The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Montreal
We’re going to start off by saying Montreal is an amazing city. It’s filled with beautiful architecture, culture and of course food. As a vegan and a human being – food is very important to us when we travel. It’s actually what we plan almost all of our trips around. Kat recently made a trip to Montreal for the sixth time. If you can’t tell – she loves Montreal. In today’s blog post she’ll be taking over to detail all her favourite spots for vegans in Montreal with The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Montreal.
Hey guys, Kat here. I just got back from a six day trip to Montreal and I am so happy! I’ve been a few times previously, but typically only for a weekend. This is the first time I was there for longer than three days, so naturally a fit in as much food as I possibly could. Disclaimer: I have not been to every vegan restaurant or restaurant with a vegan option in Montreal, this guide is based on the places I have been. Check out my Ultimate Vegan Guide to Montreal below.
Interested in more blog posts about being plant-based? Check out our How To Vegan blog all about being vegan.
Aux Vivres has been one of my go-to Montreal restaurants for a long time. It’s fresh, vibrant and super generous with the serving sizes. As the first all vegan restaurant in Montreal, Aux Vivres is super popular and for good reason. They offer delicious wraps, burgers and salads as well as some Indian-fusion dishes. I’ve tried a number of different dishes here, but the one I always come back to this the BLT. Served in a HUGE chapati, this wrap is literally the size of your head and packed with lettuce, tomato and their delicious coconut bacon. One of these, which goes for $12.50 is enough to share of take home and enjoy the rest later.
Other honourable mentions include their Gyro, Malai Kofta, and the Aux Vivres Burger.
We were disappointed to find out Ramen 9000 was closed for the season, but happy that we found it last time we went to Montreal. Operating out of Dalla Rose, an ice cream shop, that found their sales dip in the winter. Instead of closing for the season they made ramen and thank goodness they did because it’s seriously some of the best ramen in the world. You all have them to thank for Kat’s obsession with dehydrated mushrooms.
Another one of my go-to spots when in Montreal. I usually try and go a few times just so I can have a little bit of everything. Their space is absolutely perfect – a small all pink cafe right in the middle of an *almost* all black building makes it stand out in the most perfect way. It’s one of those bakeries that you never want to leave because the vibe is just too good. They offer a wide array of baked goods – including PIZZA! Although disclaimer we haven’t tried the pizza just yet as we’ve been so obsessed with their croissants and chocolate chunk cookies. Seriously I can’t even begin to tell you how many cookies I’ve eaten from this place – so dang good. Looking for a great croissant? I highly recommend the almond, simply delicious.
A spot that offers a delicious menu full of vegan eats and a beautiful setting. Just outside Old Montreal it’s a great spot for a nice dinner out. The Zucchini Fritters were expectantly light and the Vietnamese Bowl was the perfect dish after a long hot day in the sun. We also opted to get dessert, trying out the Maple Tart and Mango Crème Brûlée. The Maple Tart was good, not amazing. If you’ve got a sweet tooth you’ll absolutely love it, if you don’t I’d steer clear. The Mango Crème Brûlée was tasty but lacked that classic Crème Brûlée sugar glass on top – not having it just felt like a regular pudding.
Bowhead Pub is everything I wish Vegandale/Doomies here in Toronto was. It offers classic bar/pub foods except everything is 100% plant-based and delicious. We’re worried anytime we go to a plant-based pub that they’ll overcompensate by adding way too much oil (an experience we had with Doomies). However we we’re pleasantly surprised when everything turned out absolutely incredible. This was our big night out on the last night of the trip so we got a bunch! We tried their Po Boy, Captain Brgr, Anml Fries and Pretzel with Maple Dijon Dip. There was not a single dud in the group – everything was awesome. Bonus points for their fries being waffle fries – the perfect amount of crunch. I’d highly recommend splurging when you go to get a few different things. Plus the vibe is exactly what you look for in a bar – Toronto needs this place so badly.
This is not an all vegan place. In fact they only have one vegan option, but it’s a good option. Plus La Banquise is a Montreal institution. A 24hr poutine restaurant that is know for have an hour long wait time just for poutine. Yes, it’s that good. The first time we visited Montreal we go extramely lucky and caught La Banquise with an open table so we didn’t have to wait. This time around we arrived around 11PM on a Wednesday night and had a wait time of about 30 minutes for our poutine take-out order. I’m sure some think this is redicilous, but this is exactly what we love about Montreal. People waiting sometimes hours for a good plate of poutine. I do wish they would invest in some vegan cheese curds as they are available, instead of the Daiya shreds that they use, but the gravy is amazing.
The biggest surprise of the trip was actually an unplanned stop. I had no idea this place existed before arriving at Atwater Market in Montreal on Day One. We stopped by before heading to our AirBnB to pick up the coveted maple syrup as well as shop around. To our surprise their was a food stall that was ALL VEGAN. The Wonder Burger serves just a handful of dishes and the two that stood out the most to us was The Wonder Burger and The Pulled Jackman. There are no words to describe just how good these were. Kat literally fell in love with The Wonder Burger and her non-vegan boyfriend said the Pulled Jackman was the second best pulled pork, vegan or not, he has ever had. Believe us, that is HUGE praise. If you find yourself in Montreal this is a MUST TRY, along with Atwater Market being a MUST VISIT.
Kat LOVES Lola Rosa. It was here that Kat had one of the dishes that made her fall in love with the vegan scene in Montreal. A few years back she tried their Lola Nachos with vegan cheese and was blown away. This time around she tried the Cajun Burger and was even more blown away. The burger was fried, but not too greasy and offered the perfect amount of spice. Plus it comes with both fries and salad which we LOVE; and another spot that has delicious vegan mayo for dipping. Not to mention they have housemade kombucha!!! Cannot say enough good things about this place.
With a no-waste policy, Cafe Tuyo is one of the few places in Montreal where you can be more sustainable without carrying around a backpack full of reusable goods. Everything there is either food waste or recyclable which means don’t expect to get a single-use coffee cup here. Instead they offer their take-out drinks in reusable mason jars! All you have to do is put a deposit of $1.50 per mason jar added to your bill and you have a no-waste drink to go. When you’re done with it you can bring it back to get your money back or keep it and reuse it! But don’t worry it’s no-waste policy isn’t the only thing it has going for it. Cafe Tuyo also boasts some delicious baked goods and drinks! We got an iced Matcha with soy milk and it was absolutely perfection. Beat only by pairing it with one of their flaky and buttery vegan croissants or pain au chocolat.
In need of some vegan breakfast? It can be hard to come by, but in Montreal it’s not. Thanks to Copper Branch and it’s quick growth there is a vegan breakfast option on almost every block. From smoothies to breakfast burritos and a ton of plant-powered bowls. Their South West Wrap Scramble, Coconut Matcha Latte, Poutine and General Copper all have the TMG stamp of approval. Copper Branch is growing quickly so thankfully you don’t have to travel far to try this tasty menu with locations in Ontario now!
A non-vegan restaurant that has an awesome vegan/vegetarian menu. Think classic American food like fried chicken burgers, hamburgers and poutine. It’s everything you want in a good classic burger place. There is a chance of cross-contamination as they fry vegan items in the same oil as non-vegan items, but they were super open and honest about this and it really doesn’t bother us. The food is great and there are a bunch of locations across Montreal.
The summer side of Ramen 9000. When the ramen makers close up shop in the spring they go full swing into delicious ice cream. Keep in mind that not every flavour is vegan but you can easly ask which are dairy-free and which aren’t. Kat’s personal favourite is the Coconut Milk Matcha.
If you’re looking for a lunch spot to impress, Tendresse is for you. It’s small, cozy, but packs a delicious menu of dishes. The menu is fairly small, but judging by the size of the kitchen I honestly don’t know how they even maintain the current menu. We went for lunch and there we’re two people working with a full restaurant; a chef and a server. Kat was blown away with how they were able to mange the crowd and still push out incredible looking and tasting food. We got the TLC (vegan BLT) and the Burger – both were absolutely delicious. Each came with a side of fries and an herb mayo for dipping to make it absolute perfection. If we think of an ideal lunch – this is what we think of. Plus whatever they added to the mayo was BOMB. Seriously if you don’t already dip your fries in mayo instead of ketchup, you’re missing out.