Photo cred – Burger De Ville
While it has definitely seen some better days, Saint-Lawrence Boulevard remains one of Montreal's major commercial and cultural arteries. Considered for generations as the dividing line between the city's francophone and anglophone population, everyone comes together to eat at any one of the numerous restaurants found on The Main. From upscale bistro, to comforting diner, The Main continues to serve up some of the tastiest food in Montreal.
With so many options to chose from, eating out on The Main can be overwhelming, so we compiled a Top 10 of restaurants that always deliver, and that if you've never eaten at before, what are you waiting for!?
Big In Japan
This izakaya, or japanese brasserie, is quite the hot spot on the Main for alternative late night eats. You won't find any sushi here, but rather lots of classic Japanese dishes and recipes like tataki, gyoza and ramen soup, along with more Western inspirations. The interiors were done by renowned Montreal designer Cabinet Braun-Braën, which means the space is rather eclectic with a definite urban edge. Enjoy a fine sake and try the Crispy Pork, you won't regret it.
Main Deli Steak House
Appropriately named, the Main Deli Steak House opened on the Main in 1974, and is still serving up some of the best eats in the city. While Schwartz's across the street is often considered as Montreal's king of smoke meat, many locals will tell you they largely prefer the taste at Main's Deli (or at least until just recently), and they were even featured on the Food Network's You Gotta Eat Here. Smoke meat is not all you'll find though, with a wide range of diner staples and they serve beer!
Photo cred - .sl.
It's hard to miss this Plateau landmark with its bright, multi-coloured exterior, and it's even harder to ignore Patati Patata's delicious food and friendly vibe. Since 1996, this cozy diner has been serving up standout poutines and their signature burgers to the delight of many Montrealers. The staff is super chill, and the value for money is hard to beat, but expect a wait as there's limited seating and it's just that good.
Montreal is famous for its bagels, and Bagels Etc. not only does bagels extremely well, but is so much more. The laid-back atmosphere and funky decor make for one of the best breakfast joints in the city. You'll obviously find plenty of bagel varieties on the menu, but also all the classics with many global influences as well. You may notice the golden egg sitting pretty behind the bar, which stands as a symbol for their undisputed claim to Montreal's best eggs.
in 1997, Aux Vivres opened its doors to provide Montrealers with fresh and unique vegan fare and has grown into one of the city's most popular restaurants today. Aux Vivres commits itself to serving animal-free and sustainable food with an emphasis on local and organic ingredeints. The menu is filled with hearty comfort foods and other ethnic-inspired cuisine, and definitely worth a try even if you are of the more carnivorous persuasion.
The Mile End is overflowing with good restaurants these days, and Lawrence is definitely leading the way. Recently receiving rave reviews from The Gazette's Leslie Chesterman, Lawrence's focused concept, rooted in traditional British cuisine, draws a serious crowd every weekend for brunch, and maintains a legitimate dinner-time following as well. If you are going for brunch, bare in mind they do not take reservations, and order the trio of scrumptious doughnut holes. Trust.
Burger De Ville
For some of the biggest, juiciest, and maybe the best burgers the city has to offer, Burger De Ville does not disappoint. Opened by a father and son team, Burger De Ville uses only 100% AAA Canadian beef, never frozen and properly aged, and everything is homemade. Apart from their 3 delicious signature burgers, one of the things that makes Burger De Ville so awesome is their selection of over a dozen free extra toppings.
Opened in 2011, Bouillon Bilk was kind of a hole in the wall, nestled between electronic stores on the Main's less...savoury strip. It has since seen a significant expansion, but the food here is just as good if not better than its humble beginnings. Bouillon Bilk now ranks consistently as one of Montreal's top restaurants by eaters and critics alike.
Fun fact: The restaurant's name was kind of an accident. The owners wanted to represent the comfort food aspect of the cuisine, thus Bouillon, or "broth", but Bilk was added simply because they liked the sound of it.
In a city so enamored with eating breakfast late (or lunch early depending on you look at it), Sparrow is another popular establishment well-known for its brilliant brunches. Designed to look like a British pub, the menu is loaded with classic comfort food served on old-school china. While brunch is nothing new, Sparrow does offer a unique concept. For $18 flat, you get an all-you-can-eat 3-course meal. Just don't be alarmed to find a few hipsters running around while you eat.
To round out our selection of must-try restaurants on the Main, is Martin Juneau's acclaimed Pastaga. Named as one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in 2012 by enRoute Magazine, don't let Pastaga's casual setting (another one of Cabinet Braun-Braën's gems) fool you. This upscale bistro offers seasonal, locally-inspired small-plate cuisine that pack anything but small flavours. You'll also find a a fine selection of Quebec cheeses and wines.
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Photo cred - Trontanamo Bay