Montreal’s unexpected veggie-friendly establishments.

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You may have noticed that I like to talk about “co-existing” with meat-lovers. This is in large part because most of my friends and family have not adopted my vegetarian lifestyle, and it has been a headache at times. They want to eat red meat, and I just want eat something without stressing the waitress out, or paying too much for a poor excuse of a salad. Over the course of my co-existence with carnivorous, I’ve taken note of a few meat-lovin’ establishments that are surprising veg-friendly. These are the places that I’ll head to if I simply cannot convince my friends to try to newest vegan hot spot.

Photo cred: Gemma Correll

1. Marven’s

  • Speciality: Steak, Lamb, Calamari & Souvlaki.
  • Veggie option: Veggie souvlaki, greek salad, veggie platter.
  • Location: Parc-Ex

This classic Montreal dive is a beloved spot for steak and lamb chops. I like it because I can order a “veggie” souvlaki platter loaded with salad and feta cheese. Drench your fries in Marven’s sauce, and you’ll be in for a treat. It’s a good spot to swing by for a social gathering since it’s got a lively atmosphere. And bonus – it’s CHEAP!

2. Baton Rouge

Surf & turf, ribs and a killer grilled veggie sandwich. Seriously, I’ve had this sandwich on numerous occasions and it was consistently yummy. It’s got portobello mushroom, red peppers, eggplant, zucchini and goat cheese. Not vegan friendly but I’m sure you can ask them to hold the cheese and mayo in a pinch. Kudos to them for whipping together a sweet vegetarian option. They’ve also got some decent starters but it ain’t cheap!

3. Reuben’s Deli

  • Speciality: Smoked meat.
  • Veggie option: Grilled veggie sandwich.
  • Location: Downtown

When your buddies are in the mood for smoked meat, convince them to go to Reuben’s deli. They have a fabulous spinach artichoke dip, a massive greek salad and a delicious grilled veggie sandwich.  It’s pretty much the same deal as the Baton Rouge sandwich. I’ve actually gone here with vegetarian friends just for the sandwich. It’s also the same price point as Baton Rouge, but high prices are to be expected when you’re eating right downtown.

4. Burger De Ville

This burger joint is a regular spot for my colleagues and I. They are fairly enamoured over the idea of bacon cheeseburgers on the lunch hour. Luckily they’ve got a yummy portobello burger options for about $5.75. If you really want to splurge get the Mediterranean burger but swap the meat for a mushroom, which turns it into an epic grilled veggie sandwich. It hits the spot but I’ve had to turn a blind eye to how close they grill the mushroom to the beef patties. Personally, I can live with the proximity for a little lunchtime socializing.

5. Le Gros Jambon

  • Specialty: Diner food (Hot dogs, burgers, mac &cheese)
  • Veggie option(s): Veggie Burger, Mac&Cheese
  • Location: Old Montreal

This trendy diner is a fun spot to grab a cheap bite in the old port. I usually recommend this place to tourists since decent cheaper options in Montreal’s beloved old town are few and far between. Besides being affordable, Le Gros Jambon is fun and accommodating to vegetarian needs. They offer a veggie burger, 4-cheese mac & cheese and a small salad. You can even omit to aioli to make your veggie burger vegan. The brunch is not as veg-friendly so I recommend this one more for lunch.

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