This Montreal Chinatown Favorite Will Fill You Up and Save You Money
Patisserie Harmony: Montreal's Best Chinatown Bakery
A compendium of Asian treats and sweets, be they custard buns or Japanese-style mochi, savory Chinese BBQ pork or deep-fried beef curry buns, Harmonie Bakery is one of Montreal's best cheap eats.
Located on the southwest edge of Chinatown, Harmonie Bakery is a block away from the city's largest convention centre, a five-minute walk from Old Montreal and is a roughly 10-minute stroll from Montreal's entertainment district by foot.
It's also one of the last joints in the city where you can fill up or at least tide yourself over for two or three hours on $5 or less. You can't even find good poutine for $5 anymore in this town.
Click through this slideshow to see a few of Harmonie's offerings, including puff pastries and rice balls.
My Tourist Trap Solution: You Read It Here First
You can feed a whole family for $20 or less at this place and given its proximity to Old Montreal, I often recommend Harmonie Bakery as a tourist trap solution. Not that Old Montreal is a tourist trap per se.
Legion are its amazing restaurants, from Barroco's paella and supper club vibe to Le Bremner's killer seafood dishes. Solid brunch options and romantic foodie destinations in the neighborhood are out there as well. But what these hot spots have in common is price, as in none of them are cheap. And for every incredible foodie find, there's a just-okay or lacklustre joint, perhaps not as tourist-trappy as in other cities given Montreal's high standards in the food department, but still. It gets expensive either way.
As for deals, apart from a BeaverTails counter on de la Commune by the Old Port, finding affordable eats on the go for a starved family (or anyone) in Old Montreal is as likely as having twoonies to rain down from the heavens instead of snow in January.
Even food truck fare will generally set you back $10 a portion the size of a snack, a delicious Instagram-worthy snack, but what are you supposed to do if you're really hungry and broke?
Is Harmonie Bakery A Destination In Itself?
One does not make Patisserie Harmonie a destination in itself. First of all, there are no seats. But the buns are good. Really good. Addictive waistline enhancers. I can't imagine living without them. It's just... well let's just say I wouldn't enter them in an international foodie competition to see if they reign supreme, if you get my drift. They are what they are. No more. No less.
BUT. One does make a detour to Harmonie. And one stocks up with reckless abandon as the guy at the cash with the cool hair holds back a chuckle when he realizes how many baked goods you plan to gorge on. By yourself. In the next hour.
Find a gorgeous spot along the Old Port, eat them in Chinatown's Sun Yet-Sen Square, or walk a little further to Montreal's entertainment district and find an attractive plaza to linger in. If the weather is terrible, find a nice spot by the fountain in Complexe Desjardins. Kids are mesmerized by waters jetting over 30 feet in the air.
Okay. So Harmonie Bakery Has Buns and Mochi. Anything Else?
Bubble tea, cookies, wedding cakes, rice squares, seasonal moon cakes as well as an impressive and affordable selection of baked goods and pastries are available on location.
Harmonie Bakery: Opening Hours
Harmonie Bakery is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hours may change (shorten or be extended) without notice.
Harmonie Bakery: Location
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Harmonie Bakery Selection
In this photo clockwise from left to right: a bacon and shallot topped savory bun, a deep-fried sesame-covered rice ball stuffed with red bean filling, two BBQ pork Chinese buns, a flaky sweet bun filled with BBQ pork, and another deep-fried sesame ball. Each item is under $2.
Harmonie Bakery Lineups
Lineups are long at Patisserie Harmonie on weekends and weekday evenings. But staff goes through them fast.
Harmonie Bakery Puff Pastries
In this photo: Chinese green tea puff pastries on the left and mocha puff pastries on the right, both under $2 a piece.