Montreal Journals

Downtown Montreal

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2000 trip to Montreal by Jeffrey

Pub Claddagh Photo, Montreal, Quebec More Photos
Quote: Montreal is a wonderful and diverse place. Downtown Montreal is full of energy and great restaurants, nightlife and shopping.

Downtown Montreal

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. The underground city and shopping malls are a world removed from that above ground. You can easily get lost in the large web of multi-level malls that are all underground and accessable by the Metro (subway). Things are great above ground as well. Crescent Street is a mecca for restaurants....and I don't mean the usual US chains (although some are there). Eating is a event that goes well into the evening. Chinatown and Old Montreal are nice outdoor activities as well. There are many restaurants, cafes, and bars you can get in out of the cold to relax and warm up.Quick Tips: Since I don't live in Canada, I a...Read More

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

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Hotel | "The Queen Elizabeth"

Quote:
The Queen Elizabeth is operated by Fairmont Hotels, and is world class. The lounges, restaurants, and all common areas are lavish, and my standard rooms I have had are always fine. The bathrooms have premium fixtures. The service was top notch. This property has 21 floors, with rooms and suites on floors 3-21, and convention and mezzanine levels. A basement level has parking, a pool and jacuzzi, and a lower basement takes you to the Central Train station and the Metro (subway). The lobby level has shops, The Beaver Club restaurant (see other journal entry), and a great bar called Les Voyageur. Les Voyageur has a very clubby atmosphere, with wood furniture and paneling e...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2000

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
900 RENE LEVESQUE BLVD W
Montreal, Quebec H3B4A5
514 861-3511

Sheraton Le Centre Montreal

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Hotel | "Le Centre Sheraton"

Quote:
Price in US dollars. I got a great corporate rate of $128 CDN plus tax. Great location in downtown Montreal.

The Sheraton has 2 bars....a Sports bar (complete with hockey arena seats), and a lobby-type bar that is more comfortable. There are shops and conference facilities on several levels of this 37-floor property. I stayed on the 18th floor and still heard rowdy Saturday-night crowd.

Breakfast buffet is ok. It is highlighted with omelets that are cooked-to-order.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

Sheraton Le Centre Montreal
1201 Boulevard Rene-Levesque West
Montreal, Quebec H3B2L7
(514) 878-2000

Beaver Club

Restaurant | "The Beaver Club"

Quote:
The Beaver Club restaurant is located on the lobby level in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel (see other journal entry) in downtown Montreal. The Beaver Club is very nice and upscale. They have fixed-price options (Table Hote' and very popular in Quebec) where you can select courses from the menu, for around $60CDN per person. I had Romaine salad, leek soup, filet mignon, and dessert...all were great. Two in our party had jeans on, and were initially refused entry, but upon learning that we were staying at The Queen Elizabeth, they bent that rule. I wouldn't count on being served in casual attire. Plush place, great service, and great food. As long as your dressed, why n...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2000

Beaver Club
900 René-Lévesque Blvd West
Montreal, Quebec H3B 4A5
+1 514 861 3511

Thursday's

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Restaurant | "Thursdays"

Quote:
Both my visits have been great. Thursdays has an upstairs restaurant that is trendy, and a large bar and nightclub downstairs (which I haven't been to). I had a meat dish of assorted beef, poultry, and pork medallions, and shrimp that you cook yourself. They bring you a heated stone the size of a small book after your salad, and it is surprisingly efficient at cooking even the last piece of meat. Very novel for someone at the table to order this. I ordered steak (cooked by the chef) on my second visit. Thursdays is in an entertainment district on Crescent Street, and is an easy walk to Downtowm hotels, including The Queen Elizabeth and the Le Center Sheraton (see other jou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 21, 2000

Thursday's
1449 Crescent St
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2B2
+1 514 288 5656

Hard Rock Cafe

Restaurant

Hard Rock Cafe Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
Whether for the obligatory T-shirt and gifts or for drinks and/or a meal, the Hard Rock Cafe is a novelty place to view Rock Music memorabilia, while you eat/drink. This location (close to downtown hotels) is less elaborate than other locations. There are no Cadillac cars hanging from the ceiling or coming out of the walls. But they do have lots of Rock memorabilia, including Keith Moon (The Who) and Bob Dylan shrines (and lots more). The menu and food was consistent with other Hard Rock Cafes I have visited. I had a Beef Pot Roast with mashed potatos that was good. My wife had a large salad and French Onion soup (both good I'm told). Hardly the Montreal experience, but if y...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2000

Hard Rock Cafe
1458 rue Crescent Street
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2B6
(514) 987-1420

Restaurant Marche Movenpick

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Restaurant

Quote:
This place is great. In the Place Ville Marie section of the underground city, we have Marche (or Market). It is an open market-style restaurant that is truly unique. It has many restaurants within the 33,000 square foot market that you pick and choose from on an ala carte basis, and pay one cashier on the way out. There are also retail shops (specialty grocer, wine shop, candy, bakery, etc) you can visit on your way to the cashier. Here is the way it works: The hostess gives each person in your party a 'passport' that you let each merchant stamp with your purchases (don't lose it!), and seats you. Then, you select any and all the snacks, appetizers, entrees, drinks, salad...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 8, 2000

Restaurant Marche Movenpick
1 Place Ville-Marie
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 861-8181

Chang Thai

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Restaurant

Chang Thai Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
I love this place! It is very nice and warm and well-appointed. Wood floors and brick walls are elegant and not rustic. Staff is reserved but attentive. They have a wide selection of everything they offer: Appetizers ($5-6CDN); Salads ($8-9CDN); Soup ($5-6CDN); Entrees including beef, chicken, pork, seafood, vegetarian, and rice ($10-15CDN); plus desserts! They also have a full bar, wine list, and wide selection of cognacs and other aperitifs. Chang Thai has just the right amount of lighting. Not too dark, but dim enough for great atmosphere. They also have subtle mood music in the background. My entree was chicken with green beans and red curry, with steamed r...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

Chang Thai
2100 Crescent St
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2B8
+1 514 286 9994

La Colombe

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Restaurant

Quote:
La Colombe is a small French country restaurant in a historic area near downtown Montreal. It is a small (seats about 40) and warm place. They have a small open kitchen that is well-organized. The staff is friendly and helpful with the French menu. La Colombe has a fixed-price menu ($65 CDN) that includes soup, salad, entree, and desert. You bring your own wine. I had vegetable soup that was velvet-textured; salad of pickled julienne cabbage and carrots, and garnished with smoked herring; the entree was pork medallions in a spice sauce with mashed potatoes and garnished with a baby carrot. Dessert brought crapes drenched in chocolate sauce. Everyone in my group o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

La Colombe
554, rue Duluth East
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 849-8844

Restaurant Pizzaiolle

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Restaurant

Quote:
Trendy open kitchen pizza and pasta. Wood-burning pizza ovens. Smart, trendy decor including modern studio lighting and wood paneling with tile. Pizzaiolle is space-challenged with small tables and aisles. Like many of my other Montreal dining reviews, Pizzaiolle has a prime location on Crescent Street in downtown (or Centre-Ville). Walkable from major downtown hotels...otherwise take a taxi, since street parking is VERY limited. I had their 'Americana' pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, green peppers, and mushrooms. My wife had their 'Disperata' pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, and oregano. Recommend for a quick and inexpensive pizza, not a mu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

Restaurant Pizzaiolle
1446A rue Crescent
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 845-4158

Dundee's

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Restaurant

Dundee's Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
Dundee's is another restaurant/bar on jumping Crescent street in downtown Montreal. Their name and sign out front imply some connection or theme with Crocodile Dundee or Australia, but inside I saw nothing else related to that theme. No big deal, we have a had a nice time in all our visits here, whether for drinks, food, or both. Its prime location on Crescent is 2-3 blocks from Rene-Levesque Blvd, and its downtown hotels I stay at (and journal for you) when I visit Montreal. Dundee's is a fun bar with friendly service. The large bar is inside the door, and it has a large selection of bottled and draft beer. They have 2-for-1 prices from 4-7pm, which was a nice surprise. The floor...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2001

Dundee's
2010 rue Crescent
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 985-2625

Allo Inde

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Restaurant | "Allo Inde (Hello India)"

Quote:
Allo Inde is an Indian restaurant in downtown Montreal. It is near the corner of Stanley and Ste-Catherine, close to downtown hotels (see my journal entries on Le Centre Sheraton and The Queen Elizabeth), and the Peel Metro (subway) station. To me, nothing hits the spot on a cold night (ie, late March in Montreal) like good Indian food, in a nice warm place with great service. Allo Inde did not disappoint. Allo Inde is below street level, and we were immediately greeted and seated by a host. They have 2 main dining rooms. We sat in the dining room with a bar, in a raised booth at the very front of the restaurant, and watched the world walk by (or slip and slide on the ice) during o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2001

Allo Inde
1422 rue Stanley
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 288-7878

Weinstein & Gavinos

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Restaurant | "Weinstein and Gavino's Pasta Bar"

Weinstein & Gavinos Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
Weinstein and Gavino's is a very popular Italian pasta place on Crescent in downtown Montreal, near hotels Queen Elizabeth and Le Centre Sheraton (see other journal entries). It is in a popular area on Crescent with many restaurants, cafes, bars, boutiques, and other nightlife. They have outdoor tables in the front, but it was freezing during our visit in late March. Inside, they have a country Italian decor with wood floors, and wine bins that cover one side wall. They have wine barrels that line the stairway to the second level, where they have an open kitchen. There is a separate glassed-in kitchen on the ground level. Since Weinstein and Gavino's is popular, it is also loud, so...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2001

Weinstein & Gavinos
1434 Crescent St
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2B6
+1 514 288 2231

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

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Attraction

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
This incredible church dates back to the 1820's when it was built, and its parishoners date back to the mid-1600's and the founding of the city. The interior is awesome. There are wood handcarvings, stained glass, paintings, and sculptures that depict the story of the Bible, and an incredible blue ceiling with gold stars. In the rear of the church, they have a huge and beautiful organ (built in 1891) with over 7,000 pipes (I wish I could have heard it). The acoustics inside are amazing. You can hear soft conversations throughout the place, which makes sense, since they didn't have microphones and loadspeakers when it was built. Masses are held at 7:30am, 12:15pm, and 5pm o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2001

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal
110 Notre-dame Street West
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1T1
(514) 842-2925

Pub Claddagh

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Attraction

Pub Claddagh Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
The Irish are everywhere, including Montreal. My wife wanted a glass of Port after a cool day of shopping and sightseeing on foot around downtown, the underground cities, and Old Montreal. We walked up to the Pub Claddagh and saw a Celtic band seated around a table playing music (so why not go in?). They not only had Port (Offley '95), but a large selection of beers, ales, scotch, and other liquors. Even with the band (guitar, mandolin, and violin), the atmosphere was cozy and we were able to talk to each other. Pub Claddagh is clean and well-lit compared to stereo-typical pubs. All bar stools and chairs were upholstered in colorful cloth and tapestries, and they ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2000

Pub Claddagh
1433 Rue Crescent
Montreal, Quebec

Place Ville-Marie

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Attraction | "Place Ville Marie"

Quote:
Place Ville Marie is only one part of Montreal's underground city of 29 kilometers (some locals say 60km) of multi-level underground malls connected to each other. You can enter this underground city from many places around downtown, but we entered it across the street from The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. You can literally get lost and never know where you will come out above ground. You can find everything in the underground city. Just in the Place Ville Marie, which is small compared to other parts, there are many restaurants (see journal entry on Restaurant Marche Movenpick), beauty salons, perfumeries, banks, pharmacies, and of course, lots of men, women, and children shoes and clothi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2000

Place Ville-Marie
1 Place Ville Marie
Montreal, Quebec H3B 4A7
+1 514 875 6852

Quote:
Montreal has a small Chinatown (or Quartier Chinois) that is east of most of the downtown hotels. From the Sheraton, it was about a 30 minute walk east (10-12 blocks) on Rene-Levesque, and then south 4-5 blocks on Jeanne Mance. In winter months, you can take the subway or a taxi. Some of the Chinatown landmarks are being restored. There are many small stores and restaurants (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc), but none stand out enough to mention. Of all things, my wife asked at one shop about where she could buy the lace curtain/valance material they had in the shop window. They gave (lengthy) directions to a fabric shop. I knew neither of us could find it, so I figured that w...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 8, 2000

Chinatown/Le Quartier Chinois de Montreal
Area of De la Gauchetiere Street
Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1E9

Old Montreal/Vieux Montreal

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Attraction | "Old Montreal"

Old Montreal/Vieux Montreal Photo, Montreal, Quebec
Quote:
Old Montreal (or Vieux Montreal) is the most historical area in Montreal. It contains a concentration of museums and landmarks, and is located on the waterfront. There are also plenty of gift shops, restaurants and cafes. The area is reminiscent of Europe, with its cobblestone streets and historic architecture. Saint-Paul Street is the oldest street in Montreal, and it has many small art galleries, and shops of every size and sort. Where St. Paul crosses Jacques-Cartier Place, there is an open plaza that was a market, but now is lined with street performers (musicians and magicians when we were there), and small cafes and restaurants. Bonsecours Market is also on St Paul Street. It is now ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 9, 2000

Old Montreal/Vieux Montreal
Borough of Ville-Marie
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 3B2