Whether you want to eat where you live, or live where you eat, it’s always important to know where the best lunch spot is in any given area of the city. So whether you’re trying to impress your date/co-worker/stomach, our city guide to Montreal’s best midday meals is guaranteed to hit the spot.
Little Italy/La Petite-Patrie
Regine Café (address and info)
What you’re getting: Duck confit sandwich
Regine Café is a charming little neighbourhood spot with slightly upscale fare and beautiful pastries. While brunch is a popular attraction here, we are partial to the sandwiches offered for lunch: the duck confit sandwich, loaded with succulent poultry, orange mayo, and crispy rustic bacon, this is one serious way to quell the afternoon hunger pangs.
Café Parvis (address and info)
What you’re getting: Herb & rapini pesto with caponata & chèvre pizza
With a beautiful patio, distressed walls, and the chic atmosphere of a hip Brooklyn hangout, Café Parvis brings a piece of hipster paradise to the suits of Downtown Montreal. Add to that inventive pizza toppings and a wide selection of salads in three sizes, and you’ve got yourself the perfect place to bring a business associate -- or someone you truly fancy.
Griffintown Café (address and info)
What you’re getting: Cajun fish ’n’ chips
Located in one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city, Griffintown Café is quickly rising to fame for its clean, delicious lunch and brunch options that pair up familiar ingredients with perfect execution. The Cajun fish ‘n’ chips is an expertly cooked IPA beer- and panko-battered haddock filet served with crispy fries; but it’s the simplest foods that sometimes pack the biggest punch.
Café Coop Touski (address and info)
What you’re getting: Ham and cheese crepes
Sitting amidst Café Coop Touski’s red walls, in a crowd of anarchists, hippies, and students whose conversation constantly seems to revolve around the capitalist system, you just may feel like you’ve been transported to the Greenwich Village of the 1960s. But the food is undeniably familiar: made with locally sourced ingredients, classic comfort fare like omelets and BLT sandwiches do not require you to pledge any political allegiance.
Burgundy Lion (address and info)
What you’re getting: Ploughman’s lunch
Burgundy Lion is better known as an evening hangout with great beer, bartenders that simply invite a confessional, and the atmosphere of a little hole-in-the-wall in Bath or Wiltshire. But if you find yourself in Little Burgundy for lunch, we encourage you to try the traditional ploughman’s lunch: with cold pork pie, cheese, fruits, crusty bread, veggies, and a cold beer on the side, this is what every lunch should look like.
Snowdon Deli (address and info)
What you’re getting: Smoked meat sandwich with fries
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel at Snowdon Deli, which has been a Côte-des-Neiges lunch mainstay since 1946. Order the smoked meat sandwich, fat on, with fries on the side, and be liberal with the mustard and ketchup. There’s no point messing with a classic when it’s this good.
Dinette Triple Crown (address and info)
What you’re getting: Meat & three
When a restaurant claiming to serve authentic Southern food opened in the hip Mile-Ex, many were skeptical. But few could resist the crackling skin and perfectly juicy, expertly fried chicken and creamy coleslaw served at Dinette Triple Crown from 11am every Thursday through Tuesday. More than any gospel church, Dinette Triple Crown will make a believer out of you.
Villa du Souvlaki (address and info)
What you’re getting: Chicken souvlaki with potatoes
On the other end of the Greek food continuum in Montreal lies Villa du Souvlaki, which has nonetheless garnered a diehard fanbase among food-savvy Montrealers for the strength of its souvlaki alone. There is nothing fancy about this bare-bones spot, except the remarkable taste of the chicken: moist and flavourful, it is perfectly seasoned and grilled. And the best part? The lunch prices here can’t be beat.
Olive & Gourmando (address and info)
What you’re getting: Smoked trout sandwich
This popular daytime spot is always packed with well-heeled office workers, ladies who lunch, and mothers with toddlers -- and with good reason, for the food here is truly fantastic. A sandwich with hot-smoked trout slices, sun-dried tomato, herbed cream cheese, and spinach, this is one of the best bites of food in all of Montreal, though you’re welcome to try any of Olive & Gourmando’s incredible offerings. Be warned: you may never be able to eat at another lunch joint ever again.
La Lumiere du Mile End (address and info)
What you’re getting: Provencal veggie burger
This cute vegetarian café has a distinctly hippie vibe that seems a bit out of place in the heart of Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood. But once you get past the grungy appearance, you’re bound to fall for the simple, hearty food -- and if that fails, then the owner, Mary, is a true gem.
Maison Indian Curry (address and info)
What you’re getting: Chicken dosa
Maison Indian Curry has everything you’d want in a true curry house -- simple décor, sticky menus, unidentifiable Hindi music, and the best, sharpest flavours you could possibly imagine. Try the dosas, traditional South Indian rice flour pancakes stuffed with a variety of fillings; they’re a steal for $8 and under.
Chez Jose (address and info)
What you’re getting: Seafood soup
A family-owned neighbourhood joint that manages to offer authentic Portuguese food for rock-bottom prices, Chez Jose is famed throughout the city for its great sandwiches, juices, and perfectly constructed seafood soup. Go here for the great atmosphere, which makes the food even more succulent.
Campanelli (address and info)
What you’re getting: Turkey sandwich
Amidst the glitzy, hip restos and gastropubs of St. Henri hides Campanelli, a pared-down Italian sandwich and coffee shop. But don’t let the place’s foray into clothes retail and the chalkboard-written menu fool you: when it comes to sandwiches, these guys know what they’re doing. The ingredients are amazing, and the bread as pillowy as can be. Just don’t pass up the great coffee.
Saint Laurent (The Main)
Patati Patata (address and info)
What you’re getting: A burger + poutine (or a burger platter)
Sure, there are always lunch places popping up like mushrooms after the rain on St. Laurent. But there’s a reason why old standby Patati Patata remains full, day after day -- you just can’t get food this good for this low of a price anywhere else. Grab a burger and a side of poutine, and if you’re lucky, eat it on a stool while overlooking the diverse crowds milling about the city’s main artery.
Mandy’s (address and info)
What you’re getting: Cobb salad
Don’t even try to arrive at the Westmount location of this popular customizable salad bar at noon and expect to find a spot to sit, or get your order in under 15 minutes. The lines here go out the door, because the entire Lululemon-wearing, BMW-driving crowd of Westmount views Mandy’s as the lunchtime mecca. Trouble is, the salads really are THAT good here. So call ahead, place your order for pick up, and enjoy having your opinion of salad completely changed. You’re welcome.
Orange Rouge (address and info)
What you’re getting: Pork ramen soup
For a Chinese/Japanese restaurant that’s a cut above the rest, head down to Orange Rouge. With an extensive drink list, a curated selection of modern Japanese and Chinese dishes, and the atmosphere of a high-end restaurant hiding on one of the backstreets of Shanghai, Orange Rouge is one gem you don’t want to stay hidden.
Ksenia Prints is a Montreal-based freelance writer, photographer, and chef. Follow her delicious goings-on At The Immigrant's Table.
1. Régine Café1840, rue Beaubien Est, Montreal
2. Café Parvis433 Rue Mayor, Montréal
3. Griffintown Café1378 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal
4. Coop Touski Cafe de Quartier2361 Rue Ontario Est, Montreal
5. Burgundy Lion2496, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
6. Snowdown Deli265 Blvd Décarie Montreal,, Montreal
7. Dinette Triple Crown6704 rue Clark, Montreal
8. Villa du Souvlaki5347 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal
9. Olive & Gourmando351 Rue Saint Paul O, Montreal
10. La Lumiere du Mile End214 Rue Bernard O, Montreal
11. Maison Indian Curry996 rue Jean-Talon O, Montreal
12. Chez Jose173 Avenue Duluth E, Montreal
13. Campanelli4634 Rue Notre Dame Ouest, Montreal
14. Patati Patata4177, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal
15. Mandy's5033 Sherbrooke West, Quebec
16. Orange Rouge106 De La Gauchetiere West, Montreal
This popular resto/cafe serves up tasty breakfasts, brunches, and lunches every day of the week using local flavors. If you're looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, order their breakfast poutine.
This trendy, hipster hang serves up unique pizzas and a variety of salads. We are obsessed with the Brooklyn-vibe and beautiful dining patio at Cafe Parvis, and we highly recommend this local hot spot to anyone in the area looking for delicious food and a chic atmosphere.
Located in Griffintown (obvi.), this resto/cafe is a premier destination for brunch or lunch with a host of options like soups, salads, omelets, sammies, burgers, egg dishes, and tasty cocktails that hit the spot any time.
Hidden on the East side of town, this community co-op serves up the best homemade végé paté and vegan muffins around. Grab a picnic table in the secret garden for a copious brunch or hearty menu du jour and rub elbows with fellow organic activists.
This British-style pub and restaurant doles out a variety of brews and liquors, and they have lengthy menu with options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
They've been going strong since 1946 in their Côte-des-Neiges location. Get the smoked meat sandwich and don't forget the fries.
Authentic southern food is hard to find in Montreal, but Dinette Triple Crown does it well. They serve the staples, like fried chicken and coleslaw.
This place has great lunch prices and even better Greek food. You are going to want to try the Chicken souvlaki with potatoes.
This notable lunch spot is a consistent favorite. There are many great menu items but the must-try is the grilled sandwich with smoked trout.
A quaint cafe in the Outremont neighborhood, La Lumiere du Mile End is all about vegetarian cuisine. Their simplistic menu is a favorite, and the Provencal veggie burger is the best of the bunch.
Every city needs a good Curry House. This is Montreal's. The place has all the staples, but the menu item that everyone has to try is the dosas. These are stuffed rice pancakes that will only set you back eight dollars.
This is a great place for an inexpensive lunch. The family owned Chez Jose makes excellent, traditional Portuguese food. Try the seafood soup.
If you haven't stopped in here for some great coffee and sandwiches, you don't know what you are missing.
This joint not only has a list of mouth-watering burgers (including their Mediterranean Burger with feta, red onion, tomato, lettuce, and a tzatziki-inspired sauce), they also do supremely tasty fries for the perfect combo.
There is a reason that the lines are always out the door at this place. Their salads are just that good. There are plenty of places to get some delicious healthy food in Montreal, but we think that Mandy's is one of the best. We highly recommend the salads at Mandy's to locals, tourists, meat eaters, and vegans.