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Haapdog

Montreal with Kids & Teens

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My family and I will be taking the drive from Massachusetts up to Montreal in the next couple of days and we're hoping you can offer some advice on where to take the kids to eat. I travel to Montreal quite regularly but normally sans munchkins and I'm guessing that they might not enjoy Cube or Toque as much as I do :wink: . Any and all help is appreciated! Thanks!

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My kids [5 and 10] love Spaghettata (399 Laurier W, Phone: 514-273-9509). We've been going there for years (since before they were born). Food's generally good (and consistent, which is also kid-friendly in a way), but it's pretty cool because it's a "real" restaurant (not a chain or fast food), and yet VERY kid-friendly. The servers are usually great with the kids, and right away the kids get a shirley temple, and crayons and paper. And the kids usually get served their food quickly. Oh, and they usually get a helium balloon on the way out, which is of course the highlight of the meal for the young one :smile:

Paul

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OK, I love Spaghettata and have long been a fan because the food is cheap and reliable and the service has been pretty good in the past. Their approach with children is terrific. HOWEVER, I ate there last week and something is going on. The food wasn't so hot and the service was a disaster. Obviously they are having major staff problems these days. I would take a pass on the restaurant -- at least for now.

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Oops -- that's sad to hear. I wonder what's going on? Change of ownership or something? They always seemed a paragon of consistently decent food and reliable service.

Oh well...

Paul

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No, not change of ownership. In fact I saw the owner taking orders at one point in the evening when the service really seemed to lag. He then disappeared right after. Very odd. :unsure:

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BTW, welcome to eGullet Haapdog. :smile:

Here's a list of restaurants I ran with a story about dining out with kids in the Montreal Gazette a few months ago:

A FEW FAVOURITE CHILD-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS

For hamburgers and French fries…

La Paryse, 302 Rue Ontario East. Phone: (514) 842-2040. High quality hamburgers French fries, roast turkey sandwiches and thick milkshakes are sure to appeal to youngsters and parents. The children’s menu, including a small hamburger or grilled cheese with French fries and juice, is $4.95. You’ll also find crayons at every table.

L’Anecdote, 801 Rachel E. Phone: 526-7967. This popular Plateau burger joint offers a children’s menu ($3.65-$5.95) that includes a salad, French fries and a choice of hot dog, veggie dog, hamburger steak or mini hamburger. There are also children’s seats and crayons, and a small table and chairs where children can look at books.

Frite Alors, 1562 Laurier St. E. Phone: (514) 524-6336; 5235A Park Ave. Phone: (514) 948-2219; 143 de la Commune Phone: (514) 875-9540 433; Rachel East. Phone: (514) 843-2490. Another good choice for excellent French fries, hamburgers and much more. Children’s menu $4.75-$6. Crayons at every table.

For something a little fancier…

Gibbys, 298 place d’Youville. Phone: (514) 282-1837. No children’s menu but portions are generous and there’s no extra charge for sharing. High chairs and boosters are available. Friendly service and free valet parking make a night out with a toddler here a no-hassle affair.

Kaizen Restaurant and Sushi Bar, 4120 Ste. Catherine West, Phone: (514) 932 -5654. A good choice for children who enjoy the sweet and exotic flavours of teriyaki, tempura, and yakitori chicken brochettes. There are also delicious mini desserts for children. Booster seats upon request.

La Spaghettata, 399 Avenue Laurier West. Telephone: (514) 273-9509. Children’s menu ($5) includes a choice of tortellini, penne, or spaghetti served with Bolognese, tomato basil, or rosé sauce, as well as Shirley Temples. Extras include special high chairs, crayons and a helium balloon for all children. Speedy service.

Le Continentale, 4169 St-Denis St. Phone: (514) 845-6842. Simple food and a friendly staff make this branché bistro a good choice for dining with children. Twosomes can sit together at the counter and there’s a small lounge near the door where kids can go to explore. Eat early, because this hot Plateau hot spot fills up and gets noisy after 9.

Mikado, 368 Avenue Laurier West. Phone: (514) 279-4809. Sushi may not seem obvious choice for children, but Japanese restaurants like Mikado offer terrific appetizers like chicken yakatori and gyoza dumplings and spring rolls, as well as small-sized soups and salads. And if your children do like sushi, you can order as much or as little as they like.

Moishes, 3961 Boulevard St. Laurent. Phone: (514) 845-1696. The simple food here is sure to please children of all ages. Portions are generous enough for sharing. Service is fast and friendly. Though there’s no children's menu, the kitchen will prepare small hamburgers or chicken.

Primi Piatti, 47 Green, St-Lambert. Phone: (450) 671-0080. Children will enjoy half portions of pasta as well as the pizza made in a wood-burning oven. There’s also fresh fish, veal chop, and Angus Beef filet mignon for the parents. Friendly waiters are a draw as well as highchairs, crayons, and booster seats.

Ristorante Frank, 65 Saint-Zotique E. Phone: (514) 273-7734. Though this restaurant is a popular lunchtime destination for business types, dinner is often a family affair. Half portions of pasta are available as well as booster seats.

Toyo Grillade Japonaise. 2155 de la Montagne, Tel: (514) 844-9292. Children’s menu $8.95. Specialties include sushi and grilled food such as chicken and filet mignon. Toyo is a good choice for families because of the entertaining cooking show provided by the chefs.

I'm sure a few of the regulars on the board might have a few places to add to the list.

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Thanks so much! I used to read your column (online) religiously, until the Gazette went subscriber only. And my copy of Flavourville needs to be replaced from over use! Thanks again!

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You don't specify how old your kids are, Haapdog. I occasionally take friends' kids off their hands for the day. Here are a few suggestions that have worked for picky eaters in the 7-12 age bracket.

- Dim sum brunch at Kam Fung, Ruby Rouge, Furama or Tung Por, all of them in Chinatown

- Dinner at Beijing (Chinatown), Zen (downtown), Kam Shing (Côte-des-Neiges near Plaza CDN, Van Horne near Victoria), Peking Garden (Queen Mary west of Décarie; quality ingredients but prepared Canadian/Jewish-Chinese style, which is probably why the kids like it)

- Au Pied de Cochon, though I doubt they have high chairs or booster seats

- Chuch, the casual, cafeteria-style BYO arm of vegetarian Thai ChuChai

- Montreal "BBQ" chicken: Rôtisserie Laurier (Laurier west of Park), Fusée (Bernard St. in Outrement and in Central Station)

- Food courts (usually on our way to a movie): second floor of Faubourg Ste-Catherine, Central Station, mall underneath the Paramount/Simons buliding

The most successful outing was Sunday before last, when I took two kids to brunch (they also serve dinner) at Tour de Ville, the revolving restaurant atop the Delta Hotel on University Street. The glass-walled exterior elevator that zoomed past the hotel's swimming pool and broke through the roof, revealing more and more of downtown, elicited a "cool" from the hard-to-impress 12-year-old. It was an extremely clear day — we saw mountains in Vermont and New York, the St. Lawrence, Île Ste-Hélène, the Casino and the race track with VIP-filled helicopters flitting in and out, Old Montreal, the Mountain, much of downtown — and the constantly changing view provided many opportunities for conversation (like why does the neighbouring Tour de la Bourse bulge in the middle). The outside floor, where the tables are located, revolves while the inside floor, where most of the buffet stations are located, stays put, which proved a great source of amusement as we tried to figure out how to get from our table to a given station and back to our table. The buffet format worked well: the kids could see each dish and decide whether they wanted any of it and go back for seconds if they really liked it. And, of course, the dessert buffet was a huge hit. Toward the end, the nine-year-old, for whom every meal is a potential crisis situation, annouced that she really liked this restaurant. For my part, I found the food thoroughly mediocre and the cadre borderline tacky. But this outing wasn't about me, and that view is some consolation.

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This is a very useful thread, we are visiting next month with our two year old. While we have been to Montreal with him twice, he was an infant and slept in his carrier throughout every meal. I must add that we brought him to Au Pied de Cochon twice, and the staff were very accomodating, so we are planning another meal there.

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This is a great thread. I very often bring my fauna, which consits of a not so newborn baby and two other boys. The Pied de Cochon is really a great place for high quality and kids. We have alsways been successfull securing tables at the last minute but early in the evening. When we explain to them that we are in and out, they fetch thebest table for us (stroler wise, in the back).

There are plenty of other suggestions that escape my mind now but I find kid restaus also mean exotic resto's (ie not french), many nationalities view the bambino as the sacred futur and it reflects in their offering.

I suggest any thai resto in Montreal is good. Soy is good but small, Chao Praya and Thai Grill are kid OK and the kids just love the rolls and the satays.

Another great hit is the pizza of course, any great thin crust spot is very good with kids in Montreal, the drawback is that we are still looking for that resto...

I take the kids at express on early hours, you can go to Lemeac at any time. If your kids are milk, cheese, egg oriented. You can have a nice breakfast lunch at Mylos (Laurier and Fabre), they have lovely rose jam in the monring with feta omelettes, the setting is very relaxed.

I'm gonna post some more as I remember them but I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone for the suggestions. I'm gonna go to the continental, haven't been there in ages (in fact it was the very first resto I took my GF 15 years ago) and they have a great little private rosé there.

We have also taken the to the special evenings at Olive and Gourmando and they just love tasting all the different stuff there.

I also like the idea of Kaisen, never really made the association of teriake and kids so that is also a welcomed addition.

Haven't been to Paryse since my dead head years of cegep du vieux Montreal...

We also go to Resrevoir and Cafe Mieles but the smoking acn be a probleme at reservoir and the limited menu if they are difficult.

I don't usually have problem with kids in resto's, worst case scenario, I tell the Maitre that my kids love to drink a lot of wine and they like that and find a nice table.

One other places that come to mind: Brasserie Holder (large wide setting, high volume and the Holder harem is usually running around with plenty of kids).

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Identifiler, glad you have mentioned Lemeac, it is on our list to try and we were hoping it is OK for children there. Not to hijack this thread, but re: my other thread on La Table Tourigny, would you say it is acceptable to bring a child (2 years) there? We will not have a babysitter. Last summer, we were quite disappointed in the general quality of restaurants in Magog. We fell upon Maison McGowan in Georgeville one night, very lovely setting, very average food, but the best dining we found at the time.

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Thanks to everyone for your posts! As usual, we had a great time in a great city! We didn't get the chance to try any suggestions however...The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray at the hands of children....One night was stop at the IGA another was at St. Hubert (where my oldest was distrubed by the chicken giving him the finger...it was the first time I he told me he knew what that particular gesture meant!) and the last was at an Afghan resto up on Prince Arthur. We had a grand time there and the kids loved the grilled chicken (Murgh) with rice and couldn't get enough of the Afghan bread with a spicy/vinegary sauce. The staff could not have been nicer and it's always a pleasure to introduce the kinter to new tastes. Thanks again for your help, and I'm glad to say I'll be back in October (Alouettes game!)

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Boo, I have not been to Tourigny, I am going there tonight. As afr as other esto's in the magog area. Well... you know, it is difficult to entertain that lovely rotten neighbor's like Sirois,Frank Dunn, Jean Monty cannot bring in more casualo, bistro like food (That is because they cator everything in to make their questionnable deals over cocktails), but I digress. There is two or three acceptable tables in the magog area, that is very low for a place like magog. However, Hatley area is just a short drive and this gives you access to Hovey, North Hathley. Hovey Maor I know will not be an issue with kids.

We were at kaizen this week and I wanted to make a couple of comments: First, Tri did not open an extra tri house, he litteraly moved out of Kaizen. Second, it shows he is not around as often... It is true they made our evening enjoyable and everything was very usefull for kids (Mom can I have more Kobe Gyoza ?) but my sushi's were sub par, the tuna tataki, well... it was returned and acknowledged immediatelly by the manager. They basically cut up a piece of tail with all it's great gnarly collagen fibres. The deserts, although quite good, looked like they came out of 1987 circa with unwrapped cerise de terre, prismalcolor lining of creme anglaise and sprinkle me all over the plate bits of dust with a Gascogne cake for 10 or 12$. So everything was cool but everything needs a face lift, seriously...

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Hi, we are visiting Montreal for a weekend at the end of this month and will be going out on the Saturday evening for a meal with three teenage girls (15/16 yrs) and another couple (adults).

We are staying at the Hôtel Gouverneur: Place Dupuis (Montreal) and would much appreciate any recommendations on somewhere fun, with good food but not too intimidating for the teenagers.

We haven't been to Montreal for years as we are always just passing through via the airport and this time we have decided to make a weekend of it at the end of our holiday.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

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Hi, we are visiting Montreal for a weekend at the end of this month and will be going out on the Saturday evening for a meal with three teenage girls (15/16 yrs) and another couple (adults).

We are staying at the Hôtel Gouverneur:  Place Dupuis (Montreal) and would much appreciate any recommendations on somewhere fun, with good food but not too intimidating for the teenagers. 

We haven't been to Montreal for years as we are always just passing through via the airport and this time we have decided to make a weekend of it at the end of our holiday.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

These places are very comfortable, easy going, and have great food: Pied de Cochon, Le Club Chasse et Peche, poutine at La Banquise, burgers at La Paryse (very close to your hotel). Indian food at Indian Curry House on Jean Talon near Acadie (extremely un-glamourous). Bottega for pizza, 65 St Zotique East, I believe. Beijing for Chinese, on de la Gauchetiere near corner of St Urbain.


"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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Thanks Riboflavinjoe, if my daughter gets her way we will be eating Chinese but you have given us plenty of options. Could you organise good weather for us for the last week of October too please? (only joking!)

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I don't now where you are arriving from, but assuming it's the US I would try to keep your girls away from the Chinese/Asian food. Very likely they'll be dissapointed.

This is a FRENCH-CANADIAN city and I suggest you try to show the girls that unique part of North American culture. Try a typical bistro. Holder could be fun for them. Lemeac - especially a bit later in the evening. L'Express. Margeaux for a typical french family bistro that could as well be in France.

Or just hang out on St Catherine, take in the young street scene and drop in "anywhere".

And make them speak french!!

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