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Apr 17, 2012 11:15 AM

Eats near the Bell Centre

Hi, we will be at the Bell Centre for an 8 pm show. Can anyone tell me if there is parking nearby? Is the neighborhood safe late at night? Also, can anybody recommend a place for an early dinner nearby? Thank you! It'll be our first time In Montreal.

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  1. Lot parking is plentiful both at and around the Bell Centre, but expensive. Plan on $15-$25 easy.

    Your best bet is heading south/southwest a bit and parking somewhere on the street along St. Antoine, St. Jacques, Notre-Dame, or anywhere in between. The areas are safe but be smart and don't leave a MacBook or anything lying visible on the back seat.

    Assuming you park in these areas (or even if you don't), your best bets for food within walking distance of the BC lie on Notre Dame. Just west of De La Montagne (the street running along the west side of the arena), you'll find Cafe Griffintown (1378 Notre-Dame W), which has a great variety of fresh meals and nice local brews on tap that won't break the bank. If you don't mind walking further west both Jane's (awesome pizza - 1744 Notre Dame W) and Le Boucan (BBQ and featured on one of those restaurant start-up documentaries on the Food Network - 1886 Notre Dame) are also solid.

    Nora Grey is one street higher up (closer to the Bell Centre) at 1391 Notre-Dame W and is an intimate Italian spot that is pricier but very good, as well.

    If for some reason you want to avoid the preferred spots for locals and want to head into the downtown core of Montreal (heavier on the tourist front), try Dominion Square Tavern (1243 Metcalfe) for more upscale pub fare or the often bustling Hurley's (1225 Crescent) for more affordable, traditional pub fare with an Irish bent - the beer list at Hurley's is tough to beat, making it a good after-show spot, too. If Hurley's is packed and you want a similar vibe, Ye Olde Orchard Pub just up the street from the Bell Centre (1189 De La Montagne) has surprisingly decent food (Indian-Irish) and also good beers, albeit in a more nondescript setting.

    Good luck and let us know where you end up!

    3 Replies
      1. re: wench31

        Dominion Square Tavern is nice and quite close, you can check out menu online, its closer the ones on Notre Dame and you re in the heart of downtown if you want to check out st catherine street, stores. There is some free parking on certain downtown streets after 6pm weekdays but you sort of to know where to look and have to get there about 15 minutes before to grab a place.

        1. re: mangoannie

          +1 for Dominion Square Tavern and Griffintown Cafe

    1. Next time, you should try out Peroni located inside the Sunlife building at 1155 Metcalfe, they have free indoor parking after 5pm. It's a quiet place, not very known. They serve comfort food.

      1. If you don't mind waiting in line (or if you can show up by 5:15) then Kazu is a good option as long as you'll be 4 people or less. Dominion Square is also a good option -might want to reserve.

        If your show is on Monday night things will be more complicated. Kazu is open, but most places are closed. The area is safe, though Montreal is known for its opportunity thefts (i.e. car break-ins). If you're worried then put the car in a lot, but I've never had a problem. Personal safety is not an issue in Montreal... apart from our crazy drivers.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Fintastic

          Forget about Kazu, the line is not going to work well with an 8pm show. You'll either get there early and snag a table or be hugely rushed. So if being very early (I'd try 5pm) isn't an option, it's not a great choice with a deadline. Otherwise, it's well worth going to.

          1. re: AlexCV

            I don't think I've ever spent longer than 1 hour eating and 30 mins in line at Kazu. I agree that it can be unpredictable, but as long as it isn't a Friday/Saturday night or a big group it shouldn't take much longer than any other place. They're very efficient.

        2. Thank you very much for all the suggestions! I have a couple of more questions. :). Can anybody recommend a good place for smoked meat pizza? When I was a kid, my folks would always order a pie for us to take back home across the border. Nice memories! Also, if I can get some recommendations on where to get poutines, I'd really appreciate it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wench31

            McGill Plaza makes a thick, Montreal-style pizza & they do have smoked meat so you'd probably find your pizza there- it's also not too far away from the Bell Centre and the highway, so not too out of your way. I'd call to see if they'll still be open after your show.

            488 Rue McGill
            Montréal, QC H2Y4B4
            (514) 866-2307

            1. re: C70

              This is not a typical foodie item to order, so there may not be many replies. Jane (mentioned above) used to have smoked meat pizza, so could be a good bet. Its not super close to the Bell centre, but not so far off..