Montreal, is a very, very fine food city, so (to borrow a phrase from one of my traveling companions) there is no need to waste a meal on a substandard chain restaurant, or somewhere that won’t surprise or delight. I’m happy to admit that a lot of my recent trip to Montreal was spent eating, or in recovery from eating, and I don’t regret a single minute of it. Eating well is living well and the living in Montreal is very good indeed.
Breakfast and brunch
Beautys: 93 avenue du Mont-Royal Ouest
My love for Beautys is deep and abiding. So much so I went twice on this trip. And ordered the same thing twice: the Nova Omelette. It’s beauty is its simplicity: smoked salmon, green peppers & onion + potatoes + bagel.
Restaurant L’Avenue: 922 avenue de Mont-Royal Est
L’Avenue du Plateau is funky and popular. It’s breakfast and brunch offerings are widely applauded online and by my stomach. Oh, mama, how well we ate there. The extensive menu covers a range of modern twists on Quebec classic, Tex-Mex, and just about everything else in between. It starts with a refreshing glass of watermelon-infused water and gets better from there. The maple syrup flows freely (as it should in a free and just society), and my portion went to good use on my eggs Benedict Sucré Salée Croustillant.
Eggspectation: multiple locations
We visited the Eggspectation on rue de Maisonneuve O, part of a predominantly-Quebec based chain of breakfast restaurants with an impressive selection of egg dishes and other breakfast foods. They’re famous for the Lyonnaise-style potatoes. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but they are a delicious accompaniment for my special of the day spinach and bacon eggs Benedict.
Café Névé: multiple locations
After settling on a location for our stay, I entered the address and “coffee” into Google Maps. Café Névé popped up in the search results and looked both conveniently located and delicious. And how. The location at 151 rue Rachel E was the handiest to our flat and provided delicious coffee and chocolatines when we needed them most: first thing in the morning. An added surprise was that Café Névé served fine local coffees from Anchored Coffee in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, just across the harbour from where I live in Halifax.
Bagels: multiple locations
Bagels get their own meal, because, in Montreal, bagels are 24-hour a day food. And, oh, the bagels I ate. Hot and fresh from the oven, pretty much every time I walked by. Keeping true to my very own Montreal bagel tour from 2013, I visited Fairmount Bagel (74 avenue Fairmount Ouest) and St-Viateur Bagel (multiple locations, I went to their flagship location at 263 rue Saint Viateur Ouest).
Cronettos at La Cornetteria: 6528 boulevard Saint-Laurent
I’ve already talked a lot about how much I love cronettos from La Cornetteria. And I still love them a lot. Originally billed as the local version of the cronut back in 2013, I think cronettos have earned their own place as an example of pastry excellence. A visit to La Cornetteria is a great part of any trip through Montreal’s bustling Little Italy neighbourhood, and a cronetto is a fresh, sweet treat without the early morning cronut lineups.
Marché Jean-Talon: 7070 avenue Henri-Julien
Fresh strawberries! Pretty much any time of year is a good time to visit Marché Jean-Talon for fresh produce and products from local growers. Luckily for me, it was strawberry season in Quebec.
Arepera: 4050 rue du Bullion
I love most Latin and South American cuisines I’ve encountered and there just isn’t much of it in my corner of the world. When I happened upon a small corner restaurant advertising “tradition vénézuélienne,” my search for lunch was over. The menu at Arepera is a simple selection of delicious Venezuelan arepas, explained in both French and English. I went with La Sifrina, which was a flavourful chicken in avocado sauce with cheese. I also got two side sauces to amp up the flavour (more avocado sauce) and heat (a picante tomato-y sauce). Delicious! More arepas next time!
Rotisserie Romados: 115 rue Rachel Est
Okay, this one wasn’t my lunch, but one my friends had been on the lookout for some Portuguese chicken and enjoyed it so much, I had to include it. Romados is frequently called “the best chicken in Montreal,” so if you’re in the Little Portugual area of Le Plateau, and we were, make room in your stomach for some chicken. The menu is simple: roasted chicken and fries. Go hungry.
Nudo for Noodles: 1055 boulevard Saint-Laurent
The bus from the airport dropped us off in Chinatown, so it was a great opportunity to dive right into our recommended dining list with Nudo, a simple noodle shop in the basement of a building under another restaurant. The pitch: the noodles are made fresh right in front of you, the food is delivered quickly and the tvs run music videos to entertain you with K-pop and other performers from the Asia-Pacific region. I had the dry noodles with barbecue pork and they were thoroughly enjoyable. So much so, I went back two more times for the same dish. So, so, so good. There are lots of noodle shops in Montreal’s compact Chinatown, but this one has made a friend for life.
Dirty Dogs: 25 avenue du Mont-Royal Est
Sometimes, you just want a decadent gourmet hotdog. Luckily, those could be found almost directly across the street from our flat at Dirty Dogs. There are lots of delicious offerings, I went with the So-Cal, which included salsa. At that point in the weekend, it counted as a vegetable!
La Banquise: 994 rue Rachel Est
Technically, this was my dinner, but it followed an afternoon of day drinking. So, close enough. La Banquise is among the more famous poutine stops in Montreal, where a line can be found most hours of the day. Payment is cash only (and debit, if you’re Canadian), so forewarned is forearmed. I went with Le Dan-Dan: pepperoni, bacon and onions. All of which sounded like great ideas at the time and were terrific fuel for the power nap that followed when I got back to my flat.
Home for a rest
After five days, I rolled myself through the airport, with a bag of still-warm bagels in my purse. True story.
Where are your favourite food stops in Montreal? Where should I go next time? Fire away in the comments or tweet me at @bitesizedtravel!