Local Information by Greg Butler

The Quartier Concordia is a lively cosmopolitan district around Concordia University. With the summer weather and the abundance of cafes and restaurants, we have set aside 90 minutes for lunch on your own so you can explore the offerings.


All You Can Eat

If you are really hungry, then there are nearby restaurants that serve all-you-can-eat, and the food is good. For sushi, try Tokyo Sushi (1805 Ste Catherine West), Kanda (2045 Bishop) and Odaki (1836 Ste Catherine West); for Korean BBQ, Seoul Chako (1824 Ste Catherine Vl/est); for Indian, Buffet Maharaja (1481 Rene Levesque West). At dinner only, for steak lovers, there is Le Milsa (1445 Bishop).

Light Lunches

I recommend the food court on the third floor of Le Faubourg Ste Catherine (1616 Ste Catherine West) Where you will find a variety of cuisines and convenient seating for groups. There are also numerous coffee shops: Tim Hortons, Second Cup, Van Houtte, Starbucks, and Java U: the best food is at Java U (corner of Guy and de Maisonneuve, and on the mezzanine level of Concordia’s Hall building). For middle eastern food, try Arouch off the MB lobby, Boustan (2020A Crescent), and the numerous Altaib locations (1625 de Maisonneuve \/Vest, 2125 Guy, 2002 Mackay), and for crepes, fruit juices, and smoothies, there is Cocktail Hawaii (1645 de Maisonneuve West).
For great coffee (but no food), try Cafe Myriade (1432 Mackay), and for teas, Thé Kiosque (1428 Mackay).

Terrases

 A favourite pastime of locals when the weather is good is to dine al fresco on the restaurant terrases. Wander along Crescent between de Maisonneuve and Ste Catherine to see what I mean. You will find delightful terrases throughout the Quartier Concordia and throughout Montreal: Crescent, St Denis, and Old Montreal in particular.

Other Restaurants to Mention

Quartier Concordia has developed a host of noodle restaurants, standard Chinese restaurants such as Prét a Manger (1809 Ste Catherine West) and authentic Chinese like Restaurant Shi Tang (1622 de Maisonneuve West), Cuisine Szechuan (2350 Guy); and for dumplings, Qinghua (1676 Lincoln).
There is Indonesian: Gado Gado (1242 Mackay); local seafood at The Oyster Shack (1242 Bishop), and Indian at Maison de Cari (1236 Mackay), Etoile des Indes (1806 Ste Catherine West), and Thali Cuisine Indiennc (1409 St Marc).
Ferrari (1407 Bishop) makes its own fresh pasta and great pizzas, as well as Italian food in general. Do not go there at lunch time, especially in a group, as it is packed by Concordia staff and faculty. But do go and enjoy a great dinner. It even has a terrase out back.
Also packed, both at lunch and dinner, is Kazu (1862 Ste Catherine West) serving great japanese Izakaya (pub food). It is small and does not take reservations so be prepared to stand in line.

Pubs

The local pub adjacent to Concordia’s Library Building at 1426 rue Bishop is McKibbin’s Irish Pub with great food. There is also Hurley’s Irish Pub (1225 Crescent) and the microbrewery/pub Brutopia (1219 Crescent).

Supplies: Food, Beer, and Wine

Two great stores for groceries, fruit, and other supplies are: Supermarché PA (1420 rue du Fort) and Les Supermarchés Mourelatos (1621 Ste Catherine West). Mourclatos has a good selection of beer. You should certainly try the local cheeses at PA.
For wine, visit the SAQ (La Société des Alcoels du Quebec, 1618 Ste Catherine West). Local Quebec wine exists but is not recommended, outside of the icewine. Instead try the local ice cider (cidre de glace), sparkling ciders, and cider in general; and the great beer from local microbreweries. There are excellent wines from Ontario (Niagara) and British Columbia (Okanagan Valley): try the Mission Hill Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc or Cabernet Merlot, and any of the ice Wines. As well, you can find great value Wines from Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Greece, and Spain, and an amazing selection of French wines: try those from Alsace, Cote-du-Rhone, or Languedoc. The specialty wines are at the back of the store. Talk to the staff: they are knowledgeable and friendly.
For shopping in general, just walk east along Ste Catherine: it is a major shopping spot stretching miles.

Bring Your Own Wine Restaurants (Apporter votre vin)

There are a number of excellent restaurants that let you bring your own wine, and even do not charge the corkage fee that is common in Toronto and other places. In the Quartier Concordia you can find classic French bistros Le Paris (1812 Ste Catherine West), and Au Bistro Gourmet (2100 St Mathieu). For Italian cuisine, there is L’Academie (2100 Crescent), and for Asian cuisine, Saigon VIP (1850 Ste Catherine \Vest) and Le Showwok (2081 Ste Catherine West).
Farther afield especially on Prince Arthur near St Laurent, and on Duluth near St Denis, you can find many BYO restaurants (With SAQ stores nearby). I have several favourites such as O’Thym (1112 de Maisonneuve East), La Colombe (554 Duluth East), Les Infideles (771 Rachel East), Le Poisson Rouge (1201 Rachel East).

Sight Seeing 

There is so much to see in Montreal. Top of my list for visitors is the beautiful mountain oasis, Merit Royal Park, with the views, the sculptures near Beaver Lake (Lac aux Casters), and the green. And it’s only 10 minutes away from Concordia. For history, and rampant tourism, you must visit Old Montreal. For culture lovers, there is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts) just one block away, the Quartier des Spectacles at Place des Arts metro, which is also the location of the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Musée d’Art Contemporain).

For something different, explore the Underground City of Montreal: for example, make your way from the McGill metro to Bonaventure metro, or from the Place des Arts metro to Place D’Armes metro without going outside: very useful in winter, fun anytime.