Great places to eat with kids in Montréal
Travelling with kids but still want to experience Montréal's unique culinary delights? From breakfast to baked goods, sandwiches to ice cream and brunch to terroir dining, the city is packed with great restaurants, cafés and more eateries made for families.
A legend in its own right, fries-and-gravy-and-more concoction poutine must be tried to be believed – try it with the kids at old-school drive-in Orange Julep or Saint-Henri diner Greenspot Restaurant, or go for an over-the-top version at Au Pied de Cochon. Among the city's best smoked meat restaurants, and arguably the most famous, Schwartz’s on Saint-Laurent Boulevard has plenty to look at and lots to eat for kids – if you go during peak hours, try their take-out counter next door to avoid waiting in line. And stop for warm Montréal bagels in Mile End at Fairmount Bagel Bakery or St-Viateur Bagel & Café before heading to nearby Parc Lhasa-De Sela playground.
The majority of Montréal's copious brunch spots are family-friendly, including Le Butterblume and Fabergé in Mile End and Beautys Luncheonette a few blocks south. One of the most popular and beloved daytime-only restaurants in Old Montréal is Olive & gourmando for its casual atmosphere and inspiring food. Recently opened by the same team, nearby Un Po’ Di Più is open all day and into the evening, with the same attention to creative fresh food. For quick meals that don't scrimp on quality, try to lunch at a counter-style restaurant such as Comptoir Sainte-Cécile near the Jean-Talon Market or Restaurant Well in Verdun. Affordable and delicious, Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches are everywhere in Montréal and great for picking up on your way to Montréal's parks and green spaces – find them in Chinatown and downtown at Hoang Oanh and BANH MI 79, near the Jean-Talon Market at Marché Hung Phat and in many other spots. Tacos are also an affordable alternative and perfect for kid-sized hands. Falafel and other vegetarian sandwiches make a choice pick at local vegetarian small chains Aux Vivres and La Panthère Verte. Or warm up in winter with a bowl of noodles. And for something a little different, try Persian restaurant Byblos near Parc Laurier – many of its small, comforting dishes are perfect for children – and bustling dim sum favourite Restaurant ChinaTown Kim Fung.
What could be more casual and kid-friendly than dining in a park? Montréal restaurants in parks, such as Espace La Fontaine, combine sublime atmospheres with excellent food for all ages. Another welcoming space for kids is non-profit restaurant Robin des Bois on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the Plateau, with its festive atmosphere and comforting food. So you've had the Québécois classics, now it's time to try new Québec cuisine if your kids aren't picky about new and different foods and they're willing to dress up just a bit – try for an early-evening reservation at Joe Beef, Pastaga or even famed yet unpretentious Moishe's and Restaurant Europea. For less adventurous palettes, opt for an excellent fish and chips meal at Brit & Chips or Comptoir 21 or a perfect burger – alongside a seasonal menu of creative dishes – at Nouveau Palais. And when in doubt, go for a pizza dinner, from BEVO Bar + Pizzeria's terrasse in Old Montréal to Little Italy's Pizzeria Napoletana, Pizzeria Magpie in Mile End and downtown, or Heirloom in Hochelaga, not far from nature complex Space for Life.
Cafés, bakeries and ice cream
If you're looking for a quick snack or a sweet treat (you’re on vacation, after all!), Montréal can't be beat for its variety of cafés, indie coffee shops and bakeries. Among the outwardly baby-friendly cafés, try Melons & Clémentines and Café 92 in the neighbourhood of NDG west of downtown and Westmount, where comfortable chairs, good coffee, tea, snacks and play areas await. Babies and toddlers are also welcome at Caffe della Pace in Outremont, Café Sfouf and Le Milieu in the Village not far from Parc La Fontaine, small but welcoming Arts Café in Mile End, Le Elsdale café-buvette-boutique in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie near Parc Molson, Coco Gallo in Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie and Bouge Petit Café and play space on Papineau Avenue. In summer, make everyone happy with the best ice cream and frozen treats in Montréal, like Havre aux Glaces at Jean-Talon Market and right on Sainte-Catherine Street outside Place des Arts. Or take everyone's sweet-tooth to the next level at Montréal's chocolate shops.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.
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