Thanks to Conference Chair Gary Gebhardt and the Local Committee for sharing their personal favorites in Montréal.
Chez Lévêque is an awesome, very French restaurant in Outremont. Translated as “the Bishop’s place,” the décor has a heavy Catholic flavor, which borders on campy. Great food. Have taken ken anderson there at least once and he seemed very happy. A short bus (51), bike (BIXI downhill) or cab, or a healthy walk—around 3 km from HEC Montréal and hotels. Reservations required.
Chez Lévêque • Restomontreal • Yelp
Leméac Café Bistro is another fantastic French restaurant in the Outremont neighborhood. More glass, more seating, more light, but equally good food—just across the street from Chez Lévêque. Hosted Rita Denny there one evening and I think that she would recommend it! The restaurant is a short bus (51), bike (BIXI downhill) or cab ride, or a healthy walk—around 3 km from HEC Montréal and hotels. Reservations required.
Leméac • Restomontreal • Yelp
Le Quartier Général is my favorite restaurant on the Plateau, a heavily French section of Montréal sometimes referred to as the 21st Arrondissement of Paris because of all the French immigrants that live there. Really super fantastic food. Overall, a kind of French-Québec style, with all ingredients sourced from Québec. “Oh God, was that good!” was Rita Denny’s assessment. This restaurant is BYOB (bring your own bottle), so stop by an SAQ (provincial liquor store) to pick up some good wine before going to dinner. You’ll need to take public transport (Métro or bus), a BIXI, or a cab to get here. Reservations required.
Le Quartier Général • Restomontreal • Yelp
Le Club Chasse et Pêche is my favorite restaurant downtown when someone on an expense account is paying and wants to take me out! It’s in Old Montréal, so within walking distance to all of the conference hotels. The name translates to “the hunting and fishing club,” which explains the preoccupation with wild game and fish on the menu. I consider this to be the “most fancy” of the places that I’m suggesting, although Chez Lévêque and Leméac are both very nice as well. Best to take public transport or a cab from HEC Montréal, although you could walk here from any of the conference hotels (1–2 km). Reservations required.
Le Club Chasse et Pêche • Restomontreal • Yelp
Go to la Banquise on the Plateau if you really want to have an authentic poutine experience. It’s kind of a greasy spoon, burger joint that specializes in poutine—but it’s the IT spot for poutine in Montréal! 3–4 km from hotels.
Banquise on the Plateau • Restomontreal • Yelp
If you’re looking for an amazing Québec dinner experience on Saturday (reserve now!) or Wednesday (closed on Monday and Tuesday), consider Au Peid de Cochon. It is the most over-the-top Québécois inspired food you can get in Montréal. Yes, you can go to la Banquise for authentic poutine, but nothing compares to the foie gras poutine (with maple syrup) at Pied de Cochon! It’s on Duluth Avenue on the Plateau, which is a major street for all kinds of great restaurants leading to an amazing park (Parc La Fontaine) just four blocks east. 3–4 km from hotels. Reservations required.
Au Peid de Cochon • Restomontreal • Yelp
If you’ve never been to Lima, Tiradito is probably your best bet for getting a taste of one of the best cuisine in the World. Inspired by the Nikkei tradition, a fusion between Peruvian and Japanese culinary tradition, this Peruvian Brasserie serves incredibly tasty and visually stunning dishes (ceviche, causas, tiradito, etc.). Everyone is seated around a beautiful bar and the cooks prepare the plate’s right in front of you which adds to the experience. Since there are no tables, it’s more suited for small groups (2-4 peoples). It is centrally located, close to Chinatown, le quartier des spectacles and old Montreal. There are sometimes live djs and not to forget, probably the best Pisco Sour outside of South America. Salud! Just a few blocks from conference hotels.
Tiradito • Restomontreal • Yelp
After a few pints at La Taverne du Cheval Blanc (1–2 km from hotels), walk a few minutes to escape Montreal’s October cold for a few hours. Agrikol, a Haitian restaurant, co-owned by Regine and Wen from Arcarde Fire, is the real deal. The rum based cocktails are amazing (and strong), the traditional Haitian food comforting and the music always amazing. The mellow Caribbean’s vide of early in the evening are replaced by very loud Funk and Afro-Beats as the night progress. It’s a total carnival experience. Close to Berri UQAM metro station, 1.5–2.5 km from hotels. Bon Bagay!
La Taverne du Cheval Blanc • Restomontreal • Yelp
Agrikol • Restomontreal • Yelp
If you feel adventurous, don’t miss Le Diplomate. This hidden gem in Montreal Mile-Ex neighborhood (at the center of Rosemont, Mile-end and La petite Italie neighborhood) is all about creativity. Prior to this, Young Chef Aron Languille was chef at Orange Rouge, an Asian Restaurant in Chinatown, worked in various restaurant around town (le Club Chasse et Peche, Le Filet) and at NOMA in Copenhagen (named best restaurant in the world 4 times). At his new tenure he mixes all these influences to create some very creative and flavorful dishes. The wine selection is fantastic and unusual. The place is quite small so reservation highly recommended for group of 4 and more. Probably easiest to go by cab or UBER. 4–5 km from hotels.
Le Diplomate • Restomontreal • Yelp
Bistro Japonais Furusato has the best sushi in Montréal, according to not just me, but a number of friends and colleagues whom have lived in Japan. It’s not very fancy, but it’s amazing! Around the corner from Delta Hotel and 1 km or less from Intercontinental & Renaissance. Reservations strongly suggested.
Restomontreal • Yelp
Kashima is my second favorite Sushi restaurant in Montréal, located in Westmont, an English-speaking city within Montréal. (It’s complicated.) It’s accessible by Metro (Station Atwater), bus or cab. 2–3 km from hotels. Reservations suggested.
Kashima • Restomontreal • Yelp
My favorite Indian Restaurant in Montréal is Atma, located on the Plateau, along St Laurent Boulevard. I found this based on recommendations made by Indians living in Montréal, who also (and more credibly) consider it the best Indian food in the city. Accessible by bus, metro or cab from HEC Montréal or the Hotels. 1.5–2 km from hotels. Reservations strongly suggested.
Atma • Restomontreal • Yelp
OK, if you are craving American, consider the Deville Dinerbar: “The Next Evolutionary Step in Classic American Diners.” If I’m craving a bit of Americana, this is where I go. Not only is the food amazing – and very American – but they actually have a selection of bourbons, which is harder to find in Montréal than you would imagine! This place is an easy walk from all of the conference hotels, as well as accessible by Métro (station Peel), bus or cab from HEC Montréal.
Deville Dinerbar • Restomontreal • Yelp
Sorry to any New Yorkers, but everyone who’s tried a Montréal Bagel know that we make them the best – the only question is whether St Viateur or Fairmont make the best bagels in Montréal. How to decide? You can walk from one to the other and test them yourself! Here is a blog post with the relevant information, including some other bagel shops in the city: Best Montreal Bagel Shops 2016
If you’re looking for a good place to drink, both the Hotel Intercontinental and the Renaissance have amazing bars. The Renaissance in particular has two very trendy, upscale bars: one on the ground floor and a second on the rooftop! Aside from hotels themselves, there is a plethora of places to go and things to do near all three conference hotels – that’s why we selected them! Also ask the concierges for their recommendations. Here are a few.
Upstairs Jazz Club, which has great live music in an very intimate setting. 1–2 km from conference hotels. Reservations suggested for dinner.
Upstairs Jazz Club • Restomontreal • Yelp
Diese Onze is also a great, intimate location for great jazz. On the Plateau, it’s a short cab or bus ride from downtown. It’s an uphill walk or bike ride from hotels (2–3 km). Reservations strongly recommended and required for dinner.
Diese Onze • Restomontreal • Yelp
Magdalena has jazz night every Wednesday and you can eat next door at Ludger before. 3–4 km from hotels.
Atwater Cocktail Club is a speakeasy with the best bartender in Montreal. You’ve gotta try the “Smoke show”. 2–3 km from hotels.
Atwater Cocktail Club
L’île Noire is a simple bar in the Plateau with an incredible scotch selection. 1–2 km from hotels.
One of the best resources for exploring Montréal is Tourisme Montréal.
TripAdvisor also has a useful list of things to do.
Mark Twain said of Montréal: “This is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window.” You’ll see why the moment you enter the city. If you’re into grand Catholic churches, there are some amazing ones here, including Notre Dame, a short walk from our conference hotels, and Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mont Royal, which is adjacent to the University of Montréal campus and a 1.5 km walk from HEC Montréal.
Mont Royal – in the center of the city and island – is an amazing public park. The museums here are world class. It all depends on what you’re into…so to go the MTL website or Tripadvisor and good luck narrowing down your options!
If you are looking for something different, explore le centre PHI. The multidisciplinary arts and culture organization organizes various events ranging from installations to live performance. Of particular interests is their virtual reality garden, where you can experience this novel technology with groundbreaking films. Located in Old Montreal.
The Promenade Fleuve-montagne was created for the 375th anniversary of Montreal. This 3.8 km route leads you through some of Montreal’s landmarks, from the old Port to the Mont-Royal. Work of arts (questionable in some cases) were created specifically for the promenade.
Here are three great walks: