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.
If you think you love the New York bagel, your loyalty might be tested by Montreal’s small, dense, and sweet version of the boiled classic. The best place to sample them lies beyond the perpetually steamed windows of this tiny storefront, whose owners have been turning out bagels since 1919.
To create his Canadian cuisine, chef Derek Dammann draws ingredients from all parts of the animal as well as what's in-season at the market.
Politicos, journalists, academics, and Francophone matrons all gather at this polished and light-filled dining room in the fashionable Outremont neighborhood.
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.
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”).
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.
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.
A bring-your-own-wine restaurant, L’Atelier combines market produce with comfort food by chefs Patrick Garneau and Benjamin Fortier. The Mile End restaurant is rustic with unfinished wood tables, logs sliced and stacked to resemble a woodpile, and photo portraits of local farmers.
Opened in 1928, this kosher-style Jewish deli marinates its meat for 10 full days before hot-smoking it. The preservative-free beef brisket (similar to pastrami) is ordered by the fat content: either fat, medium-fat, medium, or lean.
Located in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood, Cosmos was opened in 1967 by Crete-born Tony Koulakis. The eatery has just 11 stools, where customers sit to enjoy the greasy-spoon-style meals.