sangria

    Taverne on Monkland
    while I hate the crowd here, the music is awesome and these 2 dishis I cannot live without:
    Best salmon tartar in town
    Warm spinach salad - indescribably yummy!

    1. Here's a list off the top of my head. I wouldn't say that all of these places serve great food, but they could certainly be considered institutions.

      Dillalo Burger
      Casa Napoli
      Nouveau Système
      Snowdon Deli
      Chien Chaud Victoire
      Dic Ann's
      Patisserie Gaumond
      Jardin Tiki
      Gibeau Orange Julep

      5 Replies
      1. re: SnackHappy

        I thought Patisserie Gaumond had closed(about 3 years ago).

        1. re: BLM

          I knew that, but had forgotten it completely. I blame my mom for serving us pastries from Marché des Gourmands in Chateauguay and telling us they are from Gaumond. MDG used to sell Gaumond cakes and pastries when it was still open.

        2. re: SnackHappy

          What about Cosmo? I'd call that an institution...And don't forget Chalet BBQ and Laurier BBQ.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            DiMenna certainly is an institution in the east end of Montreal. I have been going there with, or without, my parents for 35 years...yikes! Their pizza is still the best in town for me.

            I would say L'Eveque on Laurier also. I go there at least once a year and am rarely disappointed. I have not been to Laurier BBQ in ages. We used to go there with my family when I was younger because my grandmother was a fan of the place. I still remember their lemon pie! We stopped going because we thought it was expensive for BBQ chicken.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              That's the stuff. I haven't even *heard* of some of these places :)

            2. I would have to say that DicAnn's and Chez Matante would fall into the Montreal institutions category. My husband hates the flat burgers while I think they're great. As for Chez Matante, you can't go wrong with their steamies.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mtlmaven

                Where's Chez Matante? Dic Ann's the Montreal locals would probably know, but people from out-of-town probably wouldn't.

                1. re: BLM

                  Chez Matante is on Fleury E. at the corner of St-Michel. It's certainly an institution in the east end.

              2. This is a great thread, if you haven't seen it:

                Montrea Locals - What do you consider the best small hole in the wall resto?

                1. for some reason, and though it's a chain, i always have the original Arahova's location in my head.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gerbera

                    Agreed - but has it not the best souvlaki and - oh, wow - tzatziki in town?!

                    (And it's across the road from St Viateur Bagels; win-win)