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:
- Montreal Plaza: Step out of your comfort zone with this funky restaurant, that serves French-with-a-twist cuisine with a focus on seafood.
- Mousso: A 7 to 9-course tasting menu by a superbly artistic and self-taught chef. You may also choose to visit their sister restaurant, Petit Mousso, for an à la carte more casual option.
- Île Flottante: This French restaurant presents a sophisticated tasting menu of 3, 5 or 7 services, with a focus on veggies.
- 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.
- 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.
- Manitoba: The team behind Manitoba works their a** off to redefine our culinary identity by working with what nature has to offer, throughout the seasons.
- 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.
- Jun i: For next-level sushi!
- Holder: A classic French bistro in a beautiful space in Old Montreal.
- Tuck Shop: Generous and seasonal dishes, in a casual setup.
- 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.
- Pastel: From the genius minds behind restaurant Fantôme, Pastel offers a gastronomic menu made with the best products from our terroir, in a colourful decor.
- Club Chasse & Pêche: The dark walls and low lights bring the perfect balance with the white table cloths, where generous and delicious plates of fish and meat will be served. This romantic and intimate destination is perfect to celebrate something special.
For the casual eaters
- Elena: Eat homemade pizza and pasta, sip great natural wines, enjoy the energetic vibe and fantastic service.
- Satay Brothers: A lively spot perfect for groups. The lakhsa soup and buns will take you straight to heaven.
- Rita: Similar to Elena, Rita offers homemade pizza and pasta, alongside antipasti and vegetables.
- Le 409: Delicious Indian dishes to share (the korma is my favourite), in a great setup. They can easily accommodate all sorts of groups.
- Moccione: Small and cozy Italian restaurant, they probably have the best Bolognaise in town! We also like to be able to sit right in front of the tiny kitchen.
- Antonietta: Creative Italian-Quebecois cuisine, absolutely love their octopus.
- Mano Cornuto: Great spot for coffee and lunch, with delicious Italian sandwiches.
- 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.
- KazaMaza: This friendly restaurant in Plateau Mont-Royal serves the best of Middle East, with a large variety of tasty sharing plates.
- Un Po’ di Più: An Italian caffe done right, with delicious food and wine. A great destination for lunch.
- Foxy: Delicious flatbread and chicken cooked on the fire, amongst other deliciousness.
- Hoogan & Beaufort: A cozy vibe thanks to their huge fire pit. Enjoy comforting yet refined food.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Taverne Atlantic: This large venue serves delicious junk food (pizza, poutine, steamies) and has one of the best rooftop patios in town.
- Messorem Bracitorium: This microbrewery lets you try their delicious beers in their tasting room, which specializes in brewing and designing IPA-type beers, tart beers and beers aged in barrels.
- 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.
- Bloom: Personally my fav chaï latte in Montreal, and my boyfriend’s fav filtered coffee. It also offers a healthy breakfast & lunch menu.
- 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.
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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.