It’s no secret: I love food. I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love restaurants. I especially love eating out with friends or family. Good food and company without the hassle of cooking and cleaning is the ultimate for a good time. Well, cooking’s not really a hassle, if I’m up for it, but cleaning? That sucks donkey balls. I’ve hated doing the dishes since I was a kid. So, I eat out, probably more than I should, but meh. Life is short, eat where you want :-p
Now the places in this post aren’t necessarily the best food in town, but they’re the places I love to go. Maybe they have one dish that I absolutely adore and will order every time I go. Maybe they’re the least expensive in their genre. Maybe I don’t really have a reason other than the most important one: I just like it. Montreal, like every other big metropolis, has tons of restaurants to chose from, and a good many of them are those fancy-schmancy places that costs over 100$ per person, and yes the food there is usually incredible, but I’m not in a position to go to places like that often, so they don’t really have a chance to become favourites. So most of the places on my list are mostly small, dinky places that just happen to have great food. So here are my top 10 favourite places to eat in and close to Montreal, in no particular order.
The 3 Amigos
The 3 Amigos is a fun Mexican restaurants with a few different locations. The two I go to are the addresses I captioned under the picture (and that one in the picture is the Montreal location). I doubt it’s authentic Mexican food, but it’s still very good. They have specials during the week for taco platters and fajita plates (which is what I usually end up ordering. They have everything you’d expect a standard Mexican place to have, tacos, fajitas, burritos, nachos, enchiladas and the like, and they have a few things you might not expect, like lamb steaks or pasta platters. Their frozen drinks (margaritas, pina coladas and daiquiris) are amazing and huge. The large is made with two ounces of rum and is served in what I like to call a fish bowl. Seriously, the thing is fucking huge. I always get the strawberry daiquiri. I’m sure everything else is good too (I’ve been tempted by the mango a few times) but ultimately I always opt for the strawberry daiquiri. I’m a creature of habit, what can I say. As soon as we’re seated in the restaurant, even before getting water, we’re offered a basket of tortilla chips and fresh salsa. We have to be careful, since these are all-you-can-eat, that we don’t stuff our faces full of these before even ordering. But they’re really, really good. That salsa wouldn’t last long in my house. I went recently with my sister, and that little basket was empty before we even received our drinks. We were good, and didn’t order more to leave room for our meals (I broke my routine this one time, and ordered soft shelled tacos instead of my usual beef-chicken fajitas). I’m not sure where all that willpower came from! hehe
Guido & Angelina
Guido & Angelina is a nice little Italian place in heart of downtown Montreal. Don’t be put off by the place’s seemingly shabby architecture, it’s a really good place. The outside is a little run-down, and even the interior is starting to fall apart in some places, but the food, what I’ve had anyways, is very, very good. I generally have the linguine with seafood (pictured here), which I’m hardly ever able to finish because the plate is so huge. Plus we get nice, warm bread to start the meal with (served, as it should be, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar), and I usually order the calamari appetizer. It’s freaking ginormous though, so unless you’re having only that, get it for at least two people. They’re served with the usual red sauce, and are really yummy. On the less-awesome side of things, the drinks aren’t all that good, and are pretty pricey, especially for what they are. I’ve tried the long island iced tea a few times, but now I generally stick to just water, unless I happen to really want some booze, hehe. My sister and I often end up there when we have our “sister’s night out” since we usually end up seeing a film at the Paramount, and this restaurant is literally right next door. Who wants to try locate parking downtown twice, really?? We’re very much due for a sister’s night out, so chances are good that I’ll be paying this place another visit sometime in the near future! 🙂
Mr Steer’s is the place to go if you want a really tasty burger. It’s almost the only thing on the menu (with other varieties of hot dogs and sandwiches), so that makes picking what to eat easy. I always get the two burger platter, with curly fries (they call then Suzie Q fries), sometimes with cheese, sometimes without. The burger itself is quite small, but very thick, so the two burger platter is more than enough food, even with no appetizers or dessert, which I never get there. Their meat is all graded A+ angus beef, and boy can you taste the difference. A McDonald’s burger, this is not. On the down side, the drinks are pretty meh, so unless you like stuff that comes in it’s own bottle, like beer or coolers (although I’m not even sure they have coolers), I’d say stick to non-alcoholic drinks. Since this is a burger joint, I usually have a coke. I tried a daiquiri once, and was totally grossed out. Don’t think I’ve had another one quite that bad before. So if you want an amazing, juicy burger cooked to the doneness you like, this is definitely the place for you. If you don’t like burgers, I don’t think we can be friends anymore… 😉
3993, boul. Grande Allée, Saint-Hubert
After much hunting about, I was unable to find a single picture of this place anywhere online. And they say you can find everything online! Anywho.. Chez Manuel is one of those little breakfast and lunch places (which I’ve never had lunch at) that closes at 3. But they make the best breakfast around, even better than those well known places like Chez Cora or Eggsquis, and only at about half the price (ok, maybe not half the price, but much less, that’s for sure). And their pancakes are ridiculously good. I always get the crepes, those are the big, huge super thin pancakes. I generally get the Crepes Supreme platter, unless I’m not hungry enough. You have to be starving for this plate. It’s two pancakes, one egg, two sausages, two slices of ham (which I always trade for more bacon), three strips of bacon, a cup of baked beans, home fries (which are awesome, sprinkled with bbq seasoning), two toasts (which I never take, cause holy crap, that’s a lot of food), several slices of fruit and coffee (or, in my case, tea). If I’m not hungry enough for all that, I only take the pancakes and bacon. Cause you can’t go to a breakfast place and not have bacon. It’s just not done.
Bières et Compagnie
Bières et Compagnie is a nice little restaurant that specialises in draft beers and mussels. At any given time they’ll have about 120 brands of beer on tap, and each one will be served in it’s own logo’d glass. I would really hate being the busboy in a place like this! Imagine having to put all those away, and in the right spot! Ugh! But, since I hate beer, that’s not the appeal of this place for me. Me, I love their all-you-can-eat mussels, sunday to wednesday. They have a good 40 different flavours of mussels, and I’ve tried a good half of them. Diablo is still one of my favourites, it’s just a little spicy. On non-all-you-can-eat nights, and as the first course on the all-you-can-eat nights, you’re served a bucket of 1kg (2.2lbs). All mussels are served with a basket of (very good) french fries, with special homemade mayos. I don’t like mayo on my fries though (even special mayos like these), so I get ketchup. Following orders on all-you-can-eat nights are served in a large bowl, probably somewhere between 3/4 to 1lb. It’s a bit of a pain if you’re really, really hungry, you can’t get two buckets, and since you can’t order too far in advance, you’ll have to wait awhile between servings, but that’s usually ok for the regular clientèle, they’ll just have more beer. The long island iced tea and bloody ceasers are both very good, so if I’m drinking with my meal, I’ll have one of those. If I don’t, it’ll be water. There’s a good amount of other things on the menu as well, if you’re not into mussels. Burgers range from the normal beef to the special ostrich burger. I keep on meaning to try it, but every time I go, I’m swayed away by the mussels. There’s also a grill where they cook everything from beef steaks (A+ angus beef, of course) to duck and caribou. Everything looks pretty yummy, actually, but I’ve never had anything but the mussels, I don’t think. I love them so much, I always take the same thing. The only thing that changes is the flavour of the juice they’re cooked in, and what I’m drinking. If you love mussels (and/or beer) this is definitely a great place for you to try!
In no universe is Just Noodles the best Asian restaurant in town. It’s what I like to call “fast food Asian style”. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t make some of the best noodle plates I’ve ever had. Yummy AND huge! It happen(ed) regularly that I wasn’t able to eat the whole thing, and I can eat! The picture is of the location on St-Laurent, that’s the one I always went to. When I was with my ex, he lived close enough to the one on Masson that we could have it delivered, so we often did that on nights neither of us wanted to cook. The one on St-Laurent was open till 4am (sometimes 5, depending on how many people there were), and was right next to the nightclub I always used to go to, Saphir. Just Noodles saw lots and lots of drunk Mel. I even passed out in the bathroom once or twice (but you don’t need to know that story, just that I was very young and not always responsible :-p ). I barely go there at all any more (Saphir’s not even open anymore, so I have no reason to go to that part of town any more), but every so often I’ll make a special trip, just for those noodles. Om nom nom…
Scotyz is more of a bar, but it has surprisingly good food. I haven’t had much diversity (I always order the Philly steak sub with fries, and steal a few bites of calamari, which is what my step-father or mother always order, and I pretty much only go with them, separate or together), but the things I have had are all super good. Especially the sub. I can say, hands down, that it’s the best sub I’ve ever had in my life, from anywhere. Tons of steak, not over-cooked, thickly sliced mushrooms, still nice and firm, not those mushy gross things you see in most subs, slathered in a ton of moz (hold the onions). It’s ridiculously good. It comes with fries, which are also amazing, but I can usually only eat about half of them, sometimes less, cause they’re huge and they give lots of them. The drinks are good, and not very expensive. I usually either have a long island iced tea, or a Rev. When I lived in St-Hubert, Mom and I used to go out here about once a week. She loves the long island iced teas as well, and always has the calamari to eat. She, like me (or I, like her?), is a creature of habit, and always takes the same thing. We’ve had many a good night at Scotyz, sometimes with a whole pitcher of long island iced tea in front of us. Oh yeah. (I couldn’t find, for my second picture, any food, so here’s some booze instead. This looks to be a long island and a screwdriver, although their drinks are often served in mason jars. It’s real cute.) They have themed nights as well, like Poker Mondays and Karaoke Wednesdays and Saturdays. The rest of the time, I think, it’s just the radio. Not really a radio, cause there’s no commercials, but something like that Sirius radio thing. I don’t remember ever seeing a real DJ. The karaoke is fun, I’ve been a few times. On quieter nights you get to sing more, and that’s always fun. I’m terrified of singing in public, so I always look like a deer caught in the headlights when I’m up on stage, but I love singing, so I do it anyways. Conquer that fear!!
The Keg is the only restaurant on this list that’s one of those fancy-schmancy places I was talking about, so I don’t go very often. I used to go once a year, for some special occasion, but I haven’t been in years. I keep asking people if they want to go, and they always say it’s too pricey. It is, but damn is it ever good, too! And it’s not quite as pricey some other fancy places. I went to Modavie not too long ago, and my three-course meal and two drinks bill was 140-some-odd dollars. Just for me. That’s insane. My step-father paid for four of us (my sister, my mother, me and himself), and he said it was the most expensive meal outing he’s ever made, about $600. That’s insane for a meal. That’s groceries for a month!! But anyways, I’m getting WAY off topic here… What was I saying? Oh, right, food, good. I generally always take the same thing when I come here. I’m sure everything on the menu is amazing, but I love me my steak and shrimps, so that’s what I always take. I start with a shrimp cocktail (with 5 HUGE shrimps, cooked to perfection). Then I’ll order the filet mignon, with sides of asparagus, mushrooms and sometimes sweet potatoes. And then I’ll finish off with some of the best cheesecake in the world. It’s sooo creamy and good. There’s a very large amount of drinks to choose from as well, as well as a good sized wine and beer list, if that’s what you prefer. I often have a blue martini (I forget what they called it, or everything that’s in it, although it’s safe to assume that there is vodka and curacao blue) before, and sometimes during, the meal. I’m heading back down to Montreal in a few days to spend some time with my aunt while she’s in town. Maybe I can convince her to go, it’s been such a long time…
Caraibana is one of the few places that is my go-to takeout. It’s one of the few places I try to go every time I’m in town. And often enough, when I drive back home, I’ll get some to go so my husband can have some too, he also loves it. It’s a Creole / Caribbean place. I always used to get the pork (grilot) until one day when I went and they didn’t have any ready. I was so very sad. It was the same thing that I’d been eating there for years. So with a heavy heart, I decided to be adventurous and try the goat. Best thing that ever happened to me, food wise. As good as the pork is, it’s nothing compared to the goat. It’s super good, cooked to perfection, and oh-so-tender! I always take that now, unless it happens that they don’t have any. I can’t comment on the drinks, I’ve never had one there (since I mostly take to go), but I know they have a full bar, so I imagine you can order almost anything from it. They also have a themed night on Saturdays, with Caribbean music and a pretty big dance floor. Oh, and fried plantains. I can’t get enough of those fried plantains.
And finally, this is one of my very favourite places to eat, Kanda. It’s all-you-can-eat sushi, and it’s amazing. There’s not only sushi, as well. There’s a whole page of other stuff to choose from, including beef, chicken, noodles and squid. Most times if I have a dinner for something I’ll choose this place. I used to always go to the one on Bishop, but since they opened one in Brossard, I hardly ever go to the other one any more. They have bubble tea as well, but the one I tried was gross, so I never tried again. I don’t drink alcohol with my sushi, either, so I can’t speak for the quality of the drinks, but they do have some. It works by filling out the pages with the number of things you want, and then the items come in waves until everything has arrived. Be warned, though: order carefully, you’ll be charged extra for everything you over-order. That’s to make sure that there’s no waste, otherwise it could be ridiculous the amount of wastage people would do. I didn’t get my sushi fix last time I was in Montreal (and good sushi places here in Quebec are extremely few and far between, and none of them are all-you-can-eat), so I’ll be sure to next time!
So, those are my favourite places to eat in and around Montreal. I very much recommend them to anyone who enjoys food, and doesn’t feel the need to always eat fancy and pricey. Bon appetit, and stay tuned for more!