Gluten has become the enemy. For whatever reason people keep jumping on the non-gluten bandwagon. While some are just following the most current food trends, some people legit can't digest that pesky protein composite. For all the food lovers who don't love gluten, here are some spots in Montreal to keep you eating throughout the day.
Why: Wheat is a big star at breakfast. Toast, pancakes, crepes, and waffles are all traditionally jam packed with dat gluten. Creativity and ingredient substitutions are pretty necessary, and can be tricky, but Resonance does all the work for you. Located on Parc just south of Bernard, Resonance is an entirely vegan/gluten free cafe that caters to brunch lovers. Eat some sweeter fair like Morning Glory Muffins and Almond Butter & Banana Sandwich, or go for savory and grab a Tofu Scramble with Toast and Baked Beans. With good coffee to boot, Resonance will satisfy your breakfast and non-gluten needs alike.
Where: 2157 Mackay & 105 Rachel O.
Why: No matter what your lunch needs are, Crudessence will have you covered. Taking dishes from various food cultures, Crudessence has an eclectic menu with some cool raw and gluten free twists on classic favourites. A fan of Pad Thai, but not the gluten rich noodles? Crudessence does Pad Thai with daikon and zucchini noodles. Feeling like comfort food? Grab a bowl of sweet potatoe and black bean chili served on a bed of gluten-free quinoa, or raw food nachos. With two locations (Mackay and Rachel), along with catering and online product ordering options, Crudessence has a lot to offer the gluten-free eater.
Why: Okay, so only those with a very healthy appetite would consider an arepa just a 'snack.' Either way, the venezualan sandwiches are delicious and entirely gluten free. Prepared with corn flour, the arepa bun is entirely without gluten and has a great texture too. Two spots reign supreme in the arepa department in Montreal: Arepera du Plateau and Bocadillo. Arepera is more of a sit down and eat with friends joint, while Bocadillo has a relaxed feel to it, but both are incredibly tasty. Filled with meat, veggies, cheese, or all three, arepas are the perfect gluten-free snack.
Where: 1735 St. Denis
Why: Marketed as a restaurant able to comply with any allergy, Zero 8 has no problem with a gluten-free diet. Boasting a huge menu, Zero 8 will please the most picky of eaters. Very meat-oriented, Zero 8 has such tasty dishes as lamb and coriander burgers, smoked duck, and breaded veal. All can be served with fries, but you'll probably want to switch it with a side or quinoa salad to keep it free of gluten.
Why: Gluten free bakeries shouldn't scare you off. Just because there is no traditional flout, it doesn't mean that tasty treats can't be made. Almond Butterfly is proof of this. Almond Butterfly doesn't yet have a permanent location, so you're best bet is to order online and get a delivery. Swapping out the gluten, Almond Butterfly bakes with all natural ingredients to create a range of desserts from brownies, to cookies, to full blown cakes. Check out our full review of Almond Butterfly here for a better rundown of their sweet and gluten free treats.
When: Garden is open every day; visitors are encouraged to reserve a time slot online
Address: 4101, rue Sherbrooke E., Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Check It Out: To get your first taste of spring weather in one of the city's most beautiful settings. The exterior gardens might not be blooming just yet, but there are also nine greenhouses to explore!
And the great news doesn't stop there — not only can you eat vegan fried chicken guilt-free here, but the restaurant confirmed it plans to have a terrasse for locals to eat and drink "fun cocktails and local craft beers" come summer.
Montrealers two favourite things put into one: terrasses and (fake) fried chicken.
"With all the new fried chicken places, we thought it was important to have a vegan version especially for the sustainability of the planet and good vibes for the animals," the owner told us.
Address: 417, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: To get a taste of vegan fried chicken or the "smashburgers" for yourself and see what all the hype's about.
Montreal's Ranking On The 2021 Best Cities Report
The pandemic has definitely factored into these rankings, with many large cities being hard hit by the virus.
"A city’s performance for factors such as Facebook check-ins, Instagram mentions, recommended culinarily experiences, museums, nightlife, culture and shopping have some of the highest correlations with not only the number of visitors a city receives, but with investment and economic growth as well," said Chris Fair, president and CEO of Resonance.
Montreal ranked 22nd for equality and 25th for cultural events. Despite our diverse and highly-educated populace, we only ranked 30th for education and 31st for foreign-born population.
In other categories, Montreal ranked 47th for prosperity, 42nd for food, shopping and nightlife, 29th for diversity — perfectly average in almost all categories.
"It’s becoming increasingly clear: the city’s future may be more dependent on its growing brains than on its considerable heart," according to the ranking.
The top spot on the ranking, if you're wondering, went to London.
It's the best mix of fried chicken and Asian food.
It may seem like a bold idea, but that's exactly what Ho Lee Chix was going for.
"We tried to do something different, catchy, riskier of a concept," says David Pham, co-owner of Lucky Belly Group.
"It's the perfect mix of sour fried chicken with Asian food."
Realizing that most people head to places in Chinatown and order dishes like kung pao chicken, the team decided to do something similar, but keep it unique.
Ho Lee Chix specializes in fried chicken and offering an array of Chinese-style dips, it brings the crispy, salty goodness from the chicken and the culture and exoticness from the sauces.
There's also a list of Chinese sides to really complete your meal, including Singapore noodles and fried rice.
You can also try a fried chicken burger, the Ho Lee F***, that tastes just that good...
There's something on the menu for carnivores, vegans and gluten-free people alike.
The words "fried" and "chicken" may seem like they may not be very welcoming to vegans, vegetarians and those who keep to a gluten-free lifestyle, but Ho Lee Chix is for almost everyone.
You can try a soy-based vegan burger that David tells MTL Blog, "Our vegan customers really enjoy it."
The idea came out of an observation that there really aren't many quality options for vegans and vegetarians for a chicken-alternative in Montreal, so the team has developed one that they say tastes pretty similar.
As for the gluten, ALL of the chicken is fried in a rice flour batter, making it gluten-free and actually makes the chicken even crispier.
Ho Lee Chix has become a sizzlin' sensation.
Since opening, Ho Lee Chix has been incredibly popular.
Like seriously, as hot as the fryer.
Originally only in Le Centrale, Ho Lee Chix spread its wings and opened another location Rockland Centre in September, which has also been a huge success so far.
The team plans to open more locations and bring the concept to even more people in Montreal.