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Where to Get a Good Lunch in Montreal



Going out for any meal in Monteal is a joy and lunch time gatherings are particularly popular. Montrealers love their favorite lunch spots and there certainly are a great deal of options up for grabs. From the classic home town smoked meat sandwich to poutine to world famous bagels and three-course haute cuisine meals you'll find it all in Montreal.

If possible arrive early  - a late breakfast or perhaps a late lunch so that you are not competing with the hordes of office workers and students that swell the downtown ranks of restaurant goers. Many popular cafes and restaurants are in quite intimate settings - read small. 

Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in Montréal and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours.

10Best readers find lots to enjoy at Premiere Moisson thanks to its all-around tasty and healthy offerings of home made breads, soups, salads and rich bakery treats. It's also hard to beat Chez Schwartz Charcuterie, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great, filling protein and calorie-heavy lunch.


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Crêpe Café


Crepes - both savory and sweet and lattes are the big draw here. Located in Old Montreal, quaint Crêpe Café is the perfect place for any meal, even a quick snack. On the menu you will find over two dozen different types of crêpes, from the famous Bonne Journée breakfast crepe with sausage and eggs to the mozzarella and pesto crêpe. If you're looking for something more filling, sandwiches and salads are offered as well. Whether it's tourist season or not, take a seat as this is a great people watching spot. It's particularly lively at lunch time and teh line ups can get long.

Recommended for Lunch because: These crepes are not only delicious but are huge too - great for sharing.

Sherel's expert tip: Try to come before or after the main lunch hour rush.

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Café Santropol
Photo courtesy of Photo Courtesy of Cafe Santropol

Killer tomato, mango madness, minted ham and pepper island are just a few of the specialty sandwiches found at Santropol. Decorated like your favorite eccentric aunt's living room with mismatched furniture and silly knick-knacks, this iconic eatery is famous for its sky-high sandwiches. Towering classics include the Killer Tomato (cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic spread, basil and fresh tomatoes) or the St-Urbain Corner (chicken, cream and cottage cheese, honey, nuts and olives). Also on the menu are fresh salads, delicious soups, and the best cup of free-trade coffee in town. If it's warm enough, eat out on the backyard terrace, a total jungle oasis in the heart of the city.

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Chez Schwartz Charcuterie


It's got no décor to speak of, it's tiny, it's crowded, the wait staff are crabby and you'll probably be elbow to elbow with a hungry stranger. All will be forgiven once you bit into your smoked meat sandwich. It's one of Montréal's claims to fame. Nobody does smoked meat like Schwartz's. They've got the art of smoking, curing and spicing the beef brisket so it creates one incredible sandwich. Don't bother asking for a menu here – there isn't one. Just order the usual smoked meat sandwich, fries, pickle and cherry coke. Don't be discouraged when you see the long line ups - they move fast.

Recommended for Lunch because: THE best smoked meat sandwich of all time conveniently located on "the Main".

Sherel's expert tip: If you're in a rush, use the take-out counter next door.

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Wilensky's Light Lunch


Set inside a quaint corner store, Wilensky's can be easy to miss.This Montréal favorite has been serving sandwiches to hungry diners since 1932. The classic sandwich is simple but oh-so-tasty: slices of bologna and salami on a hard-to- categorize bun, with mustard. You can get cheese on that, but otherwise your options are pretty limited. Get a home made cherry cola - no brand name drinks here - or a frappe (egg cream, milkshake) to wash it down. Super fast and cheap, it also happens to be the former hangout of noted author Mordecai Richler. It's also a great place to stop by for an evening snack.

Recommended for Lunch because: It's a unique spot set inside an old-fashioned corner store.

Sherel's expert tip: Order a home made soda from a genuine soda machine

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Moe's Deli & Bar


High ceilings and brick walls adorned with memorabilia set the scene at this fun, casual eatery. It's great place to grab a bite to eat or to meet friends for a drink. There's plenty of room inside for groups, and the outdoor terrace lets you enjoy the weather during warmer months. The menu features sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and pastas, but they're often more interesting combinations than you might expect. For instance, there's a smoked salmon club, a Key West chicken sandwich, and a grilled vegetable baguette. You'll also find fajitas, rotisserie chicken, and several different steaks. In a city that loves its deli food, Moe's is a real crowd pleaser.

Recommended for Lunch because: The smoked meat sandwiches and brisket are some of the best in the city.

Sherel's expert tip: In the summer months, show up early to grab a coveted patio seat.

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Set in an historic building that once housed sailors, this well-loved Old Montreal restaurant sports a crisp, blue and white color scheme and rustic stone walls. It accommodates diners in eight rooms and on an outdoor terrace, surrounding them with great service and terrific food. A crisp lettuce wedge salad is a good if garlicky appetizer for your steak and seafood dishes - the house specialties that include grilled salmon and swordfish, filet mignon, lobster and fresh trout. Other options include grilled chicken, lasagna, veal parmigiana and lamb. The restaurant also offers an elaborate Sunday brunch and holiday brunches as well.

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Les Voyageurs


Although this lounge does a brisk business in the evenings accommodating patrons who come to drink, socialize, and listen to live piano music, it's also a good bet for lunch. Seafood dishes and fresh oysters are a major draw, along with the kitchen's "cuisine of the world." Les Voyageurs knows that time is at a premium, so it guarantees efficient service and quick turnaround for business people who come to dine at lunch and take advantage of the business lunch specials. Its downtown location also means that it's convenient and easy to negotiate sitting beside the Central Via Railway Station.

Recommended for Lunch because: Les Voyageurs offers the prestige and comfort of one Montreal's favorite hotels conveniently located in the heart of downtown.

Sherel's expert tip: Order off the special, all inclusive lunch time menu.

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Alexandre & fils


Best suited to a business lunch - especially for those who prefer to end their meal with a fine cigar and a good quality whiskey. With more than two decades of experience behind it, this French brasserie is a Montréal favorite. Its relaxed but sophisticated ambiance includes a central bar and a variety of decorative mirrors. The menu features traditional bistro fare, such as steak and frites, cassoulet, sausages and sauerkraut, and a selection of seafood dishes. When the weather's warm, the terrace invites guests outside to dine on wicker chairs and bask in the sunlight. In the evenings, the restaurant's second floor becomes a pub, serving draft and imported beers. Great for casual get-togethers.

Recommended for Lunch because: Alexandre & Fils offers a true Parisan bistro experience in Montreal.

Sherel's expert tip: IF you're concerned about prices, walk on by.

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If eating your heaviest meal of the day early is good for you then this is an excellent place to start. The Bar-B-Barn is a great family restaurant that's become a Montréal fixture since it opened its doors in time for the World Fair, Expo '67. Since they're situated downtown and they are heavy on the meat, they attract a large business clientele for lunch. The menu features three sizes of ribs and barbeque chicken: "whole hawg," "half hawg," and "baby hawg." Great place for that ravenous appetite as there is nothing light here - as even the chicken salad platter comes with mashed potatoes.

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Boulangerie Premiére Moisson

All 17 locations offer an impressive array of up to 40 artisan breads from which to choose for your lunch of pork and brie and other mouth-watering sandwiches. An eye-popping array of gorgeous pastries served up with a strong coffee insures this boulangerie - bakery is as much a delight for the nose as it is for the stomach. Other good light lunch options include soup, quiche and salads, leaving plenty of room for the hand crafted chocolates. Try the sea salt caramels or the Valrohna for the ultimate decadence. A wide selection of pies complete the mid day meal.

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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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