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Top Cheap Eats of Montreal?

w
w Jan 18, 2002 04:15 PM

Coming into Montreal from NYC and would love to know what Montreal has to offer - all cuisines across the board! Coming from NYC I'm used to lots of choice at the low end price range, for all styles of food.

  1. l
    Lissa Jan 22, 2002 06:57 PM

    This won't be easy, there's a veritable plethora of places to get really good cheap eats here in Montreal...
    the first place that comes to mind is a pub, and if you're from the States, the exchange will really make this place seem cheap... It's McKibbon's Pub, on Bishop, just north of St. Catherine (main drag downtown). Another great place is Soup and Noodles, on St. Catherine, around Guy. (sorry, can't remember the address) It serves a variety of Asian dishes including Vietnamese and Szechuan. Really inexpensive, but really tasty.
    I've got a webpage all about Montreal neighborhoods and restaurants at http://www.geocities.com/racinante
    Hope it helps!

    Link: http://www.shmooglepuss.com

    Image: http://www.geocities.com/shmoooglepus...

    21 Replies
    1. re: Lissa
      n
      Nicky Mange Tout Jan 28, 2002 09:29 AM

      Hey Lissa ! Those have to be the most uninspired choices for cheap food in any city let alone Montreal. I live in London (England) spend a lot of time in MTL and can vouch for the poor quality of the food at both McKibbons and Soup and Noodles (let alone any cheap oriental food on St. Catherine near Guy) It is virtually inedible. And as the request comes from someone from NYC you should know better !! Just because they want cheap food doesn't mean lousy !
      Try any Portuguese restaurants off the main around and above Mount Royal, smoked meat at Schwartz's ( you will never eat deli in NYC again), the gay ghetto
      ( St.Catherine east of Park Avenue ) and concentrate on lunch deals in the downtown core. They are about 60% cheaper at lunch than in the evening and compete viciously for business - quality seems to be good though it is important to pick carefully. Good variety of restaurants on Van Horne west of Park, some good deals some bad but mostly great food.

      Have fun and post your reactions !

      1. re: Nicky Mange Tout
        a
        Aaron J Mar 2, 2002 02:51 PM

        I lived in Montreal for 4 years, and New York City for 1 year. I've also lived all over the USA. Surprisingly (at least to most Montrealers), Montreal has NYC beat for good cheap eats, hands down...

        NYC has excellent high end and very expensive restaurants that potentially outshine Montreal, and maybe it's a tossup for entree's in the mid range (ie 20-30 dollar price range). I actually think for cheap eating, though... Montreal was absolute heaven. I never thought I'd say it while I lived there, but I really think its got the best food bargains (price for quality) in North America.

        I agree with most of the suggestions so far, but can't vouch for Soup and Noodles (thought it was awful), but try Le Gourmet Hot and Spicy off Jean Talon avenue and DeCarie. I will probably get crucified for mentioning it here, and I'm not sure why. However, for the price, it beats Chinese food in the same price range in NYC (even if you don't factor in the exchange rate), and its an "a volonte" menu, which guarantees you'll walk out full. I can think of about 12 small hole in the wall places that are under 10 bucks CDN that I would just kill for the chance to eat at again... NYC food is, unfortunately, highly overrated.

        Anyway, I'll gladly trade tips on cheap but good places in Montreal for any comparable finds in NYC. Feel free to email me...

        1. re: Aaron J
          c
          chilipepper Nov 7, 2008 07:42 PM

          How about those dumpling joints - five for a buck ?
          And the sausage cart up near MOMA?
          And the dosa cart near Washington Square?
          Some kinda tasty.
          As for Montreal, don't forget about the Thai place, top floor, in the Le Faubourg on Ste Catherine Street between Guy and St. Mathieu.

        2. re: Nicky Mange Tout
          afoodyear Nov 7, 2008 02:49 AM

          I personally really like McKibbin's and don't find their quality to be "lousy" whatsoever.

          1. re: afoodyear
            b
            billybauer17 Apr 23, 2011 07:58 PM

            ehh mckibbins is ok at best. fish and chips were way too heavy..better at brit n chips

        3. re: Lissa
          t
          Tap2009 Jun 25, 2009 11:31 PM

          Forget Schwartz's - go to The Main across the street. Why stand in line when you can get served with courtesy and get smoked meat just as tasty?

          1. re: Tap2009
            m
            maj54us Jun 26, 2009 12:02 AM

            What kind of comment is that Tap?
            If something is to your liking why wouldn't you wait for it.

            By the way I like main more than schwartz. I find it less salty

            1. re: Tap2009
              s
              Shattered Jun 26, 2009 01:59 AM

              Plenty of courtesy at Schwartz's, actually, they just keep their feet moving. I order the make-your-own sandwiches plate when I usually go to Schwartz's. I eat and take more time than the people I'm with. Their plates get cleared first, but we've never felt rushed in dozens of occasions, plus they always accommodate my request to wrap my last sandwich or two in wax paper for later.
              Schwartz's is fast-paced and crowded, but never rude. If you think otherwise, it's because, as you admit, you don't go, or maybe you walk in with assumptions and they treat you in kind.

              Anyway, second Schwartz-hater comment you've posted in threads just tonite... we get your point. But the rest of the world lines up cause it's the best, hands down.

              1. re: Shattered
                c
                celfie Feb 9, 2011 07:27 AM

                i'd hardly say that the main treats patrons with courtesy
                when that place is packed forget getting a water refill, or the coffee you've ordered

                1. re: celfie
                  m
                  maj54us Feb 19, 2011 07:50 PM

                  Like any other place when it's packed. Restaurant business is really hard and I'm happy to eat and not serve in one. So I'm indulgent when it's hectic in a packed place.

                  One trick my friend does as he told me. To make sure he gets the best service staff, he lets them know that they will have a great tips way above 15% if they treat him like a prince. Does it work? don't know but it would get my attention.

              2. re: Tap2009
                m
                MISTER_C Jul 18, 2010 07:49 AM

                I like The Main much better too......and they are open until 5 am, great place to go if you have the late night hungries.

                1. re: MISTER_C
                  c
                  celfie Feb 9, 2011 07:27 AM

                  do you really think the smoked meat they're serving at 4 am is better than what schwartz's serves all day long?

                2. re: Tap2009
                  t
                  The_Moo_37 Feb 17, 2011 06:04 AM

                  I have tried The Main once or twice as a possible alternative to Schwartz's. My opinion: not even close. I stand in line or else plan to go to Schwartz first thing in the monrning when they open or mid-afternoon. Some things are just worth it and nothing comes anywhere near close to Schwartz. I have noticed the last time I was there (I go on a pilgrimage a few time a year) that the "medium" smoked meat had much more fat than in the past. I used to scorn ordering "lean" but may have to change my mind. As for the lack of courtesy - it's part of the experience. Snap back at the boys behind the counter, while grinning. They don't mind.

                  1. re: The_Moo_37
                    s
                    Shattered Feb 17, 2011 03:29 PM

                    My thoughts exactly, except one point - there's no lack of courtesy. They're friendlier than most places, especially off hours when they have time to chat. But it's a salt-of-the-earth friendliness, and unfortunately in alot of people's (read: tourists') minds, when they think legendary dining joint, they think it must be all faux-leather menus, starched collars and ties.

                    p.s. I noticed the medium started getting fattier a couple years ago, too. Dunno what that's about, but I ordered lean once and regretted it - it had virtually no fat. Take your chances with medium.

                    1. re: The_Moo_37
                      m
                      maj54us Feb 17, 2011 08:45 PM

                      Off course they're not even close, they are two different kind of smoked meat with different flavors and textures.

                      As I mentioned before I find the schwarts smoke meat to salty for my taste. Last rumour I heard was that neither make their own smoke meat anymore, Which might explains the changes.

                      I once went to main and my sandwich was like rubber, they apologised and gave me another sandwich that was up to part with my taste buds. Guess it wasn't steamed properly.

                      That's why smoke meat is not good to eat the next day if left it in the fridge overnight. It needs to be steamed.

                      I tried the one on bernard called Lesters and I literally had heart burns and also the one on st-hubert le Roi du smoke meat gave my stomach the same results.

                      There's so may style of smoke meat out there from commercial with all to chemicals. Wonders who still serves a real Old Fashioned style sandwich in 2011 other than the 2 on the main??

                      1. re: maj54us
                        s
                        Shattered Feb 18, 2011 01:51 AM

                        I know people who work in Schwartz's kitchen; I can assure you they make their own, right on the property in the back. Always have, always will. Where did you hear this rumour otherwise?

                        1. re: Shattered
                          m
                          maj54us Feb 18, 2011 06:26 AM

                          From a competitor ;) No it was last summer we were at a friends house and he mentioned that. The process to make smoke meat is too much time consuming and some companies make a similar smoke meat now. As I said it's a rumour since he wasn't involved in the field..

                          I even saw a video he had about Main, it's a documentary showing the process of making smoke meat.

                          -----
                          Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen
                          3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC , CA

                          Main Deli Steak House
                          3864 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1Y2, CA

                        2. re: maj54us
                          porker Apr 24, 2011 01:30 PM

                          Quebec Smoked Meat on Center does pretty good in-house smoked meat. Alas they are not a restaurant, so do not offer sandwiches nor hot meats...

                          1. re: porker
                            vermontreal Apr 26, 2011 07:12 PM

                            There's no place to sit, but they did make a couple smoked meat sandwiches for me and some friends in February. We were on the street to get sausages at Charcuterie Wayne, and spied this place afterwards. The sandwiches and pickles were great!

                            1. re: vermontreal
                              b
                              BLM Apr 27, 2011 11:30 AM

                              Thanks. I thought so(they make hot smoked meat sandwiches).

                      2. re: Tap2009
                        b
                        billybauer17 Apr 23, 2011 07:58 PM

                        true that plus i really dont like schwatrzs so overrated

                    2. f
                      François Feb 3, 2002 02:36 PM

                      Ah well,

                      Pandora's box has been opened and tempers are flaring...

                      - Rotisserie italienne, Ste-Catherine near Fort: italian almost home cooked, cafeteria service, v. good, v. cheap;

                      - le Grand Comptoir, Phillips Square (south of Ste-Catherine, east of University): french bistro, packed at weekday lunch, poor ventilation, good food, good price;

                      - le Petit Extra, can't remember address (Ontario East?, someone please help...). french, packed, v. good;

                      - Portuguese places on St-Laurent mentioned above for grilled everything. Cheap and good...;

                      - Asian: not my strength, but see posts below. Generally good quality/price though maybe not at NYC level;

                      I now pass the baton to the next hearty soul...

                      In any event, we await a detailed critique of your experiences.

                      Happy hounding.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: François
                        s
                        SBCochran Feb 4, 2002 04:44 PM

                        au Petit Extra information:

                        (Restaurant) au Petit Extra - 1690 Ontario E (ave Papineau, Papineau metro Bus 45) - 514/527-5552, (aupetitextra.com) - French bistro foods such as tomato and basil soup, oyster-mushroom and escargots feuilleté, mackerel salad with peppers, linguini carbonara, citrus stingray, ray with vanilla sauce, ham and endives gratin, tarragon calf liver with French scallions, salmon filet in saffron sauce, duck breast with pears and red wine, indulgent praline, Catalan custard cream, royal chocolate cake - Chef Nathalie Major, sommelier Andre Major - $$, 2-course table d'hôte L, 2-course table d'hôte - M-F L>1130-1430h, M-W D>18-2200h, Th-Sat>18-2230h, Sun>1730-2130h

                      2. d
                        DoctorPINK Nov 6, 2008 10:09 PM

                        6 years later
                        MARVIN'S (greek) corner of Ball/Wisemen for about 10 to 20$ (tips included) YOU'LL BE FREAKING FULL!!!!and food is EXCELLENT!

                        Main or Schwartz BEST SMOKED MEAT (go to Main if you dont like it ULTRA dry, there is also less customers at the Main)
                        Main is about 12$ (tips included), Schwartz is a bit more expensive for the same thing
                        Main has better fries too.

                        Romados on Rachel, a few blocks east of St-Laurent 6$ for chicken 1/4, salad, rice & fries & bread YOU'LL BE FULL!!!

                        i've been to a few cheap nyc restaurants.. and its not good at all... but chinese in NYC is better than montreal
                        San Francisco FOOD IS EXCELLENT! around 10 to 25$(tips included) its awesome...

                        1. PogoPoutine Nov 7, 2008 06:00 AM

                          How can nobody have suggested Chalet BBQ (5456 Sherbrooke St. west in NDG near Decarie, 514-489-7235)? Their wings, roasted chicken, fries and coleslaw are as tasty as you can find anywhere, and there prices and friendly service can't be beat. Plus the dining room and the staff give you the impression nothing has changed in 40 years.

                          1. s
                            shibl Nov 7, 2008 10:04 PM

                            Euro-Deli Batory

                            Polish deli and supermarket with 2 tables. Offers amazing polish food and very low prices.

                            We tried it for lunch.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: shibl
                              w
                              wilmagrace May 30, 2009 08:40 PM

                              Choose carefully or use deals at lunch, late evening or share dishes (egchinese VIP st. laurent) you will experience montreal on a happier note and your trip will be more memorable than doing it on the cheap. However you can have good shishkebabs and other specialties (BABA GHANOUSH was delicious, with pomegrante; all the dishes we tasted had enhanced flavours, nicely spiced) at this cafe on st. laurent, the mother restaurant is in Mile end area and prices are reasonable and portions generous, atleast they were when we went a couple months ago
                              http://www.rumigrill.ca/en/

                              oops just noticed we are answering a request from 6 years ago a phantom request!

                            2. d
                              Dusty08 Jun 2, 2009 10:30 AM

                              Coming from a Montreal Foodie, these are the best places to eat without emptying your wallet:
                              1) Schwarts: Voted as the best smoked meat in the city. Don't go for the lean stuff. too dry. Order the smoked meat medium. As for the accoutrements, I like it with a pickle and cherry coke. VERY Montreal.

                              2) Boustan: The best late night snack and best middle-eastern food. I have yet to try anything similar to that. I always order the chicken trio. It comes with the chicken sandwich with garlic sauce, pickled turnips (the pink things, they are not beets, they become pink because one beet is mixed into a large amount of the turnips), unbelievable cabbage, and tomatoes. The kick here is that the pita is grilled, making the sandwich crispy and delicious. The trio also comes with potatoes in parsley with a dollop of garlic sauce and a drink (I recommend Dr. Pepper....dont know why...it just goes with it)

                              3) If you are on St Laurent late at night, there is only one place where you spend a couple bucks. I don't think anybody knows the name of the place but it is commonly knows as "$2 noodles". Its a small chinese place where the owner serves a bowl of egg noodles with their succulent peanut sauce for only $2! Add a couple spring rolls for $1.50. Cheap, quick, delicious.

                              4) Montreal is known for having the best cheap pizza, commonly referred as 99 cent pizza. Everyone knows that 99 cent pizza does not exist, but it is cheap and sold by the slice. There are many of them around downtown, but there is only one that deserves merit: Pizza Dany on De La Montagne just below St Catherine, across from Rosalies and 1234. This place IS the hole in the wall. I dont know how they operate, but they do and its incredible. I recomment the spinach pizza. Loaded with little bits of spinach and garlic, no tomato sauce, and the perfect amount of cheese, this pizza is the ultimate. 2 slices and drink will run you a little over $5. Ask them to add "spicy" on it. They will know what you mean. Make sure you have a piece of gum after. Bad breath, but soooo worth it.

                              5) La Banquise. BEST POUTINE IN THE CITY. Not much else to add. Just feel your arteries clog. Its worth it.

                              There are many many places around Montreal. Just go ahead and explore. Its well worth the trip.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Dusty08
                                b
                                bigfellow Jun 2, 2009 03:55 PM

                                Not to be anal, but for an out of towner, if you are looking for number 1 in the last post, it's Schwartz's http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/index2.html

                                1. re: Dusty08
                                  s
                                  Shattered Jun 2, 2009 04:12 PM

                                  The $2 chow mein is cheap and quick but far from delicious. I wouldn't even feed it to drunks. Not that it matters, they won't find it since you didn't note the cross-street.

                                  1. re: Dusty08
                                    p
                                    passthatversace Jun 2, 2009 06:35 PM

                                    Second Boustan and Dany pizza!!

                                    I'd also recommend Patati Patata on St. Laurent/Rachel!!!

                                    1. re: passthatversace
                                      iWoo Jun 17, 2009 10:40 PM

                                      Seconding Patati Patata (corner St. Laurent and Rachel) - there is often a lineup and the place is cramped, but it's good on a budget.

                                      Also very very strongly seconding DoctorPINK's recommendation of Romados. (Corner Rachel and DeBullion) It's probably my most visited place in Montreal, and it may even have had a (small) influence on my latest apartment location! As they said: you can get a quarter of their delicious charcoal smoked chicken for $6 (leg) or $7 (breast), that comes with copious amounts of delicious, crispy and seasoned fries, rice pilaf, and a small amount of salad with a vinaigrette. Generally you will also get a bread roll with this, and if you are there before 2pm and they are not out, you will ALSO get a deadly (rich and sweet) egg custard tart. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastel_d... ) There's always some lineup for this place too, but it moves along at a decent pace. Order in advance by telephone for a whole chicken (around $10

                                      )

                                      La Goulette (930 rue Roy Est) is a tiny hole-in-the-wall Tunisian place near Parc LaFontaine, but you can get a couscous dish for around $8.50 pre-tax, or the recommended chicken couscous for around $10. It comes with soup, and if you are dining there, a small cup of addictive sweet mint tea. It comes with a bowl of stewed vegetables, with a broth to pour over your lightly seasoned couscous. There's also a tiny paper cup with cinnamon and sugar soaked raisins, and another with a surprisingly spicy hot sauce. The portion size is immense, which makes this a deal in my books, as most people are lucky to finish half of their couscous. Don't eat all of the chicken at once, and pack the rest for a decently sized second meal the next day.

                                      The $2 chow mein place can be regrettable, and even drunk friends of mine have regretted going there. You'd probably be better off stockpiling some Nong Shim instant noodles at home (which are fantastic, for packaged ramen.)

                                      1. re: iWoo
                                        p
                                        passthatversace Jun 18, 2009 01:39 PM

                                        The free Nata before 2 PM at Romados is only available on WEEKDAYS, right?

                                        1. re: passthatversace
                                          iWoo Jun 18, 2009 03:07 PM

                                          I believe you are right. They are also fairly strict about the 2pm cutoff, so if you're there a few minutes after, you probably won't get any... even if there's a bunch left. You can also pick up an individual tart for around $1 or $1.25, but if you get a box of six it's around $5, if I remember correctly.

                                          I'm testing out attaching a photo of the $5.99 1/4 cuisse repas complet... not that you can see much of anything under the mound of fries. If the image is too big/annoying I'll remove it, I just don't often see people add photographs in threads!

                                           
                                          1. re: iWoo
                                            p
                                            passthatversace Jun 18, 2009 03:24 PM

                                            Crap, you're really making me crave Romados right now! Just had Patati Patata the other day...I only usually allow myself to succumb to junk once a week!!! :(

                                            1. re: iWoo
                                              kpzoo Jun 18, 2009 04:14 PM

                                              Photos == Great!
                                              Most people (myself included) == Lazy ;-)

                                              1. re: iWoo
                                                t
                                                timoftheshire Feb 19, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                Looks tasty....but I'm not so sure about the beer pairing! :D

                                            2. re: iWoo
                                              hungryann Jun 18, 2009 03:56 PM

                                              I was at Romados last week and the lady told me, they don't include rice anymore. She piled on the fries though. Gosh, those fries are like crack...you think there are way too many and you will never finish them but somehow you always do! ;)

                                              1. re: hungryann
                                                s
                                                Shattered Jun 19, 2009 02:35 AM

                                                I guess its cause, like me, most people love those fires so much they were asking for no rice (more room for the good stuff). Besides which it probably just slowed the line down with one more thing to throw in there. Man, if only they did poutine, you gotta start with great fries and those are the best in town.

                                                They've gone back to no rice for at least 3-4 months now, that experiment was short lived.

                                                1. re: Shattered
                                                  p
                                                  Pizza Lover Jun 19, 2009 04:27 AM

                                                  Riding past Romado's on the Tour de L'ile in early June the smell was intoxicating. After getting a flat tire 100 meters from the end, we turned around headed to Romado's and had probably the best chicken dinner - and they are brilliant for seasoning their fries and frying them perfectly......my waistline thanks me for living in toronto .

                                          2. re: Dusty08
                                            j
                                            jay_81k Feb 9, 2011 06:55 AM

                                            I disagree with everything here except Schwartz's.

                                          3. p
                                            passthatversace Jun 19, 2009 03:51 PM

                                            Satisfied my Romados craving today :) Got it at 1:30 PM, but no more free natas :(

                                            1. p
                                              Peter Cherches Jul 1, 2009 08:19 AM

                                              As a frequent visitor (from NYC), I'll add the panini at Olive + Gourmando and Niu Kee for Sichuan food that rivals the best in Flushing. I also agree with another poster here, as I have on another thread, that Schwartz's smoked meat beats any current NY deli meats. Also, most of which I learned about on this board: brunch at Byblos and gelato and sorbetto at Havre aux Glaces (the one at Jean-Talon market has a larger selection than the stand at Atwater). And, of course, St. Viateur bagels, especially hot from the oven.

                                              http://petercherches.blogspot.com

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Peter Cherches
                                                cherylmtl Jul 1, 2009 02:49 PM

                                                Cuisine Szechuan's food puts Niu Kee's to shame, IMHO - it's definitely worth trying if you like Szechuan.

                                                1. re: cherylmtl
                                                  b
                                                  BLM Jul 1, 2009 03:35 PM

                                                  I have you gone back to Niu Kee recently(within the past 6 months)?

                                                  1. re: BLM
                                                    cherylmtl Jul 1, 2009 04:12 PM

                                                    No, I haven't. Last time I was there was probably about a year ago, and while it was okay, it wasn't close to what it used to be. I must admit I'm curious as to how it fares now compared to in its heyday, but not about to play guinea pig. Plus I've gotten spoiled by Cuisine Szechuan...

                                                    1. re: cherylmtl
                                                      p
                                                      Peter Cherches Jul 2, 2009 09:46 AM

                                                      Thanks for the tip--I'll try to get there for the tofu flower chicken, but I'm also doing Niu Kee before a show at club soda.

                                              2. n
                                                Netrasiri Jul 7, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                Restaurant Nilufar, 1923 St-Catherine West (514) 846-1947 Cafeteria type of place and very small menu but sooo goood and very inexpensive. Homemade lebanese cuisine. Pita falafel is $1.29 Shish taouk plate is around $6.00 Kafta kebab plate is $5.49 , and they also have Shawarma plate or pita sand and the plates are served with basmati rice, a small portion of salad of your choice , hummus and a pita bread, can't beat that...

                                                Wok cafe, 1845 St-Catherine West, (514) 938-1882 has a variety of combo dishes served with a soup and prices are around $10.00 and the portions are very generous, the food looks, smells and taste good and it is one of the very few chinese restaurant where I am not afraid to eat (II've been working in the restaurant business for the last 30 years and I am cautious...) Buon appetito!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Netrasiri
                                                  carswell Jul 7, 2009 04:40 PM

                                                  Thanks for the heads-up about Nilufar. I've often wondered about it.

                                                  «it is one of the very few chinese restaurant where I am not afraid to eat»

                                                  That's interesting, especially in light of the last couple of sentences in this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5867...

                                                  1. re: Netrasiri
                                                    m
                                                    mike_chila Oct 24, 2011 05:50 PM

                                                    I'll second Nilufar. They have a new falafel, soup and drink combo for only $2.00... can't really argue with that. Though the falafels have seen a slight decrease in quality. Slightly greasier, more garlic and less lettuce than they once were.

                                                  2. h
                                                    hungrycanuck Jul 10, 2009 09:29 AM

                                                    My favorites, in order:

                                                    #1 Boustan (Crescent near de Maisonneuve - Guy Concordia Metro) - Don't overthink it. Get the chicken shawarma sandwich. Actually, get two. Or three. One of the best cheap eats anywhere.

                                                    #2 Chalet BBQ (Sherbrooke St W near Decarie - Vendome Metro) Their lunch special (chicken, fries, slaw, soda, coffee) used to run about $7 and was exceptional. The blue-haired waitresses and their lifelong customers have been flirting with each other since well before I was born.

                                                    #3 La Banquise (994 Rachel E - Mt Royal Metro) - Best poutine within the city limits. Decent microbrew beer selection too.

                                                    #4 Montreal bagels (various locations)- not a meal in themselves, but get a tub of cream cheese, a half dozen bagels and maybe some smoked salmon, and you have yourself a great breakfast of lunch for a crowd. St Viateur and REAL are my favorites (I never enjoyed Fairmont as much).

                                                    #5 Pushap's (5195, rue Paré - Namur metro) - Great vegetarian Indian thalis and extensive dessert selection. I survived my years at McGill on their fantastic samosas, which were often sold on campus to raise money for student organizations.

                                                    I have some pictures and detailed writeups of Boustan and La Banquise on my blog. Every time I get back to visit my family, I try to hit up a few of my favorite places.

                                                    http://hungrycanuck.blogspot.com/sear...

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: hungrycanuck
                                                      c
                                                      cricri7 Jul 11, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                      For an excellent ratio quality-price, there is a BYOW called La Selva on Marie-Anne. It is owned by a couple of Peruvian, Carlos does the cooking and his wife takes the order and serves the food. I haven't been back in a while but the last time I was there, the table d'hote was around 14$. For that, you get a soup or a salad...an entree (fish or chicken served with rice, salad and beans)...dessert and coffee. It is a nice place where you go for a good dinner when you don't feel like cooking and don't want to pay a high price.

                                                      1. re: cricri7
                                                        l
                                                        lagatta Jul 18, 2010 01:18 PM

                                                        I used to go to La Selva rather a lot when I lived not far and friends of mine lived right up that street. We really liked it, but I hadn't been back so hesitated to recommend it.

                                                        One of my favourite cheap BYOW places remains Terrasse Lafayette; I know opinions are mixed on this board. But you can get a full meal or just a pork, lamb, chicken or vegetarian pita sandwich, a salad, calamari or many other choices. It is really just sort of a Greek deli, but with decent homemade food. Corner Jeanne-Mance and Villeneuve in Mile-End.

                                                    2. k
                                                      knicho Feb 9, 2011 02:44 PM

                                                      Restaurant Boustan has the best Shwarma ever! And super cheap too.

                                                      -----
                                                      Restaurant Boustan
                                                      2020 Rue Crescent, Montreal, QC H3G2B8, CA

                                                      1. v
                                                        VikPham Apr 23, 2011 10:52 PM

                                                        -Asian (japanese) : Tri express on laurier. You should go for their specialties such as new style sashimi, baked vivaneau, filet mignon salad, sashimi tartars a la tri, and rice paper maki roles. However I don't suggest you get their other makis since they aren't as good.
                                                        http://www.triexpressrestaurant.com/

                                                        -Asian (Vietnamese): Hoai Huong on victoria. They offer a wide variety of dishes for very cheap. I suggest you get their Banh Dap (rice cakes with meat) and Mi Hoai Houng (Yellow noodle soup).

                                                        -Burger/Steak: Burger De Ville on St-Laurent or Westminster. Their gourmet burgers served on poppy seed buns start off at 4$ and have a huge variety of FREE toppings (sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, harissa mayo...etc.). Their juicy and flavourful 14 oz. steak at 14$ are to die for!

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: VikPham
                                                          hungryann Apr 24, 2011 04:50 PM

                                                          Is Tri express really cheap eats? I've never been but I got the impression that it was expensive since it's as good as sushi gets in Montreal.

                                                          1. re: hungryann
                                                            v
                                                            VikPham Apr 24, 2011 06:23 PM

                                                            Compared to other sushi restaurants in montreal, I believe it is pretty cheap. The last time I went there, a meal for 2 came up to about 50$ and I ordered many specialties. This is a bit cheaper than what I would have to pay at Kanda (all you can eat sushi). However, Kanda sushi does not come near to the sushi from Tri Express.

                                                            -----
                                                            Kanda
                                                            987 Boul Saint-Jean, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R5M3, CA

                                                            Tri Express
                                                            1650 Av Laurier E, Montreal, QC H2J1J2, CA

                                                            1. re: VikPham
                                                              c
                                                              celfie Apr 24, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                              that's not a cheap eat

                                                              1. re: celfie
                                                                v
                                                                VikPham Apr 24, 2011 10:38 PM

                                                                True but considering the amount of specialties we ordered and the fact that we also over ordered, it was a pretty good deal. Everyone knows that sushi is quite expensive however, Tri Express is one of the best and cheapest sushi restaurant you will find in montreal. For me this place is a cheap eat sushi restaurant. If you really are in the mood for sushi go to Tri Express instead of Kanda or Sushi Shop.

                                                                -----
                                                                Kanda
                                                                987 Boul Saint-Jean, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R5M3, CA

                                                                Tri Express
                                                                1650 Av Laurier E, Montreal, QC H2J1J2, CA

                                                        2. b
                                                          billybauer17 Apr 24, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                          just had Easter lunch today with two equally frugal college friends at Romado's

                                                          still think Coco Rico's has better chicken tho i will say the tarts at Romado's were unbelievably delicious and it is a TON of food fo $9 though

                                                          -----
                                                          Coco Rico
                                                          3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                                                          32 Replies
                                                          1. re: billybauer17
                                                            m
                                                            maj54us Apr 25, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                            Correct me if I'm wrong but what you're saying is that you like rotisserie chicken to charcoal grilled chicken.

                                                            I prefer Au Coq and Chalet Suisse taste to cocorico for rotisserie

                                                            And I like portugalia and romados for charcoal grilled chicken.

                                                            -----
                                                            Rotisserie Romados
                                                            115 Rue Rachel E, Montreal, QC H2W1C8, CA

                                                            Rotisserie Portugalia
                                                            34 Rue Rachel W, Montreal, QC H2W1G1, CA

                                                            1. re: maj54us
                                                              b
                                                              billybauer17 Apr 26, 2011 03:20 PM

                                                              theyre both good to me but i appreciate your distinction between the two

                                                              i love portugalia for grilled butterliefld chicken but i love coco ricos for rotisserie chicken
                                                              not too much a fan of romados

                                                              1. re: billybauer17
                                                                m
                                                                maj54us Apr 27, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                Romados is sometimes a hit an miss, so make sure you ask for a juicy piece. Portugalia is more on the money since it's a smaller operation. Make sure you order in advance at Portugalia or the Chicken Nazi will give you attitude ;)

                                                                I miss the old lady maria who worked at romados. She seem to have vanished from the other place on mont-royal and st-denis called piri piri.

                                                              2. re: maj54us
                                                                c
                                                                celfie Apr 26, 2011 03:58 PM

                                                                coco rico is definitely better than chalet suisse - the birds are way plumper and more juicy
                                                                I also like Serrano's over coco rico

                                                                1. re: celfie
                                                                  m
                                                                  maj54us Apr 27, 2011 07:50 AM

                                                                  @CelfieL It's a question of taste buds. I like the smoky taste of chalet suisse when cooked properly and juicy. Coco rico is good in my book but misses the flavors that I find in chalet or Au Coq. Many time Au Coq delivered dry out chicken and they alway gave me a voucher when I called to complain. I always ask them on the phone make sure they send a juicy piece.

                                                                  Where is Serrano?

                                                                  1. re: maj54us
                                                                    c
                                                                    celfie Apr 27, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                                    Serrano is on St-Viateur

                                                                    The Chalet Suisse comment is as weird as the dominos comment in the pizza thread. Their chicken isn't smoky. Any smokiness that you detect is undoubtedly from the chemical bath the chickens are marinated in

                                                                    1. re: celfie
                                                                      m
                                                                      maj54us Apr 27, 2011 11:30 AM

                                                                      @celfie: Then I'm addicted to taste of chemicals in the chalet suisse chicken. I don't want rehab ;)

                                                                      but on a more serious note I like the smoky tatse of Chalet suisse when prepared properly. It reminds me of Cote St-Luc BBQ taste.

                                                                      Please give us more information on my weird comment so I go to bed less stupid tonight. What is the process of chemicals you're talking about. I thought everything we ate in today world was chemicals even if they say organic.

                                                                      1. re: maj54us
                                                                        c
                                                                        celfie Apr 27, 2011 11:48 AM

                                                                        are you talking about chalet bbq? chalet suisse is a canadian chain that no longer operates in quebec, with the exception of a few shared outlets with harveys

                                                                        1. re: celfie
                                                                          SnackHappy Apr 27, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                          Sorry to rain on your parade, but Swiss Chalet used tp be pretty good. It was cooked over charcoal and the fries were as good as Chalet or CSLBbq. How it is now, I don't know. I haven't had Swiss Chalet in over 20 years.

                                                                          1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                            c
                                                                            celfie Apr 27, 2011 11:58 AM

                                                                            their chicken is gas fired

                                                                            i've been to swiss chalet about 3 times in the last 6 months (not by choice) and it was only ok.

                                                                            i'd hardly call it great or even good

                                                                    2. re: maj54us
                                                                      o
                                                                      OliverB Apr 27, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                      Coco Rico's sandwiches rule... they're my favorite cheap plateau lunch to go. the ribs and sides are all good too. I don't know why it always takes backseat to the Portugese joints on this forum but comparing it to Chalet Suisse is nuts.

                                                                      1. re: OliverB
                                                                        i
                                                                        ios94 Apr 27, 2011 09:36 AM

                                                                        Chalet Suisse? Those don't exist in Montreal anymore, neither does the one on Decarie which I believed went by that name.

                                                                        1. re: ios94
                                                                          o
                                                                          OliverB Apr 27, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                                          The one on Decarie was Chalet Bar B Q and later became a Red Lobster. I think it's a hair salon now.

                                                                          1. re: OliverB
                                                                            c
                                                                            C70 Apr 27, 2011 10:36 AM

                                                                            nope, chalet BBQ was never in that bldg., it was on the next block, on the main floor of an office/industrual-looking building.

                                                                            1. re: C70
                                                                              m
                                                                              maj54us Apr 27, 2011 11:36 AM

                                                                              @C70: you're right on that one. I miss that place big time and I'm not talking about Red Lobster.

                                                                            2. re: OliverB
                                                                              m
                                                                              maj54us Apr 27, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                                              hair salon? maybe they have the chemical taste of smoke ;)

                                                                          2. re: OliverB
                                                                            m
                                                                            maj54us Apr 27, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                            @OliverB: So I'm nuts then lol lol. I'm talking about taste buds here. And sorry to say but in my book Coco Rico is missing lots of flavors but it's a good plain chicken that is way above the over salted St-hubert BBQ chicken.

                                                                          3. re: maj54us
                                                                            c
                                                                            C70 Apr 27, 2011 10:34 AM

                                                                            maybe maj54 means chalet BBQ, which is cooked in a wood-fired rotisserie?

                                                                            1. re: C70
                                                                              m
                                                                              maj54us Apr 27, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                                              @C70: No I'm talking about the Chalet Suyisse taste. I didn't know that about chalet BBQ on sherbrooke that they used wood fire for their rotisserie. To bad I never detected the taste of smoke on their chicken last time I went. I guess the kind of wood used would make the differemce. I'm not an expert I'm just guessing.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Chalet Bar-B-Q Rotisserie
                                                                              5456 Rue Sherbrooke W, Montreal, QC H4A1V9, CA

                                                                              1. re: maj54us
                                                                                porker Apr 27, 2011 02:57 PM

                                                                                Chalet Swiss used to use charcoal, they changed over to gas in the early 90s. Chalet Swiss also generally moved out of Quebec.
                                                                                Chalet BBQ on Sherbrooke (at Decarie) uses hardwood maple charcoal, not wood per se. Cote-St. Luc BBQ can be considered a splinter restaurant to this Chalet BBQ: Frank the owner used to be a young man working the kitchen. With help from a senior member of that kitchen, he opened up Cote-St.Luc. They use basically the same system of charcoal ovens. Frank tried to open a couple of franchises, but they slowly didn't work out.

                                                                                1. re: porker
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  celfie Apr 27, 2011 03:01 PM

                                                                                  the one in the WI if related is a huge success

                                                                                  1. re: porker
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    maj54us Apr 27, 2011 08:23 PM

                                                                                    @porker: thanks for the info. How do you explain the difference of taste between the two? Cote St-Luc has that smoky flavor taste to it and I never noticed it at Chalet BBQ. To me they are two totally different chicken recipe.

                                                                                    I never understood why the franchises never pick up. Sad, I remember one opened on Acadie and closed so fast I didn't have a chance to eat there.

                                                                                    1. re: maj54us
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      caitlink May 25, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                                                      We used this thread for our trip last week.

                                                                                      1) We tried both schwartz and the Main. And prefer the Main. Very moist and less salty.
                                                                                      2) Surprised Boustan did not open until 5pm. But food was very good. Owner was friendly. Chicken sharwarma was tasty - loved the sauce. All the sides and rice that came with the platter was great as well. A little concerned that they nuke everything in the microwave though.
                                                                                      3) Disappointed in La Banquise. 10 min wait. But fries and gravy were lukewarm. Surprised that the spaghetti turned out to be quite tasty - good value for $5.50.
                                                                                      4) We loved the palmier and croissants at Premier Moisson. Also bought some pate to go. We love this place.
                                                                                      5) The caramel creme brulee ice cream at Havre de something(?) at Atwater was so good. We ate the whole pint.
                                                                                      6) Chicken, roast pork, potatoes and the tart at Coco Rico were cheap and sooo good. My daughters loved the potatoes.

                                                                                      Only thing was when we stopped by Romados. There was a line-up of at least 30 (?) so we never went in.
                                                                                      Thanks, everyone!

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Coco Rico
                                                                                      3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                                                                                      1. re: caitlink
                                                                                        k
                                                                                        kpaxonite May 25, 2011 05:32 PM

                                                                                        At romados you can call literally ten minutes beforehand to place your order and then go to a special line...... there is a darn good reason the line is so long haha

                                                                                        1. re: kpaxonite
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          Shattered May 26, 2011 04:29 PM

                                                                                          You have to call at least 30 minutes ahead on weekends and evenings. I have the number saved on my cellphone, haha.

                                                                                          1. re: Shattered
                                                                                            k
                                                                                            kpaxonite May 26, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                                            The first time I ever went there I saw a guy walk in get pissed the line was like 45 mins walk out on his cell then return and pick up a chicken.....rather douchey move but still....

                                                                                        2. re: caitlink
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          celfie May 27, 2011 08:48 AM

                                                                                          boustan only opens at 5 on sundays

                                                                                          1. re: celfie
                                                                                            w
                                                                                            wilmagrace May 28, 2011 03:32 PM

                                                                                            We need street kiosks! Today had korean chicken kebob $5, 2 small thai deepfried fish kebabs 3$, dish of plantain 3$ at cultural festival in old montreal, no tax, no tip + the rain had disappeared. Its not gourmet but was different and filling. Even if Montreal allowed certain areas of city for limited time to have a few summer food kiosks it would be a big plus for this city and also for our wallets. They had churros freshly made for 2$--where can you get desserts for that price?

                                                                                            There were no resto kioks such as stash this year, still a work in progress.

                                                                                            1. re: wilmagrace
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              celfie May 28, 2011 04:50 PM

                                                                                              welcome to our shitty city

                                                                                              1. re: celfie
                                                                                                w
                                                                                                wilmagrace May 29, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                                                                I dont want to start an off-topic discussion as suppose to be food based. Atleast we have the festival period to have some opportunities. I remember some restos used to open a window and serve pizza slices, ice cream and wonder if this could be a way around it, a window that opens for thai food etc...

                                                                                                1. re: celfie
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  Ched1000 May 29, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                                                                  Guys,
                                                                                                  As you know there is a municipal rule against it... I guess you will tell me lousy municipal politicians... I would answer: maybe but, pretty efficient CRFA (I guess mostly CRFA) and ARQ lobbying...
                                                                                                  http://www.restaurateurs.ca/
                                                                                                  http://www.crfa.ca/

                                                                                                  Yep, your friends the restaurant owners and especially the chains, are not too fond of the idea of street food in MTL...

                                                                                                  To get street food in Montreal means to be ready to get organised and lobby back…

                                                                                          2. re: maj54us
                                                                                            porker Oct 25, 2011 06:04 PM

                                                                                            Sorry to respond, ahh lets see, 6 months later...
                                                                                            lagatta posted the other day, I was just browsing and saw your post only now.
                                                                                            Unless things changed drastically over the last 10-12 years, its the same recipe. I tentatively use the term "recipe" as its more of a method which gives the chicken its flavor and both Chalet and CSL use the same method.
                                                                                            Why is one smokier than the other?
                                                                                            A few things can affect the smokiness.
                                                                                            The chickens are kind of cooked twice, the first time around as a pre-cook, and a second time as a kind of finishing. If the time between the two gets overly extended, the chicken might lose some of its smokiness.
                                                                                            When the chicken comes outta the charcoal oven the second time, it goes into a holding unit (you see the cooks pulling the bird out of this stainless unit @ Chalet before cutting it up). The longer it is held, the more it loses its smokiness.

                                                                                            I would assume that if you ate at each restaurant regularly, these quirks would average themselves out. In other words, I don't think one resto regularly extends the time between the cooking phases more than the other, nor would one hold the chicken longer than the other.
                                                                                            But you say you NEVER noticed it @ Chalet....
                                                                                            Me? I never eat @ CSL for only reasons of convenience, so I can't compare.

                                                                                            The only other explanation I could offer is a slight variance of the cooking method. One could theoretically cook with the charcoal more smoldering (more smoke, less heat) than full burn (less smoke, more heat), but again this seems unlikely...

                                                                                            The sauce....now there's a different recipe ;-0

                                                                            2. l
                                                                              lagatta Oct 23, 2011 11:31 AM

                                                                              I want to point out my disappointment with Mile-End byow Terrasse Lafayette as a "cheap eat" since they renovated and went a bit "upscale". One can no longer order several popular items on the former menu, and small items such as the souvlaki, chicken, and vegetarian pita can only be ordered as part of a plate with rice and potatoes, costing at least twice the former price.

                                                                              I'm disappointed as upon the reno, they had promised us (frequent customers) that they were keeping their menu as is, but adding some new items such as pasta dishes.

                                                                              Unfortunately that was not true.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Terrasse Lafayette
                                                                              250 Rue Villeneuve W, Montreal, QC H2V2R1, CA

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