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Jul 7, 2011 08:47 AM

4 Days in Montreal - Feedback please!

My fiance and I are a couple of Vancouver 'hounds coming to Montreal at the end of the month, over what for us is the B.C. day long weekend (though I don't believe August 1st is a stat holiday in QC). From a combination of searching this board and our own brains we've come up with a list of places to eat:

Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: La Croissanterie Figaro, Rumi, Schwartz's
Dinner: APDC, Lemeac, L'Express, Monsieur B

Do you lot think that we need to make reservations more than a day or two ahead for any of the above? (excepting APDC, which we've already reserved)

Any additional suggestions, or places in the above list that you'd take a pass on? We still have to figure out at least one more brunch/lunch place - we normally only eat a large breakfast or early lunch and then nothing other than maybe a snack until dinner. We will be staying in the latin quarter but will likely have transit passes and aren't too concerned about distance.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

L'Express Restaurant
3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA

Montreal, QC, Montreal, QC , CA

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  1. You're right, August 1st is not a statutory holiday in Québec. Because August 1st is a Monday you should double check if some of the restaurants you want to eat at are open. A lot of restaurants in Montréal close on Sundays and Mondays so it may be a good idea to call ahead and make reservations ahead of time, especially if you had your mind set on eating somewhere specific.

    I think it's good that you're going for the kinds of restaurants that this province excels in. Since you're from Vancouver, I advise (and looks like you've done this already) to steer clear of Asian food since Vancouver blows us out of the water for this stuff! Except for Vietnamese; you can search the threads for some good Vietnamese places here. But otherwise your choices look great, especially since you have only four days here.

    Note that with Schwartz's there will be very limited seating (and a very long line up) so be prepared to bring take out to a bench and eat outside; if you walk a bit north onto Duluth, a cross street of St. Laurent where Schwartz's is located, you'll find more benches and a bit of a more serene atmosphere than St. Laurent. Or you can walk up north a bit further to Rachel (another cross street) and right at the north east corner of St. Laurent and Rachel is a small park with benches for outdoor eating.

    Another good place to eat would be in the Old Port. Go to Le Cartet on rue McGill (note that many visitors confused rue McGill in the Old Port with McGill College Avenue downtown--not the same thing). Very French, nice atmosphere, great food.

    Au Cinquième Péché in the Plateau recently changed locations, it's now on St. Denis (was on Mont Royal before). If you want something you don't get in Vancouver, this Québecois/French bistro serves bébé phoque if that's your thing.

    And of course, you may want to get some bagels and other baked goods for snacks since you are in the province of amazing bread products. Go to St. Viateur, either the café in the Plateau or one of the two bakeries in the Mile End, and eat a freshly baked bagel outside on a bench. I say go to the Mile End location because that neighbourhood, Mile End, is just a fun neighbourhood to walk about especially since you'll already have seen the Plateau when eating at APDC. Pâtisserie de Gascogne has several locations too and great for desserts; has a location on Laurier Avenue in the Mile End as well, not far from the St. Viateur bakeries.

    And if you're in the mood for poutine you'll find lots here (the authentic kind). For late night you can go to La Banquise in the Plateau (24 hours; not loved by all CH'ers but still, the place is an institution); or Patati Patata for pennies in a fun, cramped atmosphere; or Ma'am Bolduc and Le Comptoir charcuteries et vins (for the last two suggestions I've never been but CH'ers like it). All these places are easily accessible by metro or bus (in the Mile End the bus comes very frequently) or you can BIXI bike it with cheap all-day rental fare.

    Also note that a lot of menus are in French, not English, though most servers will be billingual so bring your Google Translate app on your smart phone.

    Good luck!

    Le Cartet
    106 Rue McGill, Montreal, QC H2Y, CA

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: looosia

      Thanks so much for the info, great post! I've noted all of the places you mentioned, good to have lots choices in case places are closed or full up, for sure. How could I forget bagels!

      We both speak French (or at least, we did years and years ago) so the menus shouldn't be a problem. Also, this won't be our first visit to Schwartz's, it's just one of those places we have to drop by when we're in town - so we're definitely ready for the lineup.

    2. For brunch I would suggest Lawrence. It's closed on mondays and tuesdays, though.

      Other than Leméac, if you feel like splurging a little you could go to Au Pied de cochon, or to Le Club Chasse et pêche, or else M sur Masson. Have a look at their websites:

      Many good spots in ''Le Vieux Montreal'', such as:

      Aix Cuisine du Terroir (


      Many have a terrasse. You can see a selection on

      Bon voyage et bon séjour !

      Aix Cuisine du Terroir
      Montreal, Montreal, QC , CA

      6 Replies
      1. re: lamaranthe

        Yep, we are already planning to splurge on Au Pied de Cochon (a.k.a. APDC - I guess I incorrectly assumed that people frequently referred to it by that acronym). Lawrence looks great, love the frequent menu changes, should be able to get there for brunch one day.

        Thanks for the tips!

        1. re: jerkstore

          You've already rec'd great recs above and I second many of loosia's, including going to La Banquise and Patati Patata for some 'casse-croute' poutine (fast-food, burgers, etc). I personally think it is a must in Montreal!

          If in the Plateau and looking for a fancier burger I would also recommend:

          -- L'anecdote which has great food, including deer and lamb burgers and a nice poutine with emmenthal cheese (intersection Rachel and Saint-Hubert) or
          --Le petit Rico for breakfast/brunch (


          In the Latin Quarter:

          --La Paryse, a Montreal institution
          --close by is a lovely cafe/patisserie called 'De la farine et d'eau fraiche' near Amherst and Ontario streets. Lovely spot with great sandwiches and salads as well as amazing pastries, and coffee etc.

          If looking for a Middle Eastern brunch if you are downtown near Concordia metro, and which isn't too expensive, I would recommend Garage Beirut for their Sunday brunch from 11-3.

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

          1. re: deborahm

            Deborah, could you tell me more about Garage Beirut's brunch? What does it include and what does it cost? Thanks!

            1. re: kpzoo

              Jerkstore: I haven't been yet but I keep hearing great, great things-- yet again this weekend--about Lawrence and their brunch (recommended by lamaranthe above--On Saint-Laurent Street, an area where you'll probably want to visit anyway--check website). And, the brunch at Reservoir (Duluth and Saint-Laurent).

              Kpzoo: the brunch at GB is described in a review in the Hour somewhere...
              There is your standard fare (hummus, baba ganouj, labne). Then there are hot/warm brunch tapas/mezze served only on Sundays: fattet hummus (a warm yogourt with tahini, chick peas, and crispy pita), and egg/lamb confit dishes (Beid and Kishek bi kawarma). Around 50$/4 people (and a bit more with turkish coffees & desserts)

              1. re: deborahm

                Thanks for the brunch report, appreciated.

                1. re: kpzoo

                  No problem! Found the GB review:

                  I recently went to Cafe Le Placard on avenue Mont-Royal east of Papineau. Perhaps too much of a hike for people coming from out of town, but: brunch was generous and varied, reasonably priced, and it's a super relaxed atmosphere away from the frenzied brunch rush further west on Mont-Royal. Good coffee. Definitely worth a visit for a relaxed late morning. Nothing fancy: but I found ambiance pleasant and you're so not rushed there.

      2. Thanks for all the recommendations, all.

        We've adjusted our itinerary somewhat:

        Saturday - Breakfast @ Le Cartet, Dinner @ L'Express
        Sunday - Brunch @ Lawrence, Dinner @ Au Pied de Cochon
        Monday - Lunch @ Schwartz's, Dinner @ Monsieur B
        Tuesday - Lunch @ St. Viateur, Dinner @ Lemeac

        We figure all of the breakfast/brunch/lunch places will just be the line-up-and-wait kind of thing, so that's all good.

        Any comments on the necessity of reservations for L'Express, Monsieur B, and Lemeac? Should I make them now or will we be ok to just call the day before/day of? (We already have reservations at APDC).

        Le Cartet
        106 Rue McGill, Montreal, QC H2Y, CA

        L'Express Restaurant
        3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA

        12 Replies
        1. re: jerkstore

          OT: love your username, I think of george when I see it and giggle to myself.

          1. re: C70

            Heh, thanks. One of the best episodes of the best sitcom of all time!

          2. re: jerkstore

            I'd get reservation now; especially for L'Express (popular) & Monsieur B (small); it's less an issue for Lemeac unless you want to eat outside, then get on the phone now.

            Don't forget, Monsieur B is a BYOB restaurant.


            L'Express Restaurant
            3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA

            1. re: Maximilien

              Thanks, we'll make some phone calls tonight. Hope our broken French doesn't cause too many difficulties. :)

              1. re: jerkstore

                August 1 is a holiday in Quebec for some workers but not a universal stat day.

                We have gone a few times to le cartet and not been impressed, too crowded/noisy/slow service for my tastes, enjoyed more l arrivage in archeology museum, 3rd floor, really nice if you reserve and get table on small balcony as overlooks old port.

                The food was good in both places, maybe more breakfast choices at cartet and at arrivage there are also lunch options in the brunch. If you walk down from cartet towards silos you will come across cute muvbox which sells Ile des madeleines(defrosted) lobster in sandwich roll, pizza and in front are the locks/les ecluses--but wise to avoid fish in Montreal cause no way a Vancouverite would be impressed!


                au cinquieme peche should not be slanted into slot of serving seal meat as it stands well on its own without suggesting that is reason to go there, in fact i do not mention that to friends as they might then avoid it!

                If you have room or just want to check it out guillaume is just around the corner from lawrence


                It is the big holiday period for Quebecers and tourist peak season so I would make reservations before coming and cancel if you decide to change later.

                1. re: wilmagrace

                  point a calliere is not the contemporary art museum....

                  1. re: kpaxonite

                    I had changed it right after writing it! the heat wave has gotten to me (:

            2. re: jerkstore

              I would go to M sur Masson instead of L' has seen better days. The service and the food are not what they used to be and it has been this way for many years now. If you want a French bistro with a twist, I really recommend M instead.

              1. re: cricri7

                If you want poutine at any point go to Chez Claudette late-night in addition to your itinerary. Open till 4am so perfect if you are out in the city late one night!! On Laurier at St. Denis.

                1. re: cricri7

                  We've actually switched up already and booked Au Cinquième Péché instead, after reading some recent unfavourable reviews on L'Express. Thanks for the advice though.

                  L'Express Restaurant
                  3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA

                  1. re: jerkstore

                    here is some coverage of montreal restos including cinquieme peche (2nd vignette), although focus on the seal dishes .....

                    we ll be looking forward to your feedback of your foodie weekend in Montreal.....

                    1. re: wilmagrace

                      Looks delicious, thanks for the link. Can't wait, will report back when time allows.

              2. I apologize in advance for [sort of] highjacking this thread, but it was almost exactly what I was looking for, so I didn't really want to start another one...Husband and I will be in Montreal for 3 nights/4 days, the same wknd as the OP (Thurs-Sunday). We're also looking for great food, except we're from Boston. I've been to Montreal a few times before but it was when I was younger, so the extent of my yummy eating was pastries. DH has never been to Montreal.

                We're willing to splurge, though there's only so much we're able to eat in a day (and in 4 days), so the focus is going to be on dinner, where we're probably going to grab light lunches as we go. We're staying downtown, so that seems like a convenient area to eat, though we're going to be exploring the city anyway, so further out could be fine.

                Looking at the dinner recs in this thread, the places that looked yummiest to me were Lemeac and AIX Cuisine du Terroir, but I'm happy to hear more options. Thanks very much.

                1. Hi all, we have returned home and had a great trip. I will post a trip report thread later today or tomorrow once I've had time to assemble my thoughts. Thanks again!