Villeray and its resturants...
Technically, Marché Jean-Talon is on the opposite side of Jean-Talon, but she should become acquainted with it as a source for ingredients and cooked goodies. Many of the shops surrounding it on are on the Villeray side, like Le Petit Alep.
Idem the Chinese/Southeast Asian grocery stores on St-Denis both north (Villeray) and south (Petite Patrie) sides of Jean-Talon.
Where is she living? There are also several small "ethnic" restaurants up on Jarry including the famous Ange et Ricky (Haitian) and some nearby Central American restaurants. Braseiro is a Portuguese restaurant on St-Laurent a bit north of Jarry. Tapeo is a well-known tapas place on Villeray itself, and there is a Spanish restaurant just a bit east of Tapeo (between Tapeo and St-Hubert) that is also worthwhile. There are several Latin American restaurants, above all Peruvian ones, on St-Hubert from Jean-Talon up to a bit north of Villeray.
The South Asian places in Park-Extension (just west of Villeray and Petite-Patrie) are very close by; many are cheap and good. You will also find grocery stores with foods from that part of the world there.
There are several small Vietnamese restaurants on St-Denis between Jean-Talon and Villeray, and also south of Jean-Talon to Bélanger.
to be continued!
Not really, but you are closer to the places on Jarry. Another restaurant you are close to is Le Bouchon de Liège (on Liège, of course). There is a café on Guizot near St-Denis but I haven't been to it under its current management. Another well-known spot I haven't been to is Le Point G - I think there may be a review on this board.
If you really want to save money, a trip due east on Jarry to the Asian supermarket Kim Phat is a very good idea indeed. There is a little snack-bar type restaurant inside the supermarket, but of course the only "charm" is the food and all the people from different East and Southeast Asian countries - and from here. 3733, rue Jarry Est, 514 727-8919
Take bus, car or bicycle due east - it is too far to walk. It is in sort of a warehouse area but there are lots of people around so it isn't scary. There is free parking.