It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve been back to Montreal. 3 long years. Damn, I miss it – that and BIXI. Summer time in Montreal is the best – Just for Laughs, Jazz Festival, Rogers Cup, Osheaga, the festival list goes on and on. My trip wasn’t long enough, yet I was able to squeeze a few favourites in along with a couple new restaurants. Everything was fantastic except for one dud in this list, L’academie, which someone hilariously referred to as l’Apukedemie. Stealing that one!
La Maison du Nord
Ma Pouille Mouillée
Parc Jeanne Mance
Dieu de Ciel
Mangue & Melon
Le Petit Alep
Dépanneur le Pick-Up
Le Vin Papillon
Montreal Jazz Festival
If you ever need any recommendations, please feel to hit me up! E-mail or Instagram. I love helping people out when it comes to Montreal recs, even if I don’t live there anymore.
Bixi. I rave about it all the time still even though I no longer live in Montreal. I can’t believe there’s 460 stations (5,200 bikes) now! Amazing.
Price is still unbelievably cheap ($5.00 for 24 hours, $14.00 for 72 hours, $30.00 for a month, $55.00 for half season and $87.00 for an annual membership).
They even have the option now of doing a one way for $2.95 although I have no idea why you would do that. The season goes from April to November so six months for $87.00 is complete robbery.
Guess which one I bought for my 5 days in Montreal? Yup, month membership for the win! Bonus that I can still use my old school BIXI key (that’s lost half of it’s paint job). Totally worth the $30.00 because I took 25 trips and rode almost 80km (I checked my Bixi stats ’cause I’m a nerd like that). Not too shabby.
It’s by far the best way to explore Montreal. I can’t recommend it enough whether you’re a tourist or local. There’s nothing better than taking a BIXI out to cruise at night with the wind gushing in your face.
La Maison du Nord
La Maison du Nord was the first place I hit up and it was fantastic. My go to spot back in the day for Northern Chinese food. Think this is the first spot that got me hooked!
Still looks as ghetto and shabby from the outside as I remember but they’ve done some upgrades. The menu has pictures and the plates are fancy (for Northern Chinese food). So much style going on, Mon was in plate heaven. Click here for the rest of the menu (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).
Sadly, there were only two of us so we had to settle on three dishes. Would have liked to try their cold noodles along with a couple other tempting dishes. Everything is SO cheap on the menu. Ridiculous.
Spicy noodles (#10) ($6.99)
Spicy noodles with cucumber, beef or pork. The noodles are hand pulled. Long, thin, they seem to go on endlessly. These noodles are seriously legit. Great toothsome bite. You even get a bit of that mouth numbing, tingling sensation. The price is just icing on the cake. So damn cheap and delicious.
Pan fried lamb and green onion dumplings (#18) ($7.99 small)
A small gets you 10 dumplings. You can choose to get them boiled (cheaper – $6.49 for a small), steamed or pan fried. I like them pan fried as it’s the tastiest. Plump, juicy, hot dumpling goodness. The small was more than enough.
Green onion Chinese pancake (#48) ($2.99)
These aren’t your ordinary green onion pancakes. Thick, crispy and delicious. They don’t look like much but we couldn’t stop eating them. Highly addictive. Bonus that they’re not greasy.
Hole in the wall with great food, friendly service and dirt cheap prices. I’ll be back again and again. Northern Chinese showcased at it’s best.
La Maison du Nord
2130 rue St. Mathieu
Chic, trendy spot to meet up with an old friend. The exposed brick on the outside is just plain cool along with the flower/eye logo splattered along the windows.
Love the outdoor sign. “Fun”. Boo yeah.
The inside is gorgeous, calm, warm and inviting. We came on a Sunday for brunch (we made reservations but turned out we didn’t need them). I was happy that it wasn’t insanely busy. There are two horseshoe counters to sit at. Everything is out in the open, including the kitchen. Loved how one of the cooks was repping a Kazu t-shirt.
The menu is a short, one pager. Don’t be afraid to ask for it in English or French, they have both! Waitresses here are incredibly sweet and attentive.
I wanted to try three dishes for the two of us and while she said it was possible, we might die from a food coma. Something along those lines 😉 She was spot on. The portions are extremely generous.
Coconut cake strawberry jam
Our dishes were taking a little longer than normal (we didn’t notice) so the kitchen sent this out for us to eat while we waited. Oh em gee, this was fantastic. Light and airy, all the components paired perfectly.
Banana pancakes ($16.00)
Bacon, dulce de leche butter, walnut and maple syrup. You get three stacks of pancakes. T-H-R-E-E. It was absolutely massive. The walnuts were candied nuts. The pancakes were fantastic, probably the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had. Your palate will be dancing – sweet from the syrup and dulce de leche, salty from the bacon. Yum.
Banh xeo ($19.00)
Nordic shrimps, scrambled eggs, shiitake, mint, cilantro and cashews. Obviously, I had to try their version of banh xeo (Vietnamese crepe). Great twist to a classic dish. We were both completely satisfied.
I’d return in a heartbeat to try their dinner. We left completely stuffed.
4675 boulevard Saint-Laurent
Happened to stumble upon the Mural Festival while I was heading to brunch. It happens every June but I don’t remember paying much attention to it when I was living here. There’s so much cool street art!
This first one reminds of the game NBA Street. Ah, good ‘ol childhood video games.
Hello ladies. This was a small piece but I liked the mix of flowers and art.
More bixis! This reminded me of some wacked out, zombie minion look alikes.
No idea what this was supposed to be. Bizarre.
Another random one. A rooster and ship, what royalty.
Skeletons are always cool. Is this one a preppy one?
Rock, paper, scissors devil versus God? I like it.
This one was absolutely massive. A lot going on in this one.
Spotted a bunch of people walking into a side alley. Welcome to Gators Alley. It smells like piss but totally worth it.
Some evil ducklings. Donald Duck’s evil twin sisters perhaps?
Back onto the main path. Old grandma spray painting.
Buff Monsters. Cute eyeball/ice cream things.
Found these ones in between St. Laurent and St. Dominique. Scary raven.
My attempt at an artsy photo. Not sure what is happening with that parking lot.
Cool to walk around with the streets shut down for pedestrians. Lots of pop up boutiques, food and street art. Just another great Montreal summer festival.
Boulevard St. Laurent was completely shut down for the Mural Festival so while we were wandering up and down the street, I kept an eye out for Sapa, which a local had recommended to me. They weren’t open when we first walked by but we window shopped hard.
Tropical ice cream meaning Asian flavours! How can you say no to that?
Hours are kind of random. Closed Monday but everything else is 1:00pm to 8:00pm. I assume they’ll change this once they sort out the kinks.
Menu. There’s Vietnamese iced coffees you can get with ice cream. Sounds like a magical combo.
Lucky we did recon beforehand because the raspberry lychee wasn’t in the display case when we came back and were trying samples. We asked one of the workers and turns out they were prepping a new batch. After careful deliberation, we settled on two.
Lots of interesting Asian flavours. Pandan, yuzu, corossol and ginger to name a few.
Raspberry lychee and passionfruit ($3.85 double scoop cup)
We shared a double scoop of raspberry lychee and passionfruit. Both were very light, refreshing and full of flavour. Good consistency although it started to melt as we headed towards the metro. My favourite of the two was the raspberry lychee.
Next time I would try their soft serve but this was a great spot to grab a quick cone. Perfect for some dessert if you’re on busy boulevard St. Laurent.
4074 boulevard Saint-Laurent
Ma Pouille Mouillée
I had a difficult time figuring out which Portuguese place to hit up with my limited time in Montreal. Should I go to good ‘ol reliable, favourite Romados or try one of the new players in town? After much debate, I decided to check out Ma Pouille Mouillée as I kept on reading so many great things about them.
Located across the street from La Banquise, the inside is actually quite spacious. Several tables to sit at but be like everyone else and take it to Parc Lafontaine for an impromptu picnic.
Hours are bomb. Everyday open early and late till 10:00pm!
Menu is up on the wall. The prices already includes all the taxes!
Look at all those chickens being grilled. A work of art.
Stand in line and order. It’s just like an assembly line. As you make your way down, the till is at the end where you can grab drinks and desserts.
Le Louis Cyr (#2) ($11.00)
Half a chicken with fries and salad. The portion size is huge! A mountainous amount of fries and chicken. I should mention that I attempted to eat all this by myself – don’t try this at home folks.
Slather on the spicy sauce. Chicken was flavourful, tender and moist for the most part but a couple pieces of white meat were dry.
The salad was great and the vinaigrette was addictively delicious.
Here’s the full spread. Can you get a better deal? All in, this meal cost $12.50 and could have easily fed three people.
Loving the logo. This was around the back where there’s a small picnic table to sit at. Make sure you go to at least one of the many, many Portuguese places while you’re in town.
Ma Pouille Mouillée
969 rue Rachel Est
Parc Jeanne Mance
Love Parc Jeanne Mance. It’s the best spot to play some pick up beach volleyball. There’s seven courts to play on and membership is only $10.00 for the whole summer.
Courts are open everyday from 12:00pm to 9:00pm. Honestly, so much fun. I like how there’s a mix of levels and skill. Lots of 2’s being played on the lower courts.
Sunday’s at Tam Tams is a given. If you’re here in the summer, it’s always a blast.
Two drum circles for your free entertaining pleasure. On a side note, that pink inflatable chair looks comfy.
This was the second drum circle, a little smaller but just as feisty and frantic. I was also watching two guys have the most intense hacky sack session.
I ventured up (north) through the woods and walked through people doing yoga, acro yoga, slack lining, throwing frisbees, etc. Just lots of chilling, picnicking and hanging out with good food and drinks.
I even found my way to the elusive/exclusive medieval sword fighting battle grounds. All I can say is you can’t help but stare. Grown adults and kids combine to battle (ie. play fight) with full on gear and costumes.
Statue Sir George-Étienne Cartier Monument (Parc du Mont Royal)
Dieu de Ciel
Dieu de Ciel is a microbrewery staple in Montreal. If you’re a beer geek or just like to drink, this is a perfect spot to will away an afternoon or evening.
I’m not sure how I’ve never noticed how sweet Dieu de Ciel’s terrace is. I’ve never sat outside before. Well, this time, Cbear and I were able to snag the last empty spot to enjoy the sunshine and chill Sunday vibes.
Love how the menu is outside on full display. So Montrealish.
If you look at the bottom of the menu, you’ll see they have flight options (trios de degustation). There’s two options but those are just samples – you can mix and match to your hearts content.
If you like craft beer, DDC is a no brainer.
Dieu de Ciel
29 avenue Laurier Ouest
Cadet was one of the new places on my list to try. Bouillon Bilk, their sister restaurant, is unbelievably good so I was hoping for more of the same with their new spot.
We made a reservation for two but turns out we didn’t need it. When we arrived on an early Sunday evening, we were one of the first people there. Cbear was super worried that we would be under dressed (considering how fancy Bouillon Bilk is) but Cadet seems to have a much more relaxed vibe to it. Not to say it isn’t gorgeous, it is, it’s just more chill. Think casual chic.
Our waitress was great and service was excellent. We sat by the window to people watch the night away. Man, Montreal has some interesting characters, especially in this neck of the woods.
Menu – clean, simple, just like the restaurant itself. We were told that the menu starts on the lighter side of things and gradually moves to heavier, stronger tasting dishes. Click here and here if you want a closer look.
It’s all about small plates here. Our waitress recommended that each person order 2-3 plates. The way they brought out the dishes was well paced and thoughtful. Hope you like sharing because this is what differentiates them from BB.
Scallop ceviche ($18.00)
With cherry pepper and cucumbers. Holy crap, this was fantastic. The presentation is breathtaking – it comes out on massive shell and underneath, there’s about 6 pieces of fresh, succulent scallops.
Came with a side of taro chips. Perfect vehicle to make mini scallop chip bites.
Interesting to see dumplings on the menu. Very Asian influenced. Shrimp on top and pork dumplings underneath. Not quite sure what they’re trying to do with the pairing – the shrimp had a creamy sauce while the dumplings had a sweet soy based sauce. Eaten separately, it was fine.
I’ve never had a real Whippet before (sorry, my childhood lacked in the junk food category) so I can’t compare it to the OG. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a fan of the ouppet but it grew on me. These are made in house. Marshmallow on the inside and chocolate outside. Probably worth a try for nostalgic sake.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal. When we went (back in June), they had just opened so I’m sure they’ve fine tuned and tightened up the menu since then.
1431 boulevard Saint-Laurent
Do I need to say anything about Le Sainte-Elisabeth other than it’s one of my favourite terraces in the city?
Walk through the bar to the back and you’re transported into another world.
We came here after dinner for a couple of drinks (and shots – not my idea!). This place has it all – charming, great atmosphere and friendly bilingual staff.
This is what I would call my happy place.
Always busy every time I go. Tons of people out enjoying a perfect Sunday evening.
Gorgeous weather, good conversation and great ambiance, St-Elisabeth can’t be beat.
1412 rue Sainte-Elisabeth
Even though I’ve been gone the past few years, Kazu has stayed the same. Still busy with people queuing up in line, no matter what time of day. Still consistent and delicious. We came for lunch and were running a bit behind schedule (meaning we didn’t arrive till a few minutes past noon). Already knew we would have to wait but it wasn’t too bad! Around 20 to 25 minutes.
Hours. Note that they’re closed Tuesday. I’ve never seen this place not busy.
Cash or debit only. Don’t forget. I wouldn’t want to be sitting at the table by the window. People constantly peering at you and giving you “hurry up” stares.
Lunch menu. Even though there’s only 8 main options, it’s still so difficult to decide.
Couple appetizers and homemade soft serve ice cream. I won’t spoil it but GET THE ICE CREAM. Oops.
I didn’t realize but the hand written, yellow sticky notes are for dinner only. That grilled lamb sounds bomb.
Fresh oysters? Dammmmmn, so tempting.
Grilled octopus leg? Scallop sashimi? Is there anything Kazu doesn’t do? *Drool*
We got extremely lucky and even though we were a party of five, they squeezed us into the bar. Love watching the chefs work their magic. Insane how fast and efficient they are in such a cramped space.
If you’ve never been inside, it is tighttttttt. There’s only four pint sized tables and the bar.
48 hour pork bowl ($12.00)
Rice topped with sliced pork simmered in a soy sauce based sweet sauce. That pink stuff is pickled ginger on top. Pork is sliced thinly, well marinated and tasty. Over a bed of rice is perfect.
The galbi was well seasoned, tender and had a great sweet sticky sauce. Interesting that they have this Korean inspired dish on their menu. I’ve seen that they even do a bibimbaap dish.
Another view of the galbi. Sometimes simple is best.
Wasabi homemade soft serve ice cream ($5.00)
This was one of the BEST soft serve ice cream’s I think I’ve tasted in my life. The wasabi powder/flavour wasn’t very prominent but the texture of their soft serve was perfect. Seriously, this was memorable. If you like home churned soft serve, it’s a must order. Perfect amount to share although I ended up getting to eat most of it! 😀
1862 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Man, I miss JTM. This is one of the largest outdoor public markets in North America and it has everything – fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, flowers, specialty shops and more. The best time to come is during the summer when it’s bustling with vendors.
Bright, gorgeous, colourful. This is quintessential Montreal summer in a nutshell.
Love how the vendors always have samples for you to try.
Excellent spot to stock your pantry/fridge/kitchen. Always worth a visit in my books.
7070 avenue Henri-Julien
Mangue & Melon
It was a scorching hot day and I had accidentally taken my dad on a long ass roundabout way to walk to Jean Talon Market. Oops. We spotted Mangue & Melon and decided to share a drink.
Smoothie options are fruit, vegetables and citrus. Three cup sizes to choose from.
Explosion ($6.00 medium)
Mango, peach, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and apple. That’s a lot of different fruit types. We shared a medium and it hit the spot for both of us. A bit pricey for my blood but perfect on a hot summer day.
Mangue & Melon
7070 avenue Henri-Julien
Oh my god, the last time I was at Guillaume, they were located in tiny cramped up digs. No longer! I had a bit of time to kill before I met up with a few friends for dinner so I decided to stop in and check them out.
The space is awesome with a wide open air front beckoning you in. While I was there, it was a constant stream of people coming in and out to grab a few things. Steady and continuous – people appreciate quality local, homemade bread here.
The variety of bread and pastries is astounding. I wanted to try everything but it was just me so I settled on two things.
What I really liked about Guillaume is that they actually have a couple spots inside to sit at! Pretty rare for a boulangerie to have that. There’s also a couple of benches conveniently situated outside if you’d rather people watch.
Navette betterave/sumac ($1.50)
Beet and sumac bread. I’ve never seen this before but the colour is gorgeous. I saved this for a midnight snack later that evening and it was good. Really liked the chewy, airy texture although the beet and sumac flavour was pretty subtle.
This is one of those spots where you want to try everything behind the counter. Jealous of those that live nearby and can pop in whenever to pick up bread. This would be my go to spot!
5132 boulevard Saint-Laurent
We decided to check out Larry’s for a quick drink before our dinner at Hôtel-Herman. I’ve never been to Lawrence or Sparrow (their sister restaurants) but Larry’s had a very cool, chic look to it.
The plan was to grab a drink but we were told by the staff that they don’t have a full bar license here. Meaning if you want to drink, you have to order two dishes each or if you’re a couple, three. Never heard of that requirement before – I can understand having to order one dish but having to order more than that? No thanks. We skipped on both those options and ended up sharing a beef tartare.
A peek into their open kitchen. Two chefs were hard at work when we arrived.
We sat at the bar. I’ve never been to a place in Montreal where it was so Anglophone. Interesting/different vibe here…
They had a tray of pickled goods. Those pickles look scrumptious.
Menu is a simple one pager with no descriptions. Very hipster.
They do have some interesting things on the menu. Would have loved to try the escabeche, brook trout and ox tongue.
Beef tartare ($14.00 large)
The tartare was really nice with a raw egg yolk on top. Wish they weren’t so stingy with the bread portions. Why do all restaurants seem to do that??? Besides that, the beef was nicely seasoned and fresh. A bit overpriced for the portion size but that seems to be the trend here.
I wasn’t thrilled with their drinking policy. Maybe put up a sign to inform customers about that? Can’t be that difficult right?
9 avenue Fairmount Est
Hôtel-Herman has been on my list of resto’s to try for the longest time. I finally decided to bite the bullet and make it happen on a Monday night with Mon and her bf. It blends in with its surroundings – kind of discrete and hidden but it’s far from it with a steady reputation (#40 on Canada’s 2016 100 Best List).
The horseshoe shaped bar that takes up most of the restaurant is stunning. Very modern and sleek interior. Cool that they have a turntable near the front. So hipster.
The dinner menu reminded me a lot like the one at Cadet.
Simplistic front and simple, short descriptions.
The food here is all about small plates. Creative, sophisticated brilliance.
The bread is made on site (which I’m a bit surprised at given Guillaume is across the street from them) but that shows the extra effort they put into the food. Nice crusty exterior, soft airy inside.
Great spot to enjoy a couple small plates and drinks. Love the cool vibe, modern space and unique flavours.
5171 boulevard Saint-Laurent
Le Petit Alep
Le Petit Alep is another restaurant that I’ve known about for ages but for some reason, I’ve never been. They’re sister restaurant to next door neighbour Restaurant Alep but at a much more reachable price point. After trying to eat first at Trilogie but failing (they were randomly closed for a three day family vacation), we were trying to think of somewhere nearby to salvage our Tuesday lunch plans. LPA to the rescue.
Hours are great. Closed Sunday and Monday but every other day is 11:00am-11:00pm. A perfect spot to drop by before or after some JTM shopping.
The inside is very eclectic. Love the use of bright colours and dark wood here. The place was packed for a Tuesday afternoon. Everyone was outside sitting on the terrace and basking in the sun. We got the next best thing – a table within reach of the terrace so we could at least feel the breeze.
If you’ve never been to Le Petit Alep, it’s a mixture of Syrian and Armenian cuisine.
Closeup of the sandwich and plates options.
So much selection: soups, mezza, cheese plates, salads, grilled pitas and extras.
On the back, desserts and your choice of juices, coffes and teas. I had to leave early but the fam jam got to try dessert!
Love how they have the mini option available for all their mezzas. Perfect way to sample and share.
Fattouche ($12.00 large)
Romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled pita and garlic. This was light, refreshing and citrusy. Honestly, I feel like I’m eating so healthy every time we order fattouche. Great crunch from the grilled pita.
Aleppo sausages platter ($12.75)
Beef sausages with pine nuts. The sausage was a bit on the chewier side but grab two pieces of the pita and make it into a make do sandwich. The accompanying side salad is pretty plain. We added the leftovers to the fattouche.
Happy I finally was able to try Le Petit Alep. If you’re looking for somewhere light and healthy to eat, this is it.
Le Petit Alep
191 rue Jean Talon Est
Took a slight detour while Bixing and stopped at one of my favourite spots. Stade Uniprix where the Rogers Cup tennis tournament takes place every August.
This is the smaller side stadium (Court 1). Saw Stanimal play doubles here once.
Didn’t realize that you can play on the practice courts. It looked like you could just walk in and play but don’t quote me on that.
285 Rue Gary-Carter
Dépanneur le Pick-Up
I randomly bixied by Dépanneur le Pick-Up when I was cruising around the area but for some reason didn’t stop to check it out. Lucky, I was back in the Mile Ex area a few days later and stopped this time to check it out. It’s location is somewhat hidden in a quiet residential area.
Hours are decent. Weekdays are 7:00am – 7:00pm and Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm.
Nothing like grafitti on your sign to give it a cool grunge look. Candice wuz heЯe.
Love the old school diner menu. It’s almost a throwback to back in the day diner prices.
Couple drink options. Cool that there’s also a little grocery market inside.
These pastries looked pretty decadent. Especially that lemon square.
Matching diner booths and decor to solidify the old school look.
Ventured outside while I waited for my grilled sandwich to be made.
Love how there’s two-seaters to sit at right along the sidewalk. Only in Montreal.
This sign basically says order inside if you want to eat outside.
Really like the cute tables setup outside.
A bro chilling on the picnic tables. Look, Bixi stations right beside le Pick-Up!
Cute number sign that goes with your order.
Haloum grillé ($8.00)
Grilled haloumi with mint coleslaw. Everything is made to order here and you can tell. The sandwich was bomb. Best vegetarian sandwich I’ve had. Bread was grilled perfect; crispy, golden, buttery goodness.
A huge slab of haloumi cheese awaits inside. The texture of haloumi is satisfying and grilling it made it even more so. The inside is packed with ingredients; red and white cabbage, carrots, onion but the game changer here was the mint. Gave it such a refreshingly cool after taste.
This is the spot if you want a cheap, delicious made to order grilled sandwich. A depanneur and diner all in one combo.
Dépanneur le Pick-Up
7032 Rue Waverly
Had to go head back to my favourite ice cream spot in the city. This is always on my list whenever I visit Montreal and for good reason.
Managed to drop by the first time unsuccessfully as they’re closed Monday’s. Every other day is 12:00pm – 7:00pm/8:00pm. Cash only!
My second visit was more successful (obviously). I tried their soft serve, which I’ve never had before. What! There’s a reason why there’s always a lineup here although I got lucky and barely had to wait to get my cone.
So many delicious, tempting flavours to try.
Wish their prices included the taxes but they don’t – soft serve is $4.57 and a cone is $0.65. Weird that they also charge you for a mini cups.
Oh man, so many unique flavours to choose from. Flavours are always rotating so get ’em while you can.
This is just making me wish I had a pint right now. Nothing else compares in town.
72% Dark chocolate and raspberry soft serve ($6.00)
Homemade soft serve ice cream, need I say more? Incredible. Words don’t do it justice. I’m not even a huge chocolate lover but this was a perfect combo. Soft, smooth perfection.
My only regret is not being able to go more than once. Kem Coba continues to amaze and I’ll be back next visit to get my ice cream fix.
60 avenue Fairmount Ouest
Sumac is one of the newer Middle Eastern restaurants in town. Completely different than La Petit Alep. Yes, I went to both in the same day. No, it wasn’t intentional.
Located in the up and coming St. Henri neighbourhood, I did a little walk around the ‘hood while I waited for Cbear to get off work. Holy crap, this area is trendy.
The inside is bumping. I shouldn’t even be surprised but for a Tuesday evening, it was insane. Loud, bustling, it’s definitely one the new “it” places. The line makes zero sense and trying to scrounge a table wasn’t easy. There’s one long communal table smack in the middle of things.
A variety of drinks to please everyone. Beers on tap along with cocktails and wine.
The menu is plastered onto some wooden planks along one of the walls.
Closeup of the top half: salads, hummus & baba and extras.
The bottom half: pitas, plates and family style plates. Love the sharing aspect here.
Falafel plate ($14.00)
Served with grilled pita, hummus, tahini, pickled turnip and a choice of two salads. The charred pita was pillowy goodness with a sprinkling of za’atar spice over top. We opted for the quinoa (kale, almonds, barberries, golden raisins and green onion) and salade cuite (slow cooked tomatoes and roasted sweet peppers). Both were absolutely delicious! Think they stole the spotlight from the falafels themselves, which were dry and unimpressive. I don’t think we even finished the falafels. Yikes.
Side of chicken shawarma ($6.00)
We were taking forever to decide what to get so the worker manning the till helped us out. We were originally going to get a plate of chicken shawarma ($16.00) but she told us that we would get the same amount of meat if we were to just do it as a side. Okay! Thanks for the sweet tip.
The chicken itself was tasty but some pieces felt like it had been sitting around for awhile. They must cook it beforehand or something.
We rolled out of Sumac stuffed. Lucky, we only ordered one full plate otherwise we would have had leftovers for days. Sumac is cool, hip and different from your typical Middle Easter/Lebanese joint.
3618 rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Le Vin Papillon
Our last spot to check out for the night. Even though we were stuffed from dinner, we decided to walk over to Le Vin Papillon to grab a drink. This is the third restaurant of the Joe Beef empire (their other spot is Liverpool House) and they’re thriving on all fronts. Love the outside decor.
The moment you walk in, you’re greeted to the loveliest meat slicer. The inside is warm, inviting and ambient. There’s no other way to put it but cozy and intimate.
Took a peek at their backyard terrace. Gorgeous and packed to the brim. It was a perfect night to sit outside and enjoy. Those Christmas-esque lights are adorable.
No real menus here. Everything is handwritten on their massive chalkboards.
Same thing for their drinks menu. Wine, beers and ciders.
LVP only has a partial license so you have to order at least one plate (but only one) if you’re drinking. There was only spots at the bar so we snagged the last two chairs.
Chocolate tartin ($12.00)
Our dessert that we “shared” but more like I ate it because Cbear couldn’t fathom eating anymore. The chocolate tartin was palatable. Hard and crusty on the bottom, lighter on top with fresh strawberries and raspberries.
Cool spot to grab a drink before or after dinner. Our neighbours were drinking here before their lateeee dinner reservations at Joe Beef. I’ll have to check out their backyard terrace next time.
Le Vin Papillon
2519 rue Notre-Dame Ouest
No visit to Montreal is complete without a stop at my favourite bagel place. St-Viateur Bagel might very well be my favourite spot in the city. Those sesame bagels are like craaaaaaaack.
Tons of bagels to choose from but the only one I want and get are the sesame bagels. Man, when we went on a Sunday afternoon, the place was insane! Full of tourists. Must have been some kind of bus tour. I’ve never seen it so busy in all my visits. That still didn’t deter me from going in.
Bagels on bagels on bagels.
Fresh bagels made from scratch. Yes, hand rolled. No wonder they taste so good.
Sesame bagels ($8.40 dozen)
Five dozen to bring back home. This is just part of them. That sweet, dough texture, there’s really nothing else like it. Eating one fresh out of the oven is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
It’s a must every time I go. Open 24/7, you don’t really have an excuse not to.
263 Rue St-Viateur Ouest
Can you believe L’académie has an astounding 9 locations in Montreal and the surrounding area? That blows my mind. I’ve only ever been to the one on Crescent so this was a first trying their St. Denis location.
Went with the fam jam as I would never have picked this myself. Honestly, I didn’t even realize we had stepped foot into L’académie until it was too late. At least it’s BYOB so grab a bottle of wine from the SAQ across the street and enjoy the nice breeze coming through the sliding windows.
Board outside displaying their daily specials.
Front part of the menu is starters and pasta. At least the pastas are cheap here ($12.95) from Sunday to Wednesday evenings and lunch time everyday. Gotta get people in somehow right?
There’s also mussels & fries, poutines and chicken. Mussels and fries are on special for $13.95.
Table d’hote if you want a starter (soup or salad) and drink (tea or coffee).
Back part is broken into veal, land, sea and desserts.
Lastly, a separate dessert menu in case their massive portions weren’t enough for you.
Deinhard – my uncle grabbed this from the SAQ and it was really delicious. Light, crisp white wine that didn’t break the bank. That’s a win in my books.
Tortellini rose ($12.95)
Stuffed with veal. This was my dish and it was okay. Honestly, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. Pasta wasn’t al dente, sauce was pretty basic and the veal inside was meh. Mushy, flavourless meat.
Provencal mussels and fries ($13.95)
White wine, garlic, tomatoes and onions. Think this was the best dish out of the bunch. The white wine mussel broth was tasty and you could actually taste real bits of garlic in it. The portion size was actually worthy.
Veal scallopini with wild mushrooms ($16.00 table d’hote)
Sundried tomato and goat cheese. My aunt decided to go with their veal scallopini. It was a bit too dry for my taste buds even with the sauce drenched all over it.
Let’s just say this was my only dud during my trip of amazing eats in town. I’d only come here if you want to take advantage of the BYOB but why would you do that when there’s so many other BYOB’s in town with amazing food?
4051 rue Saint-Denis
Montreal Jazz Festival
I didn’t even realize that our layover back in Montreal meant we would be back in time for Montreal Jazz Fest! Winning.
The TD main stage. They had the fountains up and running so kids were sprinting all over the place. So much random stuff was going on; clowns on mini tricycles, acrobats on massive stilts, etc. So your typical Montreal festival. 🙂
Rio Tinto side stage. We caught the tail end of one of the many free performances.
Another side stage sponsored by Heineken. So many sponsors everywhere.
A cool jazz quartet was doing their thing. I was happy to walk around and enjoy the crowds, sunshine and jazzy vibe.
Can you believe I’ve never stepped foot into Atwater Market? Well, nestled away in one of the stalls is a super popular Indonesian/Malaysian/Singaporean spot, Satay Brothers. They’ve become so popular that they have an actual restaurant in St. Henri (about a 5 minute walk away) that’s open for dinner when the market shuts down.
Hours coincide with the market although they’re closed Monday and Tuesday.
First time I came, they were closed but that just meant I could take pictures in peace.
Drink menu. Interesting that you can order pitchers. Perfect for summer drinking.
Even though they have a paper menu, the board menu reflects actual prices.
I took some pictures of the menu which shows what some of the dishes look like.
They had these signs out on the ground displaying a few of their specials.
The stall is very laid back and the guys working there are very cool. We sat at the two counter seats on the side and got to chat with some of the workers, which was pretty entertaining. Even when they were shutting things down to move to the restaurant, they didn’t rush us. Heck, they gave us some chicken satay skewers on the house.
A little grill action.
Kuih seri muka (kueh salat). Never had this sweet cake before but it looked good. It’s made up of glutinous sticky rice, pandan, coconut milk, eggs and sugar.
Calamansi lemonade ($3.50)
I’ve never had calamansi before in a drink so we decided to give it a shot. Apparently, calamansi is very popular in Filipino cooking. It added a nice tartness to the sweet lemonade. Light and refreshing, especially on such a hot day.
The green papaya was refreshingly light, crunchy (from the peanuts) and had a nice acidity. A little pricey for the portion but it hit the spot.
Laksa lemak ($11.50)
I’ve been lucky to have experienced some truly amazing laska’s in my lifetime so far so I know a good one when I eat it. SB’s laksa looks great but it’s broth is lacking in the depth and complexity department. It almost tasted watered down.
Not sure if this was because it was near the end of their shift but it needed more creamy, fragrant, spiciness to it. Passable but that’s about it.
Chicken satay skewers
As I said above, we were given these skewers on the house (normally they’re $8.00 for three). The peanut sauce could have used some heat but it was nice and chunky. The skewers were tender, juicy and nicely grilled but I was left wanting more from the glaze slathered on top.
I can’t really think of any other places in town that specialize in south-east Asian cuisine so you’ll have to make due with Satay Brothers to get your fix. Not a bad way to end my trip!
138 avenue Atwater
That’s it! Yeezus, that trip report took waaaaaaaaaaaay too long to write up. I’ll have to somehow wrangle it so that I’m back in Montreal for an extended period of time. SO many/too many good eats and not enough time. Osheaga, I’m coming for you next trip!