Few questions about an upcoming trip
My family and I will be visiting from Boston and meeting a few other friends from Toronto in Montreal 2nd weekend in May.
Already arranged is Liverpool House for dinner on Saturday followed by cocktails at Le Lab. Saturday afternoon Jean Talon Market. Then Sunday smoked meat at Main Deli.
For Friday I came across a few posts recommending take out from APDC then heading over to Lafontaine Park to picnic in the evening. We will have our 3 year old with us, so I figure after driving for 4-5 hours from Boston the last thing I want to do is make her sit for another 2 to finish dinner. Is this still a good option and what dishes do you recommend for take out?
Also later that Friday a few of us will be breaking off to have a drink. I would love a dive bar with some cheap drinks. Bar Diana came up in a search along with Miami Bar. Are these still recommended?
Finally what is currently the best Brew Pub in the city?
For reference as far as distance is concerned we will be staying at the Grand Hyatt, so METRO, walk or short cab ride is preferable.
Just a few notes :
Liverpool House and Le Lab are not quite close to each other; suggest taking a taxi. (parking will be next to non-existant to Le Lab).
I have no clue about APdC take-out (I think I read about it once); but plan for a backup if the weather is not good.
I don't do dive bar, but on St-Laurent blvd, there are a few good places (La Cabane, ... ) or Else's one Ave. Roy.
The best brew (not really food) is Dieu Du Ciel (I will let others fill in the list with the other places).
Else's might be a good option if you have kids. Its not a dive.. its more a home away from home for the resident of a very hip neighborhood when they want to get away from the hype and bullshit. I don't remember the price level (not cheap but not expensive probably) but its no hassle.
They don't have a bar license, they have a restaurant license. Because of that you might have to order food (any will do) to get alcohol but the flip side is they might accept kids (call in advance always :D).
Liverpool is a good choice. I never did the APDC + Lafontaine park picnic but it might be a good idea! Never had the APDC takeout either so I don't know what's better in that context.
Be careful with bars, I don't have kids but proper bars/brewpubs/dives might not accept them. Something with the government license type that prohibits underage frequentations if I remember correctly. Restos are ok but bars might be a no-no with a 3 year old. Better call beforehand.
As far as dives go, I don't really remember where the cheap places downtown are. My no hassles bars downtown are 2 Irish pubs (McKibbins and Hurley's) and a hipster pub with diveish tendancies that is not really one (Grumpy's Pub). I believe a beer will run you from 6 to 8$ a pint depending on the day and hour.
I don't think Diana or Miami are open still. If you are looking for true "I'm a student and I'm broke" level dive and prices you could try Cock'n Bull Pub (corner Sainte-Catherine and Du Fort, between Guy-Concordia and Atwater metro) or Yer Mad Bistro Bar (Corner De Maisonneuve and Saint-André near Berri-UQAM metro).
I have a dive bar at Monk Metro where the beer is 5$ a pint but you don't want to go there because its out of the way and not really fun to visit for a tourist.
Best brew pub for my money is Dieu du Ciel. Close second is Vice and Versa. Third might be Saint-Bock.
Near the Grand Hyatt there I'd take a look at Bistro Bar le Courtier and Deli Turf 'n Bar for truly divey potential (its not far on foot on Sainte-Catherine) but I don't know if they still are proper dives or renovated hipster resto pubs (a lot of taverns downtown became wannabe resto pubs unfortunately. DONT EAT THERE). In the other direction (yet again on foot), Les Foufounes Électriques might not be a bad choice. Its a pretty big bar popular with students and its a mixed crowd. They feature cheap molson brand beer, "alternative" music, trashy toilets and sometime a no name band or two on the second floor. Its pretty calm on the first floor if you just want to take a beer.
People have already hit most of the points I was going to make. You'll likely be happy with Liverpool house, but the trip to Le Lab sounds unwieldy. It'll be 40 minutes or more by metro and, in my opinion, not worth the trip. It has some of the best cocktails in Montreal, but that's a lot like saying that Deep Ellum has the best poutine in Boston. The throwback flare bartender thing also just feels like a lame part of the 90s I'd rather forget.
APDC does do takeout, but I wouldn't count on Montreal being warm enough for a picnic next weekend - forecast says a high of 60F, and it will be getting dark by the time you get your food. If you can still nab a table you might be happier. I imagine your daughter would be plenty entertained - just aim for an early seating. If you're really set on Le Lab, this would be a good night as it's nearby. Right across the street from APDC is also Taverne L'Inspecteur Epingle, which is on the edge of dive.
Diana and Miami are both closed, though I think Miami has been replaced by a series of equally divey places. If you want divier consider Copacabana, Barfly, and Biftek on St. Laurent, or le petite idee fixe on Parc... There are lots around, that's for sure.
The best brew pub is, of course, Dieu de Ciel. It's not really a competition.
Matt, another popular choice for picnics in Parc Lafontaine is Ma Poule Mouillée (Portuguese chicken) . https://fr-fr.facebook.com/MaPouleMou... They don't have beer or wine, and while you can certainly find it nearby, I'd suggest packing a couple of bottles of Portuguese wine before you leave, if you are driving.
As you know, being from Boston, this has been a very hard winter, and we are a bit colder than you are, so I can't guarantee it will be picnicable in the evening early in May. Could be; it has become far more clement, but you'll have to see.
I agree. Parc Lafontaine is not too far from my place and I wouldn't picnic there yet at this time of year. An alternative to APDC takeout is their food truck but it might not be riding around that night. Worth checking on their FB page. If I was around Place des Arts with a 3 year old after a long drive I'd probably head straight to Chinatown a few blocks away and have a peking duck dinner at Le Cristal Chinois. Lots of space for little ones to move around in there and great food. That or maybe find a place in Old Montreal with acceptable food as the walk there would be spacious and scenic. Or maybe head to the musical swings (21 Swings) at St-Urbain and Jeanne-Mance and eat something around there.
Fantastic replies folks, but just to clarify I will not be taking my 3 year old out drinking with us that night. A few of us are breaking free of the group and she will be safe and sound at the hotel. : )
Nor will she be joining us for craft cocktails the night after.