15 Cheap Eats Under $15 in Montreal

My favorite cheap eats in Montreal under $15 per person - from Indian to Vietnamese, to, of course, poutine, there's something for every palate.

When people ask me why I love Montreal so much, I don’t have to think very hard — THE FOOD.

Rumour has it that Montreal has the highest amount of restaurants per capita in North America, and while I can’t seem to find a reliable source to validate this information, I like to think it true. There are an incredible amount of restaurants in the city, all better than the other, from the cheapest takeaway to the most lavish Michelin-starred establishment, and just about everything in between.

There’s no doubt about it — Montreal does food very well. Thanks to the many different cultures that migrated to the city at some point, we have quite the variety when it comes to picking a place to eat. Poutine? Indian? Vietnamese? Sharma? Take your pick, because we’ve got it covered.

To help budget-strapped travellers or lovers of cheap, authentic food, I compiled a list of my favourite cheap eats in Montreal under $15 per head.

* last updated September 2016

15 Cheap Eats in Montreal Under $15

cheap eats in montreal

Wilensky’s Light Lunch

Wilensky’s is sort of an institution in the Mile-End. Family-owned since the opening in 1932, the place is famous for its cheap snacks, yes, but also for the Wilensky’s Special ($3.90): “all-beef salami with all-beef baloney grilled to mouth-watering perfection on a tasty roll with a hint of mustard”. But don’t try to change anything in it — the owner, Ruth, will not have your shit.  Hell, they even wrote a poem about it:

When ordering a Special,
you should know a thing or two.
It is always served with mustard;
it is never cut in two.
Don’t ask us why; just understand
that this is nothing new.
This is the way that it’s been done
since 1932.

cheap eats in montreal

Aux Vivres

Montreal’s first completely vegan restaurant! Aux Vivres’ mission is simple: debunk the myth that vegan food is pretty much like eating grass – i.e., tasteless and boring. Quite the contrary! Everything on the menu is less than $15 and full of flavour. Kudos to the gyro!

 cheap eats in montreal
Lester’s Deli

Perhaps Montreal’s most iconic joint, Lester’s Deli has been in business for over 60 years now — the oldest in Canada according to the owners — and is as popular as ever. A thick, juicy smoked meat sandwich with a side of fries and a soft drink will cost around $10, but the experience is priceless.

cheap eats in montreal

Fairmount Bagels

While the debate between the cities with the best bagels still remains to be settled — New York or Montreal? — if there’s one thing the two metropolises have in common bagel-wise, it’s the low prices. A cream-cheese bagel and a large coffee will set you back around $5.

cheap eats in montreal

Olive+Gourmando

An institution among people who live or work in Old-Montreal. This eatery offers tasty sandwiches to eat on the spot or take away to the Old Port quays. Kudos to the cajun chicken sandwich ($10.95).

cheap eats in montreal

La Banquise

Now what’s a trip to Montreal without a good dose of poutine? A failure, that’s what it is. La Banquise is cheap, is open 24/7, is delicious, is iconic and is all around darn good deal.

cheap eats in montreal

Pho Bang New York

One of the best eateries in Chinatown! Service is quick and efficient, as it usually is in Chinatowns all over the world. I usually go for the #33, a vermicelli bowl with grilled beef, imperial rolls, freshly sliced veggies and a bunch of fresh coriander. This meal is extremely filling and costs just $8! Bonus points for the free, unlimited green tea.

cheap eats in montreal

Qing Hua Dumplings

One of the best dumpling joints in the city – where you can a huge plate of  12 steamed or fried dumplings for less than $10. The decor, as with most Chinese restaurants, is nothing to write home about but frankly this isn’t what should be in focus here!

cheap eats in montreal

Chez Boris

THE best place to get inexpensive, delicious, hand-crafted doughnuts in Montreal. This Mile End’s Russian doughnut café gives cupcake shops a run for their money with its original yet simple flavours, and their shockingly low price tag at just $0.75 a piece. Their borscht is also excellent, as is their kwass.

cheap eats in montreal

Le Vieux Vélo

My favourite brunch joint ever since I moved across the street. Their eggs benedict are incredibly tasty (not to mention their coffee, sourced from next door Café Odessa) and are a total steal at just $12.

Cheap Eats in Montreal: Additional Suggestions

Rotisserie Romados

This is one of the city’s best-kept secret. Delicious, flavourful and cheap meal in the heart of the Plateau? Check! A half-chicken with fries and a salad is just under $10. Alternatively, Romados’ sister restaurant, Ma poule mouillée, serves similar dishes just a bit further east on Rachel Street.

Satay Brothers

For those who decide to venture a bit further west of downtown to Atwater Market and Lachine Canal — which I highly recommend — Satay Brothers will satisfy those with a liking for Asian-Singaporean food and a small budget. The daily satay is just $6!

Café Santropol

Quirky local institution (open for over 40 years now) specialising in vegetarian piled-high sandwiches and yummy soups. Particularly enjoyable in the summer, with its amazing garden in the back.

L’Gros Luxe

Friendly service and delicious dishes at an affordable price, from early morning until late evening. Almost everything is locally sourced and hand-made from scratch. Their caesars with edible toppings are famous across the city!

Tejano Burrito BBQ

Underrated yet trendy burrito joint in Griffintown that has yet to get a negative review from local experts.

Makoto

Modest and authentic Korean / Japanese oddly located in Little Italy. Their cheese katsu is simply amazing, and is as filling as it is well-priced.

cheap eats in montreal

42 Comments on 15 Cheap Eats Under $15 in Montreal

  1. Naomi
    September 9, 2013 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

    I was able to watch Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on the plane and after having read this as well, I have to somehow get to Montreal to try all of this! Brilliant article Marie-Eve!

    Reply
  2. Hogga
    September 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm (4 years ago)

    mmmmm poutine nom nom nmom

    Reply
  3. Sam@GreenGlobalTravel
    September 11, 2013 at 3:44 am (4 years ago)

    These are great for those of us traveling on a tight budget! I love that you include a bunch of ethnic places

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      September 11, 2013 at 5:09 am (4 years ago)

      More often than not ethnic places tend to be cheaper than local ones — luckily for our taste buds!

      Reply
  4. Simon Alway
    September 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm (4 years ago)

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    Reply
  5. Andrea
    October 8, 2013 at 12:06 am (4 years ago)

    YUM! You just sold me on the whole city

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm (4 years ago)

      Cheap and delicious food are awesome and readily available over here!

      Reply
  6. Travel Origins
    October 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm (4 years ago)

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! Great cheap eats!

    Reply
  7. Shaz
    October 12, 2013 at 5:41 am (4 years ago)

    I miss Montreal!!! I lived there for 4 years before packing up to go traveling and seem to have landed back on the other side of the country. Woops.

    I love getting St. Viateur bagels straight from their bakery on St. Viateur, you could request the ones you see rolling out of the oven. I would eat too many all at once.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm (4 years ago)

      So true. Nothing like a warm bagel fresh from the oven!

      Reply
  8. Chandler
    November 1, 2013 at 8:18 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks for such a great resource to find delicious food under $15. This blog is a big help for those who are traveling on a tight budget. This way they can save a significant amount of money for some other tasks.

    Reply
  9. chad
    November 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm (4 years ago)

    I went to le Banquise when I was there after more than a few beers one night. It’s a great vibe there, cheap and the food was great! But how can you go wrong with poutine when you are half in the bag! It’s a perfect mix!

    Reply
  10. Abby
    November 20, 2013 at 7:52 am (4 years ago)

    Delicious! I would love to try them all.

    Reply
  11. Audrey
    November 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm (4 years ago)

    I love the poutine at La Banquise! I’ve been there a few times – so good!!

    Reply
  12. Ulrik Mahguss
    December 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Il faut savoir que les meilleurs restaurants sont les petits commerces dans les quartiers plus multiehtniques (parc-ex, saint-michel, hoshelaga, ville st-laurent, etc.) inconnus de la clientele ”trendy” de Montréal qui ne jurent que par le Plateau et ses environs.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 2, 2014 at 11:08 am (3 years ago)

      De la même façon qu’il n’y a pas que des restaurants de merde dans Hochelaga ou Rosemont, il n’y a pas que des restaurants trendy sur le Plateau ;-)

      Reply
  13. Ayngelina
    August 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow this has just given me another reason to visit Montreal again.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      August 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Do let me know if you’re in town I’ll show you around :-)

      Reply
  14. LauraD
    September 6, 2014 at 10:40 am (3 years ago)

    Great list! Montreal is definitely a foodie destination. I checked out Stash Cafe last weekend. Very affordable Polish food.

    Reply
  15. Paul
    September 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm (3 years ago)

    You’re missing The Pushap – $5.75 for a Thali and dessert!

    Reply
  16. Alana
    October 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm (3 years ago)

    Gryphon D’or on Monkland, best food & prices in Montreal. Yum

    Reply
  17. teo7724
    December 17, 2014 at 10:12 am (2 years ago)

    I think one of the more romantic place to visit is Montreal. I personally went there on my honeymoon and my husband and I loved the food and the people there! I would strongly suggest Montreal. Although it can get very touristy, especially in the summer, they are very beautiful places.To break free from the tourist crowd, I would suggest you to try some home-dining options. We went to dine with one of the local hosts on BonAppetour(www.bonappetour.com)., and were treated to a fancy meal at their homes on the rooftop!

    Reply
  18. Rachel
    January 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm (2 years ago)

    Restaurant Nilufar has fresh falafel pitas for $1.50 after taxes. They’re without all of the frills you might find in a fancier one, but even the tahini is made from scratch, and you can add whatever additional toppings you’d like (including extra falafel) easily and cheaply. Not to mention the fact that the owner herself is wonderful. I mean, I’m a pretty memorable person, but Nilufar’s right next to Concordia, and it still only took like, three visits and a conversation about nail polish before she knew my order.

    Reply
  19. Sarah
    March 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm (2 years ago)

    To be honest, I find la Banquise expensive for what it serves and that huge line up, gosh!

    However, your forgot to mention Thali on St Mathieu, OMG! Delicious and inexpensive (+, they renovated!).

    PS. Love your blog!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      March 31, 2015 at 8:10 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks for suggesting Thali, I’ll have to check it out :-) And thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
  20. Maida
    March 29, 2015 at 8:16 am (2 years ago)

    I am a native Montrealer and still live here. I am familiar with some of those restaurants but there are a few that I have not heard of. I will definitely save this page for myself or if anyone comes to visit. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      March 31, 2015 at 8:06 am (2 years ago)

      Happy to help, enjoy!

      Reply
  21. christos
    June 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m a native montrealer and you’ve introduced me to some interesting places. Thank you.
    May I suggest cafe souvenir on Bernard for its excellent non traditional breakfast and smoked meat pete’s, although not on the island, is the best smoke meat and ribs I have ever had…. anywhere!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      June 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check it out!

      Reply
  22. Marilyne
    June 27, 2015 at 9:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Merci pour toutes ces belles et délicieuses suggestions!

    Je suggère Bombay Mahal pour leur fameux poulet au beurre! Un Resto indien à son meilleur!
    Il y a aussi Tri Express, un mini resto de sushis avec un décor UNIQUE. Délicieux!

    Reply
  23. Joannie
    April 13, 2016 at 12:18 pm (1 year ago)

    You clearly forgot Ave Seoul on decarie near Cote Vertu metro !!! So tasty korean food and i think the most expensive is around 20 (like 1 meal and i think its for two) most of the food is between 10 and 15 and you have a lot of food :)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      April 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm (1 year ago)

      To be fair I almost never go that side of town! I’m partial to the eastern brand of the orange line :-)

      Reply

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  1. […] a vast amount of culture comes a lot of choice for cuisine! There are cheap places to eat if you are willing to look where you can get good food for $15 and under. As always you can also […]

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