Gentrification is in full swing in Little Burgundy with all the trendy shops and eateries that have been popping up all along Notre-Dame Street between Atwater and Guy in the last few years. This area is worth exploring for its antique shops on Notre-Dame Street and for a walk or bikeride along the Lachine Canal.
The nucleus of this neighbourhood is the Atwater Market (138 Avenue Atwater, open daily), where posh Westmounters flock to shop for groceries on weekends. In addition to farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, the market houses several somewhat pricey meat and cheese shops all vying for your business. For a quick bite, there is also a Premiere Moisson bakery as well as a Sushi Shop, which is not the greatest sushi in the city but is a step above other locations in the same chain. If the weather is good, grab something to go from this market and head to the Lachine Canal for a picnic.
A bit north and east of Atwater Market on Notre-Dame Street West is Soupe Café (2725 Notre-Dame Ouest) serving healthy soups, sandwiches and prepared meals, even sushi. The fare is on the light side, so those with larger appetites may need to order two sandwiches instead of one, like this hungry author. It should come as no surprise that the owner is a nutritionist who cooks according to the Canada Food Guide and is very calorie conscious. They also offer a catering service and local delivery.
A little further down on the same side of Notre-Dame West is Toi, Moi et Café (2695 Notre-Dame Ouest), which boasts another location on Laurier St. near Parc Avenue. This café provides good sustenance for lunch in the form of soups, salads and sandwiches. The duck confit salad especially appealed to my palate. On the other hand, the lamb sandwich on baguette was tasty but could have used more meat. Nevertheless, their sublime coffees can make up for any meal disappointment, particularly the mochaccino with coconut nibs and whipped cream.
On the opposite side of the street is The Burgundy Lion (2496 Notre-Dame Ouest), an authentic English-style pub serving the requisite fare yet more upscale. Its menu features traditional dishes like bangers and mash, steak and fries, While it’s great for a business meeting at lunch, the real action is in the evening with live performances and trivia nights, unless a soccer match is on in the afternoon.
Finally, McKiernan (2485 Notre-Dame Ouest) is a tiny luncheonette run by the owners of Joe Beef and Liverpool House. It is so busy between noon and 2pm that this author could not get a table. Creative Canadian cuisine for under $20 and highly recommended for brunch. Closed Mondays.