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Mar 4, 2003 06:58 AM

Ethnic restaurants in Montreal

  • c

I have followed this board for a while. I'm returning to Montreal this summer, and would like recommendations for great ethnic restaurants - specifically Chinese (not Vietnamese or Thai), Middle-Eastern, Greek, & possibly Portuguese (because I see that Cafe Ferreira once was mentioned favorably on the boards). I was surprised to see so little mention of excellent (anything outstanding?) Chinese restaurants - would this be cuisine I should pass up (we have plenty of excellent Chinese in New York City). I would love comments comparing Faros to Milos to Molivios(again, I saw these mentioned on the board). Any updates on Daou and other middle-eastern restaurants would be appreciated. Finally, does anyone have a breakfast place to recommend that's convenient to the Sofitel in the downtown area?
Thanks chowhounders!

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  1. I am a Chinese-Canadian living in Montreal and travels to NYC twice a month. The reason why there are no mentions of outstanding Chinese restaurants in this city is that they simply DO NOT exist. The ones around the downtown area are expensive and unauthentic (namely Zen, Orchidee de Chine). The quality of the food definitedly does not match up to the price. The ones in Chinatown are decent at best, but nothing compared to the excellent Chinese restaurants you have in Manhattan and Flushing. So, save your Chinese cravings for when you get back home. Or for the next time you visit Toronto. I lived in Taiwan, Shanghai, Montreal, San Francisco, and NYC. In my opinion, Toronto has the best Chinese Food in North America, followed by San Francisco and then NYC.

    As for a good breakfast place near Sofitel. I would recommend Eggspectations (corner Crescent & Maisonneuve, 5 min walk from Sofitel) Yes, it's very popular and touristy, but they do have the best eggs benedict in town. If you plan on going on a weekend, try to get there before 10h30, otherwise prepare to wait in line for a table. Also try Beauty's for their fantastic bagel and lox. Beauty's is in the Plateau and a bit of a trek from Sofitel. By taxi, it will cost you about $8 and takes about 5 minutes. By metro, it will take you about 20-30 minutes. And the nearest metro stop (Mont-Royal) is about 10 minutes walk away from Beautys. By walk, it will take you a good 30-45 minutes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CL

      What do you think of the Piment Rouge on Peel?

      1. re: CL

        No offense, but are you completely out of your mind? I do agree that Montreal leaves little to be desired in chinese cuisine, but to say New York is the third on your list leaves me to question your tastes and where you've eaten.

        Not one place in the city offers a bowl of cho (not chow) mein (wide egg noodles), veggies with oyster sauce is always the cheaper choy sum as opposed to the gai lan, and every dish practically brims with MSG. I do admit that Flushing is much better for food, but eh... #1 goes out to my home town Vancouver in my opinion, and not that I'm being subjective. With the significantly huge taiwan- and hong kongnese influx, we can choose from any number of reliable restaurants. Best of all, there are key restaurants around the city that do delicacies perfectly: one place will serve a full-bodied fish soup and roasted squab while another is known for stuffing three jumbo pieces of shrimp in their har gow and serving spongy 1000-layered cake for dim sum. One place serves only Hainese chicken rice on the menu and a place like Congee Noodle House serves the perfect creamy, almost silky, congee. Now if someone were to ask where to get the best slice, matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwich, diner food, panasian or italian york is the only place to be. Gotham has myriad to offer, but sadly, not in the field of chinese food.

      2. For middle east food, I strongly recommend Byblos on Laurier Street. As for breakfast, if on a sunday you might want to try the mediterranean brunch at the Café des Beaux-Arts. It is the bistro adjacent to the Museum of Fine Arts and its literally in front of the Sofitel. Finally, if you are willing to splurge, you absolutely could not go wrong with Milos.

        1. i have eaten twice at a fabulous greek restaurant called ouzeri on st. denis. my only problem with it is that if you go late at night, everyone smokes cigarettes, and it's gross. they have fresh fish dishes, however, and all of the classic greek standards.

          i'm looking for an armenian restaurant in the city but can't seem to find one online. any suggestions?