Montreal certainly has no shortage of brunch spots. From L’Avenue to Beauty’s, there are a multitude of options, but sadly most are located in the Plateau, meaning at least a thirty-minute walk for those of us who live by campus. Universel Dejeuner et Grillades, located on Rue Peel a little south of Sherbrooke, offers a decadent brunch (and dinner) with a much closer location.
The interior of Universel is very sleek and modern, but also comfortable, with spacious booths and tables. In the warmer months, they even offer outdoor, open-air seating, for an al fresco brunch. The staff is also very pleasant and attentive, which is always a plus if you’re grumpy in the mornings.
One of the best things about Universel is their drink menu. With offerings from fresh-squeezed orange juice, to smoothies, to classic coffee drinks, there is something for everyone. They also offer mimosas, for those mornings when you’re feeling extra fancy. I tried the chai latte when I went, and it was perfectly sweet and creamy.
The one challenging thing about going to Universel is choosing something to eat from their massive (and I mean pages long) breakfast menu. Whether you’re in the mood for eggs or pancakes or just a small pastry, they have anything and everything.
I chose to order the Eggs Benedict with bacon, which also came with a pretty large bowl of fresh fruit and breakfast potatoes. The eggs were perfectly done, and the side of fruit balanced the richness of the Hollandaise sauce. My friend ordered apple, bacon and cheddar crepe, which was the perfect balance of savory and sweet, great for when you can’t decide between the two.
Universal also offers a lunch/dinner menu, with loads of burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, and salads, so if brunch isn’t your thing, you could try any of their other meals. On weekends they stay open until 12 am, making it a great place for a quick late-night bite. For those who do live in the Plateau, they have a second location on St. Denis if you don’t feel like going far for your meal.
Overall, Universel is an excellent spot for brunch, especially since it is so close to the McGill Campus. If you ever think you’ll be spending a better part of your Saturday at McLennan, it’s a great place to kickstart the day with a hearty breakfast.