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Middle Eastern or North African Restaurant Recommendations?

We will be in Montreal late this week and are looking for a good Middle Eastern or North African restaurant recommendation...all of which are sadly lacking in Vancouver. What would you recommend?

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  1. Le Petit Alep (casual) and Alep (fancier) near the Jean Talon Market for northern Syrian/Armenian.

    Kaza Maza (casual) and Damas (fancier) in Mile End for southern Syrian.

    Daou, also near the Jean Talon Market (casualish) or in the St-Laurent borough (a bit fancier), for traditional Lebanese.

    Abu Elias (not a restaurant, more a butcher shop and take-out counter with a few seats) for first-rate grilled sandwiches and a few more specialties.

    Haven't been particularly knocked out by the couscouseries and Moroccan/Algerian restos I've been to in the last couple of years, so I'll leave those to someone else to recommend.

    Don't miss the baklava: Amal Bohsali and Mahrouse are tops.

    All the above have been discussed extensively on the board. Plug the names into the search engine for links to the posts.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      Are you able to travel to places other then downtown? If not then Abu Elias and Mahrouse might be too out-of-the-way :(

      -La Maison du Kebab on atwater. Persian food, delicious, though the decor is unpretentious. Bring cash.
      -Magdala on bishop for ethipian cuisine. Very good and fun, better then Le Nil Bleu in my opinion.
      -Au coin Berbere: Moroccain couscous. Delicious for a BYOB, service is friendly but slow, don't be in a hurry.

      Nil Bleu Restaurant
      3706 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2X3L7, CA

      1. re: SourberryLily

        Magdala seems to maintain a very odd schedule. I've passed and seen them closed on Friday/Saturday nights, and open the next week, no explanation given. I agree that the food is much better than Nil Bleu, but best to call well in advance to confirm.

        Nil Bleu Restaurant
        3706 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2X3L7, CA

        1. re: davekry

          Good point! The service is friendly and good, but i've also seen them closed for no apparent reason. Too bad.

    2. Couple comes to mind :

      Kaza Maza or Damas for syrian(-ish) cuisine, the former I think is a bit more laid-back than the later.

      Le Petit Alep and Alep for syrian(-ish) cuisine, the former I think is a bit more laid-back than the later.

      for north-african or lebanese cuisine, I will let others answer.

      1. I love Kaza Maza! There is also Rumi, which is also very good, on the corner of Hutchison and Fairmount or its more casual location on St-Laurent. Why is it that all of these places have two locations, one fancy and one not??

        5198 Rue Hutchison, Outremont, QC H2V4A9, CA

        1. La couscoussiere d'Ali Baba is a fun place for an evening complete with entertainment (see website) and the food was very good on my single visit there.

          1. love Zawedeh, though the location isn't great: corner Peel and Sherbrooke, ground floor of the Best Western. There's also El Morocco, 3450 Drummond, for traditional Moroccan-Jewish: spicy and yummy last time I checked.

            El Morocco Restaurant
            3450 Drummond, Montreal, QC H3G1Y2, CA

            1. Thank you for the recommendations. We did get a chance to try Le Petit Alep on Friday for lunch and it met all expectations. Perfect sit down after a visit to Jean Talon The Moroccan recs have been noted and we will definitely give them a try on our next visit.

              1. Aux Lilas is a very good Lebanese restaurant on Avenue du Parc, corner St-Viateur. Nice atmosphere and not too expensive.

                1. I love Rumi on Fairmont! It's fantastic African/Mid-Eastern inspired fusion dishes. Absolutely top service every time in a really lovely and warm setting. Great for people watching when seated on the terrace in warmer months. The food is lovingly prepared and it was nice to see the entire restaurant staff sit down to dinner themselves at closing on our way out, enjoying the meals they craft with care. This would be my number one recommendation.

                  5198 Rue Hutchison, Outremont, QC H2V4A9, CA