I really couldn’t think of a better way to organize the rest of my Montreal posts (see previous here, here and here) than to split them up into “Montreal Eats” and “Montreal Dos” because honestly, that’s all I did… eat and explore and spend time with amazing friends, and it couldn’t have been any more perfect. Here’s a list I compiled of some of my favorite Montreal eats…
Lola Rosa, McGill Ghetto
One of the restaurants I was looking forward to the most was Lola Rosa, a little vegetarian restaurant in the heart of the McGill Ghetto, just steps away from the Roddick Gates of McGill University (see previous post about Lola Rosa here - yes, I used the same pictures, the last time I was there I was too excited about my salad that I forgot to take pictures!). It’s a deliciously quaint little place, with blackboard menus, friendly staff and distinctly student/relaxed vibe. I had been here a few times during my years in Montreal, and I couldn’t wait for the Lola Salad (the Lola Nachos are also incredible!)! Another fun little fact, the tables have little drawers filled with notes written by previous customers… it’s a really entertaining way to spend your evening. You’ll find Lola Rosa at 545 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X 1W5.
Yeh! Yoghurt, St. Laurent
Next on the list, Yeh! Yoghurt… I can’t rave about this place enough. I remember my first frozen yoghurt experiences in Jakarta, Indonesia – the Yogen Fruz in the Pondak Indah Mall. I hadn’t really had any since then, but Yeh! Yoghurt exceeded all my expectations of how great frozen yoghurt can really be. What’s great about this place versus other frozen yoghurt places (aka Snog in London and Pinkberry in New York City and L.A.) is that you can do everything yourself – you can serve yourself! You can choose flavors, a wide variety of toppings including candy, chocolate and fruit, load up your cup to your liking, then go to the cash and get it weighed and that’s how you’re charged. It’s brilliant! There are two Yeh! locations, the original is located at 3804 Boulevard St. Laurent, Montreal QC, H2W 1×6 and the other is located at 1651 St. Catherine West, Montreal QC, H3H 1L9.
When you search Montreal + poutine together on Google, it’s not surprising to find La Banquise as the first hit. It’s said to be the “best poutine in Montreal,” and I had to go find out for myself. Wait, for those who don’t know, poutine is a dish that originated in Quebec in the 1950s and is now a Montreal staple. The traditional dish consists of a heaping pile of freshly cut twice-cooked French fries, chunks of squeaky curd cheese all brought together by gravy. La Banquise, however, serves more than 20 different types of poutine (see the menu here) and even though I was tempted to try one of the crazy combinations, I decided to play it safe and stick with the original (featured below). I’m not a huge poutine fan (sorry Montreal!) but as far as poutine goes, it was pretty good. For anyone who wants a real Montreal experience, you have to stop by! La Banquise is located at 994 Rue Rachel West, Montreal QC, H2J 2J3 and is open 24/7!
Another legendary Montreal institution, Fairmount Bagel. The history of this bakery goes back to 1919 and was the first bagel bakery in Montreal (read more about the history here). What makes the Montreal bagel unique is that it is a hand-made and wood-fired baked bagel. And in contrast to the New York bagel, the Montreal bagel is smaller, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole – more delicious in my opinion! Fairmount Bagel competes with St. Viateur Bagel in Montreal for the title of Montreal’s best bagel – it’s up to you to decide which one is better! The Fairmount Bagel bakery can be found at 74 Fairmount West, Montreal QC, H2T 2M2.
Pizzeria Napoletana, Little Italy
One of the adventures I went on in Montreal was a bike ride up to Montreal’s Little Italy, home to Montreal’s Italian-Canadian community. One of the more famous restaurants in the area is Pizzeria Napoletana, located at 189 Rue Dante, Montreal QC, H2S 1K1. It is said to be, “the first traditional Italian pizza in the heart of Little Italy since 1948.” The restaurant has a real Italian family-run feel, but I was a little discouraged about the quality of the pizza. But if you’re looking for a pizza-experience that’s a little different than your average North American thick crust pizza, then I would give this a go. Oh, and it’s bring your own wine restaurant, which is always a plus!
Les Glaceurs, Old Montreal
Cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes! Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Les Glaceurs in Old Montreal is the only cupcake join in Montreal that I know of, and it’s definitely a great location to visit if you’re in the area. Check out the list of different flavored cupcakes they sell (how’s your French!?), my favorite was the Red Velvet, a classic. For those with a sweet tooth, stop by for a cupcake and a coffee on a cold Montreal day… Les Glaceurs can be found at 453 Rue Saint-Sulpice, Montreal QC, H2Y 2VB.
Bagel Etc., St. Laurent
Breakfast and Montreal, a perfect combination. I can’t even tell you the number of restaurants I’ve been to for breakfast in Montreal. Coming from The Netherlands where honestly, the concept of going out for breakfast doesn’t even exist (or barely…) the excitement of going out for a delicious brunch (whether it be eggs & bacon or french toast or pancakes) never fails me. And it seems like there’s always a new place to try out – I really wonder if Montreal has the most breakfast places of any city in North America (I even found a blog called the Montreal Breakfast Review)! Great places in Montreal include Eggspectations (just alright), Le Vieux St. Laurent (you can have a full breakfast for CAD$5 and it’s good too – just make sure you speak French to the waiter, he gets a little frustrated when you don’t, oh Quebec…), L’Avenue (famous for its eggs benedict) and Beautys (one of my favorites, an old Jewish diner with so much character and great food, I definitely recommend the Challah French Toast!) I could go on and on about breakfast/brunch in Montreal, but I’ll finish with Bagel Etc., recognizable by the fuchsia-painted exterior and the eclectic/kitschy mix of Art Deco and 1950s memorabilia inside. They serve brunch and lunch, and their menu appeals to many different tastes and price ranges – the breakfast for CAD$4.99 is definitely a hit! Bagel Etc. can be found at 4320 St. Laurent, Montreal QC, H2W 1Z3.
Rockaberry, St. Denis
Can you think of the last time you went out for a slice of PIE? Yes, that’s right, PIE! Rockaberry is another great Montreal institution (it first opened its doors in 1989 and immediately opened 5 more restaurants in the Montreal-area… Montrealers couldn’t get enough!) I first visited the St. Denis location for my 19th birthday before heading home after my first year of university with a bunch of my girlfriends, and couldn’t get enough of my slice of Oreo cheesecake (here’s a list of all their pies!). This last time I visited, my boyfriend and I split a slice of apple crumble with a side of ice cream… wow it was delicious, absolutely delicious. And the patio on the busy St. Denis sidewalk is definitely a great place to people watch. Find Rockaberry at 4275 St. Denis, Montreal QC, H2J 2K9.
Carlos & Pepe’s, Downtown
Looking for a cheap eat in downtown Montreal? It might be your average (slightly grungy) Mexican place, but Carlos & Pepe’s has great deal nights that keep you coming back for more – $1 tacos on Sunday and Monday nights, really? It’s not great, it’s not REALLY Mexican, but it definitely is a good time, especially with a group of great friends, a few margaritas or a pitcher of beer, and a hockey game playing in the background! Carlos and Pepe’s can be found at 1420 Rue Peel, Montreal QC, H3A 1S8.
Patati Patata, St. Laurent
A small (emphasis on small) little place on St. Laurent, Patati Patata is known for its poutine and customizable burgers. I wouldn’t recommend going during peak hours but when you’re there during off hours, you can find a seat by the window or take your meal to go and sit in the park across the way. A friend of mine recommended the Mediterranean Burger, served with feta and tzatziki, and it was delicious. Very personable, very unique and very “Plateau,” this little place is great if you want a real Montreal experience. Patati Patata can be found at 4177 Boulevard St. Laurent, Montreal QC, H2W 1Y7.
Amelio’s, McGill Ghetto
Last but not least, Amelio’s. Oh Amelio’s, you’ve been the site of so many good evenings – I have amazing memories of evenings spent drinking the cheapest white wine we could find at the Dep(anneur), aka corner store (it’s another bring your own wine), ripping off pieces of your deliciously crunchy garlic bread sprinkled with parmesan cheese, fresh out the oven, devouring your extremely messy but equally delicious slices of cheesy pizza (warning: cheese strings may result, perhaps not your ideal first-date resto)… It’s been a staple for me throughout my years in Montreal, and definitely a McGill Ghetto-experience. Oh Amelio’s, how I’ll miss you! Please visit this amazing pizza joint if you’re in Montreal, I’d love to hear what you think – 201 Rue Milton, Montreal QC, H2X 1V5.
Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list of Montreal restaurants, there are so many more great ones not featured here (other great places that I’ve written about include Cafe Santropol, Restaurant Marche 27 and Juliette et Chocolat, and others worth mentioning include Rotisserie Romados, Anton & James, Cash and Curry and Chez Jose). But I just wanted to give you a flavor of some of my favorite spots, and some of the locations I found during my last visit my Montreal. If you have any questions or want to know more about visiting Montreal, please contact me!