Lying to the north of the island and spread along part of the Rivière des Prairies, Ahuntsic may not immediately spring to mind as a must-visit food neighbourhood in Montreal. Still, it has a lot to offer in that arena — especially on Fleury Street, its main commercial thoroughfare. From chef Marc-André Royal’s Le St-Urbain to foolproof BYOB Le Millen and newcomer Cerise, here’s your guide to the best the neighbourhood has to offer.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Ahuntsic
Fried goat cheese with cherry coulis, a bounty of caramel sweets, and killer cocktails in Montreal’s north end
Just one block from where Maude Théroux-Séguin and Robert Herrera run Les Cavistes, the pair recently launched a chic new sibling spot with a hybrid café-wine bar formula. Though beverages are a priority here, food doesn’t play second fiddle. Cerise’s tapas menu is divided into fried, fresh, cooked, and raw options — there’s goat cheese with pistachio praline and cherry coulis, tuna tataki, tagliatelle with beets, and sea bream ceviche with grilled pineapple salsa.
A stalwart on Montreal’s wine bar scene, Les Cavistes keeps up with the city’s young guns even after a decade of operation and a comparatively less central location. With more than 100 privately imported labels from around the globe, it meets the expectation of one bearing the “caviste” (wine seller) name. Those feeling peckish can opt for the happy hour oyster and bubbly special (two glasses and seven oysters for $29.50) or more substantial plates like the steak frites, farro risotto, or boudin (blood sausage) with a celeriac and artichoke purée.
132 Bar Vintage
Unarguably the best place to grab a cocktail in Ahuntsic, 132 Bar Vintage is a Montreal mixology destination in its own right. The bar’s drink experts are slinging classics (white negronis, mai tais, and east sides) and creative twists like the “peg leg” mixing Irish whiskey and scotch, or the El Maillette, owner Jean-Maxime Giguère’s reinterpretation of the Cuban El Presidente. Expect a super cozy space that feels more like hanging out in a friend’s basement than a raucous cocktail bar.
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Owner Marc-André Royal’s intimate Ahuntsic restaurant has been channelling diners to the city’s north end for over a decade. The kitchen, now helmed by chef Lindsay McLaren, gives seasonal, local ingredients the French treatment, with a comprehensive offering of charcuterie, tartare, and magret de canard. One of Royal’s other projects, top-notch bakery La Bête à Pain, also has a neighbourhood outpost and is equally worth the detour.
Cafe Le Petit Flore
Le Petit Flore transports part of Paris to Ahuntsic with light bistro fare and espresso drinks. Come evening, the café transforms into a bustling brasserie with a three-course table d’hôte, including options like puff pastry with confit gizzards in the appetizer category, beef bavette with potato gratin or creamy spaghetti with clams for mains, and crème brûlée for an impeccable finale.
Montreal has its share of easygoing, French-leaning BYOBs, but Le Millen stands out with some highly regarded tasting menus. Whether selecting the seven-service option at $85 or the nine-service one at $105, diners will enjoy restaurant staples like chicken consommé, Le trou normand (a palate cleanser), and a cheese plate. In between, you’ll enjoy chef Jérémie Gélinas-Roy’s gorgeous plates of stuffed pasta, foie gras, or veal cheek with pickled blueberries and seaweed crumble.
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This sweet little Fleury Street pastry shop excels at cakes, viennoiseries, and other baked goods. And as its name suggests, caramel is woven liberally throughout, appearing in carrot cake, cheesecake, apple pie, and an almond caramel croissant. Dessert seekers can place orders online ahead of time.
Chez Ma Tante
Still on Fleury Street, but technically beyond the eastern edge of the neighbourhood, in Montreal North, lies this no-nonsense, old-school casse-croûte, with a menu composed of hot dogs, fries, and poutine. They are all delicious, but its steamés (steamed hot dogs) are legendary. Open until 4 a.m. daily and with a drive-through, it’s popular among East End residents looking for a quick, always-satisfying bite.