Situated on the corner of St-Laurent and St-Viateur, Le Cagibi (5490 blvd. St-Laurent, 514/509-1199; Mon. 6pm-midnight, Tues.-Fri. 9am-1am, Sat. 10:30am-1am, Sun. 10:30am-midnight) is in the heart of hipsterville. But don’t let that put you off; it is also one of the coziest cafés in the area, serving affordable vegetarian meals and good coffee all day long. At night, the back room transforms into a performance space with everything from live shows to stand-up comedians and public talks. If you drink, however, you must eat, so make sure to bring an appetite. Though Montréal is queer-friendly, Le Cagibi is especially so for a younger LGBT crowd. They accept cash only.
La Lumière du Mile End
This tiny restaurant with bench seating, lots of light, and a café ambience caters to vegans with a number of delicious options on the menu, including black bean and quinoa burgers and the Whoa Black Betty wrap with olive tapenade and roasted red peppers. Though La Lumière du Mile End (214 rue Bernard W., 514/585-7453; daily 11am-8pm) is modest fare, everything is fresh and usually served with nacho chips and a side salad. There’s a small garden out back, open in the summer months, and the place also serves a great vegan brunch on the weekend.
Le Panthère Verte
Falafels, falafels, falafels. Sure, Le Panthère Verte $ (66 rue St-Viateur W., 514/903-7770; Mon.-Fri. 11am-8pm, Sat. 11am-5pm) does other stuff like tofu steak, tempeh, and a veggie burger, but their falafels reign supreme—or your money back. Owner Chaim, an Israeli native, gives the falafels a traditional twist that adds up to a fresh and healthy sandwich. Maybe it’s the whole-wheat pita or the fact that you can get a shot of wheat grass with your meal, but no matter what it is, the food here is both delicious and good for you. The decor is low key, with a few tables cut out into funny, not-so-practical shapes, and a clientele that ranges from new-age hippies to parents grabbing a quick dinner for the family. It’s such a runaway success that they’ve opened a second location downtown (2153 rue Mackay).
Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Montréal & Québec City.