Gluten Free Travel Guide: Montreal Sans Gluten!

My husband and I recently booked a spontaneous trip to Montreal, Canada for a “mini-moon” weekend. Due to our work schedules, we are not going on our honeymoon until next year. Because we were headed to a major city, I didn’t think finding GF food would be a problem. I did not put too much time into researching prior to our trip. I made it through the weekend just fine and really enjoyed our time away. However, once we were there I quickly realized that there was not much written about gluten-free eating in Montreal. I also noticed that many of the restaurants do not clearly indicate on their websites if they offered gluten-free options.

I loved the hotel we stayed at in downtown Montreal, Le St. Martin Hotel Particulier. Our cozy room included an electric fireplace and huge comfy bed. We also stopped in the hotel restaurant/bar, Bistro L’Aromate  for a few after-dinner drinks during our stay. The bartenders and the hotel staff were friendly and accommodating. I definitely recommend staying at this hotel if you are planning to explore Montreal. It was in a great location that allowed us to access public transportation, walk to Old Montreal and other destinations downtown.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find too many places near our hotel that offered gluten-free breakfast (it was a breathtakingly cold weekend, so close proximity was a deciding factor in choosing our meals). The hotel recommended  Universel Déjeuners et Grillades , and we ended up eating there three days in a row (not our most adventurous, but still a delicious outcome). They offer many different breakfast options,  including gluten-free bread. In true Alyssa fashion I had the same omelet every day {spinach, feta, tomato & scallions} with gluten-free toast and a cappuccino. (Disclaimer: The potatoes are fried do not eat them if you’re allergic to gluten). In general, I’ve found that asking about breakfast potatoes or home fries is important when dining out for breakfast. Fryers are loaded with gluten contamination.

After visiting the Notre-Dame Basilica {which is amazing} we stopped at Pave Lunch Experts for lunch. I had the Genova panini. When I ordered, I was asked if I had a severe allergy or was just choosing to order gluten-free, so they could prepare my meal with more care.

The first night in town we ate at Enoteca Monza which actually has a separate gluten-free menu. For an appetizer, we shared the parmesan fries and for dinner I had GF penne with pesto. The portions are huge! I didn’t feel great after eating the fries, which left me wondering if their fryer was actually kept gluten-free.

Since I didn’t eat much of my pasta from previous night, I opted for pasta again at Weinstein & Gavino’s . I ordered the GF fusilli with bolognese sauce and it was delicious. I love when restaurants offer gluten-free pasta other than penne! Also, I am pretty picky when it comes to red sauce, but I thought this one was very good. Mike always likes to check out at least one craft beer bar when we travel. Not far from Weinstein & Gavino’s is Brutopia and I can happily report they offer a GF beer too.

As we ventured out into the city on our final day, we decided to stop in to Starbucks for a quick coffee and a snack (and a break from the cold weather).  If you didn’t already know, Starbucks now has gluten-free marshmallow dream bars and egg sandwiches, but I didn’t notice them in the store. I asked the cashier about them and she was able to bring me a Marshmallow Dream Bars that was in a freezer in the kitchen. The Marshmallow Dream Bars take about an hour to thaw, so you can save it for later. I also stopped in Papparoita which had a handful of gluten-free pastries. I bought two chocolate walnut cookies which were perfect with coffee.

At the airport we ate at Hurley’s Irish Pub. Although there was nothing gluten-free on their menu, both waiters I spoke with were aware of gluten allergies and the ingredients in their menu. I was able to get a burger with no bun and a side salad. No tummy aches on the plane either!


The following recommendations are spots I stopped in or found online, but didn’t actually eat at. I don’t usually blog about restaurants I haven’t been to, but due to the lack of GF tips on Montreal, I will try to include as much as possible in this post.  Downtown Montreal was not the most gluten-free friendly (or at the very least, it has not been reviewed as closely as it should be). A lot of the restaurants below would have required subway or bus trips from our hotel. Maybe with a little more pre-planning we would have been able to venture our of the city for some foodie adventures.

In Old Montreal, you can stop at Cafe van Houtte for a rice/mashmallow bar similar to Starbucks, Stefanie Cookie for pastries or Baked2Go and 7grains for pastries and breads. La Petit Dep has had san gluten icons on their menu and La Moulin Lafayette offers gluten-free snacks. Somewhere I would have loved to stop was at Montreal’s GF food truck, Le Point sans G.