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Need help planning budget/moderate 4 nites in Montreal

Convinced hubbie to join me in Montreal for 4 nites the end of this month while I attend a conference. Problem is that we already had planned 3 weeks in Europe this summer so need to keep costs down.

Any suggestions for:
1) dinner near Museum of Fine Arts on Wed nite
2) weekday breakfast near Hotel de la Montagne (where we are staying) or Sheraton Centre (conference hotel)
3) business lunch near Sheraton Centre
4) dinner options (L'Express is definitely on my list, loved it several years ago)
5) breakfast/brunch on Saturday
6) food at or near Jazz Festival on Saturday
7) dinner near (or on way to) good free fireworks view on Saturday nite
8) weekday diner/burger/ethnic fun places for hubbie to grab breakfast or lunch by himself (he already has Schwartz's on his list)

We know we want to visit Atwater and Jean Talon markets but they are a bit far to grab breakfast or lunch while I am attending the conference, so I may have to wait until Friday afternoon & Saturday morning.

We do have some dietary restrictions (me--no wheat, hubbie--no milk products) which means no pizza/pasta/sandwiches/bagels for me, and no pizza for hubbie.

Thanks so much.

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  1. Suggestions for...
    1) Kazu. Be prepared to wait in line, though.
    4) If you liked l'Express, you may also enjoy Laloux and Lemeac, which tend to do a bit more of a modern take on bistro fare. If you really want to keep it cheap, Lemeac offers a $25? special after 10pm, which is a very good quality/price ratio.
    7) Au Petit Extra. May require reservations, but very close to the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and other ideal fireworks viewing spots.

    1862 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3H 1M1, CA

    1. For 5) I would suggest considering Holder, which has the benefit of being close to your hotel on the edge of Old Montreal. They have a nice, very affordable brunch.

      1. I'm not sure how "business" you want a lunch for 3), but if its you and "hubbie" I'd suggest Cafe Presto around the corner from the Sheraton on Stanley. Fairly good Italian for mucho cheapo - their plates (choice of 5 or 6) ring up at $6 each. Or a block over on Peel at Macleans Pub, fair to good pub food. For a true "business" lunch, you might consider Dominion Square Tavern
        another block over on Metcalfe. Very nice, hip ambiance (think turn of the century decor) and they have a week-day lunch menu for $20 with soup or salad (you can search this on Chow as well


        For 6), I'd suggest getting a bite near, not at. For such an international festival, their food kiosks are almost embarrassing - think hot dogs, fries, pizza, crepes (doesn't bode well with your restrictions either)....
        An option would be Chinatown a few blocks south where you can eat like a king for cheap. My favorite is Beijing on de la Gauchetiere very near St. Urbain, but theres plenty other places. This option can foot the bill for 7) as well.

        Cafe Presto
        1244 Rue Stanley, Montreal, QC H3B2S7, CA

        1. FYI, Atwater Market has a new crepe place, in the covered area on its north side, that offers wheat free crepes.

          EDIT: also, there's an allergen free restaurant, called Zero 8 in the Quartier Latin. I don't know how it is, but it may prove interesting http://www.zero8.com/

          1. Hi

            You can get good sandwiches and cheese plates featuring varieties of quebec cheeses at the SAQ BIstros at the JazzFest (plus wine of course). I can't remember if they also have a charcuterie plate available but I personally like to go there, sit for a while and listen to the music while enjoying something to eat.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tah1234

              This is true, but most times you can't get in without a very long wait...plus the OP can't eat sandwiches, her husband can't eat milk products...

              1. re: porker

                Oh, I am so sorry. That was perfectly awful advice. I didn't read the original post all the way thru.

            2. Thanks so much for the suggestions, especially informing us about the lack of good food options at the festival. Sounds like we will be taking a walk down to chinatown when ready to eat (unless get to market earlier in day to pick up picnic).

              Any suggestions for:
              2) weekday breakfast near Hotel de la Montagne (where we are staying) or Sheraton Centre (conference hotel)

              8) weekday diner/burger/ethnic fun places for hubbie to grab breakfast or lunch by himself (he already has Schwartz's on his list)

              Other suggestions for 1-7 also gratefully accepted.

              13 Replies
              1. re: lacontessa

                For an awesome diner i'd try nouveau palais on bernard and parc. I've been there for dinner and thought it was impressive, plus i hear good things about brunch there. He might also want to get portugese chicken one day (romados around rachel and coloniale is amazing and dirt cheap). both are places that would be easy to go to on your own.

                I second kazu for dinner that's close to the museum. it's worth the wait without question.

                If you haven't been to lawrence for brunch i'd recommend that too. it's at st. laurent and fairmount (this isn't close to the hotel so that rec. is for the saturday brunch).

                For dinner near the fireworks i'd suggest kitchenette. amazing market food and great cocktails and wine list. you can walk to see the fireworks from there or watch them from right outside the restaurant if it's raining.

                have fun!

                1. re: leyb

                  Great recommendations! The kitchenette idea is perfect. There are even tables near the door from which the fireworks are clearly viewable.

                  Nouveau Palais is, indeed, great. Their taco-truck counterpart I imagine will be present at the Jazz Fest this year, so that should really provide one amazing option if you so choose.

                  1. re: Fintastic

                    yes!! double support for the taco truck at jazzfest, assuming it's there (they went out to F1 so they'll almost certainly hit jazzfest). excellent call.

                    1. re: leyb

                      Yep, Grumann 78's taco truck will be at the Jazz Festival, as well as Just for Laughs. You can check out the entire list of upcoming events they'll be attending on their website:

                      http://grumman78.com/en (scroll down)

                  2. re: leyb

                    Hi--it looks like Lawrence is closed for the next few weeks due to holiday. Several folks recommended Kazu so that sounds like a good one to check out while we are going to the museum.

                    1862 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3H 1M1, CA

                    1. re: lacontessa

                      Speaking of the Fine Arts Museum there is an amazing hidden picnic spot across the street...its a garden on the right side of a church; many Montrealers dont even know about it but its quite lovely

                      1. re: kpaxonite

                        Specifically, the Church of St Andrew and St Paul. Agreed, kpaxonite, a fantastic hidden spot.

                  3. re: lacontessa

                    The best weekday breakfast I've found downtown is the one at the Sofitel's Renoir restaurant on Sherbrooke W, which is within a 10 minute walk of Hotel de la Montagne. Eggs florentine cost $20, but are much better than your average Eggs Florentine (my most recent order included asparagus as well as spinach, a little fruit salad, some fingerling potatoes). Expect breakfast at Renoir to cost closer to $30+ per person, if you order coffee and juice. They also have a nice terrasse, if you'd like to eat your breakfast outside.

                    There's also a location of Universel at 2055 Peel, just south of Sherbrooke, which opens early each morning and has a large breakfast menu. I found it to be ok, but not great. It's also within a 10 minute walk of your hotel.

                    I also like Vasco da Gama on Peel, Mangia on Maissoneuve, and Cafe Myriad on Mackay, for coffee and a pastry. http://www.cafemyriade.com/

                    The Reuben's on St. Catherine (the location further west on St. Catherine is closer to the Sheraton Centre) is decent for basic bacon & eggs, and also serves Montreal bagels (can't remember whether they were St. Viateur or Fairmont bagels), as well as sides of their smoked meat.

                    Is the bagel place at Faubourg still in business? Used to like going there for a fresh-baked bagel with cream cheese.

                    Reuben's Deli Steaks Desserts
                    1116 Rue Sainte-Catherine W, Montreal, QC H3B1H4, CA

                    Cafe Vasco Da Gama
                    1472 Rue Peel, Montreal, QC H3A1S8, CA

                    1101 Boul De Maisonneuve W, Montreal, QC H3A1N4, CA

                    1. re: prima

                      Yep that bagel place is still around, but I find that if you're in that area and want bagels, the quality is better at REAL Bagel on Ste Cathetine at Greene in Westmount, plus they have a better selection of spreads and other assorted stuff to put on said bagels. However what I like most about the place is that it's one of the few that doesn't skimp on the poppy seeds - there are few things that annoy me more than a poppy seed bagel that looks like it has been dipped an inch or so into the seeds and then tossed in the oven.


                      1. re: davekry

                        Good to know- will have to try REAL Bagel next time I'm nearby!

                        1. re: davekry

                          i think REAL bagel is terrible. Also, many of the ancillary products are overpriced ie: spreads

                          1. re: celfie

                            I agree that the bagels aren't as good as Fairmount/St Viateur, and yes, you're paying Westmount prices. However, I still find the quality is superior to the bagels at the Faubourg, and it's hard to argue with a five minute walk vs. a reasonable trek to the plateau.

                            1. re: davekry

                              Depends if you like good bagels or not....there is also a Provigo nearby.

                              (Fairmont and St viateur are only 10-15 mins on the 535)