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ManaDeprived.com’s Guide to Montreal

ManaDeprived.com’s Guide to Montreal

The bulk of this guide was brought to you by John Maher with contributions from Barry Hum and William Dziambor. Extra information was added by Kar Yung Tom.

Helloooo MTGers!

Coming up this weekend, Montreal will be flooded with Magic players from around the world. As native Montrealers, we’re hoping to give some pointers to those that are visiting our beautiful city!

Weather

First things first, it’s February. We grew up here, and even we think it’s crazy cold. A lot of the charm of Montreal is only present in the summer months with terraces and short skirts, but not to worry, it’s still a great place in the winter! The best thing to do is prepare for the cold.

Currently, they are forecasting highs around 0 Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) and lows around –16 Celsius (3 Fahrenheit), and that does not include the wind-chill. With wind-chill, you can expect it to drop up to another 10 degrees on occasion.

To enjoy the weather, you will need a decent pair of boots or thick shoes (no Converse, you will lose toes), decent winter jacket (or lots of layers with sweaters and hoodies), gloves or mittens, and a hat (Mana Deprived has some dapper looking toques available). Another good idea is a scarf or neck cover, but we wouldn’t say it’s absolutely mandatory.

Language

Another quirk about our beautiful city is language. Quebec is a French-speaking province, but Montreal has a relatively large English speaking population. Politics aside, it creates quite an interesting culture. Now, in most areas downtown, you should manage getting by with only English, but there are exceptions. Here are a few French phrases that may help you in your adventures.

Hello : Bonjour
Where is the Subway? : Ou est le Metro?
Where is the washroom? : Ou sont les toilettes?
Thank you : Merci
How much? : Combien?

Public Transit

While we aren’t the city with the best public transit in the world, it is pretty good for people in the downtown area. Subway, Metro and taxis are all pretty available. Since the event site is right downtown, public transit and walking should get you to where you want to go.

The Trudeau Airport is about 20-45 minutes from downtown (depending on traffic) and there are a couple of options to get to the site. For a taxi, the usual rate is around 40$.

If you don’t mind a slightly longer trip, the 747 bus line goes from the airport to Berri-UQAM station, with stops along that way. The price of this trip is 9$ and should get you within a metro ride or a couple minutes walk to the site or your hotel. If you are not traveling in a group or just need to get to a metro station, this is your most economical option.

Check out the following link for more information on the 747:
http://www.stm.info/english/bus/planibus/747.pdf

If you’re looking to explore Montreal a bit during the week, the Subway system (known as the METRO in Montreal) is probably the way to go. There are station dotted around the island and should get you to where you want to go. The 3-day pass is 18$, with a 6$ cost for the card. An advantage of this is that it includes the 747 bus, so you can deduct 9$ if that’s your plan.

More information can be found at:
http://www.stm.info/English/a-somm.htm

Now, for the important stuff!

Food

There are an abundant number of restaurants in Montreal and it would be impossible to name them all. A rule of thumb that I use anywhere I travel is that if it’s busy, then it’s usually pretty good. I’ll try and put down a few options that myself or friends really enjoy, as well as a few dishes Montreal is renowned for. Typically, gratuity is not included in the bill and 15% is considered a normal contribution.

Poutine, a Quebecois delicacy is a must for anyone visiting, although it has a pretty bad reputation health-wise. The traditional poutine is French fries, topped with curd cheese and then smothered in hot gravy. These past few years, restaurants have been fancying them up quite a bit (duck and foie gras poutine, lobster poutine, etc.), which culminated in the first poutine week Montreal this year. Here are a couple of the most popular places:

La Banquise: PoutineOpen 24 hours a day; it is the most popular poutine place in Montreal. While not in the downtown core, it is definitely worth the hike. They have a menu of around 30 poutines, along with the typical greasy spoon fare. Depending on what time, you should expect a wait. Around Dinner, Supper and 3 am, there’s usually a 20+ minute wait for a table. It is a 10 minute walk from the Mont-Royal metro station. Meals are around 10-20$.

994, rue Rachel Est
Montréal, Quebec
H2J 2J3
labanquise.com
View Map

Poutineville: PoutinevilleAs you can see from the name, salads aren’t their speciality. Poutineville is not a typical greasy spoon and it has brought a little more classiness to the poutine. It has quite a few poutine options, as well as sandwiches (quite possibly the best “smoked meat” sandwich I’ve ever had, blasphemy I know), burgers and salads. A fun option is a “build your own” poutine, where they give you a sheet of paper with all the options and you just check off what you want. With half a dozen cheese options, and over a dozen meat and vegetable options, you’ll never have the same poutine twice. Open from 8am to 5 am, it’s usually packed after 10 pm, so takeout may be an option. 35 minute walk from the event site or 10 minute walk from Beaudry metro station. Meals are between 15-30$.

1365 Ontario East
Montréal, QC
H2L 1S1
View Map

Smoked meat is another dish Montreal is popular for. Debate rages over who has the best, but here are a couple that are sure to satisfy.

Schwartz’s Deli: montreal02.schwartzWorld famous smoked meat that has been around for almost 90 years has to have been doing something right. If you’re a smoked meat fan, this is the place you want to check out. 15 minute walk from the Sherbrooke metro station. Meals are 15-20$.

3895 St Laurent Blvd
Montreal, QC
H2W 1L2
schwartzsdeli.com
View Map

Dunn’s Famous: dunns_famous_the_famous_reuban_sandwichA few years younger than Schwartz’s, but just as good in my opinion is Dunn’s. Their biggest advantage is their proximity to the event site. 15 minute walk from the Palais des Congres, or a quick stroll from the Peel metro station doesn’t even give us enough time to walk off all those extra calories from our meal. Expect 15-25$ for a meal on this extensive menu.

1249 Metcalfe
Montreal, QC
H3B 2V5
Dunnsfamous.com
View Map

Bofingers: bofingersmokehouserestaurant-2During his visit to Montreal, Scotty Mac was looking for the Keg, one of the more famous steakhouses in Montreal. He wasn’t able to find it, but his nose drove him to Bofingers, a place for all your pork and beef ribs needs. Scott has said that he MUST go there this weekend.

1250 Rue University
Montréal, QC
H3B 1L9
bofinger.ca
View Map

While it’s not a classic Montreal dish, sushi has been getting more and more popular in our city. I don’t think we can compete against cities on the ocean, but there’s something about all you can eat, raw fish that really tempts us. Be careful when ordering all you can eat, since if there are more than a couple pieces left uneaten, they will be charged to your bill. Here are a couple of all you can eat places!

Kanda Sushi: With locations dotted all around Montreal and off the island, this is probably the most recognized name for sushi. Some people will debate the quality of the sushi, but we’ve never personally had any issues at any of their locations. The closest location is a 10-minute walk from the event site or a couple minutes walk from the McGill metro station. Prices may vary, but expect between 20-30$, and that’s before adding sake.

537 Sainte-Catherine West
Montreal Quebec
H3B 3H3
kanda-sushi.com
View Map

Senzuru: One of the newer sushi places. Everyone who we’ve heard that has tried it has loved it. Not even a 10 minute walk from the event site.

1050, rue Clark
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1K2
View Map

A big advantage to having the Pro Tour at Palais des Congres, is that it is a stone’s throw from Montreal’s China town. With plenty of asian restaurants near by, there’s no shortage of porc buns, dumplings, pho or any other asian dish. Here are some of our favorites:

Amigo: AmigoGet the salt & pepper pork chops, everything else is fair-good, but they have the BEST pork chops in town. Not even a 10 minute walk from event site.

1027 St-Laurent, 2nd floor
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1J4
View Map

Pho Bang New York: PhoNewYorkHome of the Ivan Wong eating challenge (don’t ask). Probably the best pho restaurant in the area, but their rice combos and vermicelli bowls are equally good. 10 minute walk from event site.

1001 St-Laurent
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1J4
View Map

Mai Xiang Yuan: Mai Xiang YuanMono dumplings, but a lot of different and tasty kinds. Very easy to spend ton of money on infinite dumplings. 10 minutes from event site.

1084 St-Laurent
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1J6
View Map

Beijing: Probably have the best staff to take care of non-chinese clientele. The food is good and service is great, this is where you go for your typical chinese fried rice/noodle type stuff. 5 minute walk from event site.

90 La Gauchetiere
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1B9
View Larger Map

Keung Kee: Probably the highest quality of food in chinatown, they have good seafood if you’re into that. 10 minute walk from event site.

70 La Gauchetiere, 2nd floor
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1C1
View Map

Litte Sheep: hotpotIf you like Asian fondue, then this is one of the places you have to go to during your trip to Montreal. Fair warning though, your clothes WILL stink after eating here.

50 Rue de la Gauchetière Ouest
Montréal, QC
H2Z 1C1
View Larger Map

La Popessa: Not asian as all, this little fast food spot is all about the pasta. You pick your pasta and your sauce/meat/vegetables combo and then it’s prepared right in front of you. The quality is great for the price and it’s always prepared fast. Another advantage is it’s situated in the event site.

115 Rue Saint Antoine Ouest
Montréal, QC
H2Z 1X8
View Larger Map

Now, I’m sure that’s a lot to digest (pun intended), but there are many more places out there that are just as good that we haven’t been tried. Don’t let us dictate where you should or shouldn’t eat!

Bars

What everyone has been waiting for.. BARS!!! There is a multitude of drinking establishments in Montreal, but here are a few of our favorites.

McKibbin’s Irish Pub: McKibbin’s is a good place for everyone. Main floor is a pub with live music most nights. Food is great (try the bison burger) with quite a few brews on tap. Upstairs, it’s more of a club atmosphere with dancing and loud boom boom music. Language won’t be an issue here. A 5 minute walk from the Guy-Concordia metro station.

1426 Bishop St
Montréal, QC
H3G 2E6
View Larger Map

Hurley’s: Another establishment with a very pubby atmosphere. Lots of beers on tap with a pretty impressive selection of scotches and whiskeys. Food is good and it usually has live music. It’s a pretty big place, so it has room for large groups. It’s only a 10 minute walk from the Guy-Concordia metro station.

1225 Rue Crescent,
Montréal, QC
H3G 2B1
View Larger Map

Pub St-Paul: A great rock n’ roll bar in old Montreal and also the location of the ManaDeprived Pro Tour party on Saturday night. With good beer and good food, the location and view is really what puts it ahead of other places in Old Montreal. I hear that there will be karaoke on the Saturday also. A 10 minute walk from the Champ-de-Mars metro station or a 15 minute walk from the event site.

124 Rue Saint Paul Est
Montréal, QC
H2Y 1G6
View Larger Map

Bar La Quincaillerie: This great bar with a hardware store theme, usually has pretty good deals on drinks. They have shelves with board games and encourage patrons to pick one up to play on their large tables. It’s not uncommon to find some players drafting at this bar over a pint. It also has the advantage of being next door to La Banquise, so you can drop in after having a poutine! A 10 minute walk from the Mont-Royal metro station.

980 Rachel E
Montréal, QC
H2J 2J3
View Map

Le Deux Pierrot: If an old fashioned, dancing wild time is your cup of tea, le Deux Pierrot is probably a good call. They usually have good deals on pitchers and it’s not unusual to have whole groups of people dancing on the tables. This is a good place to hear some authentic Quebecois music! A 15 minute walk from the event site or a 10 minute walk from the Champ-de-Mars metro station.

104 Rue Saint Paul Est
Vieux Montréal, QC
H2Y 1G6
View Larger Map

Pang-Pang Karaoke: Your typical Karaoke bar with individual rooms for groups. A good place to goof off with friends and hear some really bad singing. 10 minute walk from Guy-Concordia metro station.

1226 Rue Mackay
Montréal, QC
H3G 2H4
View Map

Foufounes Electriques: If punk rock is more your scene, les Foufounes Electrique is for you. Mosh pits, tattoos, piercings and wild haircuts are all very common sights here, but everyone is always welcome. I don’t think there are any places in Montreal with better deals on drinks than here. A 2 minute walk from the Saint-Laurent metro station.

87 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est
Montréal, QC
H2X 1K5
View Map

Card Store

Face to Face Games: During the Pro Tour weekend, all of our favorite vendors will be on site with the cards you’ll need. If you’re hoping to avoid a headache and want to pick up your cards before, who better than Face to Face games? Located in Verdun, they have all the cards you’ll need. They’re only a 5 minute walk from the De L’Eglise metro station.

4425 Rue Wellington
Verdun, QC
H4G 1W6
View Larger Map

Hockey

Bell Center: For any hockey fans, you can’t come to Montreal without checking out the holiest of buildings, the home of the Habs, the Bell Center. The Montreal Canadiens occupy a very special place in the hearts of most Montrealers, and most young hockey fans dream of one day playing on that ice. While we don’t think you’ll be allowed to play on the ice, guided tours are offered if you call and reserve in advance (pretty sure they’re free, but not 100%). There’s also a hall of fame at the Bell Center, but from what we’ve heard, it’s not worth the price. If you’re looking for souvenirs, there’s nothing more Montreal than the gift shop at the Bell Center.

If you’re really looking for the whole experience, there is one game at the Bell Center during the Pro Tour, against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday the 16th. Getting tickets from the box office is close to impossible, but there are usually a ton of scalpers loitering around the Bell Center on game days…they’ll be the ones shouting “tickets tickets” on the street corners. While scalping is illegal in Montreal, it is generally accepted and most law enforcement officials turn a blind eye.

1909 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
Montreal, QC
H4B 5G0
View Larger Map

Adult Entertainment

For those of you looking for some adult entertainment, there is an abundant amount of these clubs in Montreal. You won’t have any difficulty find them, but obviously some are better than others.

Chez Paree: Gentlemen’s clubs in Montreal are contact during private dances, but you may want to ask the dancers before diving in. Chez Paree on Stanley street is probably your safest bet in the downtown area.

1258 Rue Stanley
Montreal, QC
H3B 2S7
View Larger Map

Cabaret Les Amazones: If you don’t mind a 10-15 minute taxi ride, Les Amazones in Notre-Dame-de-Grace may be the best value with its cheap cover and decent drinks… and don’t worry, the dancers are just as good as anywhere else.

6820 St Jacques St
Montreal, QC
H4B 1V8
View Map

Le 281: For male dancers, we haven’t been to any places, but among our lady friends, you can’t go wrong with Le 281. Located right across the street from Foufounes Electrique, you may want to pre-drink there first. Gentlemen, if you’re hoping to go, you need a female chaperone to go with.

94 St Catherine St
Montreal, QC
H2X 1K5
View Map

Well, that’s all we have time for, but please feel free to add any suggestions or spots you like in the comments!

  • PolishTamales1

    For Le 281, do I really need a chaperone?

    • XBlackBlocX

      PolishTamales1 If you’re of the male persuasion, you need to be accompanied by a lady friend. 281 markets itself as an hetero establishment.

  • AllSunsDawn

    @kytmagic Man, I wish I was going to this.

    • kytmagic

      @AllSunsDawn Food is sooooo goooood…..

  • KBad

    Mai Xiang Yuan!!! I went there some time ago but completely forgot it’s name!!!! Those where the best Chicken dumplings I ever had!!!!! Thnaks for actually reminding me the name of that place!!!!

  • the_stybs

    @kytmagic Loved the overview. Groaned aloud at “(pun intended)”.

  • JoshuaLemish

    Also right across from Schwartz’s is The Main, if the line is too long go here, good food all around!

  • kytmagic

    @CardboardWitch We went into the TANK.

    • CardboardWitch

      @kytmagic Your pictures of food have made me so insane jealous of everyone who Q’d it’s not funny. Amazing job KYT, better than Govt Sites

  • MIRTHxCRISIS

    @kytmagic Awesome

  • MagicalSpider

    @CardboardWitch my first though was “wait, what?”

  • GrandpaBelcher

    City guides are my favorite #mtg articles. RT @manadeprived’s Guide to Montreal http://t.co/Zde6gOId

  • ahniwa

    For breakfast, I definitely recommend La Place Milton. I practically lived there while I was attending grad school at McGill (I did, actually, live in an apartment just 2 floors up). Tasty food, good coffee, and affordable.
    https://plus.google.com/109204313362066843443

  • uller30

    @manadeprived so it’s sad no one has made a hey here’s how you get around X city till now. Wish I was going to Montreal. Good Luck

  • Phil Wright

    For the Ocho-Foodie creature type, if you can get a table, Au Pied de Cochon is one of those… event meals.  Perfect for trying to end the suffering of getting cut or celebrate in an outrageously gluttonous way.

  • HeleneBergeot

    @kytmagic Thanks! I have to admit that I was really convinced that the “Foufounes electriques” was a complete myth :)

    • JoshuaLemish

      @HeleneBergeot @kytmagic they used to have 1 pound burgers there but i haven’t been in a few years :) The best :)

      • HeleneBergeot

        @JoshuaLemish @kytmagic well, it’s the name of this place which is *really* hilarious for French people

        • JoshuaLemish

          @HeleneBergeot @kytmagic that is part of the point :)

    • plaindude

      @HeleneBergeot @kytmagic oh it definitely isn’t!!

    • XBlackBlocX

      Foufs hasn’t been “in” since, well, when I went there in the late 90s it was already has-been. If you’re actually into punk and not just into 90s pop punk, you want to go to Katacombes.
      http://www.katacombes.com/

  • Kerrydan

    For the vegetarians among you who want to try poutine, don’t despair! I can’t speak of Putineville above, but La Banquise has the best, and truly vegetarian, poutine option I’ve ever had in a restaurant.

  • kytmagic

    @HeleneBergeot Hope it’s helpful. Will be updating it as the week goes. :)

  • phillip_young

    @HeleneBergeot @kytmagic Thank you, this will be great for my buddy @keeb111 who will be playing at his first PT #PTGTC

    • kytmagic

      @phillip_young @HeleneBergeot @keeb111 You’re welcome!

  • Bruno Tiburcio

    For those who will be driving to the city and have some time to spare, I would definitely recommend Le Mile Public House in Brossard. The food is awesome and it is crowded with beautiful and welcoming people. Check out the blue cheese steak. It is unbelievably good.

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