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NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in the Plateau

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  • By Selena Ross
  • Photos by Kayle Neis
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The Plateau
Montreal
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The Plateau was the landing area for generations of immigrants, first Jewish and then Portuguese, and it retains strong traces of both eras. The western part is full of English-speaking students, while the eastern edge trends young and Francophone. Plateau-dwellers have always lived in very close quarters, but the residential streets stay peaceful. It’s the best place to soak in Montreal’s carefree pace of life.

Meet Selena Ross

Selena has lived in Montreal for a total of 10 years. She grew up a couple of hours away, in Ottawa, but has Quebec roots, especially on the Plateau — her grandfather landed there after immigrating to Canada in the 1920s.

Want to get in touch?

mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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The Plateau

Stroll Avenue Duluth
Plateau thoroughfares crisscross, according to the compass, northwest-southeast (or “Montreal north-south” — you’ll find that locals give directions that rotate the city grid east). But try cutting “west” on this cobblestone street, from Saint-Hubert or Saint-Denis streets to the foot of Mont-Royal. Food options abound, including the famous gourmet Québécois restaurant Au Pied de Cochon (mapped below), and many of them are BYOB. Pick up a bottle of wine on the way.
536 Ave. Duluth Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2L 1A9
Chez José
It’s worth having breakfast or lunch at this tiny, long-standing spot, which offers an odd but delicious mix of crepes, omelets, smoothies and its famous Portuguese chicken sandwiches. There are vegan options, and almost everything is under $10 Canadian. (Students, predictably, are passionate about this place.)
173 Ave. Duluth Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1H4
Else’s
This beloved bar hasn’t changed through the Plateau’s ups and downs, and many of the customers have been coming for decades. The staff is warm, the decor colorful and the playlist fun and unpretentious. Most customers end up wishing they lived around the corner.
156 Rue Roy Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1M2
Leonard Cohen’s corner
Residents of certain streets love reminiscing about running into Leonard Cohen at the local bagel shop or corner store. Born in Montreal, the musical legend loyally returned all his life and owned a small home facing the Parc du Portugal. When Cohen died in 2016, Montrealers kept vigil by his house for days. There’s no public memorial there now, but the little plaza is easy to appreciate.
4311 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1Z3
Le Majestique
This wine and cocktail lounge is a relatively new addition to the neighborhood, a modern take on the Old World atmosphere of the Main. It has oysters and small plates and a cozy but stylish vibe.
4105 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y7
Casa del Popolo
Each wave of the local music scene plays out, at some point, on a block of Saint-Laurent between Villeneuve and Saint-Joseph — small cafe-bar-venue Casa del Popolo is across the street from another performance hall called La Sala Rossa. Arcade Fire, Stars and Godspeed You! Black Emperor may not be playing in either spot these days, but you can catch a newer artist or just enjoy a drink.
4873 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2T 1R6
Ripples
Schwartz’s smoked meat is right across the street, which means you can brave that wait with some homemade ice cream from Ripples. This shop, which is all of six feet wide, shuts down for about eight months of the year. While it lasts, though, its chocolate raspberry truffle is a must.
3880 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y2
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Selena Ross
Selena has lived in Montreal for a total of 10 years. She grew up a couple of hours away, in Ottawa, but has Quebec roots, especially on the Plateau — her grandfather landed there after immigrating to Canada in the 1920s.
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Kayle Neis
Kayle is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Montreal.

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