Par le 19 July 2017
Before it was annexed by Montréal, the former city of Maisonneuve had envisioned the ambitious project of developing a francophone equivalent of upper-class Westmount, but Hochelaga had first and foremost developed as a working-class neighbourhood near the city’s port. Moving into the 20th century, the failure of Maisonneuve’s ambitious projects resulted in a resolutely blue-collar district. With new modes of transportation came the city’s wish to move industrial parks away from residential areas, and the de-industrialization of all central districts transformed Hochelaga-Maisonneuve’s quality of life, allowing greater social diversity while remaining a predominantly working-class neighbourhood. These changes can be witnessed in HoMa’s culinary propositions, which had long been dominated by fast-food establishments. It has now gradually given way to more refined restaurants, often with an emphasis on local products and largely inspired by Québécois and French cuisine.
In the last twenty years, the revitalization of the public market Marché Maisonneuve (a remnant of Maisonneuve city’s ambitious projects) and the development of Place Valois have allowed the establishment of specialized boutiques, bakeries and butcher shops, as well as attracting new cafés and bistros. Now a vegan restaurant, Antidote on Ontario Street was the first entirely vegan grocery store and café. Marché 4751 on Ste-Catherine proposes organic, fair-trade and local specialties you can enjoy on the premises. A few blocs away, the restaurant Les Cabotins prepares revisited versions of French dishes and is rather comically located inside an old haberdashery. The cassoulet and blood sausage are highly recommended.
Ontario Street is where the neighbourhood’s reinvigoration is most apparent. Facing Place Valois, Café des Alizés serves the best coffee around. Enjoy it with a nice morning breakfast, or later in the day with a wrap or ciabatta sandwich, a delicious salad and soup, or one of the daily hot and comforting meals. A few steps away, Salon Enchanthé is the perfect place for tea lovers, featuring a great selection. The place is a work co-op and miles away from the stilted atmosphere of British-style tearooms. This is HoMa after all, so you can expect a more relaxed and friendly vibe. Come have a seat on some cushions and enjoy the electronic music. The bistro La Cervoise offers a menu composed of wild game, eco-responsible seafood and terroir products, as well as burgers, tartares and even poutine.
A little further away, the Mâle Bouffe has generous sandwiches and poutines, and serves especially good smoked-meat. For some breakfast or brunch with excellent coffee, the funky Café Bobby McGee is the place to go. Grab a book from one of their many bookshelves or check out a live band in the evening. Nocturnal animals heading home after a night out often stop at the 24/7 restaurant Miami Deli with its retro, Floridian décor.