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What does Montreal have to offer? June 30 - July 3

Hi Montreal chowhounders

Coming with a group of 4 from New York and SF. Planning some dining options for the trip. Not interested in formal, tasting menu restaurants, looking for quintessential, casual Montreal dining options. Since we are coming from NYC and SF, not interested in ethnic fare,steakhouses that we can find in the states. Price range for dinner is $50 -75pp, brunch/lunch under $25pp. I'm open to revising my plans, these are just rough options. Thanks for all your help!

Saturday 6/30
Lunch - L'Express (looking for French style bistro; other options Lemeac)
Dinner - reservations made at Joe Beef (only day available for trip since closed Sundays/Mondays)

Sunday 7/1
Brunch - Fairmount Bagel or St. Viateur/Schwartzs deli
Dinner - reservations made at Au Pied du Cochon
After dinner plans - Dieu du Ciel

Monday 7/2
Brunch - Le Cartet - location close to Ca Roule Montreal for bike rentals
Lunch - Jean Talon market Atwater market while biking
Dinner - planning to make reservations at Garde Manger
After dinner plans - Le Saint Bock (any other outdoor drinking options?)

Tuesday 7/3
Lunch - Griffintown Cafe

Questions:
Any recommendations for an outdoor terrace restaurant that is also BYOW?
Any recommendations for the best BYOW restaurant?
Any good dining options near the Marriott Chateau Champlain?
Planning to bike around Montreal, any good places to stop along the various biking trails Montreal offers besides Jean Talon market and Atwater market?

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  1. Since I'm in town similar days I too would like any advice from locals as to what's new and chow-worthy. Right now we've got Joe Beef and Au Pied du Cochon reservations but are open to anything. What about Big in Japan? Does anyone know their hours as I can't find a website.

    Whatsgood, enjoy your trip and we'll see you at Au Pied du Cochon ;)

    1. I think you've done a good job with your selections. A few notes:
      On Saturday L'Express does brunch - I don't know if they have their standard menu available, but thats one thing to keep in mind. It is maybe the most quintessential bistro in town, and although their food isn't always super exciting, its hard to beat in terms of ambiance. They also have great wines if you ask for the cellar list. Lemeac, too, only has brunch on saturdays at noon, but would be an equally good option. Their terrace is particularly nice.

      There aren't a lot of good BYOWs with terraces. You can find several on Duluth that are acceptable and have patios (or at least have windows that fully open, like Prunelle), but I can't think of many that rival the other choices you've listed.
      Really, there are a million outdoor drinking options. If you avoid the pepper spraying, St Bock is good due to their beer selection, but there's several other huge terraces on that same block. If you're biking the canal West from Atwater market there's the St. Ambroise brewery terrace which isn't exactly beautiful, but it serves as a nice break from riding. Similar to St. Bock is Vices and Versa, but its a bit isolated in Little Italy.

      Finally, as far as I know Garde is not open Mondays - in fact, many restaurants in Montreal are closed. I'd suggest Trois Petit Bouchons in its place, but maybe look for a recent post on this CH board regarding other places that are open Sundays and Mondays. You could also consider Dominion Square Taverne, which I spend a lot of time recommending. It will be cheaper and has spectacular interiors.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Fintastic

        Vices et Versa would be a great option if you are biking back from Jean Talon market - they have a nice backyard terrace, although it does get very busy!

        1. re: unlaced

          thanks everyone for the replies, really helpful

        2. re: Fintastic

          "On Saturday L'Express does brunch"

          Is this a recent change?

          "Lemeac, too, only has brunch on saturdays at noon"

          They also have brunch on Sundays.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Re: L'Express - I'm not an expert on this. All I know is that I've been there on weekends at noon and every time I've been given a menu with eggs, french toast, etc listed. This for a number of years, but if someone knows better then please post. As far as I know this isn't their normal lunch menu, but it could be the standard breakfast menu from weekdays.

            Re: Lemeac - I meant they don't do lunch on Saturdays. They, of course, do brunch Sat, Sun, and holiday Mondays.

            1. re: Fintastic

              I actually looked into this last year, so here's what I remember: Lemeac serves their brunch menu from the opening (10h30-11h?). They only serve the regular menu from 12h30 or 1, I can't remember.

              For L'express, I'm surprised you got a brunch menu, as I was told they don't have a brunch menu, and when we went on a Saturday for lunch, it was the regular menu(which was okay, that's what we wanted and why we went there, because it was one of the few places we found that had a regular menu at lunchtime on a Saturday). I believe if you go early in the morning (breakfast time, not brunch time), they will have a breakfast menu, but that may be only during the week

              1. re: sweettoothMTL

                My understanding is that they do breakfast, lunch and dinner, no brunch. So at lunchtime, you get the regular menu.

        3. Big In Japan is considered not good on these boards. Kazu is the best izakaya in the city, but tiny and long line-ups (no reservations possible).

          Le P'tit Plateau is one of the better french bistro BYOW, but no terrace. I would also recommend Le Comptoir for home-made charcuterie and wine and other small plates.

          1 Reply
          1. re: estilker

            There's an alternate izakaya nearby on Ste-Catherine, called Imadake. It's not in the same style as Kazu, but some of their small plates are quite lovely (like the black cod in miso)

          2. I would not recommend "Cafe Griffintown" as I was disappointed both by dinner and brunch. I found it too expensive, very small portions, and the food is not that great.

            If you are in the Old Port area, I'd recommend "La Gargote" close to Place d'Youville. Small menu, but delicious food! And I was pleasantly suprised by lunch at "Holder" on McGill. A bit expensive but excellent meat.

            For outdoor drinking, there is Brasseurs de Montréal on Guy/Ottawa. Not a great ambiance, but food & drinks are good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mtl4real

              I agree regarding, "Cafe Griffintown", was there for brunch and the food was awful, also expensive and tiny portions. Was looking forward to it and so disappointed.

            2. Khyber Pass has a small outdoor terrace and is byow. It's a nice Afghan restaurant on Duluth. Jardin de Panos, also on Duluth, has a larger terrace, also byow, and is a Greek restaurant. If you'd rather sit on a terrace on a busy street and watch people walk by there are a number of cafes and ice cream places along St-Denis, either in the Plateau or the Quartier Latin areas. Parc Lafontaine is a great place to stop along the biking trails and there is a bistro in the park as well, also with a terrace. You might want to plan a bakery tour while cycling, that could be a lot of fun.

              1 Reply