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.
Set among Vieux-Montréal’s cobblestoned lanes, this eatery is marked only by the antler-and-fish crest hanging outside the door (appropriate, since chasse et pêche means “hunting and fishing”).
Peruvian-born chef and owner of Laurier-West restaurant Raza, Mario Navarrete Jr. opened Madre, his second restaurant, in 2007.
Dépanneur le Pick Up is one of Montreal’s many convenience stores, turned quirky lunch counter and diet-sensitive bakery. Seating is available near the indoor counter or on the back patio. Along with beer and candy bars, Le Pick Up sells breakfasts made on St.
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.
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.
Madona, one of the city's original cheap-pizza joints, serves its 99-cent slices until the early-morning hours. Located on a busy stretch of Saint-Laurent where the “The Main” intersects pedestrian Prince Arthur Street, the pizzeria is close to bars and nightclubs.
Chef-owners Frédéric Morin and David McMillan are the mavericks behind Joe Beef, a delightfully disheveled counterpoint to the city’s often overstyled restaurants.
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.)
Rotisserie Romados is known for its wood-charcoal-grilled Portuguese chicken served under a mountain of French fries. At the small corner restaurant, which opened in 1994, cooks use a paintbrush to drizzle the chicken, rice, and seasoned fries with spiced chili oil.
Located in the Mile End area, Wilensky’s Light Lunch serves unfussy sandwiches and fountain sodas. Opened in 1932, the restaurant was made an icon by Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959).
The Poutine (fries with gravy and cheese) come in 25 varieties starting at $4.00.
Open since 1980, the restaurant is still the spot for expertly prepared French classics such as the generous pot-au-feu or the citrusy octopus-and-lentil salad.
A cheerful after-work crowd heads to this trendy wine bar for locally brewed McKeown cider and tasty bar snacks like grilled calamari and olives marinated with fennel.