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PODC 2013 Restaurants

Montreal Restaurants and Nightlife

Montreal has a large number of excellent restaurants that serve up a wide variety of cuisines and cater to a range of budgets. The city has a lot of street life and is very safe to explore at all hours of day and night. The public transport system runs until 1 a.m. and taxis are easy to hail on busy streets.

Neighborhoods

Montrealers love to go out, and there are many lively neighborhoods with very distinctive flavors. Some neighborhoods with a lot of streetlife and restaurants are:

  • Downtown Montreal: Home to three of Montreal’s four universities, downtown Montreal is always buzzing with activity. Ste. Catherine Street has more shops than restaurants but is good for people-watching at all hours of day and in all seasons. Crescent Street has a lot of bars with outdoor seating. The area west of Concordia has been dubbed a new Chinatown and has over 50 Asian restaurants. Quartier des Spectacles is a pleasant area that hosts many street festivals and concert venues.
  • Plateau Mont Royal: a unique mix of residential streets, funky boutique shops, and trendy restaurants, this neighborhood has been called the hippest place to live in Canada. Prince Arthur street is a pedestrian-only street with a lot of restaurants. St. Laurent and St. Denis Streets also have many restaurants and interesting shops.
  • Old Montreal: One of the oldest neighborhoods in North America, old Montreal charms with its cobblestone streets and beautiful historic buildings. Some eating places here are tourist traps, but there are some very good high-end restaurants as well. The conference banquet will be in the Science Center which is in old Montreal.

Iconic dishes and restaurants

Montreal’s iconic dishes include poutine and smoked meat. Montreal also has many bistros; one iconic restaurant is is l’Express, but there are many others. A newer restaurant with a lot of buzz is Au Pied de Cochon. The most recent rage is food trucks: a particularly acclaimed one is Grunman78 which is at Place des Festivals next week.

Restaurant reviews

Urbanspoon appears to be the reviewing destination of choice in Montreal. You can find reviews for their most popular restaurants. Classified by price range, they are:

  • $$$$: Au Pied de Cochon, Lemeac, Garde Manger Gibbys, Tuck Shop
  • $$$: L’Express, Tavern on the Square, Holder, Tapeo, Le Cartet
  • $$: Kazu, Schwartsz’s Montreal, Olive et Gourmando, Qing Hua Dumpling, Aux Vivres
  • $: Resto la Banquise, Rotisserie Romados, Fairmount Bagel, St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe, Burger de Ville

The website also has reviews classified by neighborhood and cuisine. The neighborhoods close to the conference center and hotels are downtown, Golden Square Mile. It might also be worth checking out Latin Quarter, Old Montreal, and Plateau Mont-Royal, as these are also interesting neighborhoods with many restaurants.

Lesley Chesterman, the fine dining critic for the Montreal Gazette, writes about her top restaurants of 2012. See her abbreviated list below.

  • Most exciting: Mezcla. nuevo latino cuisine, 1251 de Champlain St.; 514-525-9934; $$$
  • Most impressive: La Chronique. 99 Laurier Ave. W.; 514-271-3095; $$$$
  • Most awe-inspiring: Park part Japanese, part South Korean, part French and part North American. 378 Victoria Ave.; 514-750-7534; $$-$$$$
  • Most passionate: Pastaga. 6389 St. Laurent Blvd.; 438-381-6389; $$-$$$
  • Most delicious: Hostaria. Pitch-perfect Italian comfort food, 236 St. Zotique St. E.; 514-273-5776; $$$
  • Most chic: Graziella Italian restaurant 116 McGill St.; 514-876-0116; $$$$
  • Most fun: Moishes. This is one heck of a steak house. 3961 St. Laurent Blvd.; 514-845-3509; $$$$
  • Coolest: Nora Gray Italianate food, 1391 St. Jacques St.; 514-419-6672; $$$-$$$$
  • Most Montreal: Hotel Herman. 5171 St. Laurent Blvd.; 514-278-7000; $$-$$$

The conference center has a list of nearby restaurants.

Below is Lata’s list of favorite restaurants of 2013-13. All these places are vegetarian-friendly, in that they have decent vegetarian choices, and most are moderately priced.

  • Qing Kua Dumpling: Excellent Chinese dumplings at a decent price. Near Concordia.
  • Kazu: A different kind of Japanese restaurant, no sushi to be found here. A tiny informal place with menus on the wall. They do not take reservations, and there is often a long lineup outside. Near Concordia.
  • Kanbai: Authentic Sichuan food. Order the signature fish soup if you dare, it is covered with red chilis. Near Concordia.
  • Phaya Thai : The best Thai food downtown. Near Concordia.
  • Da Vinci : Expensive but very good Italian restaurant. Near Concordia.
  • Ouzeri: Nice Greek place in Plateau Mont-Royal (metro Laurier on the orange line).
  • Bu: Wine bar in Plateau Mont-Royal with good food. (metro Mont-Royal on the orange line)
  • Le Taj: Upscale Indian restaurant. Very close to the conference center. The ambience is better than the food.
  • Thanjai: South Indian food, think dosas and vadas (metro Plamondon, the neighborhood is very multi-ethnic).