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Bakeries, pastry shops and inexpensive good food

Hi Montreal Chowhounders,

I am heading to Montreal with my family for two days this long weekend. We love eating in Montreal. We have two kids, so fancy sit-down meals are generally not a great idea, and we don't want to spend a fortune either. I tend to do a lot of research before our Montreal trips, so I've read a fair bit on Chowhound.

We would like to try really good new bakeries for excellent bread. I already love Guillaume and have tried Mamie Clafoutis, Le Fromentier, and others. I want to try le Pain dans les Voiles this time. Anything else? I especially love good whole grain breads with nice sour levain/sourdough starters.

Great viennoiseries: I love the croissants at Fous Desserts, have had some good pastries at Mamie Clafoutis, and used to love le Kouign Aman but have been disappointed lately. I will try to get to Christian Faure, but welcome all suggestions.

Are there any good grilled fish sandwiches in Montreal? Simple, affordable? Kind of like getting a merguez or lamb sandwich at the Jean Talon Market, but fish instead?

We love Aux Vivres, and would like to discover other vegan restos or cafes that have flavourful and affordable food. We're not vegan, but like to have a vegan meal here and there.

Good, inexpensive sushi near Jean-Talon market? It doesn't have to be right next door, but in a two kilometer radius or so.

Are there any inexpensive and good lunch places downtown that would be open on Good Friday and Saturday?

Thanks in advance,


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  1. Very close to Jean-Talon Market, there is a Thai restaurant called Kinnarie. I'm not familiar with the new management; it was very economical and was (and still is) a byow. The only thing close to fish sandwiches at JTM are the lobster rolls at Shamrock, and I don't think they have rolled them out yet. The winter was horrific, so a lot of things are late. I hope the Atkins and Poissonnerie Gaspésienne crew will have little trays of fried fish.

    Kinnarie definitely has meals with tofu as the protein, but I don't know whether they are fully vegetarian or vegan, since the fish sauce and seafood in spice pastes is what vegans must watch out for in Southeast Asian cooking.

    Very close to the Pain dans les Voiles on rue de Castelnau is Mia, an Indonesian small plates restaurant. https://fr-fr.facebook.com/pages/MIA-...

    1. You might like to check out Yuan Vegetarian. Really good vegetarian (and mostly vegan) Chinese food. Just tried with a group of mainly non-vegetarians and we all loved it.

      1. For a yummy inexpensive lunch downtown, check out La Folie du Koshary (Egyptian), Avesta (Turkish), or Antep Kabab (Turkish kebabs), all near Concordia.


        For brunch or a brunch-like lunch, check out Cocktail Hawaii for delicious Lebanese food:

        http://www.cocktailhawaii.com/ (turn your speakers down, auto-playing music alert)

        1. Panthere Vert for vegan.. have the falafel pita

          1. You'll enjoy La Bête a Pain bakery, amazing breads, great pastries, square pizza, breakfast sandwiches etc.... I really recommend it. It's a less than 10 min drive north from Jean Talon Mrkt, drive straight a couple of miles north on St Laurent and turn left on Fleury.


            Find @lesturbain on Twitter and click his Instagram account for some shots of the place and products. M Royal is one of the owners of the bakery and a resto on the same street and he's always busy on twitter.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JerkPork

              There is a byow restaurant nearby, Le Chien Rose, that points out the major allergens and gluten on its menu, so I'm sure it would also be reliable in terms of vegetarian and vegan requirements: http://lechienrose.com/menu/

              This month's theme is "New York", so if you're from there, it might be superfluous.

              La Bête à pain also has a restaurant, le St-Urbain, but it might be a bit over your budget.

              Jerk, I'll have to get up there soon; it is a short trip by car or bicycle, but annoying by bus as the 55 bus only goes up to Chabanel, then one must take another northbound.

              1. re: lagatta

                Hwertheim, here's his instagram account to get you drooling;


                Lagatta, bike it, 20 min ride maximum. According to Google Maps Bete a Pain is only 4.9 km away.

                1. re: JerkPork

                  Indeed, it is nothing by bicycle, and it is flat. I tend to add a bit east-west, as I like taking the dedicated bicycle lane on Lajeunesse; I hate cycling on that stretch of St-Laurent.

                  Hanna Wertheim is a very pretty name, by the way. Wertheimpark is a beautiful small park in Amsterdam.

            2. In the "new" bakeries, there's also Joe la croûte at the Marché Jean-Talon. Le pain dans les voiles is a must like it's already been said. If you like chocolates, try Chocobel just in front on the same street.

              Also, have you ever tried Arhoma? Great bakery in Hochelaga. They also have another location called La Fabrique Arhoma closer to the center.

              As for Maison Christian Faure, yes, I think you need to try it. It's really a great place. I've tried mostly pastries and macarons there, but I think the viennoiseries are great too.

              I would also add the greatest new pastry shop in town: Patrice Pâtissier. I think it's the best pastry shop in Montréal right now. They don't have classic viennoiseries (yet), but they do make kouign amann, brioches and bostock. And that banana chou (filled to order) is the best pastry I've tasted in years.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Glaff

                I second Patrice. For breads, including great Scandinavian-inspired ryes, Hof Kelsten is the place.

                1. re: Glaff

                  yet? i thought he wasn't looking at making viennoiseries unless it'll be like a weekend special

                  1. re: twinkie83

                    Oh I was just saying... I don't know actually. Was just guessing that he might do one day with the demand... and the fact that there's not really any great bakery in their neighbourhood.

                  2. re: Glaff

                    Arthoma sells their breads as well at Maitre Boucher on Monkland in NDG and at Copains et cie on Wellington in Verdun. (There are probably others in town as well).

                    To add another one. The food store just west of Place des Arts on De Maisonneuve) has great croissants.

                  3. Really good new bakery for excellent bread: Hof Kelsten! The signature caraway rye, the challah (Fridays only?), the chocolate babka, the rugelach, cookies, sandwiches...their brunch looks really good too.

                    1. Oh, and good, inexpensive sushi? I still have not found any in Montreal! My favourite lately is Azuma, on St-Laurent at Maguire. Friendly, cozy, not super-cheap but very good quality.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: stak

                        Thanks everyone! I have taken note of your suggestions, and will try to get to as many bakeries as possible - we will probably start at Hof Kelsten today. Antep Kebab sounds like a great lunch option, as we love Turkish food. I will certainly report back after our visit.

                        1. re: hwertheim

                          Hi Montreal Chowhounders,

                          We had a great time in your city. Of course, we couldn't eat as much as we wanted or at every location, but my freezer is quite full of goodies to enjoy back home.

                          We started at Aux Vivres and shared a sandwich. Sadly, we found the Mekong sandwich a bit too acidic and not as good as it used to be.

                          We then visited Hof Kelsten, just down the street. The strawberry walnut rugelach was ok - too sweet for me, and we didn't the raisins with the strawberries. My kids adored it, and it is quite a nice space.

                          For lunch, we made it to Avesta. I love Turkish food, and enjoyed our choices, but the rest of my family found the food here too spicy. The lentil soup was especially good. I am now on a mission (again) to try to recreate Turkish lentil soup at home. The prices were a bit higher than I would have expected for the quantities of food, but it may have been what we ordered.

                          Dinner ended up being a mash-up of things from the Jean-Talon market back at our accommodations - manchego and a nice sesame ficelle from Hamel, unremarkable takeout sushi, an avocado and mango.

                          We finished it off with the banana caramel choux from Patrice Patissier, and a chocolat praline and mille-feuille from Chistian Faure. Top marks for the Choux - very nice melding of flavours, and beautiful as well. The pastries from Christian Faure were techically excellent, but we preferred the mille feuille for not being too sweet. The chocolate praline was nothing exciting.

                          Day two started with pastries from Le Pain dans les Voiles. A cinnamon sugar swirly croissant-like pastry was devoured by me and my kids, and their scone with currants and orange was pretty good, but a bit dense. I also brought back some pain des peuples and a cheese bread. I wasn't as impressed by their apple turnover.

                          I also picked up a loaf of walnut bread and chocolate bread from Guillaume at their new rue St. Laurent location. The lineup was out the door!

                          We brunched at Le Vieux Velo. We got there around 11, but didn't have to wait too long. Their benedict with bacon was very, very good. The French toast (we got a half-order) was just alright. I love yogurt but I don't like it on my french toast. We also had the Atlantique (sans cream cheese), which was scrambled eggs and salad that had a very nice ginger dressing. We really liked the toast and potatoes (and ask for jam - the raspberry is excellent).

                          On our way out of town we stopped to get groceries at Adonis, which was a very fun madhouse. We bought more cheese than we should have, and lots of little middle eastern savoury pastries and a box of cookies, which were fun to pick out. I discovered horse-shoe shaped cookies with tiny seeds - a kind of fennel perhaps? that are quite good.

                          Since we didn't want to drive back downtown, we shared several salad/veggie dishes, hummous and beef shwarma at Zoukis, on Acadie in the Marche Centrale. It was quite tasty, if a bit greasy. We came home with lots of leftovers for today.

                          Thanks again to all of you for your suggestions. It is great to add new places to our list of favourites.