Kid-friendly places for grown-ups (Montreal)
We're visiting with our toddler over Memorial Day weekend (Sunday-Tuesday).
I think we have our bakeries, markets, bagels, and coffee covered, but we're still looking for picnic spots, good places for an early dinner, etc.
Would an early seating at Kazu, L'Express, or Le Comptoir work? Or will they be a tight squeeze?
Lunch at Brassierie T was a breeze last year, and so was a 5 p.m. seating at APdC. We'd like to do 1 meal along those lines.
Other things we'd like to find: no-reservations places that will take your phone no. and call back; parks, terraces, etc., for a good snack; any places that will deliver to the Plateau or downtown
Thanks - and if you're ever in Baltimore or D.C., please write us for info!
One of my friends waited in a line at Kazu for two hours with his 5 year old and she swears, never again! I have eaten there with young children but went very early and was lucky. Parc Lafontaine is a great place to picnic and there is also a bistro in the park now which I've heard is quite good. Or the idea of bringing takeout food there is good too. L'Express should be fine at an early seating and is actually quite fun for breakfast. There's a website called A La Carte Express (www.alce.ca) that delivers restaurant meals so that's another option. Have fun!
One of my favourite things in the warmer months is to grab take-out from APdC and walk just down the street to Parc Lafontaine (which IMO is the best picnicking park in town). Make sure you bring your own plastic cutlery (they often don't provide), and of course wine.
I think for 3 people Kazu or L'express would be great, though the former will obviously involve waiting for quite a while - especially with tourists up for the US holiday. I also think Lawrence is good for kids if you take an early seating.
Few places here offer the leave-your-number service... in fact, I can't think of any worth going to.
They won't serve everything, so avoid the 2 pied de cochon dishes, any sort of ribs, and basically everything that could be left of the bone (including the pig's head). Also, I dont think they'll give out their seafood platters. I've had good luck with most things: Plogue a Champlain, Melting Pot, basically every appetizer/started (except the foie gras cromesquis). Because the aluminum containers they serve in are flimsy I'd also not recommend getting things like the pork chops unless you can cut it up on a proper plate, which isn't always possible in the park. Good luck!
OP here. I did take-out at APdC, and my server seemed willing to let me order nearly anything on the menu (but he did give advice on dishes that would travel well). They let me sit at a 2-top and eat oysters while I waited on the order. Fun!
That said, I do think other kinds of food - sandwiches, bagels, etc. would travel much better. I'd save APdC for dine-in next time; they were very accommodating and gracious when we went with our daughter (she was 1 yr old at the time).
(The note about utensils was a good tip - we ended up having to ask the front desk at our hotel for cutlery.)
Kouign-amann (from Patisserie Kouign Amann) also traveled surprisingly well! I think we'll come home with kouign-amann instead of bagels next time.
St. Viateur bagels, and some food from the market across the street, were perfect for the drive to Quebec City.
Schwartz's was our best takeout experience. The take-out side was closed, but we were able to skip the line anyway. Parc Lafontaine was a hit with our daughter (she loved saying hi to all the dogs), and the leftovers were good cold the next day.
Thanks for all the other recs - Westmount Park sounds like fun!
I'll also add that the beer garden at Brasserie McAuslan looked a lot less crowded than anywhere at Atwater Market nearby, at least on a May afternoon. (We rented a bike trailer near Atwater Market, and our daughter loved it.) For anyone riding the Lachine Canal, that might be a nice stop.
L'Express can work for an early dinner.
Another suggestion would be to get a table at the terrasse at Lemeac (easier for an early diner).
A cool place with kids is to get early seating (get there at opening) at Icehouse.
Le Comptoir can work, but it needs reservation, even for an early diner (at opening); but the food is not necessarily "kid friendly" depending on the kids).
For parcs, the best thing is to get all the food/drinks and go to the mountain (to the lookout), or go to Parc Jeanne-Mance, there's kid's playground (I don't know how old the kids are).
Or go down to Old Montreal and eat by the river (or close to).
Picnic sites: Westmount park on Sherbrooke St. has toddler age playground, river in back, greenhouse attached to library; Beaver Lake up on Mountain, Mcgill campus and then visit (free) Redpath museum of Mcgill for dinosaurs, stuffed animals etc., Old Montreal does have some green space in area of archeology museum to unwind with toddler.