More fun in Montreal
December 23, 2008 2:49 PM   Subscribe

What's fun and funky in Montreal next weekend?

Going to Montreal next weekend (1-4 Jan) and I'm looking for fun and funky stuff to do there. What my friend and I like:

ethnic food (really authentic)
interesting local food
cool design - shops, museums
indie bands
punk/electronic bands
good DJs/dancing
interesting people
international stuff
really amazing croissants and coffee

Is there a free paper/guide for Montreal that I can pick up or see online? Any recommended listings for the kinds of things we are looking for? Is there a good neighborhood to stay in to be close to the kinds of places we will like? Any must-see for us?

posted by kenzi23 to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is a popular message board for Mtl Hipsters.

Free weeklies are the Hour and the Mirror.
posted by Sully at 3:01 PM on December 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

You may want to eat Moroccan food, there is a very little casual restaurant called Ad-Deyafa, 5572 Jean-Talon east, Phone 514-257-6193.
posted by zouhair at 3:47 PM on December 23, 2008

The MACM (métro Place-des-Arts) will still be showing Sympathy for the Devil.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:59 PM on December 23, 2008

In other music-museum news, the MMFA (Métro Guy-Concordia) will have Warhol Live. The two main English-language free cultural weeklies in Montreal are the Mirror and Hour. They have movie, music, etc. listings, and you can pick up paper copies in many shops, restaurants and metro stations.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:09 PM on December 23, 2008

And one last post (promise). My standard coffee (I'm not saying it's any kind of "best" coffee) in Montreal is Brûlerie St-Denis, either the 1587 St-Denis location (close to Berri-UQAM metro), or the 5252 Côte-des-Neiges location. The CDN Brûlerie is authentic in that it is home to the Ministry of Speech (at least that's the name Émile Ollivier gave them), a group of members of the Haitian diaspora. But business hasn't been so good lately, and I saw them less than I used to this summer.

La Ligne Rouge (400 Jean-Talon, very close to the metro) is a greasy greek fast food place that I like. I'm a homebody, so I can't claim it's the best stuff in town tho.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:33 PM on December 23, 2008

On Sat Jan 3rd Broken Palace are playing Sala Rosa and White/Light are playing right across the street at Casa del Popolo.

Sala Rosa is worth visiting just for the Tapas at the restaurant downstairs, its the Spanish Social Club for that neighbourhood and most of the food is to die for. So come for food, stay for shows!
posted by furtive at 7:45 PM on December 23, 2008

Wow, La Ligne Rouge is one of the few places I actively warn people off. It's the only place I've seen someone slice shish taouk chicken and then fry it in grease on a grill before putting it into a sandwich. Ick.

Best coffee: The Cafe Olimpico (aka Open Da Nite) offers unequalled hipster spotting, the best latte in town, a view of St. Michael's Church and nearby bagels, used books and also the Drawn & Quarterly bookshop on Bernard if you have any interest in alt comics. No croissants though. Biscotti. I'm not thrilled with the Arahova resto along there, so if you want Greek food hop on the 80 (or 535) north to Park Ex and find Marven's and have the calamari.

My fave pho resto is also in Park Ex, Lyla on Jean-Talon, and you can find good cheap Indian food along that stretch as well. Pushap's good and incredibly cheap vegetarian Indian.

There's also La Banquise 24-hour poutine.

Any particular cuisine you're looking for?
posted by zadcat at 11:17 PM on December 23, 2008

You'll be too late for the full NYE party, but get in on the Iloveneon after after party on the 1st. Checkout for info. Going to be a crazy night.

As for restos. I second indian up on Jean-Talon. Especially bombay mahal (BYOB). There's also some good eats on the plateau. Two ethiopian places (practically facing each other on St-Denis) are top shelf. The first is Blue Nile and the other is Abiata. I believe they're actually owned by the same people (riddle me that) Both are just above sherbrooke. Almost identical menus, though I think Abiata is slightly cheaper. Both are not BYOB.

Another place that I like, but mostly for the atmos, is gout du pacific a block up Duluth (@ St-Denis). It's asian fusion whatsit which isn't particularly amazing or anything, but it's cheap, BYOB and the resto has a wicked secret courtyard for summer dining. Alas that doesn't apply now.

Make sure you score a few dozen bagels at St-Viateur Bagels up on St-Viateur. Don't let anyone try and sell you on Fairmont bagels. They're rubbish and that person probably hates you. Real friends push St-Viateur.

Good luck!
posted by Smegoid at 7:29 AM on December 24, 2008

Minor correction: the Cafe Olimpico does have croissants, so you're good. Also try the roti at the Jardin du Cari, Guyanese food just east of there on Saint-Viateur.

And of course, Schwartz's.
posted by zadcat at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2008

I recommend Indian Beau Village if you up in that end of town. Cafe Olimpico is good. So is walking along Bernard west of Parc and Laurier too, more French.
posted by furtive at 1:50 PM on December 24, 2008

Response by poster: Soo many great ideas...thanks.

Can anyone give me a site like yelp with a lot of restaurant reviews from regular folk? I checked out Martini Boys which is good but not enough places are reviewed. Thanks!!
posted by kenzi23 at 5:32 PM on December 24, 2008

The local search/review site comes from Montreal and so though the site is still pretty new it has decent coverage of central Montreal.
posted by mikel at 10:30 AM on December 25, 2008

Here's my meta-list of Montreal food blogs which will direct you to review sites.
posted by zadcat at 6:23 AM on December 26, 2008

The best coffees are at Caffe in Gamba which is also a nerds/hipsters hangout. The best croissants in the same area are at the Figaro.
posted by racingjs at 11:11 AM on December 26, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all your help, had a GREAT time in Montreal. The coffee at Caffe in Gamba was wonderful, the atmosphere as well. Tried to get bagels at Fairmount AND St. Viateur but my friend was tired of walking around so I only made it to Fairmount. They were great, but I prefer NYC bagels in the end; I guess that's really what you grow up with and come to define as "real". As we were doing a lot of our exploring on New year's day and the 2nd a LOT of places were closed, so I only managed to find good croissants at one place: La Croissanterie (I think that was the name) near Caffe in Gamba and Fairmount bagels. Le Commensal had a great buffet of vegeterian food (Ste Catherine and McGill College). We also had dinner at la Salle a Manger (by the chef from Reservoir) which was excellent, probably our best meal there. Thanks!
posted by kenzi23 at 3:15 PM on January 6, 2009

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