This perennial favorite is a winner not only for the warm, welcoming vibe of its Rue Saint-Paul location, but for the delights it feeds its patrons. Think creative salads, cold sandwiches or hot panini, including their take on the Reuben, called the Reubenesque: Schwartz’s smoked meat, house-made sauerkraut with apples, aged cheddar and their special mustard. Or, for the less meat-inclined, the Viva Las Vegan, featuring roasted marinated tofu, dill pickles, caramelized onion hummus, tomato, crushed green olives and arugula. Either calls for a fresh-baked cookie or one of their famous brownies for dessert.
When the rain postponed my plans for a day trip to Quebec City, I knew exactly what to do with my morning. I grabbed my umbrella and made my way to one of Montreal’s buzziest dining destinations.
Tucked away in Old Montreal on Rue Saint-Paul, you’ll find the charming Olive et Gourmando. There’s a reason why this bakery and café scores high marks with just about everyone. With a wide selection of mouth-watering pastries lining the counter, the restaurant also serves paninis, cold sandwiches and soups. The food is beyond superb, the staff friendly and attentive. There's just a warm atmosphere to the place that makes dining alone--not really alone. Even when the lunchtime crowds started piling up in the small waiting area and seemingly out the door, I never felt rushed at my tiny table for two, but I did take two pastries to go.