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Jul 15, 2011 01:29 PM

Casual Montreal with toddlers

Headed to Montreal for the first time in September. Looking for some great food on the more casual side since we'll have two toddlers with us. All cuisines are fine. Thanks!

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    1. re: kpaxonite

      1.5 and 3 years old. budget...doesn't matter...i'd prefer less than $20pp and some cheaper options for lunch. i plan on trying schwartz's for lunch one day.

      1. re: rizzo0904

        haha I was actually going to rec schwartz's ... places nearby that are really cheap for lunch or dinner (under 10/pp) romados (it was featured on unique eats) and either la banquise or patati patata (super small but super cheap burgers poutine, etc). La banquise for poutine. all very casual and kids wont upset patrons. Perhaps Amelio's for some pizza.

        I have plenty of recs but I dont know your kids or how they behave in a restaurant setting.

        1. re: kpaxonite

          My kids are great in restaurants and here at home we do take them out for nice meals. We just usually go at 5pm before the date crowd comes in. I mean, who wants to see toddlers while they are having a romantic meal? But on vacation they won't nap as well and the chance of crankiness increases so I try to play it safe.

          Any good places for sushi? My almost 3 year old is addicted to the stuff...eel is his favorite.

          1. re: rizzo0904

            for sushi read :

            on a sidenote make sure to visit the st viateur bagel factory and have one hot out of the oven.... they also have have a cafe which i haven't been to but i imagine is kid friendly

          2. re: kpaxonite

            Patati Patata is not toddler friendly. Unless it has changed since the last time I went, the seating area only has stools. You can always just get it to go and enjoy one of the nearby parks for a piknik

            1. re: eurekabru

              yes, that was what I was thinking ..its food kids like and there are lots of parks nearby

      2. Jumping onto this thread to see if anyone can add some suggestions. We'll be in Montreal for (unfortunately) only one day, so we're looking for casual dining suggestions for a lunch, an early dinner, and perhaps a brunch the next day with a four-year-old who only cares about fries and pasta but who's parents are rather more adventurous.

        We're staying not far from Vieux Montreal on St. Hubert (between Ste. Catherine E. and rue Ontario E.) and would like to keep things fairly close to the hotel as we'll be getting off a seven-hour flight and may need to crash at any given moment. Husband's French, we live in Paris, so we'd be more chuffed by local ingredients and twists than standard French fare. Grew up going to Swartz's on our annual family pilgrimage (my dad's from Montreal), and would love to try Joe Beef, Liverpool House or P.D.C., but wondering how pre-schooler-friendly these places are. Daughter's very well-behaved in restaurants (no choice when dining out in Paris), but she'll be tired and I'm hoping to eat in places that will make us all happy. Possibly blasphemous on this board, but none of us are into poutine. On top of it all I'm expecting, so no lovely oysters or wine for me :(
        Hubby would be more interested in great micro-brews than wine as they're virtually non-existant here in France.


        4 Replies
        1. re: canadiangirl_in_Paris

          For microbrews you are very close to le saint bock which has 300 varieties its a pub so not good for a 4 year old.

          The gay village (where you are staying) is a bit of a food wasteland; for french the best option is Brassserie T next to the modern art museum (five min cab ride)...even seen well have children there a few times.

          I have seen children at PDC but they won't give you crayons to draw with by any means.

          1. re: kpaxonite

            Thanks, kpaxonite. Daughter doesn't need restaurant-supplied crayons as that practice is absolutely unheard of here in Paris, so I always carry my own, along with a notepad ;) Might give P.D.C. a go at an early seating for dinner.

            Actually had a look at Saint Bock's website and their claim to have Quebec's largest selection of beers certainly makes it tempting. You're probably right that it wouldn't be ideal for a four-year-old for a late dinner, but a look at the menu shows standard pub grub and soft drinks so I figure our daughter could chow down on a pizza or burger and fries there at lunch while my husband quenches his thirst for a good draught.

            Sad to learn that we're staying in a food wasteland. Looks like we'll have to hike a bit further if we want a nice meal... Any Vieux Montreal or Latin Quarter recs?

            1. re: canadiangirl_in_Paris

              Old Montreal is pretty much the same distance as Brasserie T and Old montreal isn't known for its food with a few exceptions (dna, chasse et peche, garde manger; which aren't well suited to children at all). There is Jardin Nelson in Place Jaques Cartier and also Olives et Gourmando is a great lunch spot. Da Emma for Italian is amazing, but it's more romantic so not for kids.

              I forgot to mention that St Bock is next door to Juliette et Chocolat if you like chocolate.

              latin quarter recent thread: but half of recs are to go somewhere else lol

              1. re: kpaxonite

                Jardin Nelson, how could I forget? If I remember right it's more about the atmosphere than the food there, but what an atmosphere! Lovely setting on the patio. If the line-up is not too long and we're around there, I'll definitely keep it in mind.

                Olives et Gourmando looks like a cute lunch spot, too. Thanks for these suggestions. Only two more days to go until we leave rainy, grey Paris!

        2. We were in Montreal last fall.
          Schwartz's was so horrible. We were speechless.

          I wish i could give you better ideas-but i don't remember where we rained the whole time and we just ducked in different places when we were walking or getting off the METRO

          you are so right to go before 'BUSY HOURS", and hopefully right after they nap and in good moods.

          4 Replies
          1. re: 001mum

            shwartzs is NOT horrible it is an institution many chowhounders and montrealers alike love and is mentioned 4 times a weeks at least in the montreal forum in a positive way.

            maybe you would have had a better time if you had researched some places to eat before you came.

            1. re: kpaxonite

              cold.dry.overcooked,tastless food with inadequate service was our experience
              we went there because we had read it was an "institution"
              and even these places can fail sometimes
              my impression, is just that, my impression and it's valid

              we had a great time in Montreal
              rain didn't bother us
              it's a good city to experience walking trips
              everyone was helpful,friendly
              we didn't make it a food destination
              I am married to someone who believes food is fuel, not fuel is food *unfortunate maybe?
              we had lovely meals, just don't remember where...... sorry

              on our drive back, we popped in to a ?bakery/cafe I think there are a few in the area
              awesome! soup, sandwiches, and we picked up pastries and bread to bring home
              again- I don't remember the name :(

              1. re: 001mum

                i have never seen anyone say it was 'horrible' maybe you were there on a bad day but it is absolutely amazing

                ps if it was cold and overcooked i would have complained and they would definitely given me a new sandwich

                1. re: 001mum

                  If it was in old Montreal, it might be Olive et Gourmando.

                  Olive et Gourmando
                  351 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC , CA

            2. With kids that age, possibly the best thing is to pick up a chicken and fries at Romados (and Portuguese custard tarts, "natas") and head to the playground south of Rachel between Hotel de Ville and de Bullion. I've spent a looootttt of dinners that way!
              Happily, much of Montreal is kid friendly. We've toted our twins to many spots, including Pied de Cochon, just bring the usual arsenal of crayons etc.

              6 Replies
              1. re: MaeveH


                If you type "toddler" or "kid" in the search function, you'll come up with loads of discussions and ideas.

                If you head west on Ontario to just past St. Denis, there is La Paryse, which is an oft-recommended hamburger place. Gets a "pretty decent" in my books but others seem to really like it. Also on St. Denis, just north of Ontario is L'Amere a Boire, which is one of Montreal's best microbreweries. During the day it will have less of a pub atmosphere, and certainly less than St. Bock. The food is good too...lamb burgers, good fries. For the absolute best microbrew, you should head to Dieu du Ciel on Laurier just west of St. Laurent. It wouldn't be such a great place for a kid, though, as it's small and crowded.

                I too am shocked at the Schwartz's experience. The first time I've ever heard anything like that!

                1. re: foodinspace

                  Lamb burgers? I'm sold! Will definitely try to steer husband and daughter in the direction of L'amère à Boire. Thanks!

                  1. re: canadiangirl_in_Paris

                    Skip L'Amere a Boire - it's not very good anymore - the lamb burgers, which used to be worth a trip for, are sad imitations of their former selves. And not kid-friendly at all (can you even bring under-18s in there?). Joe Beef is way too small and intimate for kids, although an early meal at Liverpool would definitely work.

                    Joe Beef
                    2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

                      1. re: EaterBob

                        Sad to hear's true I haven't been in a while. What happened? It used to be one of the better food'n'drink options on that strip of St-Denis!

                  2. re: MaeveH

                    That's a great idea, thanks for that. Lunch or dinner al fresco while our daughter expends that last of her energy in a playground could be a good option!