HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
Do you create unique foods? Share your adventure

Montreal this Sat-Tues - Cheap Food/Good Coffee - with 3.5 month old!

stevedominic Jul 16, 2013 04:21 PM

Hi all,

Coming from Toronto, will be with wife and small 3.5 month old (hopefully sleeping while we eat).
Looking for cheap, rather casual (takeout or suitable for the young one) - for any breakfast / lunch / dinner / snack / coffee break suggestions.

WIll be staying in the Plateau area. But will have car so I can drive, or take transit - not an issue at all.

Open to anything that is either 1) very good 2) very "Montreal" and/or 3) something difficult to find in Toronto.

On a side note - if there is anything special in the Mexican and also Central American cuisine, I'm open to suggestions.


  1. l
    lawyergirl77 Jul 23, 2013 05:56 AM

    So? How was your trip, @stevedominic? :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: lawyergirl77
      stevedominic Jul 28, 2013 06:52 AM

      OK, so I'm back from MTL, and thought I'd update. We managed to get to a few places listed mixed in a couple of home cooked meals.
      Fairmount Bagels - thought perhaps that they had more "full sandwich" type of meals as I went there for takeout on the way out of the city. Fortunately, they had the cream cheese/salmon which I adore, wife not into the salmon (in general). I also grabbed a 1/2 dozen for the road. (Kem Coba? close to Fairmount was packed, so as we were in a rush, no chance of trying)

      Bocadillo - I think they weren't too bad - I believe I had pulled pork, and wife a chicken marinara-type sandwich. Friendly staff - and reasonable combo for $24 together. I think I lived the Arepera on Duluth more, albeit I had that a year ago...

      We actually did make it up to Nostos - about 20 min from where we were at. I'm not sure if it was BETTER than some options in Toronto, but it was comparable to some of the ones I'm fond of (Pantheon, Astoria). I liked their salad as it was a bit different from what I usually get here. We had calamari + spanokopita apps, wife had butterfly shrimp meal, and I had a meal (pork + chicken). Portions, flavour, presentation all very nice for a casual resto. Very good to bring the little guy too :)

      Lastly, I did try Romados on Sunday. I called ~730pm, but they werent taking any more phone orders. So I walked over and waited 30 minutes or so..... I DO think that this is now my new favorite Portuguese chicken! I was very surprised even with all the reviews. The way they kept it very moist, and the flavour profile was just a bit different that what I've had here in Toronto. The fries are very good as well! As a frequent eater of chicken places in Toronto, I would rather sway to eating potato/rice over fries (former common here) but that is not to take away from the meal I had. VERY impressed!

      Sadly, didn't really have a chance to hit up and ice cream or coffee joints, but all noted for next time!

      I come to MTL once/month on business (stay downtown) so this was a good mix.. thanks all for your help!

      1. re: stevedominic
        JerkPork Jul 28, 2013 08:42 AM

        Hey Steve thanks for reporting back, we should have been more clear about Nostos (although I did mention the gyro and chicken in my post above). Nostos IMO really only does those two items very well, I only go to Nostos when I want gyro, I don't think I've ever tried anything else besides the chicken and even then it's been years. Their tzatziki is not the greatest but it's still one of the best in the city and comes as close to a gyro in Greece as possible.

        There are definitely better Greek options in our city if you weren't looking for gyro.

        IMO the best options for gyro in T.O. are Messini and the butcher guy near by (Louis? I think) but Nostos tops both. Is Alexandros still open? If so I don't get it, that must have been one of the most vile gyros I've ever had in my life.

        The empanadas are really good at Bocadillo, their sandwiches....meh.

        Too bad you missed out on Kem Coba, Fairmount bagels are my #2, too me it's all about St Viateur a couple of streets over.

        1. re: JerkPork
          C70 Jul 28, 2013 08:45 AM

          yeah I specifically said St Viateur bagel cafe, not the factory, because it's a sit-down place & very baby-friendly. Next time :)

    2. g
      Gloriaa Jul 17, 2013 03:31 PM

      I love kouing aman on mount royal for a decadent treat anytime of day. I would also recommend cafe sardine for great coffee, doughnuts and hot dogs, really cool Montreal feel and cheap and cheerful. If you are getting bagels at fairmount bagel store you can have an ice cream at kem coba but my favorite ice cream is at the jean talon market, havres-aux-glaces. I always have the chai mixed with salted caramel. It is way better than their counterpart at the Atwater market.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Gloriaa
        williej Jul 17, 2013 07:06 PM

        I love Bo Bec on Laurier east of St. Denis for ice cream. Truly a neighbourhood hangout (open since 89 I thinK) and the owner makes his own ice cream and sorbets. It is open until 11 pm I think. Chair outside to hangout with the locals. Lots of flavours.

        1. re: williej
          JerkPork Jul 18, 2013 05:47 AM

          Bo-Bec, Kem Coba, Havres aux Glaces are all outstanding ice cream shops and I recommend all of them as well as Les Givrés on St Denis.

          Going back to Mexican, yes as someone above said Itacate is not cheap anymore, I have mentioned the price increases on another thread. BTW, El Messon is not cheap either.

          Maybe a better less expensive option is Ta Chido on Parc for tacos, quesadillas and tortas and then a walk down to Caffe in Gamba for great coffee followed by ice cream at Kem Coba, all these spots are within a very short walking distance.

          1. re: williej
            butterTarrt Jul 20, 2013 06:13 PM

            I would certainly second the Kouign Amann suggestion, (one of my faves!), but I tried to stop by yesterday and I think it's closed for summer vacation until early August if I am not mistaken.

          2. re: Gloriaa
            stak Jul 20, 2013 09:56 AM

            I agree with these suggestions. Also, Guillaume (next door to Sardine) has great breads, pizza thingies, apple caramel buns to grab & go. My favourite coffee is at Flocon (mt royal @ st-hubert?) Which also has amazing scones & cookies. I believe it is related to cafe neve on Rachel, which also serves breakfast & lunch.

          3. c
            causeimhungry Jul 17, 2013 10:15 AM

            Having recently spent a couple months in TO, I must say there is no Mexican restaurant in Montreal that comes close to what you can find in Toronto.

            1 Reply
            1. re: causeimhungry
              Fintastic Jul 18, 2013 07:22 AM

              I definitely think this is true. I wouldnt advise travelling from any major North American city to eat Mexican in Montreal.

            2. g
              Glaff Jul 17, 2013 06:43 AM

              And not Central American, but maybe you'd be interested too: Arerepa du Plateau, Bocadillo (both on the Plateau) and Cachitos are all good venezuelan places. The first two are restaurants, and Cachitos is a bakery/pastry shop.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Glaff
                stevedominic Jul 17, 2013 07:01 PM

                Yes - Arerepa I've been - very cool joint!

              2. l
                lawyergirl77 Jul 17, 2013 05:54 AM

                The only recommendation that I have for Mexican is El Meson in Lachine (on Saint Joseph, along the canal). It's fantastic food and very baby friendly. We live in the area and we've brought our now 9 month old (!!) there at least once a month since he was born.

                However, it is far from the Plateau (about a 30 minute drive, without traffic). Great little restaurant and the Lachine Canal area is VERY Montreal so I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention it. :)

                Have fun travellinig with the little one. Travelling with an infant is actually easier than you'd think, especially at 3.5 months!

                5 Replies
                1. re: lawyergirl77
                  JerkPork Jul 17, 2013 06:06 AM

                  El Meson is very average and definitely not worth the drive from the Plateau.

                  Try Itacate for Mexican (closer to your base too) or the pupusa places mentioned in this thread.

                  +1 for Nostos too for the gyro pitas and grilled chicken.

                  1. re: JerkPork
                    Glaff Jul 17, 2013 06:37 AM

                    Yes, Itacate is really good. Same neighborhood as most of our pupuserias.

                    1. re: Glaff
                      Ghostquatre Jul 17, 2013 05:20 PM

                      Itacate isn't exactly cheap though

                    2. re: JerkPork
                      williej Jul 17, 2013 07:39 AM

                      I like El Meson for its location. Feels like you are at the seaside. Food is average but location makes up for that.

                      1. re: williej
                        stevedominic Jul 17, 2013 07:02 PM

                        Yes, I don't mind the distance, as we can "sightsee" on the way...perhaps we can stop by on the way out of the city when going westward....

                  2. s
                    Shattered Jul 16, 2013 06:30 PM

                    The Main deli on St-Laurent is very Montreal, little kid friendly, and very casual. Smoked meat, poutine, steaks, burgers, liver, lox, latkes, etc.

                    1. kpzoo Jul 16, 2013 05:31 PM

                      La Caretta for pupusas and other Salvadoran yumminess. Very casual and inexpensive.


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: kpzoo
                        Glaff Jul 16, 2013 06:16 PM

                        Los Planes is another really good option for Salvarodan. Just don't be put off by the decor.


                        Don't know though if Salvadoran restaurants is really something "special" from someone coming from Toronto.

                        1. re: Glaff
                          stevedominic Jul 16, 2013 07:30 PM

                          Actaully Pupusas is one of my "go to" foods here, there is a few good joints. It may not be top of my list, but it's good to throw in my back pocket in case I do get a craving while there. thanks for the suggestion.

                        2. re: kpzoo
                          Shattered Jul 16, 2013 06:31 PM

                          Mmmmm pupusas. Thanks for reminding me, I haven't had my fill in a while.

                        3. k
                          kpaxonite Jul 16, 2013 05:01 PM

                          Romados.. great Portuguese chicken [best in mtl and under 10 bucks], call in advance and you can skip the (long) lines (its almost all take-out)- they just reopened after a fire shut them in January. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romados/179267674637?hc_location=stream

                          For take out Empanadas consider La Chilenita, they have three locations in the plateau - cheap and delicious. The one on Napoléon is probably the best for takeout but all of them do it http://www.lachilenita.ca/

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: kpaxonite
                            stevedominic Jul 16, 2013 07:29 PM

                            How does Romados compare with anything in Toronto (if you know)?

                            1. re: stevedominic
                              Fintastic Jul 16, 2013 07:54 PM

                              Most would argue that it's the best Portuguese chicken around. I don't know of any place in Toronto that gets hour long lines for any sort of chicken but I haven't looked in a few years.

                              1. re: stevedominic
                                CookEatSleep Jul 19, 2013 10:03 PM

                                All I know is that my friends and family from Toronto make a deliberate trip to Romados whenever they're in town!

                              2. re: kpaxonite
                                Plateaumaman Jul 21, 2013 04:26 PM

                                I'm pretty sure there's only one location of La Chilenita now, the one on Napoleon. Sabor Latina on St. Laurent is also a great stop for a variety of empanadas, tacos, and pupusas. You can also pick up groceries there (like tortillas and marinated pork) for making your own tacos at home.

                                Other good place in the 'hood that would be easy with a baby include Miga, Su Shian Yuang, L'Anecdote, and Saint Sushi Bar.

                                We like Maria Bonita for Mexican, in Mile End.

                                1. re: Plateaumaman
                                  cherylmtl Jul 21, 2013 05:52 PM

                                  There's a La Chilenita location opening on Roy - saw a sign in the window for it a few weeks ago.

                                  1. re: Plateaumaman
                                    lagatta Jul 21, 2013 08:49 PM

                                    Plateaumaman, I believe the La Chilenita location on Duluth (just west of St-Laurent) is still open. Think the one on Napoleon and the one on Roy are one and the same (believe it is on Napoleon).

                                    1. re: lagatta
                                      Shattered Jul 21, 2013 10:59 PM

                                      No, there is another one opening on Roy, too, I've also seen the signs. It's not open yet. It's weird that it's so close to the Napoleon one, but there you have it.

                                      Also, there is not one on Duluth; I believe you mean the one on Marie-Anne at Clark.

                                      I don't understand why the Napoleon and Marie-Anne locations don't share a website or other listings. Were they ever affiliated or is it the kind of name that anyone can claim? (like Thali on St-Marc and Thali on Ontario)

                                      1. re: Shattered
                                        cherylmtl Jul 22, 2013 11:56 AM

                                        Is it possible that the one on Napoleon will be closing?

                                2. c
                                  C70 Jul 16, 2013 04:55 PM

                                  st. viateur bagel cafe on mont-royal is very kid-friendly, and you can enjoy fresh montreal bagels with an array of spreads, or in sandwich form.

                                  euro-style fries with great dips at any frite alors location is good for baby-bringing too.

                                  I'm sure the coffee geeks will chime in on the best plateau pull.

                                  when I lived in toronto I really missed good souvlaki.. I know it's there but ours is better... so a family-friendly greek dinner might be nice. I'd recommend Nostos on l'Acadie- about a 15-minute drive from the plateau.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: C70
                                    stevedominic Jul 18, 2013 04:15 PM

                                    I like this Nostos idea.. I will definitely try to fit this one in!

                                    St Viateur - I've been, unless it was Fairmont (cant remember) :), I guess I should go back....!

                                    Any any brkfst recommendations?

                                    There is supposed to be an abudance of mid-east (lebanese etc) food as well in MTL, correct?

                                  Show Hidden Posts