I just got back from several days in Montreal and, boy, am I full.
Eating is pretty much what Montreal is about, in my view. It’s a great multi-ethnic restaurant town, and the long, cool summer evenings are ideal for dining al fresco at restaurants that spill out into lively sidewalk cafes.
Here are some highly subjective recommendations based on many visits over many years:
Le Flambard, northeast of downtown at 851 rue Rachel est, is so French that it took some doing to dredge up an English menu on our last visit. It’s a neighborhood place, not on the tourist radar, and the food is excellent. This is where we celebrated the kid’s graduation from McGill University, our most recent anniversary and then pretty much anything else we could justify celebrating.
The table d’hote menu with soup, appetizer, dessert and coffee ranges from $28 to $35CA. I recommend everything, especially the sublime creme brulee, which will add $2 to the cost of the table d’hote. Pay it. There’s no liquor license, so bring your own wine or beer. Oh, and you will need a reservation.
Le Taj is a sophisticated Indian restaurant, downtown at Sherbrooke and Stanley. The lunch buffet is an excellent value at $13CA, and the dinner menu is broad and well-executed. The decor is upscale, the service is (usually) attentive and the cross-legged drummer in one corner adds some mellow atmosphere. A reservation is advisable for dinner.
Chez Cora is a chain found all across Canada that serves high-quality breakfast and brunch dishes. Our favorite, at 3465 Avenue du Parc, is open daily until 3 p.m. Hot crepes, creative omelettes and heaps of fresh fruit make a hearty meal, whenever you get to it. For us, every trip to Montreal must include at least one visit. Beware: late mornings on weekends can get very crowded.
Also worth a mention:
– The Pizzedelic chain serves a wide variety of gourmet, thin-crust pizzas. The one at 39 Notre-Dame Ouest in Old Montreal is particularly charming. It has a pretty nice wine list for a pizza place.
– Gandhi at 230 rue Saint-Paul ouest in Old Montreal is another great Indian restaurant, with formal service and an excellent menu.
– Café Cherrier, 3635 rue St-Denis, at Cherrier, is a very pleasant bistro near Square St.-Louis with al fresco dining in season.
– Marché Atwater, 138 Atwater Avenue, south of Notre-Dame, is a gourmet market with gorgeous displays of fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, cheeses and more. The Boulangerie Première Moisson sells excellent sandwiches and pastries. We usually stop by for lunch on our way out of town.