Restaurants in Montreal
As one of North America’s most diverse and cosmopolitan cities, restaurants in Montreal run the gamut from charming Parisian patisseries to cutting-edge fine dining establishments, upscale steakhouses, Jewish delis, and small local eateries serving cuisines from all around Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. You certainly cannot visit Montreal without sampling the local favorite, poutine – French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy – served throughout the city at gourmet establishments and fast-food joints alike. The character of Montreal restaurants varyiesby neighborhood – the Plateau Mont-Royal is a hotspot for trendy fusion fare and hipster bars in equal measure, while downtown Montreal and the Old Port house some of the most upscale establishments– but you’ll be hard-pressed to leave the city feeling blasé about Montreal’s dining scene.
Some of the best restaurants in Montreal include Le Lapin Sauté, which specializes in rabbit dishes like rabbit cassoulet and rabbit pie, served in a rustic dining room in Old Montreal; Garde Manger, which draws a mixed crowd of hipsters and gourmands and serves impeccable haute cuisine like lobster risotto, short ribs and snow crabs in an upscale and urbane setting; Au Pied de Cochon, which offers up pork, duck and steak dishes created by an award winning chef; and Queue de Cheval, which serves a dozen varieties of steak and is worth the extravagant expense. Don’t forget to stop by Saint Viateur Bagel, which has several outposts around the city, to sample Montreal’s famous bagels, dense and chewy and jostling with New York’s own doughy style of bagel for supremacy.
Happy hour starts at noon at this 12-seat luncheonette.
This French-style deli-cum-bistro in Old Montreal is cluttered with chalkboards, Paris street signs, vintage canned goods, and faux meat hanging from the ceiling.
Opened in 1998 as a bakery but then expanded into a café, Olive & Gourmando has a menu of sandwiches served on homemade bread, pastries encasing Valrhona chocolate, and housemade ricotta.
Politicos, journalists, academics, and Francophone matrons all gather at this polished and light-filled dining room in the fashionable Outremont neighborhood.
Réservoir's large arched windows open in summer and its second-floor terrace overlooks raised-bed gardens and iron lampposts along cobbled Duluth Avenue. Bare wooden tables and beer vats fill the brasserie-style brewpub.
Set in Montreal’s Little Italy, home to a large Italian population since the 19th-century, Caffe San Simeon has been making espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos since 1996. An Italian flag hangs in the window of the café, which serves drinks in colorful espresso cups and tall glass tumblers.
Bistro Bienville opened in 2006 on a tucked-away, tree-lined residential street that’s a five-minute walk from St. Denis. The restaurant's dining room has white walls and narrow tables, and the exposed kitchen produces an ever-changing menu of a dozen or so dishes.
In 2004, when chef Normand Laprise moved his acclaimed restaurant from its neighborhood haunt up in the Plateau to this airy space downtown, he might have been sending a message with his choice of décor: red carpet all the way.
Located in the city's Mile End district, Jun-I serves fresh fish and inventive Japanese-style dishes from namesake chef Junichi Ikematsu.
Laloux is a Parisian-style bistro in the Plateau neighborhood that offers all of its wines by the glass. The chefs use certified-sustainable seafood and seasonal produce to create menus that change daily.
A secret marinade and wood-charcoal grilling make the Portuguese barbecued chicken Rotisserie Portugalia's signature dish. The chicken has a loyal following and must be ordered an hour in advance.
For eight years, chef Laurent Godbout has been putting a delicious spin on classics (try his pan-seared sea bass with squid-ink risotto, scallops, and a chorizo cream sauce) in this Old Montreal dining room—and he hasn’t missed a beat yet.
Ask for a table on the shaded patio and order a bowl of vegetarian chili and a hearty sandwich.