While Montreal is certainly a party city, anyone who ever sweats on a dance floor or pounds back a degustation of our finest microbrews knows that the night isn’t over until bread is broken. Luckily, this city is full of places to fill the void, and there’s no reason the sun should come up on your empty belly…
The most obvious dish for soaking up the remnants of the night’s fun is Montreal’s most famous dish, poutine. French slang for mess, it’s the winning combo of French fries, brown gravy and squeaky cheese— plus all its variations, including Italian Poutine (peppers and pepperoni) and Poutine Michigan (with meat sauce). There are several classic spots to order up a poutine after last call.
Restaurant Rapido [4494 Saint-Denis] and its competition across the street, Restaurant Famous, are both classic stop-offs on the buzzing intersection of Mont-Royal and Saint-Denis. While neither of these have show-stopping poutine, the secret is that at 3am, no one cares. Many of the aforementioned show-stopping poutines actually happen further east at La Banquise [994 Rachel East], a hub for tipsy hipsters (tipsters?) after the bar lights come on. Be ready for a line around the block and elevated light and noise levels (not always great at this point in the night), but it’s a classic for sure. Further south in the emerging neighbourhood of St-Henri, Green Spot [3041 rue Notre-Dame] is a surefire spot, also for poutine and other “American” specialties.
Non-poutine late night options
Of course, many Montrealers forgo the drunk-unfriendly concept of a sit-down meal in favour of another treat our city’s famous for: bagels by the half-dozen. Served cheap and steamy hot so that the bag withers in your hand, with a dip (never a spread at that hour): Spinach dip, salmon, cream cheese, hummous or motappa, the choice is yours. Fairmount Bagel and the St-Viateur closest to Parc are both open later than you should be awake.
On Saint-Laurent, the busy bar-hopping stretch also known as The Main, Restaurant De La Main [3864 St-Laurent] is a classic Montreal deli with attendant smoked-meat sandwiches, slaw, pickles and such—as well as a full meat menu of ribsteak and sausages- and is open very late. Dish not to miss: their Varenekes, with sour cream and applesauce, are topped with fried onions that are crispy and chewy at the same time.
Restaurant Tripolis [679 Rue St. Roch], in the partly Greek neighbourhood of Park-ex, is a well-kept secret that has stayed off the radar of loud latenight partiers for a reason: it’s too awesome to be ruined. It’s more like a hangout for off-shift workers and neighbourhood thirtysomethings off the ouzeri scene—but this isn’t only great latenight eats, but some of the best country Greek food in town. Dishes not to be missed: skewered sweetbreads on the grill and the Village Greek salad.
Finally, last but not least, the little lady who runs the new Bernard Palace [281 Bernard W.] a reopened classic diner in the Mile End, warrants a post of her own. In the meantime, though, word to the wise is that she plans to open til 4am in the spring, to serve the almost-famous Gruman78 tacos that became a hit at last year’s Pop Montreal festival.
Photo Credit: Tripolis- Chef Deck
Guest Blogger: Melora Koepke