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Aug 15, 2010 03:51 PM

Visiting Montreal for 4 days/nights. Need specific recs.

My family of 5 and I will be visiting Montreal this week and need some food recommendations. We have a pretty good idea of places we want to go to, but still have other meals to figure out. We are foodies, and aside from APDC, we're more interested in grazing and going to local neighborhood places to eat rather than more expensive places where reservations need to be made. Also, we are most interested in trying French/Quebecois/Montreal quintessential food.

1) We already have reservations for 2 dinners at Au Pied de Cochon. What dishes should not be missed? Also, it seems like the portions are massive. Is it appropriate to share entrees here?

2) Schwartz's, St. Viateur bagels, and La Belle Province are the cheap "fast food" places we plan on trying.

3) Would like inexpensive ($10-20/entree) and casual places for lunch and/or dinner in the following neighborhoods: Old Montreal, Mile End, Latin Quarter, the area surrounding St-Denis and Duluth (where I heard there are lots of inexpensive BYOB places), area around Blvd Rene-Levasque Ouest & Rue Crescent. Would like places that would easily accommodate 5-7 people (visiting relatives also) without reservations.

4) Is there anything worth eating in the Old Port?

5) Any places that are good for grazing rather than full sit-down meals

6) Jean-Talon Market: specific stalls to buy things to take back home to the States. Also, are there any food stalls where we can buy hot food for lunch and sit down somewhere? Any places worth trying in the neighborhood around Jean-Talon?

7) Lastly, is it legal to take home foie gras from Canada to the US? I always hear mixed things...

I know these are a lot of questions, but we prefer to not have every day and hour planned out, so we'd just like a variety of suggestions for all the neighborhoods we'll most likely explore. Thanks.

Jean-Talon Market
7075 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal, QC H2S, CA

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  1. 2- Without hesitation I suggest that instead of going to Belle Province you should go to Patati Patata on the corner of St Laurent and Rachel (the map is showing it wayyyyyyyyy wrong) its a million times better and one of the best poutines in town ( seriously...dont go to la belle province). Another cheap place in that area is Romados for Portugese chicken (ten bucks for a half chicken fries and salad) there are only a couple seats in the restaurant everyone takes their order to go; there are parks nearby where you can eat.

    3- Olive et Gormando in the Old Port. Near st denis and duluth Cafe Santropol (the byobs in that area that Im thinking of arent great- lacademie and jardin de panos- or more expensive than 10-20). Near Rene levesque and crescent there is Marinara... I would suggest walking a bit west towards chinatown 2 (there are lots of threads on that). On crescent street itself you might want to get a pita from boustan then walk up to sherbrooke, there is a church there with a beautiful garden beside it behind a gate ... great picnic spot. Might be a bit pricey but the lunch special at Pintxo in the plateau is 18 and very good ( I had the beef cheeks this week and the pintxo were foie gras and another was salmon tartare and a fig with serrano ham and cheese)

    4- DNA or Chasse et Peche (although some people claim these are technically in Old montreal) these are higher end (but dna has an amazing lunch special for 20)

    Belle Province
    20 Rue Brunet, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC J3G4S6, CA

    Patati Patata
    4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA

    3990 Rue Saint Urbain, Montreal, QC H2W 1T8, CA

    1. I second the recommendations for Patati and Romado's. However it might be difficult to fit 5-7 people in Patati. Actually it'll probably be impossible. You can take out Romado's and have a picnic at nearby Jeanne-Mance park. For poutine, head instead to La Banquise or M'me Bolduc. If you really want to explore further afield, you can go to Point-St Charles and visit Paul Patates. You can then walk up Rue Charlevoix, cross the canal, and visit the Atwater Market. While there you can have an ice cream from le Havre aux Glaces. Do not go to la Belle Province.

      I would also agree that the only food worth eating around Crescent is Boustan or the Chinese places a bit to the north and west.

      I like Jardin de Panos as a decent BYOB with a nice terrace. The food is nothing spectacular but it's good and the place is fun.

      There are numerous threads on the Jean-Talon Market. A search of "Jean-Talon" will hopefully bring up some useful information. A few blocks west of the market is Little India, which has incredibly spectacular fantastic Indian food for cheap, cheap, cheap. I prefer Maison India Curry House but it's not BYOB. Bombay Mahal and Moti Mahal are almost equally as good and are BYOB.

      For budget options, you can also look at this thread and the threads it contains:

      Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

      1. Me think 2 dinner is a bit pushing it. cancel one and go somewhere else ... why not try the new "Chez ma grosse truie chérie"


        1 Reply
        1. re: Maximilien

          Wow i didnt catch that the first time... I fully agree 2 dinners at APDC is overdoing it...Montreal has so much more to offer!!!

          However I am personally waiting a while before going to "Chez ma grosse truie chérie" because of a recent review

          Considering the price range of 50-60 a person I think you can do better...
          I have not been though...

        2. Thanks for the suggestions! We made 2 reservations for APDC just in case we really wanted to eat there twice but with the possibility that we'd be canceling the second, if we felt it was unnecessary to eat there again.

          Are reservations for 5 people necessary at Lemeac, Holder, or Le Local? We would really like to go to a French bistro or brasserie...any other inexpensive options are welcome.

          Le Local
          740 rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: phr208

            Au cinquieme peche. You need to reserve. Slightly more expensive than Lemeac (if you arent going at 22h) but far better.

            1. re: phr208

              Depending on which night you plan on hitting one of those restaurant, and at which time you're going, you MIGHT be able to get a table without a reservation, but i would not show up to any of those places un-announced looking for a table for 5 at 7-8pm for instance

              1. re: phr208

                I would make reservations for a group of 5 at any of those places, just to be on the safe side. 2 you might get away with, but 5 could be trickier.

              2. A simple, retro joint, La Binerie on Mont-Royal has some Quebec terroir stuff (pig feet ragout, tourtiere, pea soup, shepherds pie, etc). Although I've been wanting to try for quite some time, I haven't eaten here so can't comment on the food itself.

                Schwartz is not licensed. If you're so inclined, you could have a few drinks and share an appetizer of petisco across the street at La Cabane Portuguese. This will allow you to scope out the line at Schwartz and decide when to go. Small review here

                Old Montreal: have a glass of wine and share a cheese or charcuterie plate at Marche de la Villette on St. Paul. Small review here

                In the neighborhood of Viateur bagel, Wilensky's Lite Lunch on Fairmont is a virtual timewarp to the 40s. You can read about it here
                Some people love it, others, not-so-much. Me, I liked the nostalgia. The sandwich, although not exactly cutting-edge is a lot of fun and cheap to boot. Whether you like it or not, you'll be talking about it within your fgroup for years - "Remember that bologna sandwich place we tried in Montreal a few years ago? You know, that wierd round bread and those 1930s stools, what was it called Wil-something... Willooskies... Willaskey...something like that?"