Well it’s not the first time the big show comes to Montréal. Last time we hosted a GP many contributors joined forces to produce ManaDeprived.com’s Guide to Montreal, highlighting the best this city has to offer. If you’re making the trek down here, it’s basically required reading. However, it only touches the tip of all that you can find in Montreal and I believe I can provide a few more recommendations for our esteemed readership.
First, the tournament is held again at Palais des Congrès. It’s the same venue that was used for Pro Tour Gatecrash as well as the last GP. The event is being held by GameKeeper and they’ve setup a nice site at GPMontreal.com where you can find out all there is to know about the event. Tournament organizer Mauro Bongiovanni is a polarizing figure in the local community, but you can be assured he’s prepared to host a great event. The venue itself has a lot to offer, including many restaurants and cafés which I’m going to highlight.
Inside the venue
This may be your more familiar option. A lot of long Magic days have been sustained by this franchise and it will be there for you if you need it.
Being from Montreal, I assumed everyone ate Lebanese gyros on a regular basis, but after surveying a few of my American friends, it seems this might just be a local thing. Here, they’re basically on every corner. No wonder the Avengers made it like a quirky thing to do…
If you decide to go there, what you wanna do is order Shish Taouk(chicken) or Shawarma(beef). You have the option of taking either as a sandwich or a plate. If you choose a plate you can actually combine beef and chicken. If you order a sandwich, you can also take it with potatoes and a drink, commonly called a trio a.k.a. meal.
- Noobox (Noodles)
- Terra Verda (Sandwiches & Salads)
- Presse Café, Van Houtte (Coffee & Sandwiches)
Outside the venue
405, St-Antoine Ouest, Montréal, QC H2Z 2A3 (BYOB)
This place is a decent steakhouse and French bistro and they let you bring your own booze! For some people, that makes it the perfect place or a recipe for disaster, which brings us to…
If you’re looking to quench your thirst, you’ll need to go there since all bottled wine and liquor is dealt strictly by this provincial institution. Just make sure you don’t get arrested for public indecency.
105 St-Paul Est, Montréal, QC H2Y1G7
This microbrewery offers a varied menu for a decent price, accompanied with their selection of homemade beers. Their speciality is the Flamm, a thin-crust pizza that is simply delicious.
12 Rue Notre Dame Est, Montréal, QC H2Y 1B7
I’ll admit I’ve never been there, but if I wanted to get sit-down breakfast near the venue, that’s where I would go. They offer loads of options for omelettes, eggs benedict, waffles, crêpes, you name it. Their lunch menu with burgers and sandwiches doesn’t look too shabby either. I would consider this one a safe bet.
1116 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC H3B 5K2
Here’s another place to get your fix of Montreal smoked meat, with probably the nicest dinning room among popular options. They’ve also got lots of other choices on the menu, including steaks, burgers and humongous salads. You won’t be disapointed.
3961 Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y4
Ranked one of the top 10 Steak house in the world, Moishes is another landmark of the Montreal landscape. This restaurant opened in 1938 and has literally become an institution. If what you’re really craving is a good steak, look no further than this one.
408 Rue Saint François Xavier, Montréal, QC H2Y 2S9
If you watch the food network, you might have seen this restaurant’s tattooed owner Chuck Hughes kicking ass on Iron Chef. He’s known for making funky Lobster poutine and is big on seafood. His famous dessert is a deep fried Mars bar. If you must go there, I suggest you plan accordingly as it’s notoriously difficult to get a reservation there. Oh and this place has no signs, so make sure you note the address.
Cristal No 41
1068, boul. St Laurent, Montreal QC, H2Z 1J5
A small Vietnamese place, very simple, but the food is delicious. Great bang for your buck, walking distance from the venue.
If these choices aren’t enough, you can look at other restaurants near the venue on RestoMontreal.ca. The site lists more than 400 restaurants within 1km of the venue, so if you’re craving anything specific, there’s a good chance it’s there.
1219 Rue Crescent, Montréal, QC H3G 2B1
This bar serves a huge selection of their own microbrewed beers and usually features a live band performing each night. A really cool place to hang out and drown your sorrows after getting crushed at your favorite strategy game. Their Chocolate Stout is highly recommended.
1196 Rue Peel, Montréal, QC H3B 2T6
Peel Pub is a classic sports bar in Montreal. It’s usually very crowded and there’s always action going on there. A good value if that’s the type of place you’re looking for.
300 rue Ontario Est, Montréal, Qc H2X 1H6
2047 av. Mont-Royal, Montréal, Qc H2H 1J7
This place is known for their wide selection of exotic cocktails, served in a huge mason jar. There’s two location you can go to, the closest one to the venue is on Ontario, but it’s quite small and often has a line up to get in. There are however a lot of other bars close to it, so you might wanna take a chance and fall back somewhere else if you can’t get in. Go to the other address on Mont-Royal if you have a larger group that really wants to try it.
1649 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K4
Recommended by a friend, this scotch bar offers more than 140 kinds of scotch and whiskey to sample. The atmosphere is said to be laid back and relaxed. A good place where you can chill out and chat with your buddies, since they don’t crank the music to indecent levels.
1749 Saint-Denis, Montréal (Québec), H2X 3K4
If you’re looking for a good beer, this is one of the best destination in the city. They have about 20 beers on tap and hundreds available in bottle. Their own brew are all named with a religious reference, tying with the name of the place, which translates as “The Holy Mug”. It’s located in the same area as La Distillerie and L’île noire.
1 Avenue du Casino, Montréal, QC H3C 4W7
Looking for higher stakes than MTG? Montreal has its own casino and it’s not too shabby. It’s not too far from the downtown area, so if gambling is your thing, that’s where you’ll want to go.
The tournament venue is located right next to the historical district of the Old Port. This area has many tourist attractions and is one of the best area to explore by foot. You might want to drop by the Montreal Science Center to check out the exhibitions or catch an Imax movie. Another option is the Pointe-à-Callière museum which is now showing an exhibit on The Beatles, but also features some of the history and archaeology from the city. Don’t be afraid to explore the neighborhood, it has a lot to offer.