Montreal doesn't lack for atmospheric restaurants in which both the decor and the aromas entice anyone who walks by. But my favorite of them all is, without a doubt, the Usine de Spaghetti, nestled on the quiet side of the touristy St. Paul Street in Old Montreal.
What makes this place so special? A free salad bar, an unlimited bread supply, an expertly curated wine cellar, a menu that won't break the bank but that rivals even the best Italian eatery, and a historic decor. (Brownie points for naming each dish after a Montreal fact!) Notice the ceiling-high wine racks and the intimate, dark wooden and candlelit back room where Dickens supposedly wrote parts of A Tale of Two Cities.
I highly recommend the Jean Drapeau dish with a crisp wine. But mostly, I recommend staying here for a little while, to take in the romantic, inspiring atmosphere that will take you back centuries.