Business Travel

Business trips to Montreal: how to mix business and pleasure

July 16, 2014
shinji restaurant

Business travel is not always a walk in the park. Whether it is for a conference, a seminar or to finalize the big sale of the quarter, these trips have the potential to be grueling.

The businessman (or businesswoman!) has a lot on the plate. Every little bit of help counts. Here is a small guide of the best addresses in Montreal to enjoy the city after office hours.

DINNER AND A DRINK

Let’s be honest: people on business trips usually have to get up early. The vast majority are seeking to find a good restaurant not too far from their rented apartment where they can have a few drinks before collapsing into bed before eleven PM. Here are some interesting places in which you can dine and stay a while:

Shinji and Rufus Rockhead

While Shinji is a Japanese restaurant in the classic sense of the term, its adjacent little brother, Rufus Rockhead, offers beers and cocktails in a fun atmosphere. They’ve both set up shop in the Little Burgundy area, which means that visitors settled downtown or in Griffintown only need a short taxi ride to get back and forth.

Notes:

– Try to make reservations at Shinji before getting there.

– It’s also possible to dine at Rufus Rockhead.

Shinji: 1726 Notre- Dame St. W, (438) 384-1270
Rufus Rockhead : (438) 384-1272

Joe Beef

Of course, it’s not necessarily easy to get a table at “the best restaurant in Canada”. But the restaurant has two services, so if you manage to get a table for the second service (around 21:30), you can stay and have a few drinks in peace.

Notes:

– Try to book months in advance!

– The Vin Papillon, sister of Joe Beef, is also a great place to dine and drink. They do not accept reservations.

Joe Beef: 2491 Notre-Dame St. W , (514) 935-6504
Vin Papillon: 2519 Notre-Dame St W.

Chez Alexandre

It’s an institution on Peel Street. It’s the capital of steak tartare. Chez Alexandre is not only a good French brasserie: the food is excellent and the restaurant is large enough to accommodate groups; there also is a cigar lounge, so those wishing to stay after dinner have the leisure to relax without being disturbed.

1454 Peel Street, (514) 288-5105

LUNCH ON THE GO

Downtown Montreal is full of small restaurants and the workers who get out of the office towers at lunch time form long queues that can be intimidating. It can also be difficult to distinguish between a good restaurant and a poor one. Here’s a guide of downtown on-the-go lunch spots.

Brit & Chips

Located on McGill Street near Victoria Square, Brit & Chips offers the full English fish & chips experience. Thick-cut fries, huge fish fillets, a range of choices of different fish and sauces, and several imported beers: it is a true copy of the nicer chip shops found throughout Britain. Prices are respectable and portions are gargantuan.

433 McGill Street, (514) 840-1001

Comptoir 21

It’s also a chip shop that offers fish & chips. A few years ago, there were very few fish & chips spots in Montreal; today, we are graced with two excellent options. The sauces are all excellent and the malt vinegar so dear to English is king.

21 St-Viateur St. W (514 ) 507–FISH
1117 Ste-Catherine St. E , (514) 750-FISH
4844 Wellington St, (514) 564-FISH

Five Guys

This is an American hamburger chain. So why is it in the list of the best places to have lunch? Well, the hamburger is misrepresented in Montreal. And everything at Five Guys is excellent, chain or not. It’s sad to say, but… This is perhaps the best burger in Montreal.

468 McGill St., (514) 507-2560
698 Ste-Catherine St. W, (514) 393-4343

Schwartz’s

One of the most iconic dishes of Montreal is the smoked meat sandwich which is made of salted beef brisket, marinated and smoked, along with yellow mustard and rye bread. Beware of microwaved imitations! At Schwartz’s, you have the original recipe treated in the same way the Jewish immigrants who founded the place in 1928 did.

Note: You need to be patient to eat at Schwartz’s since there is a long line at all times.

Note: If you’re in a rush, the Main Deli, across the street from Schwartz’s, offers an excellent version of this wonderful dish. It’s Justin Trudeau’s favourite!

Schwartz’s: 3895 Saint-Laurent Blvd, (514) 842-4813
Main Deli: 3864 Saint-Laurent Blvd, (514) 843-8126

St-Viateur bagel

Another great Montreal dish, the bagel, so different from the New York version, can be enjoyed at any address of this local institution. The smoked salmon sandwich is the classic. Beware of imitations!

Note: Some other Montreal restaurants and bakeries offer an excellent traditional version of the Montreal bagel. These are almost exclusively located in the Mile-End district on and around Saint-Viateur Street, hence the name of the best-known restaurant.

263 Rue Saint Viateur St. W, (514) 276-8044
1127 Mont-Royal Ave. E, (514) 528-6361

LUNCH, SLOWLY

Having the luxury of taking over an hour for lunch can truly be one of the nicest moments of the day. Sitting down and relaxing at noon brings a different outlook of a city. Here’s where to enjoy lunch in the traditional way.

Ferrari

It’s traditional Italian luxury in the heart of downtown. Relatively unknown to Montreal foodies, Ferrari offers excellent and remarkably consistent food. Their homemade pasta is al-dente but melts in the mouth and all the sauces are wonderful. Ask your waiter for suggestions!

1407 Bishop Street , (514) 843-3086

Furusato

Another great Japanese address in Montreal, Furusato is an izakaya in the traditional sense of the term. Its owner is Japanese and it shows in the atmosphere. The food is always perfect. There are grilled meats with a sweet marinade, tempura, and a wonderful creamy dessert called chawanmushi .

2137 Sherbrooke St. W, (514) 849-3438

Miyako

If Furusato is a Japanese bistro, Miyako is a sushi restaurant in its own right. This restaurant does not look as fancy as the others in this list – it could actually use a coat of paint – but do not be intimidated by its threadbare appearance. It’s underrated: the fish is first class, it’s affordable and the service is always excellent. It’s a good place to bring a group since it’s much less crowded than the other restaurants suggested here.

1439 Amherst  St., (514) 521-5329

DINNER: GREAT RESTAURANTS

When a business worker on the road has the opportunity to use an expenses account wisely will easily find good places for dinner. However it’s a well-known fact that an expensive restaurant is not necessarily a good restaurant. Here are some suggestions for a good supper, expenses account or not.

Manitoba

Much more eccentric than the other restaurants mentioned above, Manitoba is located at the corner of Park Ave. and St-Zotique St., in the center of the island. This restaurant offers a very local experience of Québécois cuisine, combining wild game and native vegetables. An experience like none other!

271 Saint-Zotique St. W., (514) 270-8000

Au Pied de Cochon

It’s a staple of Montreal gastronomy. Greasy and sweet, pig and duck, frankly Québécois, and a unique atmosphere. Do not forget to book ahead of time!

536 Duluth Ave E., (514) 281-1114

Other good restaurants: 400 Coups, Pastaga, le Filet, Bremner, Toqué!

DRINK

Montreal has a rather impressive ratio of bars per-capita. Here are some unique places in Montreal.

Burgundy Lion

It’s a pub in the traditional English sense. The food there is very good, but the selection of imported beers is what makes it. It’s a very elegant place.

2496 Notre-Dame St. W, (514) 934-0888

Confessionnal

Although it usually is a nondescript EDM club, Tuesday night is open-mic night and some of the most beautiful voices of the city go there to get a little bit of on-stage practice. Check in advance if the event does occur and let it surprise you!

431 McGill St., (514) 656-1350

Craft Breweries

Not all beer lovers are aware that Montreal is a microbrewery mecca. All these places are wonderful in their own way and worth a visit: Dieu du Ciel!; Cheval Blanc; Amère à Boire; Espace Public; Benelux.

Saint-Elisabeth

It’s probably the most beautiful terrace in town, so it’s a summer destination. People are beautiful when the sun shines bright!

1412 Rue Sainte Élisabeth, (514) 286-4302

CONCERTS

Music is another area that reaches the top of the list among Montrealers. Visit the websites of these destinations to discover the schedule for the next few days. Who knows? Your favorite band might be playing while you’re in town!

Websites of live event producers

Evenko (includes all events presented at the Bell Centre)

Greeland

Blue Skies Turn Black

Venues

Metropolis

Sala Rossa et Casa del Popolo

Il Motore

Divan Orange

Théâtre Corona

Théâtre Telus

La Tulipe et le National

L’Astral

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zYbRBKcdwRRU.kHaNzX07fm5E

 

 

This article was produced in collaboration with GuideHabitation.ca.

GuideHabitation.ca is the biggest online portal dedicated to new housing in Quebec.

Cédric Lizotte is a freelance journalist. In addition to real estate, he writes about food, travel and new technologies.

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