New neighbourhood primer
I'll be moving to Montreal next week, and I was hoping that some of you might be able to give me some tips (both restaurant- and grocery-wise) about my new neighbourhood. I'll be living on Rue Hutchison, just north or Bernard. And while I'm of course willing to explore the city, and am keen to check out some places I've heard about in the Plateau or near Jean Talon, what I'm really interested in are places within a short walk of where I'll be staying (so, Mile End, along Ave du Parc, my part of Outremont, etc.).
I'm happy to hear all suggestions. Some particular points of interest include: a banh mi place (or Vietnamese place in general), great pizza, and quality seafood.
I'll also be working at McGill, so I'd be interested in hearing about anything of interest near the university as well.
Welcome to the neighbourhood!
The Mile-End area has lots of good cheap lunch places (<10$). : Le Zigoto (5731 du Parc, right below Bernard) is a tiny little cafe that has good sandwiches and soups. SoupeSoup (174 St. Viateur St West) has really delicious soups and sandwiches, this is my favourite place. Cagibi (5490 St. Laurent, just below St-Viateur) is a bit of a hipster hang out, which can be a plus or a minus... I like the bean burrito. There's a Greek patisserie on Parc (can't remember the name, it's on the east side, right above St-Viateur), that has some good salads, very inexpensive.
In the Outremont area, someone already mentioned Croissanterie Figaro (5200, rue Hutchison, corner Fairmount), it is amazing for lunch, the croque-monsieur is delicious. In the summer, their terrasse is one of the nicest in the city. For dinner, one of the best deals in the city is at Lemeac (1045 Laurier Ouest), where you can get a table d'hote for 22$ after 10 PM.
I love the Guyanese/Caribbean place at Clark and St. Viateur...tasty and cheap...they're moving soon to a larger spot but it will be right next door. Chez Van on Laurier just east of Parc isn't bad for affordable Vietnamese. I like the greasy breakfast at Nouveau Palais (Bernard just east of Parc) and the place on the southwest corner of Fairmount and St. Urbain. You can find decent Portuguese roasted chicken on St. Viateur (I'm blanking on names today!) and the Polish place, too, is fantastic (Euro-Deli Batory, also on St. Viateur).
You can satisfy your Smoked Meat craving at Lester's on Bernard, though if you can save it for Schwartz's, make the trip there. Make sure you visit Ceskie's bakery (Bernard just west of Parc) for not only one of the best Jewish bakeries in the city but one of the best bakeries period.
You can walk down Hutchison to Fairmount and eat at Le Croissanterie Figaro (more than just croissants) and Rumi, both of which are really good but slightly pricier.
That is a very pretty place, and well-served by public transport. Immediate locations include the strip on avenue du Parc mostly south of Bernard, but that is really just out your door. There are greengrocers, a recently-renovated Intermarché (Loblaws banner for small shops, but often featuring "ethnic" stuff), Nouveau Falerno for fish, a smallish SAQ outlet. Bernard is obviously posher in Outremont than in Mile-End: a good cheesemonger (forget the name, hounds will fill in), 5 saisons which is an upscale Métro banner - usually expensive but good for some specialities.
I'm more familiar with banh mi and general Vietnamese places more where I live closer to the Jean-Talon market and métro (walkable but not a short "nip out" walk). You can take the 160 bus due east to Pho Tay Ho at the corner of Beaubien and St-Denis, or the 80, walking a bit east of avenue du Parc, to Nhu Y.