Montreal: Where We Ate & Drank
Sometimes the biggest challenge when traveling can be finding decent restaurants/bars, especially if it’s somewhere you’ve never been. Yeah, Yelp is cool but I don’t always trust it (it’s a story that my girls now know). That being said we had amazing luck on our girls trip! Here’s a rundown of everywhere we ate and drank in Montreal. We were fortunate to stumble across several places that happened to be gems. Also I have to give credit where it’s due – we were lucky that we had a local pal give some off the charts recommendations (like Le Darling) so THANKS DUDE!
1211 Rue Bishop
This is a chain (I know, I know) out of Tokyo but also a guilty pleasure favorite of mine. I just ate there in Tokyo this spring so I really, really wanted to grab some veggie ramen and beers. The menu is pretty straight forward, with pork, chicken or veggie ramen and standard apps (edamame, gyoza, etc.). Sapporo was the obvious beer choice and overall it was relatively cheap and had outdoor seating.
Rue Saint Vincent
If you’re lucky enough to both find this place and be able to get in you should try it! We were there late night on a Thursday and, while it was pretty crowded, it was quiet enough to have a conversation and enjoy the drinks. The drink list is constantly changing but ask your server if you need a recommendation – ours was super helpful and had some excellent suggestions.
This place is half counter restaurant and half corner store (and reminds me of a place in Providence that I used to live around the corner from so I had to shelve my hipster nostalgia). They had some breakfast sandwich offerings along with burgers (meat & veggie), sandwiches and pulled pork (again, meat and faux pork). There were a bunch of tables outside and some seating inside, the food was no frills but yummy and was served quickly.
16 Rue Maguire
Craving pizza? Check out Magpie! We went to the Village location, however our server told us they were closing at the end of the month *sad face* but would still have their Mile End location. I loved how accommodating they were for me, making me a vegan pizza with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and dill (interesting combo but really good!). The other ladies also had a pizza (with legit cheese) and a salad and everyone was pretty happy. Pizza and beer is always a good call.
404 St Sulpice St
Totally stumbled on this one by accident. They were playing Destiny’s Child while we were walking around looking for a bar so we went downstairs. It was cozy, mish-mashed and slightly loud but we were pretty happy with our corner table. Try the Mai Tai! Seriously, it was incredible. We also got some French fries (yuuuum) to go with the drinks.
630 Rue Cathcart
Just up the hill from our hotel, Gokudo looks like a tiny Japanese restaurant until you’re led behind the curtains. I loved how dark it was and their drink list was pretty interesting. We also got a really good glass of Japanese whiskey – I was impressed with their list of offerings, even if they were out of Nikka at the time.
4581 Park Ave
Want a vegetarian (or vegan) brunch? We basically stumbled on this spot when we got to Mile End but it was a wonderful surprise! I really liked the creativity in some of the vegan offerings (sunflower seed “cheese” and black bean based gravy were both interesting and tasty) and the sangria was delicious. The rest of the gang was pretty happy, too, especially because they serve actual cheese. The outdoor seating was a plus.
4328 St Laurent Blvd
Please, please eat here. If you only eat at one restaurant in Montreal make it this one! It was unanimous love from the gang and for good reason. The inside of this place is eclectic, charming and really pretty. The menu is best shared by ordering lots of small dishes and the cider sangria (what?!) was perfect. We split just about every veggie dish on the menu and some of the squad got some pate as well. Everything was superb and the atmosphere was perfect.
106 Saint-Paul St W
I found this rooftop bar on a list of “top rooftop bars in Montreal” from a website that shall remain unnamed at this time. Can I be honest? It wasn’t what we thought it would be. They don’t take reservations for the evenings, which makes sense….but also means you can end up waiting a long time. We showed up, went to the 5th floor and were greeted by a line of people in front of us, winding up the stairs to the terrace and backed by a security guard (the entrance to the bar is on a floor that has actual guest rooms – we even saw an unfortunate couple who’s room was at the bottom of the stairs where everyone was waiting). Worst part of the wait? The whole hallway smelled like vomit. Seriously. At 6pm on a Saturday. Anyways, we got a table after about 40 minutes and a mix up but we were lucky enough to get a table on the perimeter. Our drinks were quite good and we were able to catch the sunset as a bonus. When it came time to order food we were told that they pre-make everything so substitutions or changes to menu items can’t be accommodated………ugh. To me this meant that I couldn’t eat anything they had and was also a pretty clear sign that they are slightly more interested in rotating guests out ASAP, at least on the weekends. Long story short, if you’re able to snag a perimeter table it’s worth a drink or two (provided you’re not directly across from the entrance stairs, like we were – catching death glares from people waiting) but skip the food.
464 McGill St
The final accidental discovery of our trip! We wanted an easy brunch before we checked out on our last day and I happened to find this spot. It’s all plant based (yayyyyy for me!) but despite that I think everyone enjoyed their food. Just a tip: the hashbrown is actually a serving of multiple hashbrowns that can easily feed 2-4 people as a side (we accidentally ordered multiple orders of these but will never apologize for it). Great brunch in a bright and airy space.
Can’t forget about the markets! Jean-Talon Market and Atwater Market are both great places for a quick, light bite or snacks (fruits, pastries, coffee, smoothies, etc.). I will also readily admit to grabbing drinks at the hotel bar at Hotel Bonaventure – the cocktails were good, it was a standard hotel bar but for the singing bartender……ask me if you have any questions about that one.
If you’re planning a trip to Montreal check out my 3 Nights in Montreal post! The city is amazing and totally worth a stop. Traveling with your gals (which I highly recommend)? Check out my essentials for traveling with your squad here.
Where’s your favorite spot to eat in Montreal? I’d love to know, I’ll add it to the list of spots to check out the next time I’m there!