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Jan 8, 2010 10:32 AM

Westerner Visiting Montreal for the First time - Dinner Recs needed!

I am visiting Montreal for the first time in March for 4 days and need lunch and dinner recs! I am visiting Toronto for 4 days and then flying to Montreal for another 4 days. My intention is a gastronomical tour. I’ll be staying downtown but don’t mind going the distance for a ‘must eat’ place. I’ve already read through the ‘solo diner’ threads.

The only thing I won’t eat is seafood and I’m willing to spend up to $100 on dinner (excluding alcohol), though it doesn’t have to be high end – it just has to be a food memory to remember!

For lunches, I will probably be very busy walking/shopping, so a quick lunch in these areas would be great: Rue St. Catherine, Rue St. Denis, Rue St. Laurent, etc. Any suggestions here would be great.

So far, I have decided on APDC – and I am guessing the recommendation to sit at the bar still stands, if dining alone (a friend might join me on this trip - not sure yet). It sounds like I should even go twice…

Also, I will be in Montreal on a Sunday night – so the best restaurant in the city that is open, please post!

Thank you in advance – I would really appreciate your thoughts. I look forward to visiting your fine city for the first time and hope to make this a lovely gastro tour!

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  1. Try to get a reservation for APDC if you really want to try it. not sure that youre going to get a place. Maybe Montreal style smoked meat?

    8 Replies
    1. re: vanierstudent

      Do you think getting a reservation for March will be that difficult? I read from other posts that if I reserved too early they might lose the booking.

      Ah, Montreal smoked meat - good tip. Any other suggestions?

      1. re: freelancer

        You usually don't need to reserve at APDC more than a week in advance, two weeks to be on the safe side. That goes double if you're by yourself. I'd also suggest going there on Sunday, which would free up one of your other evenings for a restaurant that is closed on Sunday. Personally, I can't imagine hitting it twice in four days; not only will it take you about that long to work through the overindulgence of one visit, it would reduce your view of the city's gastronomic tapestry by a quarter.

        In case you missed an earlier list of dinner reccos I put together for a visiting westerner, here it is:

        Beside back threads, you should check out the endless banquet resto listings:
        A to M:
        N to Z:

        1. re: carswell

          Hi Carswell, I didn't know APDC was open on a Sunday! That's perfect - as you said, it frees up an evening for another resto that is closed that evening. Thank you! I won't be going twice - again, as you said, it reduces the view by a quarter. I did that once on a trip to TO and I was sorely disappointed in myself for visiting a restaurant I had already been at on another trip. It's better to explore and have lasting single memories that are positive.

          Thank you the other thread - I did see it and have it bookmarked. IT's so comprehensive that I haven't looked through it in detail yet but I will :)

          If you have suggestions for quick quick lunches in the areas mentioned, that would be awesome. Doesn't have to be gourmet as it is supposed to be quick but it does have to be amazing!!

          1. re: freelancer

            I tend to hit restaurants only for dinner and so am not your best resource for "amazing" lunch spots. Also, St-Catherine is a very long street.

            When downtown, I usually head to the Concordia ghetto (roughly the few blocks to the west and east of Guy between Sherbrooke and René-Lévesque. Favourite spots include Qing Hua dumpling, Maison du Nord, Roi du Wonton, Cuisine Szechuan, Cuisine Bangkok, Antep Kabab, Avesta (Turkish cafe) and Maison Bulgogi. Café Romy in the basement of Ogilvy's is pretty good, too. While in the hood, make time to drop by Café Myriade for some of the city's -- strike that -- the country's best coffee.

            On St-Laurent, hit Boccadillo and Provisions for Venezuelan and gourmet sandwiches respectively. Los Clasicos is the city's best Mexican restaurant IMHO. Patati Patata is highly regarded for burgers and fries. Euro Deli's usually a safe bet, though I wouldn't call it amazing. Also in that general area are some great Portuguese grilled chicken joints like Portugalia and Romados; the latter's my favourite, though it's more of a takeout operation with a few tables.

            Nothing great is coming to mind for St-Denis. My fallback used to be brewpub L'Amère à boire (open at noon on Thursday and Friday, 14:00 on other days) but the menu was revamped last year and the cooking has taken a turn for the worse. In that same area (Quartier Latin), Brioche Lyonnaise may be the safest bet. Upscalish burger joint Chez Paryse has a lot of fans. And if you're willing to walk over to the Village, you'll find Euro Polonia and Chipotle et Jalapeño among other options.

        2. re: freelancer


          I'm not an official "foodie" but I am a lurker and a resident of montreal so here are my "non-foodie" picks :P

          -Along with "APDC", I would suggest you to try le club chasse et pêche, in the old montreal ( and Joe Beef, near the atwater market (

          -Maybe it would be fun to try the best two food market in montreal. One is Atwater Market, near metro Lionel-Groulx. The other is Marché Jean-Talon, near Metro Jean Talon.

          -If you have a girlfriend who appreciates chocolate, my favorite recommendation would be "Juliette&Chocolat" on St-Denis between Maisonneuve and Ontario (at Berri-Uqam station). Other foodies might give you names they prefer on the plateau.

          -Favorite walking routes when the weather is warmer (I find) is between Berri-Uqam metro and Atwater metro along St-Catherine, between Berri-Uqam metro and Mont-Royal Metro along St-Denis, Mont-Royal street from St-Denis until the end, down St-Denis from Berri-Uqam metro directly into the old montreal, St-Laurent street.

          1. re: CaptCrunch

            Thanks CaptCrunch!! If you're on this board, you're probably some type of a foodie ;) I welcome foodie and non foodie picks! I just want to enjoy your city to the max!

            Thank you for the recs - I had heard of le club chasse et pêche, and it seems to be another "must go to" place. I will def. put it on my itinerary.

            I am someone who enjoys chocolate, and I almost forgot to ask for the chocolatier hot spots so thank you for mentioning it. If there are any bakeries that I absolutely need to visit, please feel free to let me know as well!

            Best poutine - I was going to have it at APDC but it seems very rich and I should have the other dishes. Since that is the case, where is the best poutine in Montreal? So many poutine threads, so many opinions, and so hard to decide. Is there a general favorite?

            Thank you for the walking routes as well! It will be the end of March - I think that is cold, but I am from SK so I should be ok to walk :)

            1. re: freelancer

              For poutine, try La Banquise. Lots of options, it's open 24 hrs, in the heart of the hip Plateau neighbourhood, and très, très, Montréal.

              994 Rachel est

              For quick lunches, check out some of the threads listed here:


              For bakeries, check out Moh's Famous Mile End Bakery Tour:


              Enjoy your trip!