January 24, 2014 — Montréal’s culinary creativity isn’t limited to carnivorous fare by any stretch: the city is home to many superb meat-free and vegetarian-friendly restaurants with menus that are sure to please herbivores and omnivores alike!
Fascinating faux fare
Chuchai on Saint-Denis Street has been a long-time Plateau favourite. Its innovative, all-vegetarian Thai cuisine features a menu of “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-meat” options, cleverly crafted with vegetable protein by Chef Lily Sirikittikul and her team to replicate the real deal. What’s more, most dishes are also vegan. Enjoy faux-meat and seafood such as panang beef, ginger chicken, salt and pepper calamari/shrimp and even red curry duck alongside a variety of tofu dishes and “Thaipas”, or Thai tapas. Flavourful cocktails and scrumptious desserts the likes of mango sticky rice, banana fritters and tapioca pudding with a heavenly layer of coconut cream add to an already delectable meal. The restaurant interior is simple and elegant, complete with a quiet, calm atmosphere for your dining pleasure. Come summertime, Chuchai’s large terrace is an ideal spot to enjoy its creative fare al fresco.
Spicy international flavour
Down in Old Montréal, Gandhi serves up excellent Indian cuisine. Enjoy the fragrant spices and aromatic flavours of Southern Asia in a host of vegetarian options: chana masala (chick-peas seasoned and mixed with masala sauce), brinjal bhajee (fresh eggplant cooked with onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices), tarka dall (lentils cooked with a touch of butter and fried garlic), vegetable samosas and homemade spiced cheese, all complemented by fragrant basmati rice, naan or chapatti bread, are but a few of the tantalizing dishes available. The restaurant’s fresh, bright interior boasts a simple décor and summery atmosphere, enhanced by white cotton table linen for a pleasantly exotic dining experience.
Unpretentious bistro eats
If you are into flavourful, interesting and healthy vegetarian/vegan fare, then the charmingly low-key Lola Rosa café near McGill University is for you. A chalkboard announces the daily menu in this bistro-style nook with an open kitchen. House specialties include hemp burgers, Lola’s nachos, curries, chilies, quesadillas and a variety of Thai dishes. Desserts are homemade and hard to resist: brownies, apple crisp and cheesecake top the list of popular crowd-pleasers. Beverage options range from fresh juices, wine, cider, microbrewery beer to coffee. Be sure to check out the drawers at your table to find notes from diners past… and leave your own!