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Mar 25, 2011 01:35 PM

Cool Local Weekend Eating & Drinking for First Time Visitors?

My boyfriend and I are planning a first visit to Montreal from Brooklyn over a long weekend, and are hoping to find good local joints for everything from breakfast to late night bars.

Budget cheap to moderate. Sticking to Old Montreal and the Plateau. He's vegetarian, I'll eat anything. We drink a lot, at both dives and fancy cocktail bars. Love poutine, crepes. Seeking cool, delicious, unpretentious vibes. Any recommendations for brunch / lunch / dinner / bars are all appreciated!

Also looking for hip local Montreal blogs or guides! I know I'm leaning heavily on the call for "cool" places, but a cursory search into Montreal's nightlife just brings up like, jazz bars, and we're hoping to find something younger and louder and cuter and dirtier..


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  1. For vegetarian (vegan, in fact) food that has even carnivores thinking twice, check out Aux Vivres, on St Laurent just above Mont-Royal Ave. Not far away is an Dieu du Ciel, which IMHO is one of the better bars in town.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: davekry

      Yes the "bacon" lettuce tomato sandwich is amazing

    2. For food, these threads on budget eats should get you started:

      You'll definitely want to go to Casa del Popolo. They have good vegetarian sandwiches. At night it becomes one of the best bars and live music venues in the city. I'd also recommend the Copa, which is a good local (somewhat student) bar that also happens to serve really good Indian food with vegetarian options. Both places are on St-Laurent, which is the main nightlife street. It is quite fancy and pretentious near Sherbrooke and gets more divey/organic/hip/better, however you want to call it, the further north you go. (Check out Barfly, le Divan Orange). Generally if you hang around the Plateau (St-Laurent, St-Denis, Duluth, Rachel, Mont-Royal) and Mile-End (Bernard, St-Viateur, Fairmont) you'll come across good bars, cafes, and restaurants.

      If you like beer, Dieu du Ciel is a brewpub that makes some of the best beer I've ever had.

      Check out the Montreal Mirror ( for all arts and entertainment listings. Midnight Poutine ( can sometimes be a good resource for the goings on around town.

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

      1. A cool cocktail bar is Le Lab

        Poutine in a cool tiny place: Patati Patata ........ or not quite as cool La Banquise

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

        1. my fave watering hole is Bily Kun (354 Mont Royal E) which serves lots of local micro brews... crowd is good. Nice happy hour with pints at $4.75. Vices & Versa on St. Laurent near little italy (bit father north from the plateau) has a nice terrasse in the back where you can smoke.. they serve quebec beers only. Dieu du ciel is okay but the crowd really blows. A so so vege cafe le cagibi also has some shows in their back room... they also serve alchohol (with food only)

          Mile End is full of 'hipster' places... the neighbourhood is a brooklyn experience within Montreal.
          As mentioned, Casa del Popolo is a mostly live venue nights... across the street is Sala Rosa which has slightly bigger shows and a spanish resto that is cheap and passable one the first floor.
          Ma'aam Bolduc has good poutine... they're located in the eastern plateau also in that area a bar 'le verre bouteille'... trendy cocktail place 'le distillerie' on mont royal. if you like crepes, there's a very old fashiony place that is okay called Ty-Breiz on Duluth. If like to eat a wonderful brioche first thing in the morning, I find the ones a Boulangerie Les Co'Pains d'Abord to be amazing, they have 2 locations Duluth and Mont Royal.
          I'd spend my days in Old Montreal and cocktail hour on... in the plateau etc.

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: chickenbruiser

            Yeah, try to get to Dieu du Ciel before 9pm. I wouldn't say the crowd "blows" but it gets silly crowded. It's better when you can sit and have a chat over a great pint...rarely possible after 9pm (or even 8 these days??)

          2. you could stroll around the Main (boul. st Laurent) and go to club espagnol (on wednesday dance show) open most days until 11pm, anybody been recently? Not cool/hip more old world but fits in with Main cosmo ambience.

            had weekend brunch recently at le hachoir, photos: