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Feb 12, 2014 01:25 PM

Old Montreal Restaurants

My wife and I staying in Old Montreal for one night at the end of February and I'm wondering of any decent restaurants for a romantic evening. Our budget would be in the 200-220$ range.

On previous trips we have had the chance to eat at places like Joe Beef, Pied de Cochon, L'Express and have loved them but would like to see if there are non-touristy places in Old MTL that anyone would recommend.

Has anyone been to Barrocco?


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    1. re: porker

      Thanks Porker. Seems like the place has great decor but the food is so-so. Seems like a few locals who have eaten there have the same idea.

      1. re: liveworkcreate

        Its been years since I was there, but it seemed more of a hipster hangout than a serious restaurant.
        Can't vouch for it recently, though.
        Maybe stop in for a coupla drinks to get a vibe?

        1. re: porker

          Yeah that's a possibility. Would you have a recommendation for something in Old -MTL? I know it's not the best part of town for the truly great restaurants of MTL but it's just that we are there for a really short time.

          1. re: liveworkcreate

            +4 for Club Chasse et Peche. Excellent food, not touristy at all, fits all your criteria.

            1. re: liveworkcreate

              My recs for this area of town would be outdated - we don't get there very much.
              eg; Osteria Venti used to be solid, but its been a long time since I've been there and things have changed.

              As you hint at, many places in Old Montreal have such a tourist turnaround that they don't have to try very hard to please the customer. So what if you're unhappy and do not intend to return - theres thousands more coming...

              You should get more recs here and perhaps peruse other threads, the better places tend to pop up regularly.

              1. re: porker

                There's no doubt that non-tourist options in Old Montreal have gotten much, much better in recent years. Chasse et Peche is exceptional, though so is it's brand new sister Le Serpent (albeit further West into Griffintown), 400 Coups, and Bremner (see the review from earlier today on this board). Osteria Venti, Helena, & Graziella are also worth considering. Most of these places are around the same price-point as Joe Beef, but a bit more upscale.

                1. re: Fintastic

                  Osteria Venti is okay, but not in the same league as any of the other places that Fintastic mentioned, now that the former chef has left (I was just there a few weeks ago). I'd leave it off the list.

                  1. re: Fintastic

                    + 1 for 400 Coups as well, totally slipped my mind.One of the best meals I've had in Montreal!

                  2. re: porker

                    As someone who owns a business in Old Montreal I can assure you that there are so few tourists these days that most of the business that are still around have targeted the local business lunch crowd as a means of survival. Gone are the days of "thousands more coming". In other words there are a lot of solid places to eat in Old Montreal and they deserve more local support.

                    I was shocked the other day as I took a walk around Place Jacques Cartier for the first time in months. It seems that almost every window is papered up.

                    1. re: eat2much

                      Honestly, I'm sad to hear that there are few tourists recently, but most of the merchants in Place Jacques Cartier and just West of there on St. Paul have sowed their own seeds. That's one of the most beautiful areas in the city and it was basically destroyed by tacky souvenir shops, exploitive tourist restaurants, and low-grade maple syrup. I think this is a positive sign that the average tourist is becoming more discerning: a business can't survive selling/serving cheap crap to people who don't know better. I guess that's one benefit of yelp/tripadvisor - at least one can search if there's a decent restaurant nearby before settling.
                      So I agree with you that the influx of good establishments in the area deserve our support!

                      1. re: Fintastic

                        There are many issues that impact businesses in Old Montreal. Parking is very limited and exceedingly expensive (meters are $3.00 per hour compared to $2.00 per hour on Laurier). City real estate taxes are insane and landlords pass these taxes on to tenants. Even decent restaurants with fair pricing could not hope to survive on Place Jacques Cartier with current rents and taxes. As rents and taxes have increased, the tacky souvenir shops have closed (except where the shop owners also own the building).

                        The city of Montreal has always treated Old Montreal as a cash cow but paradoxically neglects to clean the streets in summer or remove the snow during the winter.


            I highly recommend CCetP and I don't even live in Montreal! :)

            2 Replies
              1. re: causeimhungry

                I third CCP! It is very romantic, delicious and quintessentially Montreal.

            1. There are plenty of great spots in Old Montreal that are not aimed at the tourist crowd. Beyond those that have already been mentioned here (Club Chasse et Peche, Le Serpent, Graziella), I would add a few others: Da Emma, Kitchen Galerie Poisson and Racines. There are the cool kid places like Bremner, Garde-Manger, Flyjin and Joverse where the ambiance may or may not be your cup of tea. Les 400 Coups and Osteria Venti have both undergone chef changes so you would do well to have more recent information on how those spots have fared since. Finally, there are high hopes for Mercuri, which is opening tomorrow and features a well-regarded chef from a well-regarded family of chefs. Good luck and let us know how it goes!