Being a cheap bastard never tasted so good

You don’t have to be rolling in the Benjamins (or the Bordens, in this case) to enjoy a good meal in a classy establishment. Put on your best sweater-vest and head out to any of these sure bets for a good deal at Taste MTL.

Taste MTL offers you classy food at cheap bastard prices
Photo courtesy of Tourism Montreal

This year has seen a lot of food-related activity in Montreal: the rise of the food truck and the re-evaluation of our street food laws, new and exciting restaurant openings, the Omnivore World Tour and now, Taste MTL, an event encouraging you to try restaurants that, under ordinary circumstances, you might not.

Nearly 100 restaurants across the city are participating by offering set menus at $19, $29 and $39; a slew of culinary tours, wine tastings and other events are also scheduled.

Jointly presented by Tourism Montreal and the SAQ, and running until Nov. 11, Taste MTL gives diners and would-be foodies the opportunity to eat like royalty without having royally deep pockets. Here are our top five picks for the best deals.

Les 400 Coups

This Old Montreal restaurant has drawn international attention not only for its  refined seasonal cuisine, prepared by chef Marc-André Jetté, but also for pastry chef Patrice Demers’s exceptional desserts. Usually a place that would break the bank, at $39 for three courses, it’s definitely my top pick.
400 Notre-Dame E., 514-985-0400,


This French bistro has long been one of my favourite dining spots, with its checkered tile floors, high ceilings and big front windows overlooking des Pins in the Plateau. It’s the perfect place for a date — with a $19 menu, you can impress by splurging on their wine list full private imports.
250 des Pins E., 514-287-9127,


Strictly vegetarian, ChuChai’s Thai menu will even impress carnivores. Chef Lily Sirikittikul plays with flavours and textures to create dishes that look and taste like they’re made with beef, chicken, duck and seafood. Three courses will cost you $29, unless you’re a late-night eater — there’s a $19 menu after 10 p.m.
4088 St-Denis, 514-843-4194,

Van Horne

This small sliver of a restaurant on Van Horne in Outremont is white, bright and an example of modern Quebec cuisine at its best. Chef Eloi Dion has a tongue-in-cheek approach to cooking; his playful combinations are not only brilliant, but delicious. At $39, this is definitely a steal.
1268 Van Horne, 514-508-0828,

Ferreira Café

If you’re a fan of Portuguese cuisine, Ferreira Café, downtown on Peel,  is something you should experience at least once. At $39 a pop, you can have your pick of cured sea bass, warm mushroom salad, pan-fried cod and their famous pork and clam dish.
1446 Peel, 514-848-0988, 

Call or use to reserve. For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, go to

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