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Jun 12, 2010 04:47 PM

Le petit train du nord

Headed out next weekend on our first bike trip in the Laurentians! Looking for tips on places A.) to stop for lunch near Val-Morin/Val-David, preferably near the path that won't mind us stumbling in in our sweaty gear, and B.) for dinner near St-Faustin-Lac-Carre. (Dinner is available at our gîte -- Gîte de la gare -- but we want to know what our option are before we book it.) We're willing to call a cab to get to and from dinner if it's worth it. Ideally we'd like a place with at least a few vegetarian options to accommodate some members of our group. Willing to consider all price-ranges at this point -- since it'll be our first time up there, we just want a sense of the choices. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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  1. Would love to hear how your bike ride goes! I was just in Montreal and wanted to take a day trip to Laurentians but didn't. The area looks so picturesque!

    1. don't worry about your appearance: the local places are quite used to hosting sport lovers from the bike trail...

      For lunch in Val-David, you could try le Creux du Vent... we ate there once, the food was good. The only quibble was I felt service was hurried (intervals between courses could have taken a bit longer).

      The Edelweiss Inn I think also offers lunch but I've never been. Val-David is a pretty village, and has several little cafés along the main street, and also a supermarket right near the trail.

      1. I rode the trail a couple of years ago and had dinner at le Creux de Vent. The food was superb and it is right on the bike trail.

        1. I really wish I remembered the name of the place. In Val David, where the trail goes into a parking lot, there's the cabin where you can go in and get tourist info, bathrooms etc. Across from there, there's a restaurant. You have to cross the parking lot and it's just at the base of the hill. If it feels quaint and artsy, with a collection of different kitchen tables, you're there. The food was great there, the drinks were innovative ,and it was all healthy.

          That's a great ride you're doing, and val-david is a nice little stop.

          1. Thanks for the suggestions. Thought I would report back.

            By the time we rolled into Val-David (close to 3pm) many places were no longer serving lunch, so our options were limited. We ended up at Kirlian, a vegan/raw cafe just off the path, where we had excellent smoothies and sandwiches. Would definitely return, although not if we were looking to indulge calorie-wise.

            We stayed in St-Faustin-Lac-Carre, about 30k further up the path, at an excellent B&B, Gîte de la Gare ( We were delighted to find that not only were they not horrified by our rough condition upon arrival, they had an excellent dinner menu. Three of us had trout in a light curry sauce, accompanied by asparagus and preceded by a really nice salad; the fourth had an ostrich steak -- not exactly local fare, but well-prepared and delicious. Wine, desserts, and digestifs were also great, and we went upstairs and fell straight into bed afterward. Breakfast was also excellent. I would stay there again in a heartbeat, 90k bike ride notwithstanding. Just three rooms, so it's a quiet and peaceful experience.

            On the way back we had lunch in Val-David again at Le Petit Moutin Noir, which is about 1km off the path, due west down the main drag (rue de l'eglise maybe?). Nice sandwiches with lots of interesting cheeses. Breakfast/lunch, big terrase, slightly hippy ambiance. We'll definitely return to Val-David for further exploration. There was a lot more good eating there than we had time to do. Thanks to all for the suggestions; we will try them in the future.

            And for anyone who's a biker and hasn't been up that way, the path is a real treasure.