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Dec 21, 2009 04:55 PM

Yummiest, fun, local restaurants for two adults and a teen visiting Montreal from NYC?

Arriving in Montreal Christmas day, for a five-day vacation. Haven't been to Montreal before. Staying near Grande Bibliothèque. Love urban eating adventures in our home town, NYC... looking for same in Montreal. (And any suggestions for low-key and open on Christmas?) Also looking for good places to hear music that will admit my 16-year-old son, if accompanied by his parents.

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  1. P.S. Not looking for tourist spots. Hoping to find good, authentic food of all kinds. Fancy is not our style.

    1. A very local place, for basic food, and beer with music where you can bring your teen, is the Casa Del Popolo on St-Laurent, they have veggi-ish sandwiches and salads; (google them); music is rock/indie (more or less depending on the nights); close to that, there are a couple of portugese restaurants where you can have a filling meal on the cheap (no music); also close to that there's "Aux Vivres" for a tasty vegan restaurants.

      Try "Monsieur B" on Villeneuve St. it's a recent-ish BYOW small restaurant; also, for jazz (related) you can try Dieze Onze (on St-Denis St., about 15 minutes walk from the Grand Bibliotheque)

      Me think they all are restaurants, so there should be no problem having your teen with you.

      for the 25th, I suggest looking at asian food in Chinatown. (see other threads regarding that)


      1 Reply
      1. you could never go wrong with pied de cochon, food is familiar enough for a teen but still has a unique twist to traditional quebecois food

        1. By the time the music starts at Casa, the place becomes more of a bar. But it's still worth checking out. Across the street is Sala Rossa, which has great tapas and live flamenco on Thursday nights. Griffintown cafe has an excellent blues band on Friday nights and I think they also have music on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Laika is a cafe on St-Laurent that sometimes has live DJs. There are three dinner-jazz clubs, the aforementioned Dieze Onze and also the House of Jazz and Upstairs.

          Make sure you don't spend your whole time downtown, in Old-Montreal, or in the Quartier Latin (where you're staying) if you really want to experience "fun" and "local" (i.e. head up to the Plateau and Mile-End).

          Enjoy your trip!

          6 Replies
          1. re: foodinspace

            Thank you, mak2k and foodinspace. Foodinspace, I see you recommended Vice et Versa to the person looking for fiddle music. My kid is actually a folksong writer and has recently started gigging at some clubs in NY (voice, guitar, piano, harmonica). Would Vice et Versa be a good call for our little family for food and music, or is there a law in Montreal (as there is in NY), that denies entry to a bar to people who are underage?

            1. re: ebecker

              People are generally pretty relaxed here about certain laws and a teen will probably go unnoticed in most places that are not overtly a bar. It's worth a try!

              I recommend to check out the threats about the best of Montreal that you can find through the search function.

              1. re: ebecker

                I can't imagine most pubs refusing entry to a 16 year old. Bars and clubs, yes, but a place like Vices et Versa should be okay. They won't card at the door, only when ordering. Given that the drinking age here is 18, your son might be able to pass relatively easy.

                Note that Vices et Versa is closed from Dec 24-28 and Dec 29-Jan 3...I don't know if that means they're open on the 28th or not...I imagine all but the more tourist oriented places will be quiet and lack music over the holidays. You'll probably have better luck at Brutopia or Hurley's downtown. Both are nice pubs.

                You also might find something at the Yellow Door, a long-time coffeehouse in the McGill Ghetto:


                Check out the Montreal Mirror for music listings. There's a section devoted to folk and roots:


                1. re: foodinspace

                  He might enjoy the music at Grumpy's on Bishop below St Catherine. O'Regan's a couple of doors down is just a good friendly pub. Gerry the owner is a Corkman.

                2. re: ebecker

                  In case you weren't aware, the drinking age here is 18, and there's a long tradition of flouting it. As long as your son doesn't look too baby-faced, he'd not only be allowed to enter just about any establishment, in many places you'd be the one stopping him from getting served, not the staff. (In most of North America it may be standard to card anyone who looks a day under 30... not here.)

                  As for music, if you don't mind a friendly hole-in-the-wall, Barfly (4062 St-Laurent) has a bluegrass night every Sunday. I assume it's business as usual on the 27th, but you might want to call just in case (514 284-6665). No food there -- it's something to do after dinner. It's just up the street from Schwartz's and various Portuguese places.

                  1. re: Mr F

                    I L Chowhound. Thank you all for your excellent suggestions. Good food and music coming right up!