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Sep 15, 2011 08:23 PM

Special Montreal Foods???

I'm visiting Montreal from November 19th to the 27th.

Any special food from Montreal that I must try?

I'm a vegetarian though, so no meat. I do eat milk-products and egg-products, but not honey.

I would prefer more locally-owned-type places over chains.

I would appreciate it if you included the locations.


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  1. Good luck.

    You will find vegetarian selection in most restaurants, but nothing "special" montreal; and at the end of november, it will be at the very end of the harvest, so all better vegtables and fruits will be gone.

    "Aux Vivres" is the primary vegan stop in town; it's hipster in a "dinner" atmosphere; I like it; it's close to home and is tasty.
    "ChuChai" is thai vegetarian (with faux-meat); supposed to be good, but I've never been.

    Other places like "Au 5ème Péché" will have 1 or 2 végétarian choices but it will not be "special".


    1. The novelty of these foods will depend on where you are from!

      Fresh cheese curds (available at every supermarket)

      Beaver tails (I think the outlet in the Old Port will still be open in November)

      Bagels (St Viateur and Fairmont are the most popular, make sure to eat one hot straight after buying!)

      Maple syrup candies and treats - there is a shop in the Old Port that specialises in these, but there are also stalls at the markets (Jean Talon and Atwater) that have a range of goodies

      2 Replies
      1. re: unlaced

        Thanks, I would really like to try Beaver tails along with the other things too.

        I'm from Florida in the United States.

        1. re: CHOWEZ

          IMO, Beaver tails are more Ottawa than Montreal.

      2. One of my favorite things to do would be to go to Jean Talon market (or even Atwater) and visit some of the cheese shops. The people working there are very helpful and will be happy to suggest a selection of quebec cheeses for you to try, and will surely offer some samples too before you comit to buying. Just make sure to go at a less busy time like a weekday morning or afternoon, not weekend. You could buy the cheese, get some bread at one of the bakeries and wine at the SAQ (our liquor store) and go have a picnic in a park. mmmm.

        Edit: Does anyone know if someone sells a vegetarian version of pate or cretons?

        14 Replies
        1. re: hala

          there are some good lebanese restaurants (daou, etc) that might be of interest to you. Also could find some dishes of interest in middle eastern restos such as rumi (4403 st. laurent street), rumigrill (hutchison, near parc ave.), damas, kazamaza (the latter two on parc ave.). We had friends who are not really meat eaters and enjoyed their meals at cinquieme peche although less choices if vegetarian.. There is also a quaint greasy spoon resto Patati patata (4177 st Laurent st.) with some veggie options borscht soup, tofu burger/stirfry/ fish filet at really cheap prices, only 13 seats though!

          1. re: mangoannie

            we went to Daou last week with a vegetarian, many cold lebanese salads plus the vegetarian platter meant one very well-fed vegetarian left the restaurant.

          2. re: hala

            A picnic in the park at the end of November??? Not too likely. Especially for someone from Florida...

            1. re: cherylmtl

              Ah, November. Did not notice that part. Sorry!

            2. re: hala

              For sure, check out the cheeses and other Quebec items at the Jean Talon Market. And, yes, don't plan on eating in a park in November.

              1. re: hala

                yes, Porat makes végé cretons, but I have no idea what it tastes like...

                1. re: nonpareils

                  Yeah, I've eaten quite a big of vege-pate and cretons. They taste good! But not really a substitute for the real thing if you know what I mean...entirely different taste and texture, I put them in a whole different category. Both are incorporated into my diet.

                  1. re: kellyhay

                    Where is vegetarian pate sold in Montreal? Is it better to get it online?

                    1. re: CHOWEZ

                      Végé-pâté is sold in most big supermarket chains such as Metro, IGA, Loblaws, etc.
                      I think the main brand is Fontaine Santé? I haven't bought any in months since making my own. Look near the vegetarian burgers, packaged hummus, Yves-kind products.

                      Commensal is a great option downtown for veg food, as for 'Montreal-unique' not so sure...

                      PS.: No vegetarian/vegan but love veg options nonetheless.

                      1. re: CHOWEZ

                        Look for the Biobon végé-pâté, you'll find it at most fromageries : Fromagerie Beaubien, Qui lait cru, Hamel, Fromagerie du marché Atwater, etc.

                        It's really an amazing végé-pâté. The others are not worth it after you try this one.

                        1. re: CHOWEZ

                          Yeah, you definitely do not need to get it online. It is absolutely everywhere. Usually near the hummus and other fontaine sante products. Commensal makes a good one as well, and the vege creton is by Porat, although this is somewhat more elusive. I buy all of this stuff at Valmont, a smallish grocer on Mont Royal.

                    2. re: hala

                      Several years ago I had vege creton which was surprisingly okay. But I don't remember where I bought it or who makes it. Oh well...

                      1. re: hala

                        Végépâté is widely available in grocery stores and health food stores, generally near the tofu. Le Commensal has their own brand of it but there are others too.

                      2. I would actually disagree with Maximilien that most restaurants have a vegetarian selection, unless you're counting side salads and bread. This city has a very European palate and hence there is a great tendency to have meat all over the place, which is great for some but not for vegetarians. I do agree with him though that Aux Vivres is a great place to go, the best vegetarian restaurant that I have been to by far which is funny to me considering how meat-y this city is.

                        When I think of what Montréal is good at and known for, I think of poutine, bagels, cheese, bread, and foie gras. So if you minus the duck abomination, you can find vegetarian poutine, bagels, lots of great quality cheeses, and great bread everywhere.

                        For vegetarian poutine: La Banquise in the Plateau (24 hour diner favoured by the after-bar crowd) and Comptoir 21 in the Mile End (hipster poutine, open until 11 pm). La Banquise is not exactly loved by CH-er's but I still direct people there because you it's a Montreal institution, no argument about that. Another place would be Patati Patata in the Plateau, a super small but fun space, but I find their poutine just OK, not great, and I'd even go for La Banquise's version over Patati Patata. They also have these super small tofu burgers that I love, however, and everything is super cheap.

                        As for bagels, I agree with unlaced that St. Viateur and Fairmont are places to go. You can eat in a cafe at one of the two St. Viateur locations or just grab take out from the bakery locations.

                        For cheese, Marché Jean-Talon, as suggested by hala. You'll find many places with great varieties of cheese, many specific to Québec, so if you love cheese this place is great.

                        As for bread, Pâtisserie de Gascogne in the Mile End is great. While in Montréal, I think it's essential to have our baguettes with some of the cheese from the market. You can also go to Olive et Gourmado in the Old Port for breakfast/brunch (they also have a vegetarian sandwich for lunch) where you can get some freshly baked pastries.

                        Montréal has a fair number of good ethnic restaurants, including Syrian, Persian, and Ethiopian which I attribute to the population make up. I like Le Petit Alep, a BYOW, which is just across from Marché Jean-Talon (no reservations so expect lineups); Byblos Le Petit Café in the north-east end of the Plateau; and Le Nil Bleu, in the south-west end of the Plateau. These places all have a nice variety of vegetarian selections.

                        I also like the wine bars in the city. My favourites: Buvette Chez Simone (Mile End), Le Comptoir vins et charcuterie (Mile End), and BU (Mile End). For beers, I like Dieu de Ciel (Mile End) and Reservoir (Plateau). All these places have at least a few vegetarian munchies to have with your booze.

                        A few Québecois/French restaurants serve vegetarian food, and like Maximilien I like Au Cinquième Pêché and another is La Salle à Manger, both in the Plateau.

                        Another thing I think you'd like is vegetarian pâté which you can find in Aux Vivres and at any grocery store. This was an awesome discovery for me when I moved to Montréal a few years ago. The French and Québecois love pâté and vegetarian pâté is actually really great.

                        Also try these recent CH links about vegetarian food in Montréal:

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

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

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

                        Byblos Le Petit Cafe
                        1499 Av Laurier E, Montreal, QC H2J1H8, CA

                        Comptoir 21
                        21 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2K7, CA

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: looosia

                          Thank you.

                          Would you tell me more about the ethnic restaurants?

                          What are some of the more prominent ethnic populations in Montreal and what are some of places where they sell there goods?

                          1. re: CHOWEZ

                            I would suggest an indian vegeterian place called pushaps on Paré near Decarie Boulevard.
                            Not the best indian food in my book but some verry good flavors in some dishes.
                            And they have a wide color selection of sweets.

                            Pushap's sweets (Vegeterian Indian FOOD)
                            5195 Rue Paré, Montreal, QC H4P 1P4, CA

                            1. re: CHOWEZ

                              also I would suggest another vegeterian place but I never tried but reviews seem good so far
                              On my to-do list



                              Su Shian Yuang Restaurant Végétarien (Taiwanese Chinese Vegeterian
                              )420 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal, QC , CA