As the city confronts an affordable housing crisis, high-end developments have transformed some traditionally working-class streets into fancy places where yuppies sip espresso in unaffordable condos. And then there's chemin Queen Mary — a street that's dense with small restaurants and that maintains its precious neighbourly feeling.

Whereas older folks who grew up in the Plateau would probably laugh after learning the cold-water flat they grew up in on rue de Bullion is now worth millions, the area around Queen Mary has remained rich with options for long-time residents and newcomers, alike.

That's not to say it hasn't had its fair share of transformation.

According to author Christopher DeWolf, Snowdon, the area around Queen Mary, was an emerging middle-class suburb and retail hub in the 1940s. It had the venerable Snowdon Theatre, a Reitmans, a Woolworths, and a wax museum.  

Things changed in the decades that followed. The department stores closed. The Snowdon Theatre lost business.  

The construction of the Decarie Expressway in the 1960s certainly didn't help. It split the road in two and, like all midcentury highway developments in North America, gutted the neighbourhood.

But it adapted. Anchored in the east by Saint Joseph's Oratory and the Collège International Marie de France, the street is now populated by countless small businesses and places to eat.

Here are just a few worth checking out!

Restaurant Hot Africa  

Where: 4959, chemin Queen Mary

From the outside, this small eatery below a Russian gift shop doesn’t look like anything special but then you taste the food. I challenge you to test your metal against their green sauce, which is spicy enough to melt the flesh from your face in the most delectable way possible.  

Website  

R.E.A.L. Bagel  

Where: 4940, chemin Queen Mary 

Their delicious hand-rolled, wood-oven-baked bagels are on par with anything you’ll find at St-Viateur or Fairmount.  

Website  

Grillades Portugaises De Silva  

Where: 5334, chemin Queen Mary

Queen Mary is pretty far from Little Portugal but you wouldn’t know it at this classic spot for rotisserie chicken.  

Website  

Benny & Fils

Where: 4944, chemin Queen Mary 

It used to be called Chez Benny. Then it moved across the street and changed its name to Benny & Fils. Either way, they make very good Israeli cuisine.

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Estiatorio Yia Sou!  

Where: 5375, chemin Queen Mary

Yia Sou translates to “hello” in Greek and you’re sure to be greeted with an authentic Hellenistic dining experience at this classic Greek grill.

It’s got an olive tree right in the dining room and an extensive menu. Also, its souvlaki was voted one of the best in the city by CTV.  

Website

Wasabi Sushi  

Where: 5410, chemin Queen Mary 

This friendly neighbourhood sushi dispensary has amazing food at reasonable prices.  

Website   

Chops Resto Bar

Where: 5322, chemin Queen Mary

This very well might be the only kosher Asian fusion steakhouse and sushi bar on the planet.  

Website

Peking Garden Restaurant  

Where: 5255, chemin Queen Mary

No-frills northern Chinese cuisine at a reasonable price. What’s not to like?  

Website  

Jumak Cuisine Coréenne  

Where: 5335, chemin Queen Mary

An affordable, reliable and delicious spot to enjoy Korean BBQ on your next night out.  

Website  

Masala Palace  

Where: 4961-D, chemin Queen Mary  

They’ve been serving beautiful Indian food for you to devour for over three decades.  

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Olu Olu Poké  

Where: 4986A, chemin Queen Mary

Hawaiian fish salad? Yes please. This place is getting rave reviews online and they’ll even personalize your bowl.  

Website

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