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Folfol
Photograph: Michael VesiaFolfol

Best new cheap eats in Montreal

Eating well in Montreal doesn't have to be expensive. Here's our list of the best new spots to eat without compromising your taste buds, or your budget.

Written by
Tommy Dion
Translated by Laura Osborne
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Montréal is a world-renowned dining destination, with many restaurants to discover. But what about the city’s most affordable eats? Montrealers have always had a love affair with the city's low cost of living and high quality of life, and the caliber of our inexpensive, satisfying eateries are proof of that. Here's a list of our favourite new places that are as easy on the eye as they are on our wallet.

Time Out Market Montréal

  • Restaurants
  • price 2 of 4

Eating next-level food doesn't mean you need to pay a pretty penny. If you're looking for cheap eats that don't skimp on quality, then look to the best chefs in the city. Downtown in the Eaton Centre, Time Out Market Montréal has orders of karaage from Marusan, the whole menu of Casa Kaizen with vegan tacos, flautas and more, imperial and spring rolls from Le Red Tiger, malangra accras and plantains from Paul Toussaint, and Caesar salads and veal meatballs from Il Miglio—and each of those dishes mentioned are under $10!

Best new cheap eats in Montreal

One trip to Lebanese-influenced Lulu Épicerie just isn’t enough. Between the flatbread sandwiches toasted in real time, the charcoal-grilled skewers and the manakeesh (Lebanese “pizza”), it’s tough to make only one choice. Run by a young dynamic duo with roots in Lebanon, their wish is simply to honour their ancestry by doing things right, and with a lot of heart.

The most popular Syrian restaurant in town, Damas, has officially expanded into the space across the street now known as Folfol. The takeout counter delivers on the to-go business started by the Damas team during the pandemic by continuing to offer a wide range of dishes: shish-taouk, Aleppo kebab, hummus with shawarma or mushrooms, salads and mezzes. Don’t miss the gourmet sandwiches, like the sujok-spiced cheeseburger and the saj chicken shish-taouk.

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From hand-rolled phyllo to traditional moussaka, tzatziki and stuffed grape leaves, Kouzina Niata has all the ingredients for a trip to Greece. The delicious, unpretentious dishes reflect the hospitality and values that the eaterie's family from Niata, a small village in southern Greece, share. Enjoy one of the tastiest (and crispiest!) spanakopita in town, Greek salad with crunch and barrel-aged Greek feta, and discover lesser-known specialties like pastitsio (Greek “lasagna”), keftedakia (meatballs simmered in a tomato and herb sauce) or karidopita, a traditional walnut cake infused with honey. 

 

This little Mile End counter proves just how much Montrealers love (superior sandwiches! Nothing is left to chance here. Fresh bread is baked on-site every day, not to mention quality fillings for carnivores and vegetarians, privately imported wines, third wave filter coffee, homemade sodas, and sweets... This is the spot to load up for lunch, a picnic or happy hour snacks. Special shout-out to the roast beef sandwich, the trout gravlax sandwich and the egg and sausage breakfast sammy.

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If hand-rolled, al dente pasta with silky sauce is your thing, chances are Paradiso will be your paradise. Fresh pasta in all shapes and sizes, stuffed or not, and with all kinds of sauces is the name of game thanks to the German-Weston duo, who express their creativity and know-how using the best possible ingredients. Gemelli, mafaldine, triangoli, bucatini or scarpinocc? Meat sauce, pesto, hazelnut butter or caponata? For takeout, or to eat on the spot? It's just another day in paradise.

This is a Caribbean counter like none other. Chef Jeba Bowers Murphy piles freshly-baked cocobread with  jerk-spiced chicken, fried fish or vegetables, favouring the flavors of her childhood. We like our sandwich with a mango salad on the side, a Jamaican patty (for later!) and a little something sweet.

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If Moccione (the original restaurant) was welcomed by the Villeray neighborhood on day one, we can safely say the same about Moccione Pizza. It’s a delicious pivot for the team, offering Neo-Napolitan-style pizza to go (with a few appetizers and desserts on the side). (Fans of Moccione will be able to indulge in Chef Luca's decadent maccheroni bolognese and the new pizzeria as Moccione is moving to a new location just a few steps away from Moccione Pizza soon...)

If you’re craving pizza with dough that's slightly blackened and crunchy on the outside, but still melt-in-your-mouth in the middle, Moccione Pizza is the spot. We also like the bold choice in toppings: chorizo Bellota, red onion and candied cherry tomatoes, fennel-flavoured salami, eggplant, smoked mozzarella, hot peppers, pangrattato and pecorino. And the Tiramisu? A must.

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