• Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 15 reviews )

552 Ste-Catherine Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2L 2E1

Montreal veggie cafe attached to a hostel; previously name L'Utopik. Features a special each day. Approximately 1/3 of the menu is vegan or can be made vegan. Uses mostly organic ingredients. Live shows every night starting at 6pm. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-3:00am.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Organic, Western, Beer/Wine, Canadian

15 Reviews

First Review by kennyp353

wonderful food wonderful venue - Edit

We had a phenomenal time here! Got the vegan pizza and the burger. The food is pretty light fare but delicious. If you’re starving maybe share a few things. The music acts we caught were amazing. Very cool decor and ambiance to this place. Great service. Note that it is counter service so you don’t waste time waiting at your table. Would highly highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun chill spot for a lighter meal and some good entertainment.

It is a little tricky to find and would be easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. It is upstairs and you go through a glass door between two other businesses.

Pros: great venue, delicious inventive food., friendly staff

Cons: tricky to find.

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Loved the food and music! - Edit

The pizza was excellent. A little slow to come out but worth the wait. The live music was lovely and this is might be a place I could return - just for the food/music. However, it's a bit of a grungy spot (as in there may be folks sitting in the vicinity with the bare feet up on the chairs and it may smell a bit musty). It sort of reminds me of a very casual spot close to a college campus (and it could very well be - as I'm not from the area; but you get my drift).

Pros: live music

Cons: frat-type feel

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tasty pizza, nice vibe - Edit

Went here because it was the closest veg* place close to my accommodation. I guess if I had not checked happy cow before and just walked along the street, I wouldn't have noticed it. It's on the 2nd floor, look for a glass door with a stairway right behind it.
Also, I didn't know you have to order at the counter, but after some minutes I asked the guy sitting next to me, so that "problem" was also solved.
I had vegan pizza which was very tasty with a super thin and crunchy base and unconventional, but yummy toppings such as hummus, caramelised onions and black sesame.
Would absolutely recommend this place to everyone who likes alternative places :)

Ps: pay in cash

Pros: tasty vegan pizza, alternative place, nice staff

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Bar bohémien et "laid back" avec plusieurs options véganes - Edit

L'Escalier est un établissement assez unique et atypique à Montréal. Une fois qu'on trouve la porte d'entrée sur Sainte-Catherine (elle est relativement discrète) et qu'on gravit les fameuses marches, on a le sentiment de rejoindre un groupe d'amis dans un appartement d'étudiant. La clientèle semble justement être composée, en grande partie, d'étudiants de l'UQÀM. Le bar est divisé en quelques pièces principales, chacune avec de la décoration différente mais avec assez de chaises, divans et fauteuils pour accueillir autant des petits que des grands groupes. À chaque soir ou presque, il y a un band qui joue dans une des pièces situées près de l'entrée. Le niveau sonore reste toutefois largement correct. L'ambiance est très "hippie" (for lack of a better word) et laid back. Quasiment trop, au final: j'ai dû attendre un peu plus d'une heure pour que les plats commandés arrivent sur la table. La nourriture en tant que telle est OK: les prix sont bas (pour 2 entrées et 2 plats principaux, j'ai payé 30$ avec taxes et tips inclus) et vous obtenez ce pour quoi vous payez. J'apprécie toutefois que l'entièreté du menu soit végétarien et, surtout, qu'il y ait beaucoup de choix véganes. Je considère donc L'Escalier comme une bonne option pour aller prendre un verre entre amis (ou même étudier ou travailler si vous aimez l'ambiance!) et manger un petit quelque chose en plus mais, par contre, je ne le recommanderais pas si vous cherchez simplement à manger. L'Escalier me semble beaucoup plus proche d'un bar que d'un "vrai" restaurant.
Quelques choses à savoir cependant:
- Des pâtisseries véganes sont disponibles!
- Commande au comptoir (on vous donnera toutefois une figurine à poser sur votre table pour vous apporter la nourriture)
- Argent comptant seulement (il y a un ATM sur place)
- Essayez de garder un peu d'argent en main pour pouvoir en donner au band à la fin du set
- Attention à la marche située entre l'entrée et la pièce à votre gauche, elle est dangereuse!

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Food is awesome! - Edit

My boyfriend who is not vegan found this place for us before going to a show, and we were not disappointed. We had kimchi burritos with a delectable mushroom soup served with home made salsa and chips. One of the best burritos out there!

The place is roomy, old, comfortable and you feel home when you get there. The people there are really nice and if you stay past 6pm, you'll have nice music from local singers to accompany your meal!

Pros: Food is good , People are so nice !, Hippie style place......l-o-v-e-l-y

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Great place to study or watch musicians - Edit

It's taken me years to visit this restaurant, and I wonder why. The ambiance and decoration make you feel at home... that is, if you like hippie things.

The tapas I had would have been good if it had been served on crackers, but it was served on toasted bread.

I had the pasta with tofu, tamari and sauteed veggies and it was delicious.

Pros: Very friendly staff, Sofas and armchairs, Nice decoration

Cons: Vegan dishes are not all labeled, Could be more tidy, Hard to locate

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Musical veggie restaurant - Edit

I've been there several times because the place is very pleasant and the food is good and cheap. They have several vegan options, including desserts. Food was always good and fresh, even if some sandwiches were sometimes a bit dry because of the bread and the lack of sauce. The staff is friendly and the place has a good vibe! You must go when there is music groups, it's really fun!

Pros: cheap and good food with vegan options, nice place and music, friendly staff, good vibe

Cons: sometimes dry sandwiches

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Quick and cheerful with delightful music - Edit

Had a quick meal here to wonderful live jazz music. Hit the spot as we wanted a small meal but something vegetarian. Excellent ginger and lime juice - just the thing in the cold. The chèvre chaud however was just a regular goat cheese salad not a hot cheese crostini combination.

Pros: Live music

Cons: Limited menu, Not child friendly

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Local flavour - Edit

Without happycow, I would never have found this place (being up the stairs without an obvious sign). It looked a bit like a locals hangout but they were friendly to my non-french speaking tourist self. I went for lunch and had the special with a juice that was reasonably priced for Montreal and it was freshly cooked. The decor was eclectic and arty, with nice local music and wifi access, and I really enjoyed the whole ambience. It isn't fine dining, but the food was tasty. The only disappointment was the lettuce in the salad that needed a wash.

Pros: nice food, reasonable price, ambience

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Quirky Spot for Good, Cheap Food - Edit

As a Montrealer, post-graduate, art enthusiast and overall thrifty guy L'Escalier holds a place in my heart. This quaint, quirky loft space (formerly a hostel) serves good food at very reasonable prices in an atmosphere that caters to a relaxed crowd.

Blink and you'll miss it along Ste-Catherine street. Located through a narrow door between "Au Pain Dore" and "Pour Emporter" you walk up a flight of stairs (escaliers, in french) and find yourself facing the bar where you can survey that day's menu. All orders are placed at the bar - get your food and then be seated.

The food, based on my numerous visits, has always been tasty. Everything is prepared fresh from delicious light salads to more hearty meals. It's not fine dining but nothing about L'Escalier implies that it would be.

The layout is probably the most intriguing aspect of the place. There are countless little nooks created throughout the space. They have all sorts of board games, conversation pieces, etc. so that you can never be bored. There is also more traditional restaurant seating available too closer to the music stage. That's right, many nights there will be live music to accompany your dining experience making L'Escalier a great spot to discover some out-of-the-ordinary music.

All in all, L'Escalier is a Montreal gem. If you find yourself in the area with a stomach that isn't full, a place to spend time with a few friends, a craving for live music or a spot to browse the web on your laptop head on up the stairs and enjoy.

Pros: Atmosphere, Good, cheap food, More than just a palce for food

Cons: Live music not always a positive

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Family friendly for late lunch - Edit

We have never been there for evening as we have a toddle and dont think the bar/jamming scene is family friendly at that time. We normally go in weekend afternoon for late lunch (around 2-3pm), it is quiet and friendly enough for our toddle. Waitress/waiter is always friendly, but the food servicing is always slow. i think they just take their time to prepare the food. May be that is the reason that the food is always well done and taste good.

Pros: Food, ambience, price

Cons: service a bit slow, may not family friendly at certain time

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appreciable hippie place - Edit

let's be clear, this is a hippie place. I still had a good time, food was good, light and tasty, cheap, the beer was nice as well.
The only bad point is all the hippies hanging around playing guitar and try to look as stone as possible.

Pros: cheap, tasty, comfy

Cons: hippies, hippies, hippies

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Lovely - Edit

Tried the new veggie burger recently, all vegan, very very good. Highly recommend it. Also had a brownie that was quite nice. Service was fast and friendly enough, free self serve water is key. The energy of the place is among the best in town. Also pretty inexpensive

Pros: Good Food, Good Service, Great Atmosphere

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my hangout - Edit

whats a best place to be where u can listen to live music, work on your internet computer and eat awesome healthy food at same time...i can live there!

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Food's secondary to the venue - Edit

This is a gig venue, I went at 10pm on a Friday night, it was too busy to sit anywhere except at the bar. The food's very much secondary to the bar and the concert venue. I had the soup and pizza special of the day - it took about 40 minutes and was neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but it was so cheap it was practically free so it didn't really matter. Beer was cheap and plentiful too. The kitchen's open til 2am every night. You don't have to pay the cover for the band if you sit in the part of the bar where you can't see them. In short, a good option if you're out drinking in Le Village or the Latin Quarter - throw some cheap food in your face over a beer or three and then hit the town.

Pros: extremely cheap

Cons: nothing fancy

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