These Are The Absolute Best Deals At This Old Montreal Restaurant Festival

The price-to-quality ratio here is more than decent — it’s delicious.

Contributing Writer
A number of dishes served at Pincette in Montreal, Right: A Caesar and fried chicken and waffles from Taverne Gaspar.

A number of dishes served at Pincette in Montreal, Right: A Caesar and fried chicken and waffles from Taverne Gaspar.

The 15th edition of Happening Gourmand is back this month, the Old Montreal-based food festival where 11 restaurants are serving three-course table d’hôte menus for just $32, $42, or $52. That might not sound like a big deal, but it’s definitely a deal when you look — and we mean really look — at the options you can feast on.

We dove into every single menu and scrutinized it all, savoury and sweet, to bring you the best of the best for both brunch and dinner. The Happening Gourmand foodie fest is on from March 2 to April 2, 2023.

Bon appétit!

Taverne Gaspar

Where: 89, rue de la Commune E., Montréal, QC

Why You Need To Go: Here us out — the dinner here is a total steal. For $42, you should be picking the cheesy beer onion soup, followed by the Cornish hen or the ossobucco if you’re feeling cheeky, you can follow it up with the lava cake. By the time you finish your meal, you, your belly and your wallet are bound to all feel satisfied.



Where: 436, Pl. Jacques-Cartier, Montréal, QC

Why You Need To Go: They say pasta makes you run fasta, so you should be looking to this Italian restaurant to start your day with its $22 brunch. Top choices for this spot go to the starter of fried risotto with romesco sauce and either chicken parm or the gemelli (twin tubes twisted around one another) pasta with creamy arugula pesto.


Méchant Boeuf

Where: 124, rue Saint-Paul O., Montreal, Quebec

Why You Need To Go: You’ll be making the most of its $42 dinner when you start out with the wedge Caesar salad with parmesan “croutons” (they’re more like fried balls of cheese) followed by the seven-ounce sirloin with a simple but effective pepper sauce and a Grand Marnier carrot cake.


Kyo Bar

Where: 711 Côte Place-d'Armes, Montréal, QC

Why You Need To Go: At $52 for a table d’hôte, the dinner here is going to be the most pricey, but it’s the best deal of the whole festival. It starts simply with something small like miso soup or edamame, but then you pick three more dishes (we prefer the yaki udon, omakase sushi, and glazed eggplant) before you get to either a pear-miso cake or whiskey baba for dessert. You’re going to be stuffed for half the price of a normal dinner.


Vieux-Port Steakhouse

Where: 39, rue Saint-Paul E., Montréal, QC

Why You Need To Go: Steak on the cheap can be hit or miss in this town, but when you’ve been in the business for over 25 years, you don’t screw around. If you go here for the $42 menu, you can get a classic wedge Caesar salad or garlicky escargots to start, a seven-ounce New York steak, a creamy plate of chicken supreme, or a pork tomahawk, and then you’ve got either a chocolate mousse or crème brûlée to choose from. Don’t blame us if you can’t finish the whole thing.



Where: 94, rue Saint-Paul E., Montréal, QC

Why You Need To Go: Top marks go to the $22 brunch menu at this seafood restaurant, where just about every option sounds like a decent deal. You can start with raspberry donuts (or a yogurt parfait, but, c’mon...) and then dine on either a Nordic shrimp omelette, a poutine with lobster bisque gravy and a poached egg, a shakshouka with Merguez sausage, or a cheesy and rich croque madame. Spend what you’ll be saving on a mimosa or two if you're feeling boozy.



Where: 104, rue Saint-Paul O., Montreal, QC

Why You Need To Go: The $22 brunch here is what you’re going to want to DM your friends about: Either a brussels sprout salad or an open-face sandwich of sweet vanilla cottage cheese and rich tonka beans to start, and then either eggs Benedict with bacon and melty gruyère or a spicy chicken sandwich with fries. Put a fork in this, and you’re done.


JP Karwacki
Contributing Writer
JP Karwacki is a contributing writer for MTL Blog.
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