A frequent destination for locals and tourists alike, Chinatown offers so much in terms of food and entertainment any time of year. The only thing is, navigating the area can be kind of difficult, what with the plethora of eateries and shops that are packed inside of the small neighbourhood.
But that's actually one of the joys of Chinatown, as you can discover new spots every time you go. When you're taking a date to the neighbourhood, however, you don't want to leave much to chance, so don't just take a shot in the dark and see what happens.
Guarantee a good time when you're in Chinatown with your SO and head to one of these eleven spots, all of which are perfect date ideas for different situations and couples.
92 de la Gauchetiere W
Lets start this list off with a classic: Restaurant Beijing, a beloved Chinatown eatery that's been serving Montrealers since 1989. A magical blend of Cantonese, Sichuan and Hong Kong cuisines, Beijing serves all the dishes you're hungry for, and some you didn't even know existed. All around delicious, Beijing is the safest bet if you're looking for some quality Asian food, so your date is guaranteed to go well.
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot
50 de la Gauchetière W
There's simply something satisfying about preparing your own meal, and while that isn't much of an option at most Chinatown eateries, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot puts the power in your hands. Well, your pot at least.
For those unaware, "hot pot" is basically a type of stew, but you get to personally pick and choose everything that goes inside. And with Little Sheep's uniquely spicy broth and wide range of ingredients, you're always in for a delicious soup. A fun and interactive way to have a dinner date, a trip Little Sheep will definitely be more dynamic than your typical sit-down restaurant.
Dobe & Andy
Seeing a BBQ duck hanging in the window is a pleasure one can really only experience in Chinatown. And while the delicious display heralding succulent duck can be seen throughout the area, Dobe & Andy is easily one of the top spots to enjoy some BBQ, among many other delectable delights.
Low-key and cheap in every sense, Dobe & Andy is known for the amazing duck, chicken and pork, along with their incredibly reasonable ( 6.75$ for a lunch special? Yes please) prices. If you and your date want something meaty on the cheap, look no further.
Le Mal Necessaire
1106B Saint Laurent
A modern spin on the classic Tiki bar, Le Mal Necessaire doesn't bear much of an Asian influence, not that it really needs to in order to operate in Chinatown. Serving an immense amount of creative cocktails crafted by some of the city's best bartenders, which even come in giant pineapples, Le Mal Necessaire is the perfect place for a casual drink date in Chinatown. Just make sure you don't miss the entrance, because this basement-level bar can be easy to walk right passed.
Hoang Oanh Sandwich
1071 Saint Laurent
Bánh mì, or simply Vietnamese sandwiches, are probably the perfect blend of affordable and delicious. Costing you little more than $4, a bánh mì-wich is also large enough to satiate your hunger, and you're not sacrificing on variety since they come in many different flavours/fillings.
Perfect for on-the-go eating, a bánh mì also works great for a walking date through Chinatown. And in the area, I find Hoang Oanh Sandwich to be the best purveyor of bánh mì. Grab a sandwich with your date at Hoang Oanh, walk through de la Gauchetière, relax in Place Sun Yet Sen, grab some sweets (more on that later), and just take in the energy of Chinatown together.
Maison Kam Fung
1111 Saint Urbain
Dim sum is the brunch option, whether you're in Chinatown or not. Sorry to say lovers of Eggs Benny, but the dim sum experience is unparalleled, what with the wide array of bite-sized edibles you can enjoy that are utterly delicious, even if you don't know what's in any of them (sorry, I'm white like that).
Montreal is home to several dim sum joints, but to me, Kam Fung reigns supreme. This is mainly for the food-carts that bring dim sum delights right to your table, with the staff quickly asking you whether you want their dish or not. Honestly, it's a tad bit stressful, but altogether exciting, and makes for an eating experience like no other. Kam Fung does serve non-Dim Sum dishes, but you can go elsewhere for all that.
So if you and your date want something atypical, or are tired of your standard brunch stops, look no further than Kam Fung.
Dragon's Beard Candy
52b de la Gauchetiere
Not exactly a widespread sweet, Dragon Beard Candy is a Chinese dessert that has sugar spun out with coconut and peanut into what's essentially a candied thread. In Montreal, the small, hole-in-the-wall stand on de la Gauchetiere is the only place to get this traditional treat, simply known as Dragon’s Beard Candy.
Pretty much a must-try if you're in Chinatown, your date will surely appreciate a stopover at this candy-stand once they have a taste of some Dragon Beard, while also being impressed you knew it existed in the first place.
Relaxed or energetic depending on the night, Luwan may be a fairly new addition to both Chinatown and Montreal's nightlife scene, but it's quickly become a favourite. With their chic space, frequent events, and splendid cocktail menu (hello lychee sangria and raspberry mojitos!), Luwan is an all-around solid club-bar. Don't expect things to be low-key on weekends though, but if you and your date want to dance, then Luwan is the spot.
Desserts de Taiwan
61 de la Gauchetière
A date to Chinatown isn't complete if you don't enjoy at least several different desserts; the sinfully delicious sweets you can't get elsewhere in the city. You could take your date to a typical Asian bakery (Harmonie is always a safe bet) but we have those all around Montreal, with CocoBun instantly coming to mind. For something a bit more esoteric, head to Desserts de Taiwan, a small bakery serving Taiwan-style snacks.
Dessert egg rolls, flaky cakes (with various stuffings) and bubble tea are what this hole-in-the-wall serves, and the prices are low enough you can try them all. And with the desserts usually made right before your eyes, Desserts de Taiwan is just as much a visual experience as it is a gustatory one.
Nouilles de Lan Zhou
1006 Saint Laurent
Sometimes, all you want in life is a big ol' bowl of noodle soup. We all get those cravings, and when you do, instant ramen certainly won't suffice. If you and your significant other happen to simultaneously get such a craving, then Nouilles de Lan Zhou will meet all your noodle-y needs.
Crafting some of the best noodle bowls in Montreal (along with an array of other dishes), Nouilles de Lan Zhou is also known for their gigantic portions. Seriously, a medium-sized soup is definitely large enough for the average eater. Factoring in Nouilles de Lan Zhou's intimate and cozy atmosphere, you have your new favourite noodle-date (it's thing, just roll with it) spot.
43 de la Gauchetière E
As a Toronto-area transplant, one of the things I sorely miss is getting late-night Asain food, as the 6ix boasts some restaurants that sling dishes well past 3am. Finding such a spot in Montreal is a little tough, so thank the good lords of eating late that Mon Nan is here.
In operation since 1982, Mon Nan is the late-night Chinese food restaurant in Montreal. Open 'til 4am every day (save Mondays, when they close at 3am), Mon Nan is open whenever you need to munch. Known for their succulent Pekin duck, pan-fried dumplings, Cantonese lobster, and more, Mon Nan is where you need to be taking your date if y'all are hungry well after midnight.