Joined: 02 Jan 2007 Posts: 3 Location: East Coast, USA
Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:07 am Post subject: Montreal, Quebec - places to stay and places to eat!
Hello all -
My other half and I are planning an April trip to Montreal and need some tips, if anyone out there has them. Questions:
Any thoughts on good places to stay? We are on a budget, but have always found great little spots across Europe and the States and hope that we might find something in Montreal as well.
Any thoughts on places to EAT? Again, the budget is a consideration, but I would love to splurge on a few meals here and there - snacks and qucik meals are also considerations.
Finally, any thoughts on where to SHOP (in a food-oriented C-Z kind of way...)? We will be driving, so have the ability to carry more on the way home, and although I know that I "can't bring back cheese and other food across the border" I am willing to eat it all before we hit customs if need be and if it is good enough... (or else I know a few good places to hide it!) Runny cheeses and delicate pateries being a household favorite and all...
While Montreal is only 2 hours away we never got into the habit of visiting I'm afraid! However any visit must include a trip to the Atwater Market, 2 stories of butchers, cheese stalls, vegies etc.. Just give it a google and you'll find it easily.
Also a fascinating blog, wonderfully written and beautifully presented that may be of great help to you is www.montrealfood.com If you scroll alllllllllllllllllll the way down yu will find the archives section. This blog covers everything from burgers to gourmet restaurants. You will enjoy the read and will definitely pick up some good leads! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Joined: 14 Oct 2005 Posts: 827 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:44 pm Post subject:
Lucky you! I would counsel you to check the US customs web page before you go so you know what you can bring back. When we were in France a couple of years ago, we brought back a lot of cheese. A little cheese store on Ile St. Louis in Paris vacuum sealed it all for us, in order to get through the Ag & customs screening.
Keep us posted about your trip! _________________ L'appetit vient en mangeant. -Rabelais
Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 456 Location: california
Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:55 pm Post subject:
Sallyann, several years ago we went to Quebec in February for the Winter Carnival and stayed at a lovely little hotel in Vieux Quebec just down the street from Le Chateau Frontenac. It's called the Hotel Marie-Rollet, and the website is
It may be just what you are looking for. It's charming, well-located, and affordable. We loved it, and the owners (at that time, Diane and Gerald) were very welcoming and helpful. I don't know if they are still there.
We were in Quebec too long ago for me to make any reliable recommendations for restaurants or shopping, but we'd return to the Hotel Marie-Rollet in a minute.
Have a wonderful trip. I envy you your visit to this beautiful place.
Joined: 26 Aug 2005 Posts: 16 Location: Dallas, TX
Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:35 pm Post subject: I just heard about this...
Just this morning I heard a story on NPR about a new restaurant in Quebec! What a coincidence! It's called "Robin Hood" (Robin de Bois en français).
It's a not-for-profit restaurant where all the proceeds go to charitable causes. The entire wait staff is made up of volunteers and many Canadian celebrities are on a waiting list to participate. You can make reservations either to eat or to be part of the wait staff.
Here's a link (in French) for the restaurant site:
Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:46 pm Post subject: second try
I wrote a big long reply last week and it seemed to work fine, but now it's nowhere to be found! I'll try again, but this time it won't be as detailed...if you're interested in any of the things I suggest and can't find info by googling, then let me know and I'll see what I can do.
Overall, Montreal is a fantastic city for eating. You can find really good food at all price points. I've lived here for almost 7 years now and love good food. I'm on a bit of a budget so haven't tried many of the fancier places but I do read a lot about food so...here's what I've got.
A couple of other references to try:
Gourmet did a whole issue on Montreal a couple of years ago - March 2006, I think.
A couple of websites: An Endless Banquet and Montrealfood. Both are full of info on eating in this city.
Restaurants: you will notice a bias toward the Plateau area, especially St. Laurent blvd. It's my neighbourhood, so it's what I know best.
For a splurge:
Toque: is supposed to be the best restaurant in town. Unfortunately, I've never been.
Laurie Raphael: has just opened in Montreal. I've been to the one in Quebec City and it was one of the best meals I've ever had.
Au Pied de Cochon: I've heard so much about this place. Anthony Bourdain loved it.
Le Colombe: Montreal has a number of places where you can bring your own wine, which means you can get really good food without paying big wine markups. This one is amazing.
Meat Market: amazing sandwiches, in a trendy atmosphere (ingredients like marinated grilled chicken, caramelized onions, chipotle mayo)
Santropol: huge sandwiches in a hippyish atmosphere (on thick whole wheat bread, with tons of flavoured cream cheese & veggies). Really cool patio in the back, when it's warm.
Scratch Kitchen: weirdly located inside a bar called Copacabana, on St. Laurent, they have great indian/ thai-ish food (the grilled salmon is my very favourite)
Beauty's: for brunch, if you don't mind the lineups (or if you get there early enough to avoid them) it's an institution. Blintzes, latkes, lox & bagel platters, plus all the usual.
Cash & Curry: Malasian-type food in a funky, friendly, tiny place.
Montrealers love their bagels. Chewier & tastier than NYC ones, in my mind anyway. The two best bagel shops are St. Viateur & Fairmount. I prefer Fairmount.
Montrealers also love their smoked meat. It's similar to pastrami, I guess, but different. The way to eat it is on rye with mustard, fries and pickle on the side, and a cherry coke. The most famous place to get it is Schwartz, on St. Laurent. The Main, which is across the street, is less crowded and almost as good.
Amazing chocolates at Chocolats de Chloe, on Roy St. It reminds me of the shop in the movie Chocolat. My favourite is the fleur de sel.
You will find great pastry shops...there are a couple of chains that are very good: La Premiere Moisson, Au Pain Dore, Patisserie de Gascogne. All of these actually have a lot more than just pastries.
I love the almond croissants from Kouign-Amann (hope I've spelled it right) and it's actually named for a pastry, which David Lebovitz has blogged about. Yum!
There's a bakery/ deli/ lunch place I've been meaning to go to, in the old port, called Olive et Gourmando.
For shopping you have to go to the Jean Talon market! It's even better in the summer when people sell produce straight from the farms, but has a lot of permanent stores with gourmet-type stuff, including a cheese store and one that specializes in Quebec products. There's also the Atwater market, which I think is more upscale and less international.
That's all I can think of for now. Hope it helps. Enjoy Montreal & bon appetit!
Last edited by stak on Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:26 am; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 14 Oct 2005 Posts: 827 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:19 pm Post subject:
Here's an interesting article from the San Francisco Chronicle about what you can and can't bring into the country. It also references a US customs document - "What to Know Before You Go." - which might be helpful. I am looking into these same issues right now as we prepare to head for Paris!
I haven't been many places in Montreal (a crime, since I only live a couple of hours away), but a couple of friends and I are planning a weekend there next month. We're hoping to go to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant that my friend says is fantastic - $30 for all you can eat, mostly different kinds of grilled meat. It's called Le Milsa:
I'm also very eager to get to "Au Pied de Cochon," after having read Bill Buford's article on chef Martin Picard in the New Yorker a couple of months ago. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try the foie gras poutine - the idea is kind of simultaneously fascinating/terrifying/disgusting.
And, if we can manage it, we might do Schwart'z Deli for some smoked meat sandwiches for lunch.
We're calling it our "meat weekend."
Looks like I'm going to have to plan a few more weekends there, though, to go to all the places suggested by others in this forum!
SHOP: For cheeses either Hamel or the newer Qui Lait Cru (a nice French pun) at the Jean-Talon market. We’ve never had a problem bringing things through customs, since they ask only about fruits and vegetables.
There's a big Italian supermarket nearby on St. Laurent -- Milano, since the market is in Little Italy. Good snacks in the market, too, especially on weekends, and the best ice cream in town!
Pastries: Gascogne 237 Laurier W (Jeanne-Mance) 514- 490-0230
Kouign-amann 322 Mont-Royal Est (Henri Julien) 514-845-8813
Le Fromentier 1375 Avenue Laurier Est (Lanaudière). (514) 527-3327
I've had really good luck staying in charming apartments in Quebec City. They're not always completely modern in terms of amenities or room service, but I like the quaint buildings & locations offered through EasyRez.com. They're a booking service - the locations are usually privately owned by a local B&B.
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