Start the Day Off Right with the Best Breakfast in Montreal



Montréalers know breakfast is the best meal of the day, particularly after a night out on the town. Whether you're looking to recover from a late-night revelry or fuel up for a day's adventure, this city has some great options-- healthy and not-so-healthy.

Join in the great Montréal debate over whether St-Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel Factory have the best bagels in town, or on the continent for that matter. 

The classic 1950s diner is a staple on the Montreal breakfast scene and while there are many versions of this popular restaurant, seating can be limited and reservations are unheard of, generally speaking. The turn-over can be quick however so the lines move well. Early birds are the clear winners here. Visit the Man of Grease at his family diner for the famous mish-mash breakfast, enjoy a café au lait with a freshly baked croissant at Boulangerie Première Moisson or get healthy with fresh fruits and smoothies Chez Cora. Looking for something a bit more exotic? Because it's Montreal, you can find breakfasts from all over the world, like the buttery date omelette at Byblos along with other Persian specialties. Like most meals in Montreal, it's hard to find a bad one.



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Byblos


 

Tired of the same old breakfast choices? Head to Byblos near Laurier and Papineau (though it can be easy to miss) for a Persian slant on the first meal of the day. This arty cafe is warm and friendly in a bright setting with high ceilings. Try the delicate and exotic Oriental omelette, made with flour,sugar, rose petals and cardamom or a side of the sweet and nutty halva, feta cheese with min and sweet poppy bread topped with one of their 25 different types of jams. The eggs with dill and creamy feta are popular as is the hot cocoa and excellent coffee.


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Restaurant L'Anecdote


 

Poutine for breakfast? Yum. Enjoy it with your classic two -egg breakfast - any time of the day. This stylish 1950's era diner is a classic serving students and professors and shoppers with their children and local dwellers who can set their own hours. The all-day breakfasts offer some interesting twists. Try the pear and goat cheese crepes, Belgian waffles or eggs Benedict with truffles and shallots. Daily specials are posted on the chalkboard. Lunch is good here too with a variety of interesting burger choices including lamb and bison. Best of all everything seems to go well with the large bowls of cafe au lait.


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Boulangerie Premiére Moisson

 

Owner, Liliane Colpron is on a mission to provide the dining public with healthy food free of preservatives and additives. Follow your nose to this delicious bakery. Nothing beats Premiere Moisson (first harvest)for the quintessential French breakfast of buttery croissants with the accompanying bowl of cafe au lait or hot chocolate. You can also choose from sinfully gorgeous pastries or over 40 kinds of artisanal breads all baked on site. Their nut breads are sublime. On the way out pick up a warm baguette or one of their lunch specials. Many local and not so local grocery stores now carry their breads.


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St-Viatuer Bagel is one of two bagel shops that has been serving the signature Montreal bagel since 1957. Owner Joe Morena stays true to the Eastern European version of the bagel which is hand-rolled, blanched in honey water and then baked in a wood-burning oven. It's a smaller, sweeter and denser bagel with a larger hole compared to bagels from other North American cities and more delicious too. Try the classic poppy seed or sesame seed varieties or experiment with some of the newer variations such as multi-grain and rosemary. Don't forget to grab a tub of cream cheese or butter to go with the warm bagels.


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A Montreal classic, Fairmount Bagel was founded by Isadore Shlafman who has been baking these original bagels since 1949. His hand-rolled, blanched bagels are baked in a wood-fired oven to create a chewy bagel that is sweet and dense with a larger hole than the New York counterparts. There are 20 varieties to choose from ranging from plain to sesame seed to spelt and chocolate chip. The store sells all the other fixings for a bagel breakfast including smoked salmon, cream cheese and butter. It's also open 24-7 so you can pickup warm bagels anytime and head back for breakfast in bed at your hotel.


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Eggspectation
Photo courtesy of Tri Le

 

This chain of Montreal restaurants offers a terrific all-day breakfast with unlimited coffee at five different locations. As the name suggests, all the dishes are centred around eggs--everything from omelets to your basic breakfast of two eggs any style with bacon, ham or sausage, toast, baked beans and grilled potatoes or a ham and potato gratin topper. Eggs Benedict is the chain's specialty, which is delicious and quite possibly, the best you'll find in the city. The main downtown location sits in a renovated office space complete with exposed brick, wrought iron fixtures and huge windows to let the sun in.


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Dubbed the "man of grease," Cosmos former owner, Tony Koulakis and his family have perfected the diner breakfast. Everybody knows the cure for a hangover is a big greasy breakfast and there is no better place to recover from the night before at than Cosmos Diner, a popular hole in the wall diner. Eggs any style come with bacon, toast, and the best home fries in Montreal. Try their signature "Mish Mash" a collection of eggs, potatoes, red peppers, pepperoni bacon, sausage, ham, salami, tomato, onion, and cheese. It's a Montreal legend. Depending on how early you arrive, expect a line-up of locals waiting for one of the eleven seats. Fortunately the service lightning fast and super-friendly.


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Montrealers love their breakfasts, particularly those served late in the morning. Beauty's, a 1950s retro greasy spoon, is one of the best and most popular brunch spot in the city. The standard breakfast comprises fresh-squeezed orange juice, eggs, sausage and pancakes. The veggie crowd loves the spinach omelet and if that doesn't appeal try The Special: a toasted bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato and onion. Portions are huge including large piles of fresh fruit. Best known as a popular hangover cure for the locals, the line-ups can be brutal on weekends from mid to late mornings. Come early or wait until the afternoon.


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Downtown

 

There really is Cora with a rags to riches story who now has over 37 locations. She has created a great breakfast menu with lots of healthy choices. Order a plate of fresh fruit with yogurt accompanied by freshly squeezed juices or a smoothie with a toasted bagel. There are the classic omelets along with some original concoctions such as Cora's 10-star omelet with five meats and five vegetables. Waffles, crepes, pancakes and French toast are also good choices. Each plate comes with a beautifully arrangement of seasonal fruits. Portions are huge and the refills of her stand out coffee are free. Breakfast at this popular chain is served until mid-afternoon seven days a week.


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NDG / Westmount
B & M Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Coutresy of B & M Restaurant

 

With three locations throughout Montreal,this family style restaurant has been serving breakfasts starting with the NDG location for coming on 70 years. It remains one of the few places where you can still get the classic two egg any style breakfast for under 10 dollars. The decor is best defined as 80s retro, which adds to the charm of these eateries. B& M is also known for their interesting variations on omelets. Those hankering for a sweeter start to the day should try the very tasty sweet and fluffy pancakes or French toast. These are reliable spots to get a carb-filled breakfast to power you through the day.


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Meet Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell is a travel writer who specializes in golf, Montreal and Quebec, contemporary art, cycling and food and wine. Her articles appear on USA Today's 10Best, About.com, Aol, Matador,...  More About Sherel

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