In our latest series, we fill you in on the best places to eat, drink and be merry in whatever pocket of the city you may find yourself in.
A neighbourhood that has been trendy for quite some time now, The Junction is located in the north-west region of the Dundas West strip. With three sets of railroad tracks close by found on the north, west, and east sides – the neighbourhood has lots of industrial and warehouse spaces which has attracted artists in the past. With that being said, the neighbourhood has undergone a lot of changes with organic grocery stores, baby stores and even a Starbucks opening up. This is what we call gentrification at its finest. However, even with all of that, there has been a lot of wonderful local businesses that have made a trip to the Junction totally worth it. Here is our neighbourhood guide, in no particular order:
The Good Neighbour
238 Annette Street
Not just another local coffee shop, The Good Neighbour is a shop that pairs good coffee with a great experience. The cozy cafe features exposed brick walls and lots of lovely seating arrangements, including an outdoor patio. Owners Max Mancuso and wife Amara have done their best to create a space that those in the neighbourhood feel comfortable returning back to again and again, and it shows with almost every seat in the cafe taken on most visits. Using Intelligentsia as their bean of choice, espresso based drinks range from $2.75 to $4.00 and they have a selection of pastries on hand.
Indie Ale House
2876 Dundas Street West
If you’re into craft beer, then a visit to Indie Ale House is not to be missed. Indie Ale House has an impressive list of in-house brews including their well-known Witbier offering, the Broken Hipster (5%) or the India Pale Ale, the Instigator (6.5%). For those unsure of what to order, they offer tasting flights ($10-$15) with 3oz samples of 5 beers. But besides all the beer offerings, they do serve food and it’s good, like really, really good. Offering up everything from typical pub grub fare to some fancier (and lighter) options like Yellowfin Tuna Tacos ($15), Quinoa Salad ($14) or The Aubergine ($15), visiting here will please everyone and won’t leave you hungry.
3010 Dundas Street West
If you’re looking for pizza in the Junction, look no further than Vesuvio Pizzeria. Serving quality New York style pizza since 1957, their recipes are original and unique. Offering both a sit-down restaurant and take-out slices, Vesuvio’s is the go-to place. The pizza (eat-in) comes in a personal 11” inch size priced from $12 to $16. The crust is light and airy with fresh toppings. Other stand-outs on the menu include the chicken parmesan ($19.25) or the spaghetti carbonara ($13.50), which is made fresh in-house. If you’re looking for a taste of the old-school, this is the place to be.
The Hole In The Wall
2867 Dundas Street West
Looking for a watering hole with a bit of a weird or unusual look? Well then, The Hole in the Wall is just it. Found adjacent to a furniture store, the tiny door, which is blink-and-you-miss-it, leads to a narrow entrance into the bar. Once inside, the bar is narrow but far-reaching, with tall ceilings and rustic furniture. Open seven days a week, with live music on the weekends, The Hole in the Wall is one of those special places where everyone knows your name. With tons of taps, a great cocktail list and oddly enough, an incredible food menu – it’s one of those places you have to check out just once to know it’s a neighbourhood gem not to be missed.
2766 Dundas Street West
Owned and operated by John Bil, a three-time oyster-shucking national champion and seafood expert, Honest Weight is more than just a restaurant – it’s a seafood counter. Bil has prided himself on working with local producers and fishmongers to bring in whatever is fresh like snow crab, shrimp, cod or oysters – just to name a few. On the menu, things are kept to the point simple with 8 offerings including Okonomiyaki ($16) and Smoked Fish Plate ($26). Dinner for two here can be a bit on the pricier side, but it’s absolutely worth every penny, especially if you’re a seafood lover.
When The Pig Came Home
3035 Dundas Street West
If you’ve been craving Montreal smoked meat sandwiches, then it’s time to get yourself up to the Junction because we have them. Recently opened is a brand new deli called, When The Pig Came Home, which offers a small lunch counter and mini bench with seating for four outside. Inside, owner Ryan Gatner is making deli sandwich dreams come true. From smoked meat to porchetta to black forest ham – this deli has it all and more. Thick sliced sandwiches, housemade mustards, and wonderful fresh bread sourced from Prairie Boy. All your sand-wishes are answered in this one place.
3030 Dundas Street West
The restaurant, which just recently re-opened after being closed after a fire, is one of the fun places to go in the neighbourhood. With pinball games, snacks and an extensive beer list – there is something on hand for everyone. On the weekends, live music is available and often you’ll find other fun events like karaoke, clothing swaps and other community-based events. Our recommendation is the brunch – try out the 3030 Benny ($14) with two poached eggs on an English muffin, maple hollandaise, w/ hash browns & side salad.
Did we miss any of the best restaurants in the Junction and the Junction Triangle? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.