HappyCow is loading...

Shimsha L'Escalier

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 11 reviews )
Contact 514-419-6609

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. Mon-Sun 12:00pm-3:00am

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

Reviews (11)

First Review by kennyp353

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Montreal Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Shimsha L'Escalier closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 5441 times since Aug 2007.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now