Committing to not eat meat, or eggs, dairy, or any other animal by-products can limit a lot of restaurant options. Vegetarians/vegans can usually find something on a menu to eat, but its rarely on par with other options, or just a salad of sorts. Fortunatley, Montreal has some fine vegetarian dining options. Don't limit yourself to leafy greens because here is MTL Blog's list of restaurants too tasty to use meat.
Why: Aux Vivres does every meal so well you won't even notice a lack of meat in the mix. Start at breakfast for their fully vegan brunch, featuring grilled polenta and tempeh bacon. For on the go, or light lunches, Aux Vivres has a solid sandwich selection. If you're looking for a big evening meal, try Aux Vivres' fully vegan burgers, Asian-fusion bols, and tons of other options. Aux Vivres even has dessert and a long list of teas to finish off any meal. Truthfully, a little pricey, but Aux Vivres is always quality and you get what you pay for back in flavour.
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, gluten free, and vegetarian twists on classic favourites. A fan of Pad Thai, but not the meat or 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.
La Panthère Verte
Where: 2153 Mackay & 66 St. Viateur
Why: Either sitting down, or in the street via food truck, Green Panther has your vegetarian eating needs covered. A little more lunch oriented, Green Panther boasts a long list of sandwiches, freshly made juices, and a bunch of smoothies. 'Cookies & Cakes' is an entire section on the Green Panther menu, so anyone with a sweet tooth will be very pleased. Priced pretty fairly, Green Panther is a great vegetarian lunch spot.
Why: A classic vegan/vegetarian option in Montreal, and for good reason, Commensal is great for its variety. Nearly anyone, vegan or otherwise, can always find something that catches a hungry eye. If anything, delicious eye candy is the largest negative of eating at Commensal. Set up kind of like a cafeteria, You may end up packing your plate up pretty high at Commensal and then have a pretty steep bill when it comes time to pay.
Why: Before M4 and BurritoShop came on to the food scene, Burritoville was, and still very much is, your best bet for a great burrito. Replacing meat with delicious fillings like sweet potatoe and vegetarian chili, Burritoville makes deliciously meatless quaesadillas, tacos, and of course, burritos. Burritoville does all three very well, but their menu essentially stops there, so be mindful is a slight lack of variety.
Why: With beers on tap and a very large menu, Lola Rosa has everything a 'normal' restaurant would have, and more. Great options are abound for those who aren't a fan of gluten too. Lola Rosa also serves up what are arguably some of the best nachos in the city, a must try for bar-food connoisseurs. Not too long ago, Lola Rosa opened up a new restaurant on Parc, to spread some vegetarian food love outside of the McGill ghetto.
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.
Autumn in Montreal is bliss. The weather is chillier, the leaves are vibrant, and the city is in its loveliest state. But as we trek towards the long weekend, it's easy to be reminded that this year feels a little different.
Though we can't visit loved ones or gather with friends quite yet, that doesn't mean we can't have a good time. Montrealers' favourite fall activities like apple-picking, Mount-Royal hiking, experimenting in the kitchen, and coffee-shop exploring aren't off the table.
From biking to baking plant-based goodies, there are plenty of ways you can still make the best of fall in Montreal — even if you can't see your friends right now. Here are 11 fun things you can do in and around the city to enjoy the rest of autumn.
Take a hike
Considering everything we've gone through in 2020, it might be time to step out of the city life and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you're looking for an adrenaline-pumping trek, a hike through leafy forest paths, or something a little less challenging, there's a trail in Montreal's backyard waiting for you. Pack up the car, get your most comfortable hiking gear on, bring some snacks, and immerse yourself in Quebec's nature. If you're not sure where to go, Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park and Pointe-aux-Prairies Nature Park are great places to start.
We may be dining virtually or skipping the holiday altogether, but one thing we don't have to miss out on is good food this Thanksgiving, and President's Choice® Plant-Based Apple Crumble Pie is the perfect addition to your untraditional Thanksgiving dinner. This ready-made plant-based twist on a holiday classic has fresh apples that are tossed with sugar and cinnamon before being topped with an oat crumble, and the egg and butter-free pie crust which make it plant-based is just as rich and tender as the pie crusts you know and love. All you need to do is simply heat and serve warm to enjoy. Pro tip: try it à la mode with a scoop of PC® Plant-Based Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert for a seriously decadent touch.
Check out thrift shops & decorate your home for fall
Exploring great secondhand shops and vintage stores is one of the essential, inexpensive (and totally thrilling) things to do in Montreal to have a good time. Plus, they're some of the top places to get the best deals. Find that perfect piece to pull your new autumn wardrobe together or nab yourself a few fall-themed gems to decorate your space with. From the Plateau and Mile End to St-Henri and Westmount, you'll have no trouble finding independently owned secondhand shops with vintage treasures in your area.
Take part in (socially distanced) apple and pumpkin picking
Did fall even happen if you didn't go apple picking? Head to one of Laval's many U-Pick farms, like Verger Gibouleau or Verger La Pommeraie Laval to handpick apples, sweet corn, pumpkins, and squash before the shortest season of the year is over. Just be sure to check regulations and book online beforehand; many farms require a reservation to get in.
Go for a leisurely bike ride
Did you know that Montreal has over 350 km of bike paths? Whether you're looking for a mountain trek, cycling near the water, or something low-impact in the downtown area that you can complete on a BIXI, Montreal has a path for every type of biker. Get out there and explore the city!
Try a plant-based treat as an alternative to your favourite dessert
By now, you've probably tried all of 2020's trendiest stay-at-home bakes, so why not switch it up with a recipe that requires no baking at all?President's Choice® Vegan Cheesecake with Coconut and Pineapple is super easy to make and will definitely impress your friends (whether in person, or via Zoom). This plant-based ‘cheesecake’ is actually cheese-free!
While most vegan cheesecake recipes out there call for soaking cashews overnight and blending them in a food processor, you can skip that step (and get several hours of your life back) with ingredients like PC® Plant-Based Plain Coconut Cream Cheese-Style Spread, which boasts the perfect texture for this luscious tropical-topped treat. All you have to do is mix the ingredients and refrigerate. The whole recipe is ready to enjoy in less than two hours.
Admire the fall colours — before they're gone
Montreal is a scenic destination year-round, but the bright colours that take over the city in October make it especially appealing. If you haven't marvelled at the city's fiery red oak trees and orange-hued sumacs yet, there are plenty of fall foliage destinations nearby — like Beaver Lake — which are particularly picturesque this time of year.
Get creative with fall DIY
Spend some time indoors and put your DIY skills to the test with fall-themed projects. Give your home a warm and cozy vibe by hanging pressed autumn leaves, making a pine cone wreath, or getting creative with homemade pumpkin-scented soap. DIY projects are a great way to keep yourself occupied while away from friends, and — bonus — they make great gifts, too.
Catch a sunset
No matter what's going on in the world right now, sunsets in Montreal are still as beautiful as ever. Why not take some of that leftover PC® Apple Crumble, grab yourself a fall-themed drink at a local coffee shop, and hit up one of the many great Montreal vantage points to take in the sights and snap some gorgeous shots? Head to Westmount Summit, Old Montreal, or René Lévesque Park for some of the best spots in the city.
Check out some of Montreal's iconic landmarks
We may not be able to take part in Montreal's usual fall festivities this year, but that doesn't mean we can't take advantage of the city. Typically tourist-soaked landmarks like Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, the Olympic Stadium, and La Grande Roue are just waiting to be explored. It's the perfect time to grab your camera and reconnect with the iconic buildings, landmarks, and sites that make Montreal what it is.
Cozy up with a good book
There's nothing like curling up on the couch, tossing on your warmest socks, and getting lost in a good novel. If your bookshelf is looking a little bare, Montreal has a great selection of used bookstores so you won't have to venture far (and you can support local businesses). Check out The Word Bookstore on Milton or Argo Bookshop on St-Catherine West to find your new favourite read.
As we find ourselves away from family friends more than we might like again, now is the perfect time to experiment with solo activities — like hiking, crafting, and baking — to keep ourselves occupied as the weather gets cooler.
President's Choice growing line-up of plant-based foods makes enjoying alternatives to protein and dairy accessible and delicious for everyone.
Are you an absolute foodie like me? Looking to try something new? Or maybe looking to take your favourite dishes to the next level. Well, the team from Montreal's iconic Sushi Momo recently opened Casa Kaizen and it's worth a stop for your next meal.
Casa Kaizen is a plant-based restaurant that offers Mexican plates with a Japanese influence.
The perfect place for when your taste buds are craving an adventure and your craving something new on the Montreal food scene.
And yes, it's vegan, but trust me, this spot is for everyone...
One of the best parts about living in such a foodie and a diverse city is getting a variety of cultures and cuisines that combine to make for some pretty incredible menus.
Bringing together two cultures from opposite sides of the world, the Casa Kaizen team created plates, combining the culinary traditions and influences of two countries that offer simple, yet tasty plates.
You'll also find recipes from each country, like "tataki" and "sashimi" from Japanese and guacamole from Mexico.
And, of course, you can grab a margarita or some sake. There's also wine, other cocktails and mocktails.
Casa Kaizen's Decor Is Simply Breathtaking
Being in the heart of one of Montreal's trendiest neighbourhoods, walking Casa Kaizen gives you a sense of belonging and comfort, with a burst of creativity.
Decorated with neutral tones and pops of greenery, you'll definitely get a sense of the plant-based life, but not one that is too overbearing.
It's classy and sophisticated. Earthy and dreamy.
It's also incredibly cozy, so it's perfect for the winter months, or you can head outside to the patio on those perfect weather days.
The only thing you'll be dreaming of more than the food is the next chance you'll get to walk through the doors again.
It's A Great Way To Try The Plant-Based Lifestyle
From the same team that brought us Sushi Momo, Montreal's go-to place for vegan sushi, comes what they call "plant-based Asian tapas with a Mexican flair."
Whether you're new to the vegan lifestyle, been vegan for a while or just want to experience it for a meal, Casa Kaizan offers guests a variety of dishes, filled with passion and creativity.
And fruits and veggies, of course.
As Christian Ventura Alatorre, chef and owner of Casa Kaizen and Sushi Momo says, the restaurant is "Helping you to transition to a plant-based lifestyle one meal at a time."
Address: 16, ave. des Pins E., Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: For some serious plant-based eats that bring the best of two delicious cuisines!