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Poutine from La Banquise
Poutine from La Banquise
La Banquise

The Essential Guide to Late Night Just For Laughs Festival Restaurants in Montreal

A stand-up comic spills the beans on his favourite post-gig eats in the city.

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Poutine from La Banquise
| La Banquise

It's Just for Laughs time again in Montreal. In tandem with the world's pre-eminent comedy festival Eater reached out to occasional contributor David Heti to get his personal late night eats picks in the city. Heti is a working stand-up comic, occasional bioethicist, and one-time counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. His first album of comedy, It was ok, an album of comedy by David Heti, will be released in 2015 by Stand Up! Records. Follow him at @davidheti. Take it away David.

Whether it’s only just for laughs or even edification or acculturation, every now and then it’s a good idea to get out into a little dank bar or dive or theatre and take in some comedy, be it stand-up, sketch, or even other. But to round off the experience right—as a low art, and a cheap art, and a late-night art—where best to eat low, cheap, and late at night? After the laughter, check out these 13 spots.

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L'Express

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The one place on the list neither low nor cheap, this classic French bistro will make you feel human again. With endless tiny complimentary pickles (which, obviously—not at all complementary—rhymes with “Rickles”) and the world’s most curiously unpretentious servers, it’s like you’re the star of your own Godard film maybe.
Photo: Google Street View

Boustan

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Sometimes you’re going to feel awful after a night of comedy, in particular if you’re a performer, and your performance was at the Tuesday night open mic at Grumpy’s Bar. Nearby, though, is unreasonably delicious Middle-Eastern cuisine. Chicken shawarma, beef shawarma, falafel pita: yes, they are cooking with fire. (You will be too full.)
Photo: Boustan

St-Viateur Bagel

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Bagels and also bagel paraphernalia (e.g., cream cheese, lox, eggs). You can’t really go wrong with something so cheap and warm and simple and filling. Take some for the road and for home. “Bagels for breakfast now who’s laughing” they will say.
Photo of founder Majer Lewkowicz.

Fairmount Bagel

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More or less effectively like St-Viateur Bagel in the grand scheme of things. Most likely either closer to, or further away from, wherever you will have attended the comedy.
Photo: Fairmount Bagel

Dunn's Famous

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Just a solid garden variety deli menu. Talk comedy “shop” in suits and make jokes you want overheard by the waiter or waitress carrying smoked meat, potato skins, onion rings, matzo ball soup, salad and “starter.”
Photo: Dunn's Famous
Not much to learn here, folks: it’s burgers and root beer. But the Sherbrooke outlet is close to the Ladies & Gentlemen stand-up show (Tuesdays, weekly, all year), while the Ste-Catherine one is right by Theatre—yes—Ste-Catherine.
Photo: Haider Al Enzi

Mon Nan

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Eat-by-number Chinese food in Chinatown. You don’t have to think about it, because it’s delicious.
Photo: Mon Nan

Le Fameux

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Just an old-fashioned deli where they sell chocolate bars and gum too. It may feel as if they’re all corner booths. They’re not.
Photo: Google Street View

L'Inter-Marché 4 Frères

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Nobody wants to eat from a grocery store, but living the life you want is the death of comedy. Not so far from the Montreal Improv. The joke writes itself.
Photo: Google Street View

La Maison V.I.P

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What’s wrong with the other Chinese food place? Open a half-hour too late for you?

La Banquise

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More than just poutine (for example, there’s a hot dog). Maybe, though, all you really need is the poutine (order the hot dog poutine).
Photo: La Banquise

Chez Claudette

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Casse-croûte standards to weigh and warm you down. Take note, though: it will be closed too early Sunday to Wednesday. An all or nothing eatery.
Photo: Chez Claudette

Montreal Pizzeria

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The wildest of all wild cards on the list. This place will appear to open only when it wants, miraculously just being there when you need it most. A curiously un-Montreal kind of slice—thin, with actual flavour and care—always run by the same guy apparently. Cheap, delicious.
Photo: Montreal Pizzeria

L'Express

The one place on the list neither low nor cheap, this classic French bistro will make you feel human again. With endless tiny complimentary pickles (which, obviously—not at all complementary—rhymes with “Rickles”) and the world’s most curiously unpretentious servers, it’s like you’re the star of your own Godard film maybe.
Photo: Google Street View

Boustan

Sometimes you’re going to feel awful after a night of comedy, in particular if you’re a performer, and your performance was at the Tuesday night open mic at Grumpy’s Bar. Nearby, though, is unreasonably delicious Middle-Eastern cuisine. Chicken shawarma, beef shawarma, falafel pita: yes, they are cooking with fire. (You will be too full.)
Photo: Boustan

St-Viateur Bagel

Bagels and also bagel paraphernalia (e.g., cream cheese, lox, eggs). You can’t really go wrong with something so cheap and warm and simple and filling. Take some for the road and for home. “Bagels for breakfast now who’s laughing” they will say.
Photo of founder Majer Lewkowicz.

Fairmount Bagel

More or less effectively like St-Viateur Bagel in the grand scheme of things. Most likely either closer to, or further away from, wherever you will have attended the comedy.
Photo: Fairmount Bagel

Dunn's Famous

Just a solid garden variety deli menu. Talk comedy “shop” in suits and make jokes you want overheard by the waiter or waitress carrying smoked meat, potato skins, onion rings, matzo ball soup, salad and “starter.”
Photo: Dunn's Famous

A&W

Not much to learn here, folks: it’s burgers and root beer. But the Sherbrooke outlet is close to the Ladies & Gentlemen stand-up show (Tuesdays, weekly, all year), while the Ste-Catherine one is right by Theatre—yes—Ste-Catherine.
Photo: Haider Al Enzi

Mon Nan

Eat-by-number Chinese food in Chinatown. You don’t have to think about it, because it’s delicious.
Photo: Mon Nan

Le Fameux

Just an old-fashioned deli where they sell chocolate bars and gum too. It may feel as if they’re all corner booths. They’re not.
Photo: Google Street View

L'Inter-Marché 4 Frères

Nobody wants to eat from a grocery store, but living the life you want is the death of comedy. Not so far from the Montreal Improv. The joke writes itself.
Photo: Google Street View

La Maison V.I.P

What’s wrong with the other Chinese food place? Open a half-hour too late for you?

La Banquise

More than just poutine (for example, there’s a hot dog). Maybe, though, all you really need is the poutine (order the hot dog poutine).
Photo: La Banquise

Chez Claudette

Casse-croûte standards to weigh and warm you down. Take note, though: it will be closed too early Sunday to Wednesday. An all or nothing eatery.
Photo: Chez Claudette

Montreal Pizzeria

The wildest of all wild cards on the list. This place will appear to open only when it wants, miraculously just being there when you need it most. A curiously un-Montreal kind of slice—thin, with actual flavour and care—always run by the same guy apparently. Cheap, delicious.
Photo: Montreal Pizzeria

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