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cheap food montreal

In a city renowned for its vibrant food scene and culinary talents, finding an affordable yet delicious Montreal restaurant should theoretically feel like a daunting task. But in reality, knowing and discovering the bountiful cheap eat spots across Montreal is everyone's favourite food-related pursuit — including Montreal's top chefs, six of whom have revealed their hidden gems for a satisfying meal in Montreal under $20.

Considering our vast repertoire of must-try eateries, there is a little bit of everything for everyone, and while it may not feel as if there are delectable cheap eats and inexpensive bars in Montreal, there are more than you'd think.

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Inflation and an ongoing housing squeeze in Montreal means it costs more than ever to live in this city. While it can be tough to find a cheap place to live, however, it’s still easy to enjoy good and inexpensive food. We’ll prove it: These are the best cheap eats in Montreal

Although Montreal has no shortage of award-winning restaurants, the city’s high quality of life can make living here a little more affordable — and maybe even a little better — with great food found at these local restaurants where you’ll not only eat well, but for less.

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It may not always look it with Montreal rents pushing ever closer to those of Toronto, but this city's still got a strong reputation for keeping things on the cheaper side.

In a city full of award-winning restaurants, those of us on a budget can still eat at a fancy place on the cheap. It’s totally possible to dine out like a person with a fat bank account without completely draining your actual bank account.

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Montreal's celebration of local Japanese food, culture and businesses, YATAI MTL, has released its complete list of vendors. 38 in total — including 27 merchants and 11 street food stalls — will take to the Peel Basin between June 8 and 11. The festival will also feature 11 performers and DJs.

Here are the participating merchants:

  • ARTA Arts de la table
    • imported Japanese food products
    • jewellery accessories
  • Atelier Tsubaki
    • jewellery and accessories
  • Bcuit Mtl
    • hand-folded fortune cookies
  • Bosuman
    • anime, manga and cosplay-inspired attire
  • Boutique Kodama
    • clothes and accessories
  • Boutique Meico and Pâtisserie japonaise KotoAn Wagashi
    • two enterprises joining forces to offer accessories, kimonos and sweets
  • Centre Taiyo Inc
    • personal health services (massage therapy, acupuncture, etc.) and products (tea, oils, etc.)
  • Couteaux japonais Stay Sharp
    • knives
  • Kimono Vintage
    • traditional Japanese attire
  • Kimono Yuki
    • kimonos, photo sessions and kimono workshops
  • KoikiJPN
    • floral hair and ear accessories
  • Kyoto Fleurs
    • flowers, plants and home goods
  • La brasserie San-O Sake inc.
    • koji and other Japanese food products made with local ingredients
  • Les enfants sauvages
    • clothes and accessories
  • Loongese
    • tea products, art and home goods
    • reusable meal containers and bento boxes
  • Maruō Works
    • clothes and accessories
  • MIKA
    • plants, ceramics and home goods
  • Okini Céramiques
    • ceramics
  • SA Design by SASA
    • clothes and accessories
  • Sakao Thé Japonais
    • green tea and matcha
  • SO:yA Bakehouse
    • bakery
    • artful posters and stationery
  • Sweet Stationery Shop
    • imported stationery
  • Thés Guru
    • tea
  • Tokusen
    • terroir products

These are the participating restaurants and their YATAI MTL offerings:

    • rice bowl with truffle tuna and watermelon salad (donburi and suika)
  • Dano
    • chicken teriyaki skewers
  • Fleurs et Cadeaux Restaurant
    • BBQ meat and vegetables
  • Hanzo
    • BBQ calamari, octopus, shrimp and potatoes
    • dorayaki (pancakes with a red bean filling), mochi and cookies
  • Poke Bento
    • tempura shrimp, takoyaki and fried gyoza
  • Raku
    • okonomiyaki and yakisoba (noodles)
  • Restaurant Imadake
    • takoyaki, fried gyoza, Japanese curry fries and ichigo kezuri (strawberries and cream)
  • Tsukuyomi Ramen
    • ramen (no broth) with sesame sauce
  • Uncle Testu Montreal
    • Japanese cheesecake, madeleines (pastries) and cheese tarts
  • Yamoyamo Cuisine Japonaise
    • teppanyaki steak and vegetables

YATAI MTL 2023 will also include an '80s disco party, a piano concert Studio Ghibli film soundtracks, a taiko (percussion instrument) performance by Ame no ato, and the return of its popular shiba and akita dog party.

Get a summary of the details below.



  • $3 entrance fee
  • food and product prices will vary
Where: Les QUAIS Peel Basin (end of the Lachine Canal in Griffintown), Montreal, QC


  • June 8, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • June 9, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • June 10, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • June 11, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

YATAI MTL website

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Aubut might just be Montreal's best grocery store.

Though it's easily overlooked. Its single Montreal location sits tucked between CN tracks and rue Saint-Ambroise in one of the last underdeveloped pockets of gentrifying Saint-Henri. The area's towering heritage industrial towers literally overshadow the squat warehouse. And it's uninviting; pedestrians have to brave a walk through a sidewalkless parking lot past loading docks and windowless brick walls just to get to the nondescript entrance.

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So you want to take your honey (or your bro or your mom) to a sweet three-course meal, but you're worried about the price. You're in luck — this year's Happening Gourmand festival is offering table d'hôte experiences at 11 participating Old Montreal restaurants, and prices are as low as $32 for all three courses.

Brasserie 701, Kyo Bar Japonais and Maggie Oakes are just a few of the restaurants participating in this year's Happening Gourmand, which is in its 15th anniversary year.

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It's the final stretch before spring — thank goodness! But that doesn't mean you have to wait indoors for temps to rise and the snow to melt. The worst is behind us and now it's time to make the most of the last bits of winter.

Our city has so much to offer, and even if it's still freezing, you can still find the motivation to get dressed and get out.

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I hate seeing food go to waste. Perhaps it's because I've worked as a waitress in the past and I've seen huge amounts of food thrown out at the end of my shifts. So I was thrilled to discover anti-food-waste apps when I moved to Montreal, and recently, I did a little experiment: eating only food ordered on Too Good To Go for two days straight. Here's how it went.

First, what's Too Good To Go? This phone app allows cafés, restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores to sell their surplus food at a discounted price. So customers theoretically get a great deal, and Mother Earth benefits from less food waste. The trick is you never know what you'll get in your "magic bag."

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As a newbie in this city, I was looking forward to MTLàTable to discover more culinary gems in my neighbourhood. And, let's be honest, when other than Montreal's restaurant week are you going to have an affordable three-course meal at a local eatery?

Looking at the long list of participating restaurants, I made my life easier by choosing the nearest location from my flat, which also happened to have one of the cheapest three-course meals.

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Unsold food at Montreal's Atwater Market is now going to local households in need.

Since November 1, Marchés publics de Montréal, the entity that manages the city's markets, has been partnering with local organizations, Partageons l'espoir and the Centre de ressources et d'action communautaire de la Petite-Patrie's (CRACPP), to give leftover fruit and vegetables to households in the Sud-Ouest and Verdun.

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What an incredible, (mostly) restriction-free summer it was! This festival season was one for the books, though going back to a pre-pandemic lifestyle probably made it challenging to maintain your lockdown-level savings for those of us who managed to pile a bit of cash during that period.

You can keep the fun going while sticking to a budget with these 13 free activities in September. From film screenings to street parties, food festivals and dance classes, you can still get out this month on a budget.

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Photo cred - Mbrgr Montreal

You tell yourself everyday that the soggy sandwich you bring with you to school to eat between classes will be enough, but let's be real, that warm, delicious burrito across the street calling your name, generally wins every time. With amazing restaurants on literally every single street corner, eating out is easy, but so damn hard on your wallet.

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