This past weekend I returned to Montréal with a close friend of mine for our annual girls weekend. Since our last trip my friend has chosen the vegetarian route, and I was so excited to venture for fabulous veggies in the land of smoked meat. If you’re looking for a way to eat healthy (and fairly cheaply) in the city, be sure to check out some of these places! Your body (and your wallet) will thank you for it.
We arrived late Thursday night as our train was delayed, so we were looking for some quick eats close to our place. At midnight not a lot of places are open as this is getting close to prime drunk food time, let alone vegetarian. However, there is this wonderful little place called Boustan right at the corner of Maisonneuve and Crescent… meaning a 5min walk from our place. Not a vegetarian restaurant per-se, but it has a few lovely vegetarian options. We both ordered the vegetarian pita to go – a mix of sprouts, beets, potatoes, cabbage and hummus thrown into a warm pita. The best part? This filling pocket of deliciousness runs you $5.20, so both your belly and your wallet are happy campers.
Friday was a day of wandering, so with latte in hand we wandered towards Saint Laurent. Our lunch date was at the vegan Aux Vivres, an eco-friendly restaurant that uses locally grown ingredients. I had been here once before in the summer, and it is hands down my favourite vegan restaurant in the city. I ordered the dragon bowl featuring tofu, shredded beets, carrots, red cabbage, daikon, dulse, sprouts, all on a bed of organic brown rice. My friend ordered the dragon sandwich, made with the same ingredients but served in a chapati (similar to a wrap). Both of these dishes featuring their house-made dragon sauce which is to die for. I can’t get enough of it! You can also replace the tofu in both of these dishes for tempeh for a small surcharge. If you’re starving, I’d suggest going with the dragon sandwich as I find the chapati more filling than the rice, but both are absolutely delicious and highly recommended. They’re also so pretty! Something so colourful must mean it’s good for you. The sandwich is $12.59 with tax, and the bowl is $13.80 – pretty cheap considering everything is organic and super healthy!
During the day we stopped at the wonderful thrift store Eva B, down a few blocks from Aux Vivres. Not only is this place cheap for clothes, but they also have delicious vegetarian treats. We picked up a few of their samosas, each running a dollar and change. Yes, you heard be correctly, a single dollar for a deliciously filling samosa. We bought two each, but I definitely should have bought more. Probably my only regret for the entire trip. They’re great for a snack, or I could have easily had them with some veggies for dinner. Hands down a great place to keep in mind for eating cheaply and healthy!
As this was also my friend’s first time in Montréal, it was imperative that I took her to La Banquise. Yes, you’ve already heard all about it in my previous Montréal post, so I won’t go into grave detail. Just know that any of their poutines can be made vegetarian by tacking on an extra $1.25 for their vegan gravy, an extra $1.50 for their vegan cheese, or you can just go for their vegan poutine! Their vegan poutine costs $9.78 – another meal that doesn’t break the bank!
Saturday we stayed a little closer to home as we weren’t feeling well due to self-inflicted sickness, so we made our way to Crudessence. This restaurant is not only vegan, but also focuses on live/raw food and was full of the nutrients we needed to feel human again. This restaurant is a little on the pricier side, but the food is definitely worth it. I had their Maffé which is an African dish that has a similar consistency to curry served on a bed of rice, or in this case, quinoa and millet. There are a lot of variations to the dish, but Crudessence’s focused around root vegetables making it a hearty dish perfect for winter. My friend had the pesto lasagna, layered with zucchini and macadamia nut ricotta, with fresh tomatoes, spinach, a pistachio pesto and pine nuts. It is accompanied by a kale salad with their homemade croutons and aubergine bacon – both amazingly delicious. Both of these dishes would run you about $17.25, which isn’t too bad considering this establishment is a little on the fancier side compared to the others mentioned so far. If you can manage to treat yourself, definitely check this place out!
After another long day of walking around the city, we came back to our Airbnb for a quick rest and to determine our game plan for Nuit Blanche. After 20 minutes of indecisiveness, we thought warming up from the inside out with some ramen would be a good plan before our night of artsy outside roaming. We made our way to Ramen Misoya and found that they had two vegetarian options. Both were similar, but we opted for the shiro miso ramen. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of vegetables in it as well as how flavourful the broth was. You can add additional toppings to your dish for a surcharge, but the basic on has a perfect amount of variety in my opinion, and it’ll cost you about $11.50. Refuelled and warmed up, we were ready for our wonderful night of art and culture!
This brings us now to Sunday, and our last vegetarian meal in Montréal. Right next to Crudessence was yet another vegetarian restaurant – one of three La Pantère Verte locations. We were both surprised to see two veggie places side by side, but both have very distinct vibes. Where Crudessence is leaning more towards finer dining, with La Pantère Verte as a more low-key and affordable option. Their main feature is falafel, however they have a few more options including veggie burgers, soups, and a plethora of dessert, juice, and smoothie options. We both had the FalaFusion – falafel, lettuce, sumac onions, carrots, sprouts, and their yogi sauce. If I could have bought a bottle of the yogi sauce, I would have. It definitely made the whole thing! Super delicious, and it only runs you a little over $8 for a full pita. There’s a half pita option, but the extra $2 is worth having the whole thing. Trust me, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t! This location also has a wonderful little window nook (no shoes allowed!) with pillows making it a perfect spot to relax and catch up on some reading while indulging in their delicious treats.
In tallying this all up, for 6 delightful vegetarian meals in Montréal, you would spend approximately $65 – almost $11 per meal. Mind you if you skipped the more pricer Crudessence and opted for doubling up one one of the other restaurants (or even for making a meal out of Eva B’s samosas!), you could easily get this down to less than $10 per meal. Now who says you can’t eat well without breaking the bank?!