After years of eating at Montreal’s best (and worst!) restaurants and bars, I’m proud to curate this very first guide to the city’s yummiest addresses! Whether you’re in town for one night only, a few days, or a full week, here are the top places to eat and drink across Montreal:
- Île Flottante: This French restaurant presents a sophisticated tasting menu of 3, 5 or 7 services, with a focus on veggies.
- Marconi: Tasty sharing plates, delicious cocktails, and great vibe. What more can you ask for!
- Fantôme: A very intimate place that serves local products with good wine. Ideally, sit at the bar-kitchen-counter.
- Candide: A 4-course menu made exclusively with ingredients from Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes. Located in the back of a church, Candide has a relatively zen ambiance, with an outstanding service. Sit at the counter of their open kitchen for a VIP experience.
- Nora Gray: Choose this restaurant if you’re looking to enjoy classic Italian food, like fresh homemade pasta. A good option for both lovers, and wine lovers.
- Mousso: A 7 to 9-course tasting menu by a superbly artistic and self-taught chef.
- Foxy: Delicious flatbread and chicken cooked on the fire.
- Hoogan & Beaufort: A cozy vibe thanks to their huge fire pit. Enjoy comforting yet refined food.
- Pastaga: My all-time favourite! Make you sure get a spot inside the kitchen. Order the marinated salmon, chicken liver mousse, and crispy pork belly.
- Vin Papillon: From the famous Joe Beef’s family, Vin Papillon focuses on vegetables and natural wines. They have a no-reservation policy, so this could be a smart choice if you’re last minute (and patient). I also adore their backyard patio.
- Jun i: For next-level sushi!
- Tuck Shop: Generous and seasonal dishes, in a casual setup.
- L’Express: A bistro just like in Paris. Go for the beef tartar and bone marrow.
- Cadet: Sharing plates with flavours from the Mediterranean and Asia, in an environment that feels both classy and relaxed.
- Bremner: If you feel like eating all the seafood, Bremner is your best bet.
- H4C: A creative and gastronomic place in an old bank in St-Henri.
- Montreal Plaza: Step out of your comfort zone with this funky restaurant, that serves French-with-a-twist cuisine.
For the casual eaters
- Bistro Rosie: A French-Asian cuisine in a casual space with amazing hospitality and a no-tip policy.
- HÀ: This Bia Hoi offers simple yet delicious Asian food to share with friends. Their location in Plateau Mont-Royal has a lovely patio.
- Magpie: Oysters and pizza—speaks for itself.
- Elena: Eat homemade pizza and pasta, sip great wines, enjoy the energetic vibe.
- Satay Brothers: A lively spot perfect for groups. The lakhsa soup and buns will take you straight to heaven.
- Grumman’78: Mexican-Quebecois fusion food with great vibe in a fun space.
- Balsam Inn: One of the few good restaurants in the Montreal downtown court. They also have a bar licence, which means you’re not obligated to eat.
- Kazu: You wanted casual? Here’s casual! Your belly and bank account will thank you for patiently waiting in line, as their Japanese food is phenomenal.
- Cafeden: A chic Vietnamese restaurant with great service. You gotta order the fried cod sticks and pho soup.
- Hachoir: If you’re craving tartar, this place is for you. They also have a beautiful wine list, including orange wine.
- Junior: For tasty Filipino food in a colourful space.
For the cocktail lovers
- Le Mal Nécessaire: Located in a basement of China Town, some of their exotic drinks are served in fresh pineapple or coconut.
- Nhau: Original cocktails with unusual ingredients. We love the red Chinese lanterns covering the ceiling.
- Nacarat: An ultra fancy cocktail bar, for those of you with a thick wallet.
- Cold Room: A great speakeasy hidden in the Old Port of Montreal, with a non-douchy vibe.
For the beer lovers
- Darling: A ginormous bar that feels like an eclectic fun fair.
- Harricana: This microbrewery has one of the most stunning designs in Montreal.
- Pamplemousse: Twenty local craft beers on tap, as well as cider and kombucha. Their kitchen serves Caribbean-inspired food, cooked in the wood oven.
For the wine lovers
- Loïc: If you want to discover and fall in love with orange wine, head to bar Loïc. Their food is also exceptional, plus they have a cute terrace.
- Buvette chez Simone: One of the very first, if not the first, wine bar in Montreal. Always packed, always fun!
- Mon Lapin: They’ll pour delicious natural wines—mostly from Jura—in your glass without you even noticing!
It’s brunch o’clock!
- Reservoir: You’ll get addicted to their carrot cake with seabuckthorn berries. Reservoir is also a microbrewery, so you can replace your morning coffee with a fresh beer.
- Beauty’s: A dinner that serves Jewish breakfast since 1942. The BBM (Beauty Breakfast Melt) and Blue Smoothie are to die for.
- Bishop & Bagg: British pub = boozy brunch. Try the Earl of Dalh-housie, a lentil-curry soup with cheese curd (Quebec makes the best cheese curds, as you already know I’m sure).
- Salmigondis: Elegant, original, tasty food, is a relaxed atmosphere. If it’s nice outside, take a seat on their intimate patio.
- Chien Fumant: Treat yourself with Chien Fumant’s generous and rich plates. Another great spot for a successful boozy brunch.
- Butterblume: A very Instagram-friendly place with yummy sweet or savoury toasts.
- Melbourne: They have a Lucky Charm latte, what else do I need to say?
- Dispatch Coffee (on boul. St-Laurent): This well-known roaster has a minimalist and luminous cafe on The Main.
- Olimpico (on Saint-Viateur): A loud coffee shop just like in Italy. Their tiny and simple terrace is always packed.
- Larry’s: This small Mile-End restaurant is open for breakfast, brunch, and dinner (they have a great wine list too). You could wait in line, but it’s worth it.
- Tommy: Another Instagram-friendly spot, where you’re welcome to work on your laptop.
- Café de la Troisième: Personally my fav latte in Montreal. It’s located in a cute library on Wellington street in Verdun, an up and coming neighbourhood.
Montreal’s iconic junk food
We recommend you try these greasy meals around 3 am or to cure your hangover:
- Poutine: There’s the famous La Banquise and Pool Room, both conveniently open 24/7. You can also go all the way to Orange Julep, which happens to be a Montreal’s landmark. Make sure to get their orange juice milkshake.
- Bagels: It’s a never-ending battle between Fairmount and St-Viateur bagels. Which one will you choose?
- Smoked meat: You could do like everyone else and stand in line at Schwartz’s, or head to Le Green Spot, a casual dinner in St-Henri.
What to do (outside of eating and drinking)
- Walk all the way up the Mount Royal mountain on a sunny day for a gorgeous view of the city
- Spend an afternoon or evening at Bota Bota, a Nordic spa on a boat on St-Lawrence River, in the Old Port of Montreal
- Explore the Mile-End neighbourhood: Walk on St. Laurent blvd., Laurier or St. Viateur street. There are a lot of cute boutiques, such as V de V, Vestibule, Général 54, Annex Vintage, etc.
- Rent a bike and ride along the Lachine Canal, between Old Port and St-Henri. Make an ice cream stop at Atwater Market.
- Visit Jean-Talon Market and get what you need for a picnic in the park
- EAT. MORE. FOOD.
I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy Montreal as much as I do! Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out at email@example.com.