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May 24, 2013 10:47 PM

places for both vegetarians and meat eaters?

one vegetarian and 2 meat eaters will be visiting montreal next week for a few days (yes, we are in town for the mutek festival). would love some suggestions of places where all 3 of us can happily dine that is cheap to mid range in price. we will be staying downtown (at the candlewood suites hotel) just north of chinatown (any good food within walking distance around here?), but we can also drive for good food for the odd meal here and there.. especially a sit down dinner on our first evening in town.

all types of cuisine welcome, as long as there are also decent veg options on the menu.


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  1. Bonnie's on Notre Dame. Great vegetarian meals. Even meat eaters will love it.

    1. A classic is Le Petit Alep (you will find it in many threads on this board). That is not particularly close to where you are staying, but it is just across the street from Jean-Talon Market, if you are visiting that. You could either drive up here, or take the métro (orange line, towards Montmorency, exit Jean-Talon) or the 55 bus north. Very good Middle-Eastern (Syrian) food, and an excellent vegetarian plate.

      You will certainly find appropriate restaurants in Chinatown itself, but I can't give any recommendations offhand.

      I also note that your hotel features a full kitchen. Other than the great Chinese and Southeast Asian offerings in Chinatown (bring a wok!) there is a large IGA supermarket at the nearby Complexe Desjardins shopping centre. It has quite a choice of prepared or semi-prepared foods because there are several government and other offices in or near the shopping centre.

      9 Replies
      1. re: lagatta

        how long do you think it would take to walk from our hotel to the IGA? i'm excited to also be able to save some money by cooking some meals (i'm taking this trip during a particularly tight time, noney-wise..)

        1. re: helenhelen

          Under five minutes. Its located at 5, Place Desjardins
          Montréal, QC H5B the south east corner of the complex (on renelevesques/st urbain)

          1. re: helenhelen

            Yes, it is extremely close by, and even if one isn't hard up, sometimes it is nice to "eat in" and save both $$ and energy for special meals out. You do, I presume, have a kitchenette there as the hotel website specifies?

            Don't forget the Asian places in Chinatown either - great for vegetables, even if you aren't making specifically Asian meals. They also have roast chickens, ducks and other meats for the meat-eaters, and of course tofu of all kinds for the vegetarian. Another good and cheap prepared food is the Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi); the banh mi places sell vegetarian varieties.

            If you like wine, there is a small SAQ (government wine and liquor monopoly, though some wines and beer are sold in supermarkets and small grocery stores) at Complexe Desjardins, but a much larger Sélection close by at 440 boulevard de Maisonneuve W. There is another at Place d'Armes in old Montreal, if you are walking that way.

            1. re: lagatta

              excellent! seems like we choe a good place to stay in terms of approximity to groceries and cheap eats.

              there is actually a full kitchen, not just kitchenette!

              1. re: helenhelen

                Instead of the IGA, you might want to consider shopping for groceries at Marché G & D (1006 Boulevard Saint Laurent) or Marché Pap Pap or Kien Vinh or Heng Heng or any of the (numerous) other grocery stores in Chinatown which will all be significantly cheaper and as close (if not closer) to your hotel.

                If you want fish or meat, there are also fish mongers and butchers in Chinatown.

                They won't have any prepared meals, which depending on your point of view, will either be very positive or very negative.

                1. re: EaterBob

                  I second G&D for groceries. It's easy to find - lots of people carrying bright green grocery bags coming from there. Places I'd recommend in Chinatown include Nudo (very nice little salads that are vegetarian like the cucumber or potato salad), really nice pancake that you can have with an added egg, and hand-pulled noodles, next dumplings at Mai Xiang Yuan, Vietnamese at Pho Bang NY, dim sum at Maison Kam Fung, and Little Sheep Mongolian Hotpot ... good fun for meat eaters, probably would work for vegetarians - their website says it does so I guess the broth is meat-free.

                  1. re: Plateaumaman

                    I third G&D. It is cheaper than IGA, and more interesting selection for the vegetarians.

                    1. re: Plateaumaman

                      Just a side note, Little Sheep is closed for renos. Either reopening June 1 or couple of days afterwards, depending what the sign says now!

                    2. re: EaterBob

                      Oh, I definitely shop more at the Chinese, Vietnamese and other East and Southeast Asian markets when I'm in that area than at IGA - but I did want to point out the prepared foods, as that can be a boon to travellers who don't want to do "real" cooking. There are also needed "nonfood" items that are easier to find in a supermarket.

                      There is a lovely little greengrocer on the east side of St-Laurent just south of Lagauchetière, where the lady was complementing me on the "nice, healthy" vegetables I was buying, which was so sweet.

                      I don't trust even full kitchens in hotels to have a decent sharp knife, but you are travelling in a car, so that is easy to pack.

            2. Beijing and Hong Kong in Chinatown are both very good restaurants, with lots of meat & non-meaty menu items.

              Indian is also good for variety. Nouvelle Lune at 2018 St-Denis above Ontario is pretty good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Shattered

                Thanks, Shattered. I used to be very familiar with St-Denis below Sherbrooke (lived there when I first moved to Mtl, decades ago, but I'm lost there now). They are also a very close walk to old Montreal.

              2. thank you for all the replies so far! keep them coming! i can't wait to eat! :)

                for our thu evening sit down meal:

                what do people think about la salle a manger? i see they have some interesting sounding veg options, and of course, plenty of meat options too.

                i also saw a lot of positive reviews of Le Comptoir Charcuteries et Vins (and wow, the prices are pretty good) but the veg options on their website's menu right now don't seem too exciting or plentiful..?

                1 Reply
                1. re: helenhelen

                  Well, since its name includes "Charcuteries", it is rather meat-centric. That is up in Mile-End, where there are also vegetarian restaurants, though most such as La Panthère verte are very casual. Barbounya is a new Turkish restaurant on Laurier not far from there that definitely does both veg and non-veg mezze, as does the Greek Namos.

                  Barbounya Turkish restaurant 234 avenue Laurier Ouest

                2. I highly recommend ChuChai on St-Denis between Rachel and Duluth. It's a faux meat Thai restaurant that is incredibly delicious for both vegetarians and meat eaters.

                  As well, the Indian restaurants in the Little India area of Jean-Talon and Acadie (Acadie metro or take the #80 Parc bus to Blvd. Jean-Talon) are cheap and really tasty.

                  If leaving the Chinatown area and travelling up to the Plateau, Mile-End, and Little Italy/Jean-Talon market (all worthwhile destinations), I'd recommend sticking to public transit. Montreal streets are congested and difficult to navigate with a car given all the one-way streets and crazy drivers. Meanwhile we have an excellent and safe bus and metro system, which should lower your stress level and help in easing traffic and pollution in the city.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: foodinspace

                    I disagree, chuchai mostly serves fried dough. it's actually pretty gross and terrible for you, nevermind that it is very expensive. also montreal is also one of the easiest metropolitan cities to get around by car, but ya public transit is also easy.

                    1. re: foodinspace

                      Seconding ChuChai, or Chuch at any rate. They've changed the menu at the latter a bit (more tapas!, less Asian). And they are no longer BYOB. Which is the saddest part of all.