Montreal is undoubtably a multi-cultural city; being able to walk in any direction and see an array of different faces of different ethnic backgrounds is something so underrated in our city. In one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods, it goes without saying that Cote des Neiges is the part of the city you want to hit up if you’re hungry, but don’t know what to eat. Being able to eat Chinese, Greek, to southern Indian and Caribbean, CDN has all the bases covered and here are my top 5 picks.
This local Greek spot has been standing on the corner of Van Horne and Cote des Neiges for as long as I can remember. Serving up traditional classic Greek dishes, the tzatziki has been ruining love-lives and reinforcing personal space for almost 20 years. Family run and welcoming their second location on Queen Mary, this original spot has the charm that cannot be duplicated. This little taverna features an “indoor terrasse” – sitting under a living (real vines) Greek pergola completes the Mediterranean feel. Old school tzatziki is out of this world – extra garlic, the sting is part of the awesomeness.
-Chicken souvlaki pita (ALL DRESSED)
3543 Van Horne
As finalist in my endeavour to find Montreal’s best Pho, Nguyen Phi has always been my go to spot for delicious raw Vietnamese beef noodle soup. A heaping bowl of rice noodles with beef, tendon, tripe, beef balls, topped with scallions, cilantro, bean sprouts and Thai basil, the “Dac Biet” or “special” noodle is the all dressed variety. Nothing like this fragrant broth of beef bones and roasted onion and ginger that soothes the soul on a cold day. Forego the fried noodles or dry noodles – the soup is where it’s at. The bowls come in medium or large… and extra large; but unless you’re a family of 5, I suggest you turn away the menu and ask for a “large special”.
-Pho dac biet
Half fish market, half seafood restaurant, Poissonerie Rayan does seafood fresh. A giant market fridge in the back, you size up the friendly sea creatures and you pick the ones that you think will be tasty. Sold by weight and prepared to preference (they also give recommendations), after you’ve placed your order, you’re given a number and now the second part of the whole Rayan experience; finding a place to sit. This place is usually packed with people; both small and large groups. I definitely suggest making reservations as throwing elbows to try to get a seat is common.
-Garlic butter shrimp
6080 chemin de la Cote-des-Neiges
One of my favourite spots for Portuguese grilled goodies, restaurant Mavi is a tiny nondescript joint on a side street right off of Cote des Neiges, if you can’t find it, follow your nose, because the charcoal smoke is thick and furious. Known for their quick and fast rilled chicken sandwich trio, served with fries and a drink; you can ask for spicy piri piri sauce (which shouldn’t even be an option, more than a prerequisite). The fries are slap-your-mom-in-the-face-delicious.
-The mixed grill plate
-Chicken sandwich with spicy sauce
-Can of Guaraná Antarctica
Touted as Montreal’s first authentic southern Indian restaurant, Thanjai’s specialties are dishes that may not be found at other Indian spots around town. Located steps from Plamondon metro, this spicy joint is popping out “Dosas” – large crispy stuffed crepes served with dipping sauces and chutneys. Luckily they will ask you for spicy tolerance threshold, as they can make your food from a timid “wimp” level spicy to INDIAN. I once asked the server to order it as he would eat it – long story short, I forgot my name for 3 hours and may or may not have eaten five litres of ice cream.
4759 Ave Van Horne