CLOSED: Commensal - St Denis

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 12 reviews )



1720 St Denis (at Maisonneuve, in Latin Quarter), Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Serves meat, vegan options available. In Oct 2012 this previously all veg buffet restaurant chain switched to flexitarian and offers fish and poultry in a separate case. Several locations, this one is on 3-floors. Features a large self-serve hot and cold buffet spread that includes soups, pate, main entrees, desserts, many of which are vegan-friendly. Food is priced by weight. JAN 2014 reported changed to Resto Vego.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, International, Western, Buffet, Salad bar, Take-out, Non-veg

12 Reviews

First Review by navski

Return to Vegetarian dining! - Edit

I came to HappyCow to research restaurants for my visit to Montréal, and I could not help seeing how unhappy many vegetarian and vegans were with Commensal's change to "flexitarian" dining. You will all be delighted to hear they have changed back, and are now branded as Resto Végo with the tagline "Complètement Végé - Le Goût pour le futur" (Completely veggie - the taste for the future)!

I visited Resto Végo at St Denis for lunch today and was absolutely delighted by it. I am used to buffet dining at Tibits in London (and have also visited the "original" Tibits in Zürich), and must say that Resto Végo beats them all. It has an absolutely HUGE hot and cold buffet selection - off the top of my head, I'd say there were at least 21 hot dishes and 24 cold dishes and salads. More than half of the hot dishes and more than two-thirds of the cold were vegan. There is also a fruit buffet and a dessert buffet - of the 12 or so cakes, 3 were vegan today. There was also a sorbet cabinet.

The hot and cold buffet is the same price - $2.35 per 100g. The fruit buffet is cheaper, $2.15 per 100g, and the dessert buffet is more expensive, $2.65 per 100g. A notice in French advises you not to combine fruit or coulis with cakes to save money.

The food was delicious and managed to combine "healthy" with tasty. Nothing I had was the least bit greasy (although I must admit that the vegan spring rolls and some of the cheesy dishes looked a bit high in fat - but then they're deep-fried spring rolls and cheese, what do you expect?). I particularly appreciated that all dishes were labelled in both French and English, with a description as well as a name, so you could be sure that you'd picked up something appropriate for your diet. Like Tibits, they have a pictorial labelling system - V for vegan, picture of a milk carton for "contains dairy", CSG for gluten-free.

My dining partner and I ate everything on our plates and will definitely return multiple times during our stay here in Montréal.

Negative points? The only one I can honestly think of is that the restaurant is not wheelchair-accessible. There is one large step to get into the restaurant (although this is good for Montréal, a city which has a lot of snow), and then the buffet itself is up a short flight of stairs. Obviously a wheelchair user who can walk a bit could get into the restaurant with help, but both the buffet and toilets are upstairs.

I would rate it 5 stars if I could!

Pros: Completely vegetarian, Tons of vegan options

Cons: Not wheelchair-accessible

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Last on my list of places to go. - Edit

As a vegan, I hate going to this place. Luckily, I have only gone with groups of work people when we need a quick bite where "everyone could eat at". Food is so greasy and SO expensive. Plus their "flexitarian" business strategy period-a time when they went from being vegetarian to serving meat without trying to have anyone notice to make more money-was just insulting. They are back to being vegetarian now but who would want to go to a place who does this kind of business?

Cons: so many. , expensive for gross hospital-like food., a glorified cafeteria

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No longer Vegetarian - Edit

Latest news is that Commensal is no longer Vegetarian and has switched to a "Flexetarian" diet. They now will be serving Chicken, Shrimp and Crab.

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Nice enough - Edit

I went here for dinner quite late one night, and chose the 'hot' options (well lukewarm). I was pleased that they use veggie protein and it was open late, and perfect for me as a tourist because it is comfortable to eat alone. The food is nothing that special (cafeteria food - e.g. chilli/shepherds pie), so I'd be unlikely to bring non-veggies here and I don't know if it wasn't very warm cos I was eating late. I found it reasonably priced for the area as I ate nearby with colleagues and spent the same amount on a terrible $20+ vegan pasta thing (at a non-veggie restaurant).

Pros: Value for money, Tasty, Variety

Cons: Tepid?

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My Favorite - Edit

We like to eat here because there are a big variety of different vegetrian food. Not every food is healthy (deep fried spring roll, very cheesy lagsange ...), but i think most of them are well done. It is fast and convenience as well: You choose the food you want, weight them and pay at the cashier. There is no waiter/waitress to serve you and you do not have to wait for your bill to come. i especially like the poppy seed cream cake. i thought their soy cheese cake is vegan? Not sure. But for vegan or almost vegan, the paradise is always Aux Vivre. The place is children friendly in terms of atmosphere, but not when you are alone with a pram. The buffet area is at the upper level, access via staircase only. Yupe, i think it is a bit over priced.

Pros: Food, Fast, Location

Cons: Not pram friendly, Price

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Not a fan - Edit

I go to Commensal if I really have no other option, but I wouldn't go there spontaneously.
There are few vegan options, most of their warm food are vegetarian. The warm food is also not that healthy: it mainly consists of very basic vegetarian food,the kind you like when you are a beginner vegetarian.
As a 10 year + vegetarian (elvolving into 90% veganism) I don't really enjoy their lasagna (too bland, too much useless chesse, not enough vegetables) or ther mini pizza (same that above). Their fried imperial rolls are good, but don't compare that the real ones you can find in an asian restaurant.
The other meals are, again, very basic vegetarian food: marinated tofu, chili (the one I make at home is better!), that kind of stuff. I wasn't impressed, though it can make a satisfying meal when you're hungry.

As for the entrées, they are pretty not original either.
It mainly consists of various salad (chickpea and olive salad, pasta salad, avocado salad...) Then again, I find the non vegan meals the less tasty, maybe because their food is mostly bland, so the cheese and butter they put in makes the taste and heartiness of it.

As for the desserts, *none* of them is vegan, and they are all super rich creamy double-layer type cakes. I don't know if I don't like them because I'm French (not used to all that useless frosting and sugar) but my favorite are the most simple: their pecan and maple tart is good.

For the quality and unoriginality of their food, they could at least ofer a cheaper price, but this is fairly overpriced.

As a conclusion, I'd say that go there if you really can't find other alternatives in your neighborhood, but don't bring your omnivorous friends with you, as they could think that veggie cuisine is nothing more but an imitation of their own food, except with no meat.
NB: May I add that you can find some of their products in supermarkets? like veggie paté, soup and frozen meals. I admist I find them very bland aswell.

Pros: Comforting food, okay default choice, Filling food

Cons: Always the same food all year, Inspiration-less and quite bland, expensive

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Tasty and convenient. - Edit

Although the food is tasty, I think it's a bit overpriced. Everything is very well-labled and the atmosphere is nice despite the cafeteria-style buffet.

I enjoyed everything I tried here and will definitely be back.

Pros: delicious, vegan

Cons: expensive, cafeteria

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Good safe choice - Edit

I was recently in Montreal for a week on a work trip and had two meals at this branch and two at the McGill branch. Everything is clearly labelled in French and English and they use icons to show which dishes are vegan, which are gluten free and which contain eggs, dairy products and/or soya. A great standby choice and because it's a buffet you can be in and out very quickly if necessary. You pay by weight so unlike a standard fixed-price buffet those with smaller appetites will pay less, but there's a maximum price per plate so you won't get a big shock if you decide to splurge.

The same dishes were on offer throughout the week I was there, but there's enough variety that you can have something different each time (unless you're there for every meal or something like that).

Pros: plenty of vegan main dishes, clear labelling

Cons: could do with more vegan desserts

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une belle vue sur la fourmillante St-Denis! - Edit

Le Commensal St-Denis est parmi les plus anciens Commensal et j'aime bien son style bien particulier. De tres grandes fenêtres donnent une belle vue sur les passants et sur St-Denis! Le buffet y est tres beau aussi! Plusieurs personnes mentionnaient par le passé que le concept payer au poids des Commensal pouvait faire cher si on choisissait des choses lourdes comme de la lasagne ou des pommes de terre. Depuis peu, ils ont une nouvelle politique de prix maximum et ça ne coute jamais plus cher que 12,95$ le mdi et 15,95$ le soir... donc on a plus a s'en faire avec le prix quand on a un grand appétit!

Pros: frais, sain, pas cher

Cons: pas tres tres grand

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I love this place! - Edit

I love this place! Went at least a hundred times!
Buffet by weight, so you choose how much and what you want in your plate. Everything is vegetarian and vegan options are clearly shown.
Lots of fresh / vegetable / salad choice + a hot buffet with delicious things like seitan bourguignon, curried tofu, pâté chinois aux patates douces(sweet potatoes sheppard pie)... pretty constant in this location.
Not the same at all Le Commensal location.
This one is great because it is located in an animated neighborhood, one corner away from the intercity Bus station.

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same same and safe safe - Edit

if u need something quick to take for the it is for sure!

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great vegan choices - Edit

I love this place. As a traveler it is so great to find a place with so many vegan options and very affordable.

Pros: zillions of vegan choices, buffet, affordable

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