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May 15, 2010 07:15 AM

Montreal restaurant recommendations (vegan-friendly)


A few of my friends are heading up to Montreal for a long weekend in July to visit a former co-worker...and they're looking for some restaurant recommendations!

One of them is a vegan, so preferably there are some vegan-friendly options. Nothing extravagant price wise (let's say $40-50 a person or so with a drink or two), but we're native to the mid-Atlantic and know very little about the Montreal food scene. All diners are adventurous and flexible as to the type of cuisine.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!


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  1. There are not that many non vegan restaraurant that are vegan friendly;vegetarian friendly yes, but vegan friendly no.

    For a good vegan place, I like "Aux Vivres", but no booze; and very hipster hippie-ish.

    1. Montreal has a huge number of restaurants per capita. There are many kinds of cuisines. It's a great eating-out town. And though I'd probably argue that the quintessential Montreal food experience is unfortunately NOT vegan-friendly, likely not all that vegetarian friendly even.....there are still some vegan/vegetarian places available.

      This site lists them:

      From that list, I've been to Aux Vivres, Crudessence, Chuch, Chuchai, Casa del Popolo, Le Cagibi, Le Commensal, Lola Rosa, and Yuan.

      If you still want the experience of a drink or two with a bit of a fine dining feel, I'd put Chuch as the priority out of that list. Or, for the bring your own wine experience, and it's a more casual feel, Chuchai (I tend to go for Chuchai over Chuch myself. It's just a better deal).

      Other than Chuch, the places are very casual, some no alcohol available. The web site outlines the details about alcohol. Casa del popolo is more a bar that has a lot of bands playing there, a nice hang out spot, I usually go there for that rather than the food, but the food is fine and fresh, too, just a limited menu, which is understandable.

      2 Replies
      1. re: heliotrope

        heliotrope, if I'm not mistaken, Chuch is the more casual byow, Chuchai the fancier restaurant (same kitchen). I prefer the more casual byow place - you can get wine splits nowadays so you don't have to drink a full 750ml bottle. Aux Vivres annoys me to no end with their no booze policy,not that i'd ever go to such a place to get plastered, but because it is pretentious and precious.

        Yes, very limited menu at Casa del Popolo (mostly salads, soups, sandwiches) but what they have is fine, and cheap.

        The same management rune La Sala Rosa - under La Sala Rossa ( a concert venue). It is a Spanish restaurant, but because of the mangement there is an unusually large number of vegetarian tapas. Some must be vegan.

        Also check out one of our favourites, Le Petit Alep. They have a great vegetarian plate, falafel etc.

        Casa del Popolo
        4871 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R6, CA

        Aux Vivres
        4631 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA

        1. re: lagatta

          if you are in downtown area and just need a quick pickmeup while wanting to stay in central shopping area i would go to commensal as you have a nice view of ste catherine street (2nd floor restaurant entrance on mcgill college just below ste catherine) and if you choose lighter items such as salads (price goes by weight; bread included in meal price) the bill is reasonable. You are also close to chinatown in downtown area so could have veggie dishes at vip or other restaurants recommended in previous threads. On the other hand if you want to experience the montreal scene i would choose a restaurant with a terrace......

      2. Vegan does NOT = "All diners are adventurous" LOL

        1. You can bring them to any place that serves oysters!

          Very interesting article explaining why even strict vegans should feel comfortable eating oysters.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kebab

            if you are coming first weekend in july the montreal jazz festival is on and one of the best places to listen to musicians on outdoor stages and enjoy nibbling is at the wine and cheese outdoor booth on terrace at place des arts, they have products from quebec

          2. Bumping this up!

            Long story short: hubby and I trying veganism for Lent. Are there any new places to eat in Montreal in this vein?

            13 Replies
            1. re: Peaches to Poutine

              Crudessence on Mackay has a tasty vegan menu. I've been a few times and I always enjoy it.
              Aux Vivres will have vegan options and Lola Rosa may have vegan options (it's vegetarian).

              Aux Vivres
              4631 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA

              Lola Rosa Cafe
              545 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1W5, CA

              1. re: TheSnowpea

                Ehhhhhhh Crudessence just pisses me off. you pay 20$+tip for raw lettuce on a dried out almond pattie or whatever. their om burger is pretty good but at 14$'s just frustrating. the raw vegan 'sushi' is kind of interesting but kind of bland and pasty. DONT GET the crepes type thing--it is seriously worse than anything you could make at home but for 15$. and you willbe starving and the smoothies are like 8$ or something ridiculous.

                I like Aux Vivres, though! I LIKE vegan food. it's just crudessence..urgh
                Aux Vivres..get the rice bowl, or the vietnamese-type sandwich:)
                lots of indian restaurants (south indian) do vegan well too.

                lola rossa is terrible TBH. overpriced homestyle food that is pretty boring and just..could be better. and although they;re vegetarian ive heard of MANY people with bad experiences trying to get something vegan

                Aux Vivres
                4631 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA

                1. re: klagirl

                  LOL! I admit it's expensive, but I figure the thing about that type of raw food cuisine s that it's crazy work intensive. Which is an oxymoron. :) The lunch special suited me however.

                  I had okay meals at Lola Rosa. I was expecting terrible food from reviews here. I found the food wasn't fancy, but certainly filling. Nice enough service, very casual. But I never tried to go vegan there. And the little drawers at the tables filled with bits of paper scribbled with notes was an amusing discovery.

                  I guess one's mileage may vary :)

                  1. re: TheSnowpea

                    I have NOT had good experiences with raw foodist/crudivore cuisine. Better to just leave it at that.

                    1. re: lagatta

                      Me either. I didn't like my meal at Crudessence when I went to their restaurant but I must admit they have some raw food cooking workshops that allowed my son and his class to produce some rather fabulous food. They made almond milk, avocado/coconut parfait, quinoa salad. I would avoid Yuan, and I do like Chuch, and also Zero8, an allergy free place that probably has a lot of dishes that qualify, and which no one has mentioned here.

                    2. re: TheSnowpea

                      Lola Rossa has so much potential. it's adorable, those little notes, the decor, good location, you want it to be good! but then it's not . And they won't do anything about it because it's packed with university students/hipsters that have more disposable income than you'd think, and some employees of the university. they get line-ups. to be fair the place is small..but I shake my head every time.

                      1. re: TheSnowpea

                        and you're right,the lunch special at crudessence seems like an OK deal. just don't sit in the place on mackay in the evening, pay full price, in an empty dining room with too many tables.

                  2. re: Peaches to Poutine

                    I'd say the best place for vegan food in this town is Aux Vivres. I haven't been to Chuchai (and never Chuch) in years but that would be a fancier alternative where you can also get alcohol.

                    I'd only do Crudessence when I am in the mood for something quite different and super filling, and Lola Rosa for their nachos but otherwise I find their food pretty bland. And never to Le Commensal--that place gives vegetarian food a bad name.

                    As Montréal isn't the most vegan-friendly town (nor a vegetarian-friendly town, though it's do-able), I'd say other ideas would be to go for ethnic restos and order carefully. My favs: Le Petit Alep and Kaza Maza for Syrian, Kam Fung for Chinese, Atti for Korean, Gandhi for Indian, Tri-Express for sushi. Otherwise, in the Mile End, there's two small takeout places that do veg/vegan stuff: Depanneur Le Pickup and Green Panther.

                    I was going to give up all animal products and go vegan for Lent, but then I've decided to give up Lent for St. Patrick's Day. So that's that. ;)

                    Aux Vivres
                    4631 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA

                    Lola Rosa Cafe
                    545 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1W5, CA

                    Green Panther
                    66 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2K9, CA

                    1. re: looosia

                      I second what looosia says. There are good options for vegan meals in the city, but I'm sure you'll find that those options get old quickly, especially if you're going full out vegan for 40 days. I like going to Aux Vivres and Chuchai for inspiration to cook at home though. Vegan food can be mighty tasty!

                      Aux Vivres
                      4631 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA

                      1. re: torontrealais

                        Believe me there options in Montreal (where I spend the weekends) are much better than here in the Townships.

                        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                          Sorry to bump this up again, but I have a question: Is Chuchai BYOW? I see on the website they offer wine, but I thought I heard that you could bring your own.

                          Thanks! And sorry once again!

                          1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                            The more casual sister resto "Chuch" next door is BYOB. Note that Chuch doesn't take reservations.