Bright and early this morning, I departed for Montreal to visit my good friend and fellow vegan Lisa, who currently studies at McGill University. Contrary to popular belief, Quebecquois cuisine does not shun vegans in the least—a bounty of animal-secretion-free restaurants welcomes plant-based eaters to the hip, European-esque city. While Lisa assured me of the exceptional quality of her favorite Montreal eateries, I felt obliged to scour the web a bit for Montreal’s best of vegan cuisine…not to mention that looking up online menus of vegan-friendly restaurants in different cities has become one of my favorite pasttimes. My search yielded three restaurants in keeping with the high health standard of my eating habits, two of which offer completely raw fare and all of which double as juice bars! French-speaking people, gorgeous architecture, vintage clothing stores, and raw juice bars? Montreal seems like my kind of city.
While I won’t reveal my day-to-day Montreal eats until I return, I’d love to share my restaurant search results.
As per Lisa’s suggestion (she deems this vegan cafe her absolute favorite eatery in Montreal), I Googled Aux Vivres, which serves “fresh, innovative and delicious vegan food using nothing but the highest quality ingredients” and has made it their mission “to debunk any myths people may hold about vegan food by preparing meals that are flavourful and inspired, all the while being healthy and satisfying.” Well said! I also immediately appreciated their devotion to local and seasonal produce, my personal passion. The menu boasts an eclectic, cultural mix of creative sandwiches, crudite platters, hearty salads, veganized dessert classics, vegetable juices, creamy smoothies, and what excited me most: bowls. In particular, the Macro bowl interested me—steamed spinach and bok choy, sauerkraut, wakame, sprouts, miso-tahini sauce, and a choice of grilled tofu or tempeh served over brown rice. Accompanied perhaps by the Végé-Délice juice, this potential meal has sent my salivary glands into overdrive. I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into the wholesome, delectable offerings at Aux Vivres.
The second restaurant, of which I’ve heard many rave reviews and for which I cannot possibly contain my eagerness, is Crudessence—a gourmet raw eatery with two locations, a live foods cooking academy, and their own house-brewed kombucha. Featuring raw soups, sushi, salads, wraps, burgers, pizzas, tacos, pasta, juices, smoothies, and (my favorite!) desserts, the menu offers an astonishing array of goodies, all of which I yearn to put in my mouth immediately. Particularly, I’d like to sample their Crudessence Salad, Crepes Florentine, Hippocrate juice, and their Blueberry Un-Cheesecake. Mmm…excuse me for one moment while I daydream of raw deliciousness.
Le Jubar offers a fixed menu of three juices (red, orange, and green), all touted to offer specific health benefits such as “detoxifying the body and mind,” as well as smoothies and daily rotating specials of an entree, a spring roll, a soup, a dessert, and a coconut milk tapioca. Entirely gluten-free, this restaurant’s light, wholesome fare intrigues me, as do their Facebook status updates of their daily specials, all of which sound positively mouthwatering.
After a full day of riding airplanes, bopping around Montreal, browsing vintage clothing stores, and filling my tummy with tantalizing, wholesome, Canadian goodies, I feel contentedly exhausted and quite prepared for a lengthy slumber, eager to awake tomorrow to further explore this gorgeous, eclectic city and (of course) to sample more foreign vegan delectables from across the northern border.
Until next time (Tuesday night, to be exact!), Ali.