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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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. L'Express

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3927, rue Saint-Denis, Montreal
QC H2W 2M4, Canada
(514) 845-5333
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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

2. Boustan

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2020 rue Crescent, Montreal
QC H3G 2B8, Canada
(514) 843-3576
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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

3. St-Viateur Bagel

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263 rue Saint-Viateur Ouest, Montreal
QC H2V 1Y1, Canada
(514) 276-8044
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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.

4. Fairmount Bagel

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74 ave. Fairmount Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2M2, Canada
(514) 272-0667
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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

5. Dunn's Famous

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1249, rue Metcalfe, Montreal
QC H3B 2V5, Canada
(514) 395-1927
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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
5150 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal
QC, Canada
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

7. Mon Nan

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43 rue de la Gauchetière, Montreal
QC H2Z 1K3, Canada
(514) 866-7123
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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

8. Le Fameux

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4500 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal
QC H2J 2L3, Canada
(514) 845-8732
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

9. L'Inter-Marché 4 Frères

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3707 boul. St-Laurent, Montreal
QC H2X 2V7, Canada
(514) 844-1874
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

10. La Maison V.I.P

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1077, rue Clark, Montreal
QC H2Z 1K3, Canada
(514) 861-1943
What’s wrong with the other Chinese food place? Open a half-hour too late for you?

11. La Banquise

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994, rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H2J 2J3, Canada
(514) 525-2415
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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

12. Chez Claudette

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351, rue Laurier Est, Montreal
QC H2T 1G7, Canada
(514) 279-5173
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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

13. Montreal Pizzeria

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1189A Crescent, Montreal
QC, Canada
(438) 381-8011
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

1. L'Express

3927, rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W 2M4, Canada
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
3927, rue Saint-Denis, Montreal
QC H2W 2M4, Canada

2. Boustan

2020 rue Crescent, Montreal, QC H3G 2B8, Canada
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
2020 rue Crescent, Montreal
QC H3G 2B8, Canada

3. St-Viateur Bagel

263 rue Saint-Viateur Ouest, Montreal, QC H2V 1Y1, Canada
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.
263 rue Saint-Viateur Ouest, Montreal
QC H2V 1Y1, Canada

4. Fairmount Bagel

74 ave. Fairmount Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2M2, Canada
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
74 ave. Fairmount Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2M2, Canada

5. Dunn's Famous

1249, rue Metcalfe, Montreal, QC H3B 2V5, Canada
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
1249, rue Metcalfe, Montreal
QC H3B 2V5, Canada

6. A&W

5150 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal, QC, Canada
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
5150 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal
QC, Canada

7. Mon Nan

43 rue de la Gauchetière, Montreal, QC H2Z 1K3, Canada
Eat-by-number Chinese food in Chinatown. You don’t have to think about it, because it’s delicious.
Photo: Mon Nan
43 rue de la Gauchetière, Montreal
QC H2Z 1K3, Canada

8. Le Fameux

4500 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2J 2L3, Canada
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
4500 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal
QC H2J 2L3, Canada

9. L'Inter-Marché 4 Frères

3707 boul. St-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2X 2V7, Canada
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
3707 boul. St-Laurent, Montreal
QC H2X 2V7, Canada

10. La Maison V.I.P

1077, rue Clark, Montreal, QC H2Z 1K3, Canada
What’s wrong with the other Chinese food place? Open a half-hour too late for you?
1077, rue Clark, Montreal
QC H2Z 1K3, Canada

11. La Banquise

994, rue Rachel Est, Montreal, QC H2J 2J3, Canada
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
994, rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H2J 2J3, Canada

12. Chez Claudette

351, rue Laurier Est, Montreal, QC H2T 1G7, Canada
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
351, rue Laurier Est, Montreal
QC H2T 1G7, Canada

13. Montreal Pizzeria

1189A Crescent, Montreal, QC, Canada
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
1189A Crescent, Montreal
QC, Canada

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