Photo cred - Mister Sleeep
Eating cheap is equally easy and hella-hard to do in Montreal, both for pretty much the same reason. Montreal is home to so many different restaurants, which range from greasy spoon-y to super-swanky, making your dining options range from the lowest to the highest end. You could eat on the cheap, but you may just be swayed to pay a prettier penny for a ritzier dining experience.
The latter option isn't exactly available when you're uber broke, though. The money struggle in Montreal is real, as we're all too aware. Rent may be cheap, but you still gotta pay it, and combine that with tuition, drinking money, and all of your other expenses, and you may find your food funds lacking.
Not to worry, because as we're all aware, for every expensive and fancy restaurant in Montreal there's a super cheap alternative. Some of you broke jokers may not know of your food options beyond $2 chow mein and bagels, so here are 7 Montreal foods to buy when you're seriously lacking the skrilla.
Photo cred - Sherrie Thai
BBQ Pork Buns from CocoBun
Atwater, Guy, & Peel Metro Stations
Priced barely above a dollar, you can get the soft, sweet, and surprisingly filling BBQ pork buns from CocoBun. Nearly all of the savoury buns are around the same price, though the pork ones are the classic/my personal fave. Buy one for a snack, or two for a legit meal of carbs and protein. You can get the same deal at any Asian bakery in Chinatown, but CocoBun has the convenience of being in three metro stations.
Falafel from Nilufar
A deal designed for those of us with empty pockets, Nilufar offers patrons the incredibly affordable combo of a falafel, soup, and juice for $2. That's a toonie for an entire lunch! Concordia students are well aware of this insanely reasonable price for "Montreal's best falafels" which Nilufar claims to be. Can't say they're the best for sure, but Nilufar is easily the cheapest.
Steamies from Montreal Pool Room
In truth, you can get a cheap steamie for just about any Belle Pro or greasy spoon, though none can compare to the Montreal Pool Room's steamed dogs. The taste is probably the same, but there's just something about the ambiance of the Pool Room that makes the steamies taste extra good. Chalk it up to the crazy clientele or the grease traps that probably haven't been cleaned in 30 years, either way, nothing beats a $1.35 steamie from this Montreal institution.
Banh Mi from Vua
Vietnamese sandwiches from Vua are a blessing and a curse. On the divine side of things is the price, with a 10" banh mi only setting you back $2.95-$3.50. The only downside is the deliciousness, because you'll find all other banh mi spots seriously lacking in quality compared to Vua, at least in my opinion. Adding to the magic at Vua are all the Asian eats you can get besides banh mi, including those suspiciously delicious balls of pork on a stick by the cash that only cost $2.
Sandwiches from Boulangerie Clarke
If Vietnamese sandwiches aren't your thing, head over to the Mile End and get a traditional Euro-style deli sandwich at Boulangerie Clarke. Startup employees and hipsters in the area know that BC will give you a filling sammie (meat filled or vegetarian) for lunch that will only cost you $5. Just make sure to bring cash.
Photo cred - Cinko
Everything at CINKO
A glorious new addition to the St. Denis resto scene is Cinko, where everything is priced at $5, hence the name. And I'm not talking a skimpy pita with hummus or bean sprout wrap, as Cinko's menu is surprisingly legit for everything only costing a five-r. Poutine, burgers, beef satay, tacos, gravlax, gazpacho, and so much more are all the dishes Cinko serves for you to gorge on without spending much at all.
$6 Mains from L'Gros Luxe
What has made L'Gros Luxe such a huge success, at least in my opinion, is their extensive menu that has everything priced from $5 to $7. The best bet for hungry Montrealers are the $6 main dishes, which include the classic grilled cheese, poutine, all of the burgers, 2 kinds of salad, and three kinds of tacos, with plenty of veggie options to choose from in the mix. Tip may bump up your bill a bit (and any drinks you get, which will be hard to resist) but if you're looking for a sit-down dining experience that you can afford on your broke as a joke budget, L'Gros Luxe is probably your best option.
Looking for more? Click here for 10 Montreal Meals For Under $10 >
For more on all things delicious in Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte