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Family Friendly in Montreal

TonyO Aug 3, 2009 06:49 PM

We are coming to Montreal this weekend (August 8th) and staying at Hotel Le Crystal. Were it just my wife and I, the choices would be easy and numerous ! However, we will have our 14 year old son (accompanying me to AC/DC) and our 5 year old daughter (a gourmand in training but plagued by the impatience of her youth !). If there are any recs for lunch and an ealry dinner, it would be appreciated. We will likely have breakfast at the hotel for easy departure. Thanks in advance !

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  1. g
    gerbera RE: TonyO Aug 3, 2009 07:34 PM

    I imagine that you want to eat near the hotel and Bell Centre? Were you looking for a style in particular?

    M:brgr (on Drummond) might be interesting. Kids love burgers.

    I was thinking also maybe La Milsa (on Bishop) since it's uncomplicated food.

    Otherwise there are several chain style restaurants that are family friendly. (Baton Rouge, Boccacino's, Winestein & Gavinos...)

    4 Replies
    1. re: gerbera
      TonyO RE: gerbera Aug 3, 2009 07:51 PM


      We would prefer to walk (I think we can take public transportation to Olympic Stadium for the concert). We will likely eat early (say 5:00 - 5:30). Is La Milsa within walking disatnce ? Also, is there a lunch rec within a few blocks (especially one with great Montreal smoked meat !). Thanks !

      1. re: TonyO
        gerbera RE: TonyO Aug 5, 2009 10:26 AM

        La Milsa is definitely within walking distance from Le Crystal. About 3.5 blocks.

      2. re: gerbera
        cath_couturier RE: gerbera Aug 6, 2009 09:03 PM

        Winestein & Gavinos?? When I went for dinner there it was like eating in the middle of a dance floor... so LOUD!!!!
        Don't know for lunch though...

        1. re: cath_couturier
          Shattered RE: cath_couturier Aug 6, 2009 10:16 PM

          Yeah, I wouldn't recommend that with a five-year old, either. Crescent St. in general could be pretty pricey for a family ('could', meaning it is pricey, but depends if you don't mind that).

      3. carswell RE: TonyO Aug 3, 2009 08:01 PM

        If you want to stay in the vicinity of the hotel, you could hardly do better than sandwiches (lamb, chicken, beef or ground meat) at Antep Kebab. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/633577

        If spice and fire appeal, Cuisine Szechuan, just around the corner from Antep, is great for an early, affordable dinner. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580348

        Yes, the green line of the metro will take you from downtown to the Olympic Stadium in about 20 minutes. Guy/Concordia's the closest station to your hotel. Pie IX is usually the stop for the stadium.

        AFAIK, there's no great smoked meat to be had in the downtown core.

        9 Replies
        1. re: carswell
          TonyO RE: carswell Aug 3, 2009 08:22 PM

          Gerbera and Carswell,

          Thanks for the info (so far !). Antep Kebab looks perfect for lunch Saturday. I personally love Szechuan food but would be dining alone ! I remember a quirky Italian place called Cafe Presto (maybe). Is that still around and worth a visit ? Also, my guess is that the hotel breakfast may be awful. Is there an Eggspectations (sp) near Hotel Le Crystal ??

          1. re: TonyO
            cherylmtl RE: TonyO Aug 3, 2009 10:12 PM

            If you really want Eggspectations, there is one a few blocks up from your hotel, at de la Montagne and de Maisonneuve.
            An early dinner rec very near your hotel that might also work is Brasserie Brunoise, just below Rene Levesque.
            For smoked meat, you can take the metro to the St. Laurent station, and walk up to Schwartz - it's around a 10 minute walk.

            1. re: cherylmtl
              BLM RE: cherylmtl Aug 4, 2009 12:45 PM

              For the summer, Brasserie Brunoise only open for dinner on days, when there's a event at its neighbour Bell Centre.

            2. re: TonyO
              carswell RE: TonyO Aug 3, 2009 10:31 PM

              Café Presto's still around. Haven't been in a while. The latest reports on this board haven't been enthusiastic.

              Other dinner ideas:
              - Le Paris on Ste-Catherine just west of Guy. Recently changed hands and I haven't been since but most reports are favourable and the menu -- studded with cuisine bourgeoise classics -- looks good if a little staid.
              - You could take the green line to Papineau or Beaudry station and walk ten minutes to the popular East End bistro Au Petit Extra. Then either walk back to the metro or take a cab the rest of the way to the concert. Note, however, that they only open at 6 p.m. www.aupetitextra.com

            3. re: carswell
              C70 RE: carswell Aug 4, 2009 04:00 AM

              Dunn's smoked meat isn't bad and the deli-style menu is certainly family-friendly. It is near the corner of Metcalfe & Ste. Catherine. Great burgers.

              Dunn's Famous
              1249 Metcalfe, Montreal,QC

              1. re: C70
                Shattered RE: C70 Aug 6, 2009 10:14 PM

                The Main on St. Laurent is much better for both. Dunn's is dry, mediocre smoked meat.

                1. re: Shattered
                  SnackHappy RE: Shattered Aug 7, 2009 05:19 AM

                  There no disputing that The Main serves better smoked meat than Dunn's, but since the OP is looking for something within walking distance of their hotel, I think C70 was just giving the best smoked meat suggestion that fit their criteria.

                  1. re: SnackHappy
                    kpzoo RE: SnackHappy Aug 7, 2009 05:29 AM

                    Dunn's has quite good club sanwiches - several variations including a grilled chicken. Good matzo-ball soup, too.

                    1. re: SnackHappy
                      C70 RE: SnackHappy Aug 7, 2009 07:47 AM

                      Exactly, SnackHappy, and.. I like Dunn's! You have to order their smoked meat at least medium, even fat. It is on the lean side. Great fresh-cut fries, soups, etc.

              2. b
                bigfellow RE: TonyO Aug 4, 2009 11:44 AM

                If you do want burgers, try Buns or Picks, both are hole in the wall type places, but a better value and IMHO taste than M:bgr. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616108

                For Pizza, try Pizza Dani on de la Montange just below St Catherine. About 1/2 a block from your Hotel.

                Carswell is so right about Antep Kebab!

                2 Replies
                1. re: bigfellow
                  cherylmtl RE: bigfellow Aug 4, 2009 02:40 PM

                  With a 5-year-old, I'd stick with M:brgr. It costs more than Buns or Picks, but I think their burgers are better (then again, at 2x the price, they should be!) But it is a little more family-friendly than the other two.

                  1. re: cherylmtl
                    bigfellow RE: cherylmtl Aug 4, 2009 03:59 PM

                    I see kids at the other two all the time.

                2. buzz_sapien RE: TonyO Aug 4, 2009 12:47 PM

                  I am a foodie with 2 young kids and have managed to take my kids most places I want to go...(though we got funny looks on the terasse at Club Chasse et Peche...my son loves foie gras!)
                  My most recent fun stops with kids are:

                  Via Crescent - good home style Italian on a great patio for people-watching on Crescent
                  Burgundy Lion for fish & chips (sorry carswell...) they take kids on the second floor.

                  Breakfast at Quoi de n'oueuf on Notre Dame and Atwater

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: buzz_sapien
                    ManuelF RE: buzz_sapien Aug 7, 2009 09:03 AM

                    I would second Via Crescent. Often there with the kids for breakfast or lunch on saturdays. Pasta, pizza, sandwiches and daily specials. And end everything with a cannolo and very good coffee.

                    1. re: ManuelF
                      TonyO RE: ManuelF Aug 9, 2009 02:06 PM

                      Thanks all for the recs. We were able to stop at Via Crescent for quick pizzas and a couple glasses of wine. Maybe I'm spoiled by "noncity" pricing, but we ordered a couple glasses of Verdicchio, were told they were out but had a similar wine. No problem. The check comes and the wine is $15 a glass versus $9 for the original order. The pizzas were very small, maybe 9".. So for two soft drinks, two snack size pizzas, and three glasses of wine, the tab was $86. Ouch ! I would suggest Hotel Le Crystal, beautiful property and great location. We will try to get to Antep Kebab next time.

                      1. re: TonyO
                        cath_couturier RE: TonyO Aug 15, 2009 11:32 AM

                        I find everything on Crescent quite pricey - its either businessman with $ that go there, or tourist. I remember paying a steep price for a pint of beer!

                        1. re: TonyO
                          ThatGuy1980 RE: TonyO Aug 21, 2009 12:39 PM

                          any other comments on the hotel as i will be going there in October for my first trip to Montreal. Were there other options within walking distance to the hotel that you went to? I guess any thoughts on the hotel would be appreciated as well!

                          1. re: ThatGuy1980
                            TonyO RE: ThatGuy1980 Aug 23, 2009 08:45 AM

                            Very modern, nice pool and roof top hot tub. $289 / night included parking and breakfast (continental). Very clean, nice bathroom, large and spacious. Typical Montreal service, more professional than friendly.

                    2. m
                      mzalce RE: TonyO Aug 21, 2009 01:00 PM

                      If you like italian I will go to Ferrari's one street behind Crescent (almost corner of Ste-Catherine). Much better then Weinstein & Gavinos. If you like bbq you may try Bofingers, almost at the Corner of Ste-Catherine and University. A good choice for lunch after shopping.

                      Another great choice for a quick lunch is Anton & James, at Stanley (almost coner of Ste-Catherine).

                      Finally Rueben's Delhi may be a good choice for a family downtown (certainly better then Nickle's or Mike's), they have everything to eat there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mzalce
                        Shattered RE: mzalce Aug 24, 2009 07:43 PM

                        Ferrari's is at 1407 Bishop St.

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