Prior to my trip, I contacted a few bloggers that I knew were familiar with the Montréal health food community, including Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit. Thank you Leanne! Also many thanks to my Montréal LinkedIn connections, including Margaux Murray of Mon Marché.
Many of you gave me such wonderful thoughtful suggestions. My trip wasn’t long enough to try all the restaurants that were recommended. I guess I’ll just have to visit again. 🙂
Many of the recommendations I received were for vegan restaurants. It’s not surprising given that vegan restaurants are very aware of their ingredients. They’re the most capable of handling allergy-free requests. However, I couldn’t go all vegan for the duration of my trip. I was vegan for seven years and determined that I couldn’t get the protein to carbohydrate ratio I needed for my health on that diet. I have since added poultry and seafood back into my diet.
To get the protein I needed, I had to branch out my options to include restaurants that were flexible in substitutions or included a gluten-free menu on their website. My hopes being that if they understood gluten-free then I could negotiate around the rest with careful selections. I ended up visiting a chain of restaurants that had a lot of eggs on the menu (if you know what I mean). It was safe as far as allergens go but they consistently overcooked my eggs. Ugh! Eggs should be moist and tender without a speck of brown on them.
Meal Notes But No Pictures
Sorry, I’m not a “take a picture of your food at each meal” kinda person.
- Aux vivres – Deluxe Salad
The salad was huge, tasty, and very artistically arranged on the plate. I have no idea what “veggie lox” are but I declined to try them my first night there. Good luck with the parking, we circled three times to find a spot.
- Beautys for breakfast – Salmon omelette
I was surprised that my omelette was overcooked. Sadly, the first of many overcooked eggs on this trip. During my first visit to Beautys in 2010, the food was fantastic. Maybe this time I caught them on a bad day.
- Rachelle-Béry Epiceries Sante – health food groceries
This health food store was a godsent. I was able to buy staples for the hotel room fridge that kept me from eating out more than necessary.
- Chain restaurant that shall not be named – multiple locations
This chain had the luck to be in all the locations I wanted to visit. The food wasn’t great but overall, I was able to eat with minimal problems. Take your own tea bags. These people do not understand fresh-brewed ice tea!
- Grilled chicken – a spicy sauce that caused a mild inflammation reaction.
- Lobster omelette – overcooked and skimpy on the lobster.
- Poached eggs on avocado – overcooked eggs and spotty avocados.
- Poached eggs on grilled chicken – finally found a location that knows how to cook eggs on my last day!
- Côtes-à-Côtes in Québec City – Mussels au Provençal
Yum! See below.
- Crudessence – Exceptional wrap
The wrap was anything but exceptional. I might have been with the avocado, a main ingredient. Since they were out and served it anyway, we’ll never know. The rest of the wrap was like chewing cud. After eating a third of it, I ran out of chewing muscle strength. Their dessert menu looked promising but I was afraid of a repeat on the wrap fiasco. What next? Chocolate mousse without chocolate. Macadamia cookies without the nuts.
I paid and left feeling hungry and very overcharged (they knocked off 15%) for an inedible meal. I can’t say for sure if this is a food fail or a customer service fail, but I won’t be going back.
Best Meal for the Whole Trip
My best meal actually was not in Montréal. (Sorry Montréal. I still love you!) It was in Québec City. The tour guide led me to Côtes-à-Côtes and spoke at length with the host to make sure they would be able to serve me (Merci beaucoup Denis!). Talk about going above and beyond!
The Mussels au Provençal at was not only the best meal I had while on my trip, they were best mussels I’ve ever had. The sauce was a tomato based sauce with garlic and onions. The wait staff understood cross contamination due to the fryer but still brought me pretzels for unknown reasons. (Puzzling…) I left a happy little leaning tower of mussel shells on my table when I was done. I would have drained the bowl but for lack of a spoon.
Other Recommended Restaurants
The below list contains the rest of restaurants I didn’t get to visit. If anyone wishes to add any opinions on these, or any allergy-friendly Montréal restaurants, please leave a comment below. I’m sure it will be an appreciated resource.
- Café Verdure
- Ottavio – I most regret not making it to this Italian restaurant. Many people raved about the good food just as much as their handling of cross contamination.
- O Noir
- Arepera du plateau
- Fabergé 514
- Crabhouse Serafim
If you’re interested to read more about my Montréal trip, Check out my other posts below.
- Des Jardin Botanique and sunscreen
- Baked2Go, A gluten-free and mostly corn-free bakery
- Visiting Montréal with food allergies