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.
Lunch on pressed charcuterie sandwiches at Cluny ArtBar, a funky little art gallery and café housed in a former foundry.
At this loungey locale, Chef Alex Rolland's duck breast with Japanese eggplant and black cherry sauce is a perfect stand-in for Christmas goose.
This neighborhood bistro hits all the marks of Nouvelle Montréal cuisine: taxidermy in the dining room, chalkboard of nose-to-tail specials, and scruffy hipster chefs in baseball caps.
Opened in 2007, Les Cons Servent is a play on words, alluding to the bistro's home-canned preserves, conserves, and pickles that are stacked on ceiling-high shelves in the gray-tone dining room.
Chef Michel Ross creates a dynamic menu in this neighborhood hideaway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It may be a little contrarian to recommend the Main, a 35-year-old smoked-meat lunch counter on Saint-Laurent, over the more legendary Schwartz’s just across the street. But that’s the point.
Hand-rolled gnocchi made with no potato, only ricotta, and Grana Padano cheeses, and osso buco with red wine risotto are chef Graziella Batista's signature northern Italian dishes at her namesake restaurant.
Just steps from the Jean-Talon farmers’ market, diners sit at a counter and watch chef-owners Mathieu Cloutier and Jean-Philippe St.-Denis cook up whatever’s freshest. (With only one other employee, the chefs are also the restaurant’s servers, sommeliers, and dishwashers.)