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Jul 29, 2012 05:02 PM

Coming to Montreal with two young kids and my mother. Please help me find acouple good lunch and dinner options.

Chowhounders, please help. I have two picky young American children and a British mother and I want to two casual places for lunch and two fun places for dinner. I love great food. The trick is finding somewhere where I can find good food with a fun stmosphere but will satisfy the rest of them. Suggestions so appreciated. I was thinking a Gastropob might be the solution but have never been before. I am very excited to see Montreal.

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  1. How young are the kids and how picky is the mother? My kids always loved going to St-Hubert Chicken because it is so child-friendly, with entertaining placemat colouring pages, a separate game room to escape to and chicken nuggets in the shape of animals. The roast chicken dinner there is alright for adults and it's casual, though not great. There's a bistro in Parc Lafontaine that serves nice adult meals and the kids can run in the park in the meantime. Dimsum in Chinatown at Maison Kam Fung or Ruby Rouge is festive and easy and picky kids can choose what they want to eat. There are a lot of suggestions on these boards if you search for "kids" too. And many places all over to stop for a croissant or a chocolatine when you want a great snack.

    1. For lunch :
      "L'emporte pièce": a grilled-cheese place on a now closed to cars street, with some other offering next door (burgers, indian) and the MuvBox lobster roll box.

      Le Marché Jean-Talon: There are a lot of vendors (depending on the day) that you can eat while walking around (or on the tables in the market) or make a piknic and go to a nearby parc, or there are a couple of restaurants with terrasses on the north side (vinizza and a "pub" next door).

      Close to the Marché, there's the Petit Alep, "easy" middle-eastern food.

      Other suggestions :
      Rumi-Express : for middle eastern-ish food.
      Terrasse Lafayette : greek-ish (bring you own wine, nice terrasse).
      Chicken (st-hubert, or Laurier BBQ, or Chalet BBQ, but it is quite "far" from all the action)


      1. You'll be glad I saw your question. I have a picky mother and a toddler myself! I'm also a food blogger :)

        Here are a few of my suggestions:

        For brunch try Beauty's in the Plateau, a very happening area. They have booths for parties of four and your kids are bound to like it. It's a historic landmark Jewish deli.

        For dinner you can try BEVO in Old Montreal. It's right smack in the touristy district of Old Port, but it's no tourist trap. They serve very authentic pizzas and other Italian dishes. It's also quite trendy.

        For dinner of lunch, you can try Big in Japan on happening Saint-Laurent, a quirky Japanese Izakaya serving everyday Japanese food (not sushi and what you normally expect). It has a great vibe and the kids are bound to like the quirky deco.

        You mentioned gastro-pub, look no further than Burgundy Lion in Little Burgundy, Montreal's most gentrified district.

        Hope these help. I have many more if you really need...

        14 Replies
        1. re: 514eats

          Shoot, *I'm* glad I saw your reply!

          I'm on my way to Montreal with my 12 year old daughter, who is waaaaay pickier than I am, though on the spectrum of children's palates she's not bad at all. We're going to Milos one night and to Big In Japan. We're also going to Schwartz's.

          I also assume we're going to get a healthy dose of Premiere Moisson (I do love the pastries there). Your other suggestions are really, really helpful!

          If I may be so bold -- my daughter loves crepes. LOVES them. Any suggestions where one might find the best crepes in town? Or a good crepe/experience combination?

          1. re: TMFOtter

            Not the best crepes, but you can try Jardin Nelson in Old Montreal. They have a nice garden and live music. Kids should like it.

            1. re: 514eats

              I second Jardin Nelson, kids can move around a bit with the large terrace and it is quite pretty in day or at night. I would also suggest brasserie T as it has a terrace and lots of wide open spaces, fountains to keep the children happy before and after the meal. Service is fast which you dont always find in Montreal restaurants. I dont recall though what is child friendly on their menu, and also depends on age of your children, buth they have salads, fries....

            2. re: TMFOtter

              If you go at Marché Jean-Talon (you should), there's a good crêperie there. It's right in the middle of the market.

              1. re: Glaff

                You could also try Juliette et Chocolat for crepes - they have both sweet and savory crepes available, and they are good. There's also a creperie at Marche Atwater, if you end up there instead of Jean Talon.

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  @Cherylmtl, isn't there a creperie at Jean Talon as well? Pick up a crepe there, grab a smoothie at Mangue et Melon, and finish it off with an ice cream at Havre aux Glaces and I'm sure the kids and mom will be happy.
                  @mangoannie, I'll second the Brasserie T suggestion. Good selection for picky eaters, and a nice area for this kids to run around while they wait for their meal. I went last Friday, and the two young girls at the table next to us devoured their Coquille St. Jacques in minutes.

            3. re: 514eats

              The decor is quirky but I can't say my kids enjoyed Big in Japan. We were all disappointed and thought there was too much emphasis on mayonnaise - the food was pretty heavy.

              1. re: Plateaumaman

                I really wouldn't know what a kid likes these days, but yeah, I would be surprised if they find anything interesting with Big in Japan. Most of the room just looks like a cafeteria...

                I would also suggest the OP to search for reviews here on this site, cause almost everyone agrees that it's not really a great place and especially not a must for a tourist...

              2. re: 514eats

                is little burgundy really montreal's most gentrified neighbourhoods? while a lot of it has developed, isn't it still a terribly poor neighbourhood?

                1. re: catroast

                  Poor neighborhood? With Joe Beef, Liverpool house and all those other places mushrooming? Did you see the price of real estate?

                  1. re: 514eats

                    It has gentrified yes, but not totally and far from it, on Notre-Dame, as soon as you're west of Atwater, the landscape changes a lot (many empty stores, greasy spoons, massage parlors) yet a couple of gems here and there in terms of restaurants (St-Henri Microtorréfacteur for great coffee, Tuck Shop, Campanelli - Italian Sandwiches, Smoking Vallée- really good BYOB)

                    Same goes for residential, a 800k condo and across the street a low income housing building

                    1. re: westaust

                      Get your boundaries right. West of Atwater is no longer Little Burgundy. That's Saint-Henri. I'm not talking about Saint-Henri. Although that is the next block to gentrify (tons of new condo projects going on...).

                    2. re: 514eats

                      Agreed, that block is doing very well. Most of LB remains pretty run down, however. My home here cost $150000. You're right that there has been an explosion of gentrification (perhaps far more ruthless than what's happened in Mile End), but it seems to have had little effect on the restaurant business. I think development on that stretch of Notre Dame has been driven primarily by "tourists" coming down the hill from Westmount.
                      You specifically suggested Burgundy Lion in this part of town, which is one of your regular recommendations (so you definitely stick to your guns), but I always have trouble supporting this choice. It really isn't 'gastro' anything - standard pub food IMO. Moreover, for anyone coming from Boston, Washington, Ottawa, Toronto, or the East/West coasts of Canada, places like this are a dime a dozen.
                      When I hear gastropub I think of Reservoir, though it maybe doesn't have many options for picky eaters.
                      Although it is aimed at adventurous eaters, I'd push for Pied de Cochon. If you book an early reservation, this can be a really fun place for kids. The menu has some scary items, but also some very safe options. There are some basic salads, cod fritters, fries/poutine, simple porkchops, enormous ribs, tomato tartlet, etc. If you confirm the ingredients of each dish before you order, it shouldn't be a problem. Just book well in advance!

                      1. re: Fintastic

                        I completely agree that Burgundy Lion is not a great place food-wise. It's decent at most. I only recommend it because of its ambiance and amazing patio/outdoor seating area. And I think it would be nice for tourists to explore the area after/before their meal (Canal, Marche Atwater...)

                2. You should check out Deville Diner bar. It is upscale diner food, smack downtown. and kid friendly
                  their website is really awful - i'm sorry but check it out anyways

                  1. Here are a couple of restaurants you should consider(depends where you are staying)
                    Burgundy Lion- Rue Notre Dame-Gastro Pub
                    L'express: Rue St Denis-Classic French Bistro
                    Chalet BBQ-Rue Sherbrooke West-Famous Montreal BBQ Chicken
                    Mr Steer-Rue Ste Catherine-Great Hamburger w/Curly Q fries A family pleaser
                    Napoletana-Rue Dante-Great pizza then a walk over to Jean Talon Market for an ice cream at Havre du glace
                    Olivier Potier-Rue Sherbrooke-Classic French Breakfast with great Pastries to take out.
                    Outdoor Food Court at Atwater Market.-Good choice something for everybody.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: finefoodie55

                      Why all the love for Burgundy Lion? I have to agree with an above poster that places like that are "a dime a dozen" in most large-ish North American cities. True, you could stop by if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, though I'd suggest grabbing food at Atwater Market and eating at the canal is a better option. For the kids and adults alike, there's great ice cream at Havre de Glace outside the market, which can be enjoyed canalside.

                      1. re: finefoodie55

                        yeup, have to agree with foodinspace - I would never classify Burgandy Lion as a gastro pub - it is just a pub, with a nice atmosphere for a pint but with pretty average food.

                        Also, I have to disagree with the Mr Steer recommendation. My boyfriend and I popped in recently for a "quick" dinner, and we both agree never again. We had some memories of the food being reasonable, but it was below average - not sure if I got a bad batch of the fries but they were limp, greasy and nearly inedible. I was going to complain but given we had already waited so long for our meals, and had a movie to get to, we let it go.