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The 50 best restaurants in Montreal for a true taste of the city

Hotshots, young guns, culinary legends and more all feature in this guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
Contributor
Tommy Dion
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UPDATE, December 2021: As we write this, our list of the best restaurants in Montreal remains up in the air, so to speak. The COVID-19 pandemic, and especially the current Omicron variant driving the fourth wave, threaten this vital part of the city's culture. It's never been more important than now—with cancelled reservations, scant governmental support, and reflips to takeout—to buy that merch and gift certificates, to leave positive reviews, and to pick up in person when possible. The smallest of efforts, when combined over time, can change lives.

Welcome to Time Out's handpicked selection of the best restaurants in Montreal, serving the most delicious meals you can eat right now in town that is delivered with unparalleled expertise. From outstanding newcomers to Michelin star-worthy spots, this list is intended to put your finger on the pulse and give you an idea of what the scene in the city is like right now.

It's all about what's best at the moment, whether it's a new restaurant, a weekend brunch destination, a classic Italian name, something iconic, or a simple cheap eat; these are the places you'll want to eat at again and again and again.

Note: Many of the city’s best chefs, restaurants and concepts have been welcomed into the Time Out Market. Because that is the highest honor we can award, establishments related to the market have not been ranked here, but you can see them below. 

Time Out Market Montreal
  • Restaurants
  • price 2 of 4

Our local editors have spent their time handpicking and gathering the best of the best restaurants and chefs together onto one central stage, Time Out Market Montréal. It's a 40,000-square-foot culinary and cultural destination that's centrally located downtown in the Centre Eaton de Montréal—the biggest in the city of its kind—stocked with a wide variety of eateries, three bars for beer, wine and cocktails (plus zero-proof options), a cooking school to learn new tricks and techniques, a retail space, and cultural activations devoted to art, music and more. Our mission is simple (but spelled out here): If we discover something in the city that's great, it goes in our editorial coverage of the city; if it's unmissable, it goes in Time Out Market Montréal.

Best restaurants in Montreal

What is it: This restaurant, formerly known as Les Deux Singes de Montarvie, first gained notoriety in how it climbed to the top of the charts on TripAdvisor. Its owners, Nada Abou Younes and chef Sean Murray Smith, have since taken off that mantle and begun anew as Île Flottante. The new concept? A tasting menu-driven concept that places a particular focus on vegetables that would make Alain Passard smile for its innovations and delectability.

Why go: A three-course tasting goes for a little as $45, but the seven-course at $85 is where the best times are to be had

What is it: That old adage about good things coming in small packages is all too true when considering this tiny-yet-formidable wine bar from an ex-Joe Beef crew. Prodigies Marc-Olivier Frappier and Jessica Noël are spinning gold out of the kitchen while the top sommelier Vanya Filipovic keeps the wine flowing, there’s seldom a seat left empty here.

Why go: Seasonally driven market cuisine on smaller plates dictates that this is a whole new side to what the Joe Beef team is capable of

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What is it: What happens when you combine the rigor of classic training with youthful vitality? You get this jewel of restaurant making a statement in the eastern neighbourhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The triple threat team of chef David Ollu, pastry chef Mélodie Perez-Mousseau and sommelier Youri Bussières Fournel—all alumni of Boullion Bilk—are delivering service and top-notch quality food at modest prices in both their main operation and the modest café Hélico next door.

Why go: Highly developed texture and flavour play going for a song

What is it: Antonin Mousseau-Rivard and Katerine Mousseau turned a lot of heads for two reasons when they boldly embarked on this tasting menu restaurant in early 2015. First, it seemed risqué to put every egg in that basket, with the second being that it worked. Mousseau-Rivard’s been called a prodigy and an artist for developing creations that evoke both comfort and originality, dishes at once familiar while breaking new ground. This is a prime example of where to eat when looking for a mash-up of Nordic stylings with a Québécois palette.

Why go: The full tasting experience which averages at 12 courses, but if you’re wary of palate fatigue, try the à la carte neighbor Le Petit Mousso

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What is it: Jason Morris and Kabir Kapoor made a solid name for themselves with their flagship enterprise Le Fantôme (now closed), and doubled down on that reputation with this restaurant. A bright and colourful counterpart to their first, this is the restaurant that leans more experimental with menu planning, much to the delight of anyone dining there; Morris is now gone, but Yoann Van Den Berg carries the torch brightly. Enjoy the airy interior while watching cooks hustling around their completely open kitchen producing flavours both classic and playful.

Why go: For some of the best in combining avant-garde plating with unforgettable flavour in fine dining

What is it: A gourmet kitchen where seasonal vegetables, locally-raised meats and fish from up the Saint Lawrence are honored and prepared like nowhere else. Picture half a tomato buried in herbs, bathed in smoked beef fat and served hot; a spice-crusted braised leek with an old-fashioned mustard cream and meat juice; a celery root "steak" in a smoked ham and hazelnut butter broth, topped with fish roe. With Mastard, chef-owner Simon Mathys can finally express the full extent of his talent and imagination without barriers. It's beautiful to see, but even more incredible to experience.

Why go: The six-course tasting menu is your true taste the chef's skills, with an essential extra bread service to enjoy what's left in each plate.

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What is it: Chef Marc-André Jetté and William Saulnier’s Rosemont restaurant based on open-fire cooking combines rusticity with refinement in a menu that excels in what’s charred, carmelized, roasted and smoking. The taste of a hot fire’s not the most difficult thing to find in Montreal, but finding one that’s as good as Hoogan et Beaufort is. Grabbing a seat at the central bar of its space and watching the open kitchen at work as imported wine and beers are knocked back complete the splendorous experience this place provides.

Why go: One of the best spots for inventive open-fire cuisine

What is it: Brother Ari and Pablo Schor turned a lot of heads when they took on this small corner restaurant to write a lovesong to their Argentinian roots with local seasonal Quebec ingredients—a mandate chef Ari got from his time stoking the fires at Liverpool House, no doubt. You can't pigeonhole this place as a strictly Argentinian restaurant, however, no matter how good the empanadas are. Italian and Spanish get thrown in here and there on the menu in fulfilling ways alongside choice glasses of natural wines.

Why go: For the intimacy of both service and the menu, it's best to ask the server to take your for a ride and let the kitchen do its thing.

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What is it: There’s no doubt that many restaurants in Montreal pride themselves on having menus that move with the seasons, but few adhere to that policy as strictly as chef John Winter Russell and his restaurant Candide. Locally-sourced, the menu shifts every month and is commonly regarded as a premier destination for market-driven cuisine. These elements, served as a tasting menu priced at $55 for four courses, make for a classy package when considering the precise service provided in this former rectory and Sunday school.

Why go: With its menus’ seasonal bent, the best time to visit is in the summer when choice crops are available

What is it: Performative dining experiences in Montreal aren't exactly commonplace, and maybe that's because it's not the style preferred by locals. When it's done right, however, it's wonderful. What better than the precision found in an omakase service, then? The elaborate multi-course, chef-driven meals from Japanese chef Takuya "Tom" Matsuda are a whopping 20 courses with a tea ceremony that is a superb dance that you'll be hard-pressed to find fault in.

Why go: The theatrical omakase experience, just once.

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What is it: Being in Québec, restaurants often look to their home turf for inspiration. Derek Dammann’s Maison Publique, on the other hand, takes a pan-Canadian approach with its product and ambiance. With a space that looks like an English gastropub and a menu built from generous and comforting dishes, Damann is taking the country’s historic preference for meat and potatoes and elevating it to new and dizzyingly good heights.

Why go: Chowing down on a Welsh rarebit on a cold winter’s night, or just about anything involving seafood that’s fresh from coast to coast to coast

What is it: Unpredictability is the name of the game at Charles-Antoine Crête and Cheryl Johnson’s restaurant, whether it’s the interior décor or what goes on a plate. It didn’t take long after opening in 2015 for this spot to achieve high laudations for the mad science it brought to its food. Free from the trappings of being either conventional or overbearingly experimental, Montréal Plaza strikes the iron hot to find the perfect balance between the two. Stake a claim, order the menu to share for two, and hold on tight.

Why go: To be confused by a restaurant experience in the most endearing ways

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What is it: A classic tale of young chefs and restaurant front men coming together to develop a place of their own, Tuck Shop was among the OG operators to make the neighbourhood of Saint-Henri a destination. The mission to create an honest eatery with a seasonal menu in 2010 has since amassed a loyal following and a constant customer base for their catering service. They do good work while keeping folks guessing; keep an eye on their Twitter page to stay updated on what’s being served.

Why go: A beautiful back terrasse built into a garden makes for a nicely secluded service, if not their brand spanking new raw bar to slurp back oysters

What is it: Eah dishes here speaks volumes about Chef Luca Cianciulli's background in the Toqué! kitchen, but also of his love for Italian products and traditions. A know-how and a rigor in the kitchen are translated as much through incredibly rich and complex sauces on pasta that's always cooked to perfection, as it is in the simplicity of a simple beef carpaccio.

Why go: Montreal's best maccheroni bolognese, followed by a bread-butter-anchovy, maybe some arancini, seasonal vegetables and the carpaccio.

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What is it: Breaking out of the high-end ecosystem of restaurants, Renée Deschenes, Louie Deligianis and Blake Hickerson have created a honest tribute to the classic bistro and the results are stupendous. The name is telling, coming from the phrase à la bonne franquette, the informal counterpart to the fanciful white tablecloths of more high-end spots; the food and drink is all honestly presented, but still carries all the accumulated experience behind it. Folks talk a lot about 'simple' food, but here, what's simple achieves new meanings worth discovering.

Why go: For simple lunches and long dinners in the evening; both are held in equal measure as stupendous mealtimes here, but whatever you do? Eat every dessert here from pastry chef Olive Park. You won't regret it.

What is it: Chef-owner Fuad Alnirabie has accrued a more-than-loyal following with this Middle Eastern restaurant, a love song written in notes of pistachio, sumac, pomegranate and Aleppo pepper. In a dining climate that demands what’s new and innovative, there’s plenty to be said for those that pull off what’s traditional stupendously. A full spread on the table here can be costly, but a full belly and a cool and milky glass of arak will reassure.

Why go: From mezzes to what’s hot off the grill, it’s the best Syrian food in town

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What is it: There’s always restaurants vying to be the hot new thing on the scene, but restaurants like Le Club Chasse et Pêche prove expertise wins in the end. Founders chef Claude Pelletier and maitre d' Hubert Marsolais didn’t take long to earn solid stature for their choice skills in knowledgeable service, food and drink. Situated in the historic Château de Ramezay in Old Montreal, the entire ambiance of this space exudes Montreal fine dining at its best.

Why go: Dining on its garden terrasse in the summer is the real cherry-on-top experience here

What is it: Announcements for the opening of this fine dining brasserie in Old Montreal seem to be delayed for so long we almost gave up, but man, was it worth the wait. One step into its space, one drink from its cellar, one bite of its menu and we were hooked on Jérémie and Richard Bastien's project. It's all immaculate at this sleek address, especially when it's French standards of Niçoise salad, bouillabaisse, half a Cornish hen or ratatouille that've had cosmopolitan—even unconventional—flavours sewn into them. 

Why go: First to rest on your laurels of dining at the new mover and shaker in town, second to luxuriate in some high-class eating

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What is it: Chefs Hakim Rahal and Pablo Rojas took a hit during the pandemic when the "first" Provisions had to close, but since they turned their full attention to their wine-forward spot, it's all been gravy. With even closer access to their own butchery operations, this place is singlehandedly making the steakhouse cool again (though they'll never admit it), combining it with casual-yet-refined service and décor hammered tin and counter eating found in Montreal's hippest establishments.

Why go: Good for both long, wine-fuelled nights with steaks and oysters as well as grand-and-go sandwiches during the day

What is it: For some of the best sushi in the city, look to chef Junichi Ikematsu’s pseudo-eponymous spot. And yet, while all manner of sushi, maki and sashimi are of a best-in-class quality, so too are the zenzai entrées that play with flavours beyond the traditional. No matter the choice off the menu, every morsel of seafood is treated with an expert hand and edge of a knife.

Why go: This is as real of a deal as it can get for the best sushi in Montreal

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What is it: Supergroups in the dining world have gained their fair share of traction in the last half-decade, but we guarantee that few compare to this one: Joe Beef and Maison Publique, two eminently famous restaurants, teamed up to create this food hall-style eatery that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with the all the skill and deliciousness that makes you swoon at the OG addresses. If you're the sort who gives ho-humming flak to soups, salads and sandwiches, our money's on that changing once you chow down here.

Why go: To experience what it's like to get invited into a chef's home kitchen and have them make you a life-changing sandwich

What is it: Chef Sophie Tabet's kitchen celebrates international flavors with French techniques, cooking and executions that reveal much about the experience and maturity of her tenure acqquired from stints at L'Antrance in Paris and Dal Pascatore in Italy, two great three-starred Michelin restaurants. The service is as attentive as it is professional, without distancing itself from the pleasure and friendliness aspects.

Why go: The œuf parfait with seasonal fillings, lobster ravioli, sweetbreads; we could just read off the menu, but we think you get the picture.

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What is it: Opened in 1995, this restaurant from Olivier de Montigny, sommelier Jonathan Sitaras and chef-owner Marc De Canck delivers all the heights of French cuisine. Located in a fresh address of a white, minimalist interior and private dining mezzanine, there isn’t a single dish that disappoints within these four walls. That extends from late afternoons of simple but no less exquisite pared-down choices to evenings of full wine glasses and plates of duck foie gras or guinea fowl. It’s resplendent French fare at its best.

Why go: Visiting for a tasting menu inspired by what’s freshest, it’s a French must in Montreal

What is it: Not to knock the rich traditional offerings of Little Italy, but when it comes to where to try the best pasta in town, it’s Ryan Gray and Emma Cardarelli’s ode to South Italy Nora Gray. An intimate restaurant and bar since opening in 2011, a careful eye is paid just as much to the menu as it is to cocktails both classic and playful and a wine list that’s longer than your arm.

Why go: For the modern Italian experience that excels in all, from antipasti until dolci

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What is it: Stellar experimentation meets curious designs in both décor and dish at this Hochelaga-Maisonneuve restaurant from Maximilien Jean, David Hibon, Laurent Bouchard, Pascal Bolduc, and Dominique Pellerin. Together they're combining experience from the top speakeasy Le Royal as well as restaurants like Le Chien Fumant, and Au Pied de Cochon. It shows, too, as dishes vacillate between wallopingly big platters to share and small and precious offerings, but whatever comes to the table, it impresses.

Why go: To get a taste of the cutting edge in the city without any convoluted presentations.

What is it: There’s undoubtedly a lot of excellent traditional Japanese food to be had in Montreal. That means there’s a solid bevy of sushi and ramen, but few took the techniques of Japanese cuisine to new places until the owners behind Otto Yakitori opened up this place. Chef Hiroshi Kitano takes the techniques and flavours he knows best and applies in a bistro concept that creates entirely new dishes totally unique to the city. Where most lean towards fusing Japanese to their own cuisine, this restaurant instead takes food found in French and Italian restaurants and twists it.

Why go: The most unique Japanese address in town.

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What is it: One of the few bastions of pristine dining experiences in Montreal with its white tablecloths and polished everything, Boullion Bilk is commonly looked to for its flawless executions of modern French fare. Served in a setting that’s minimalist without being too stark, François Nadon and Mélanie Blanchette’s austere operation is valuable for special occasions, if not making a more casual evening feel like one. Break out the check book, because a full service with private import wines here is worth it.

Why go: The lunches here serve a totally different menu at about half the price without skimping on quality

What is it: What started out as a passion project of the Pilote sisters, Julie Anna and Laurence, and chef Sidney Gordon in 2018 has slowly and steadily gained major traction in Verdun. Now, Pigor is a substantial guiding force in its neighbourhood's fine dining area. It's hard to believe so much can be contained in a small space, from it's beautiful plating styles with flavour play to an upbeat character in service, inventive cocktails and ear-to-the-ground wine lists that keep you guessing during every easily merited return trip. This one's a must-visit.

Why go: From the look and feel of the place to how the dishes are plated and priced, this is 100% date night material.

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What is it: We'll understand if any Montrealer gets a bit bitter over us bringing up this restaurant, but we can't hold it in any longer: Cadet is good, and it's a sin to not eat here. Most focus on its parental establishment Bouillon Bilk—and who could blame them when considering its accolades—and many more overlook it because of its nondescript location. If you're one of them? Sucks to be you: Anything from this place's menu comes at a steal when considering the price-to-precision ratio, its kitchen bringing a solid A-game to any given plate. 

Why go: An uber-convenient downtown restaurant that delivers high class menus in a casual setting

What is it: While most restaurants battle it out for recognition in the city core, it's spots like Nolah that show the journey 'out of town' is worth it. Chefs Richard Taitt and Chris Eamer and pastry chef Isabelle Plourde have created the city's best taste of the south here with New Orleans cuisine front and center. Gumbo, crab cakes, shrimp and grits, beignets, blackened catfish; it's all here and it's all immensely delicious. The only catch for some is that it's in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, but you know what? Maybe they ought to be heading out further afield more often.

Why go: For the greatest taste of New Orleans without the airfare.

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What is it: This here is the perfect example of a restaurant that lets the ingredients speak for themselves, from the vegetable right down to the meat. The maturity of internationally renowned chef Normand Laprise can be seen in the selection and quality of the products here, and in the respect shown in their preparation. They are cooked simply, with precision and above all with deep knowledhe, which makes this table our top pick amongst all of the Toqué group.

Why go: An à la carte menu trumps the tasting menu here, but be sure to stack your visit with an appetizer, meat, fish or seafood dish, and some seasonal vegetables when eating here (not necessarily in that order).

What is it: Chef Matt Winnicki and frontman-brother Alex started this Singaporean street food joint with love, and it’s the kind of love that keeps on giving. Their high octane services dish out just as many delicious classics like pork buns, laksa soup and chicken satays as they do inventive creations that meld Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian and Malay roots together. Singapore treats eating as a national pastime, and Satay Brothers is doing them justice at breakneck speeds.

Why go: Come for the menu’s standbys, stay for seasonal specials like lobster chow mein and softshell crab with black pepper sauce

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What is it: Among the pantheon of Montreal chefs who achieved celebrity status stands Antonio Park and his eponymous restaurant. Focusing on Park’s experience under master chefs in Japan in conjunction with his Korean and Argentinian roots, this restaurant’s menu combines elements of all three. That means the sushi here is at the top of its class, alongside Korean classics and choice grillwork. Whether it’s surf or turf, Park excels at anything he and his restaurant delivers.

Why go: This is one of the few places to offer an omakase tasting menu, if not the best sushi

What is it: Opened in 2015, chefs Leigh Roper and Vincent Russel’s sleekly designed restaurant is commonly looked to for its focus on delivering dishes with an open-fire element. That means surf, turf, and a selection of hot flatbreads make for a full-bodied selection good for any season. Everything from feta to sausages are made in-house, and with the efforts of pastry chef Vanessa Laberge and baker Marc-André Cyr, that means each meal is sweetly rounded out.

Why go: Grilled meats on the menu here are some of the best in town, from rotisserie chicken to hangar steaks

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What is it: Another stellar restaurant from chef Claude Pelletier, Le Serpent comes out swinging with an Italian bent to its menu. From its raw and cooked appetizers to a heavy emphasis on pastas, risottos, surf and turf. Quite possibly the inspiration behind the more informal—and no less delicious—Il Miglio pasta bar located uptown, Le Serpent delivers one wow after another with impressive in-house ingredients. The beautiful interior here’s a definite plus to boot.

Why go: Another prime example of one of the city’s hottest restaurant groups, plus desserts from pastry chef Masami Waki

What is it: A fine traditional Italian spot that's as delicate as it is refined and gourmet. At the top of her game, chef Graziella is not afraid to take regional dishes from Italy that are less familiar to us and give them a masterful reinterpretation. Considering both the exceptional quality of the menu and the consistently courteous and professional service, all the ingredients are here for recipe that results in a memorable evening.

Why go: Once that in season, the lobster pasta is wonderful, and if you see the osso buco, take it.

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What is it: One of the old-school standbys of Montreal, the French restaurant L’Express has been in action for over three decades. Their penchant for precise service and culinary offerings delivers a classic bistro experience that’s largely unparalleled in this city. Diners can’t go wrong with anything on its menu, but particular favoritism is paid to their dishes of bone marrow and foie gras torchon. The prices are excellent, and that goes for the wine lists too.

Why go: This is the stomping for locals by day and evening, and a reliable address for industry workers by night with a kitchen that closes at 1 a.m.

What is it: This Thai restaurant from Jesse Grasso and Jesse Mulder has been billed as a more proper dine-in counterpart to the more casual curry shop Pumpui in Little Italy. The name, after all, means "older brother". That said, the dishes on the menu here require more engagement, best enjoyed by bringing together friends over a few bottles and tucking into spicy dishes of laab dok kalaam cauliflower salad with sticky rice, whole-fried fish and half chickens cooked in tamarin, clam and Thai basil hoy lai pad nam prik pao, and slurp-worthy bowls of kuat teow.

Why go: To not only get a taste of Thai cuisine, but to shake it up a bit and take things up a notch.

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What is it: Much loved by its neighbours, the Tavern on the Square is a Westmount institution for a lot of reasons. While the latest and trendiest spots in town are worthwhile, it’s classic like Tavern on the Square that give them a run for their money. There’s a comfort of being close to the city’s core, the developed dishes of chef Stephen Leslie, and service is regularly impeccable. Locals might have originally got a bit half-cocked over its renovation in a few years back, thinking it might have changed, but it was all for the better

Why go: A more low-key dining experience, you come here to relax more than to party

What is it: Come for the service, stay for the insanity. Chuck Hughes’ eatery is known for being one of the more raucous experiences to be had in Old Montreal, a jackknife turn away from the ambiance of most in that area. Anyone will tell you it gets busy at Garde Manger, and with good reason. The towers of fresh seafood, or familiar dishes spiked with savoury additions like jerk crab or lobster poutine make this a briny gem where good times are regular.

Why go: For the loud, crazy party experience a restaurant can be with extravagance

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What is it: Being one of the more diverse cities in the world for its range of cuisines, Montreal’s got good representation in nearly every category, and the offerings of Le Virunga has got its pan-African bases covered. With its melding of chef Maria de Frias’ experience travelling through the sub-Saharan part of the continent, superbly inspired dishes come out of the kitchen like nut-crusted fish filet, veal shoulder and oxtail.  There’s few restaurants like it. 

Why go: The beauty of its chef’s penchant for mixing and matching culinary influences means no visit will be like the next

What is it: Before Les Street Monkeys came along, Cambodian food didn’t have much of a presence in Montreal. Chef Tota Oung changed that by bringing in this hotspot fashioned after an alleyway in Phnom Penh. The full flavour profile is there, each dish brimming in notes of lemongrass, galangal, garlic and ginger with as much spice as you like. There’s no shortage of eye-popping dishes straight from the homeland, from fried papaya salad to amok fish.

Why go: A wasabi shrimp ceviche and stuffed chicken wings, paired with a sweet-sour cocktail, are more than enough to convert you

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What is it: Chef Aaron Langille’s operation located far from the prying eyes on main strips may currently bill itself as a wine bar, but it’s first and foremost a personable restaurant. On any given night at this 22-seater there’s no more than three cooks, all playing the part of bartender, server, dishwasher and sommelier together with seamless fluidity. Just as valid for wine and snacks as it is for a drawn-out evening of dinner and drinks, the bill here goes as high as you want it to.

Why go: No visit’s the same with their à la carte menu which changes often with delicious twists and turns

What is it: This youthful arrival to the pizza game from the folks behind Nora Gray—plus co-owner Marley Sniatowsky—recently stole the show in Montreal. With accolades from across the country for its wood-fired menu based on researching dishes in Italy, that means there’s excellent pizza to be had alongside a lot of superb sharing plates and charcuterie. All that praise is well-deserved when considering how the quality of the food stacks with classic cocktails, all served in a chic modernist Italian design.

Why go: Grabbing a Neapolitan pie is a big reason to drop in, but so is their wine bar and take-out counter Club Social P.S. attached to its back

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What is it: Featuring a concise, thoughtful and intelligent menu, where vegetables rub shoulders with fresh homemade pasta and natural wines, Knuckles is a a warm atmosphere built out of an old dépanneur that's conducive to sharing and, well, never wanting to leave. Their plump panzerotti with cheese and tomato sauce is a must and will set the table for the rest of the meal. Every visit is the perfect preamble to great food and great drinks.

Why go: Leaving your evening in the hands of the team will be the best way to get a taste of the menu; just let them take the wheel and see what happens.

What is it: In a restaurant that runs so sleek it feels like a high-end dining club, Tiradito is the spot which put Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei cuisine on the map in Montreal. In a high-ceilinged space where diners sit at one long winding bar, they’ll find Chef Marcel Larrea’s creations are more than true to that diasporic cuisine, combining the finesse of Japanese cuisine with traditional flavours of Peruvian dishes. Everything on the menu’s worth a bite, from anticucho and frito plates to diabolically good cocktails.

Why go: Among its many visit-worthy qualities, it’s got the best ceviches and pisco sours in town hands down

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What is it: When looking to savour the elegance and simplicity of Spanish cuisine, this is the best place to do so right now. The menu evolves with the seasons and honours the Spanish classics—croquetas, tortillas, bomba—as well as the Quebec products featured in the tapas section, as well as the accompanying fish and seafood options alongside a top tier paella.

Why go: They've got a line on the best Iberian ham in town, but don't skip on the pan con tomate and a round of classic Barcelonian tapas.

What is it: The Foodlab is centered around a very regional and eco-responsible style of cuisine that's illustrated through small dishes made with simplicity. It's simple, but far from elementary: Summer or winter, the menu gives place to vegetables—fresh, grilled, roasted or fermented—by young and talented chefs like Virginie Picard, who was sous-chef to Timothé Vielajus before taking over. Organic wine selections cement our certainty in selecting this spot, which is served by a passionate staff in an inspiring space.

Why go: Two, four or six people can order the entire menu, while being guided by the sommelier team.

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What is it: Originally opened in 1982 under the name Fung Lam, Dobe & Andy is a diner-style establishment that was the first in the city to serve Hong Kong-style barbecue (best taken with rice and their savory minced mix of ginger, garlic and scallion on top). Now run by brothers Eric and Edmund Ku, they've turned the spot into a Chinatown destination that merits repeat visits for all kinds of Chinese classics alonsgide just having fun by making a Chinese takes on Nashville hot chicken, for example.

Why go: For a place that combines classic takes with ingenuity in Chinatown, if not for the best Hong Kong-style BBQ in town.

What is it: A BYOB restaurant of the highest order in town, Le Millen distinguishes itself not only by its seven- or nine-course tasting menus, but by a contemporary approach where the menu constantly evolves with the seasons. Young chef Jérémie Gélinas-Roy is inspired by French techniques, while revealing his artistic side through each unique creation.

Why go: Take out your biggest bottle (or bottles), then escape for an evening with the tasting menu. Enjoy the ride.

Time Out Market Montreal
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Pâtisserie

Here’s where the time-honored pairing of coffee and donuts gets taken up a notch, with impeccably pulled shots and brilliant brews of beans sourced directly from the Canadian Roasting Society that are served alongside gobsmackingly good fried biscuit and brioche donuts you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

Signature dish: Sconuts

  • Restaurants

Demo Kitchen

Dig into a greatest-hits selection from this local favourite in the city’s Village, including platters of pressed and torched oshizushi, fresh sashimi and savory maki, loaded-to-burst poke bowls and endless plates of classic Japanese yatai-style street food.

Signature dish: Oshizushi

  • Restaurants
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Japanese counter

Restaurateur Hideyuki Imaizumi and kaiseki chef Tetsuya Shimizu’s combined culinary efforts have us convinced that Marusan is serving up some of the best Japanese fare in town.

Signature dishes: Curry, donburi, and ramen

  • Restaurants
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Vietnamese cantine

This kitchen’s menu captures the bona fide flavours and aromatics of Vietnamese favorites while adding welcome twists and turns of their own invention.

Signature dish: Pho dip

  • Restaurants

Indian cantine

Open since 1985, Le Taj is one of the city’s premiere destinations for Indian fine dining, an institution of immense staying power because of the Montreal spin it brings to dishes like naan swiped with butter, creamy butter chicken, tandoor-roasted kebabs and Delhi-style biryani.

Signature dish: Butter chicken

  • Restaurants
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Haitian & Caribbean cuisine

Paul Toussaint’s passionate approach to Caribbean fare has been catching Montréal’s attention ever since the chef returned from Haiti in 2017.

Signature dishes: Pineapple-and-rum ribs and Caribbean curry

  • Restaurants
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Pan-Canadian cuisine

At this signature concept, Yen invites us to taste how he sees, unravels, and respins the world through a menu of reimagined classics, from shrimp cocktails to moules and steak frites. Merging a studied mind with pure intuitive skill, Yen isn’t just a rising star of Canada’s restaurants—he’s meteoric.

Signature dish: Buttery whelks with nori aioli

 

  • Restaurants
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Wholesome Lebanese Mezze

At this mix-and-match culinary tapestry of a menu, a broad regional Middle Eastern influence comes together under one Beirut style. From a Moroccan lemon confit chicken and filet mignon shawarma to classic crispy falafels and muhamarra rich with pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper, Mezzmiz skilfully walks that fine line between a culinary twist and uncompromising tradition.

Signature dish: Mezze!

 

  • Restaurants
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Continental grill from chef Paul Toussaint

The menu here is a continental journey through the barbecue techniques of two hemispheres, combining North, Central, and South America: Starting up north with spit-roasted méchoui and classic Montréal smoked meat, it goes through the United States, and ends with specialties and delicacies like Caribbean jerk, Argentinian asado, and Brazilian churrasco. 

Signature dish: Brisket and ribs

 

  • Restaurants
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Signé Toqué

Chef Normand Laprise—one of the most acclaimed and influential chefs of Québec—is a true champion of the farm-to-table movement and a keystone in our province’s cuisine, so it’s no wonder his burgers are the best in town. Mix it up and go with some feel-good comfort food their creamy milkshakes. 

Signature dish: Beef hamburger Signé Toqué !

 

  • Restaurants
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Artisinal pasta

At this eatery, Italian cuisine’s calling cards of fresh pasta and seasonally based dishes of antipasti are delivered in wonderfully delicious ways. Buon appetito!

Signature dishes: Pasta, antipasti

  • Restaurants
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Pizzeria

Chef Frédéric St-Aubin’s one-two punch of both traditional and seasonal ingredients at Moleskine makes us do a double take at just how fresh, comforting and fun the dishes are. Fans of bona fide Italian pies will love their Marguerite and Salsiccia pizzas, but don't skip on their more outside-the-pizza-box creations.

Signature dish: Marguerite and Suave pizzas

  • Restaurants

Portuguese chicken, poutine and natas

From our first taste of the Ferreira family’s Portuguese chicken coming hot off its smoking grills when it opened in 2016 to every delicious bite today, this fine-tuned churrascaria has consistently delivered quality time and again.

Signature dishes: Grilled chicken and chicken poutine

 

  • Restaurants

Taquería

From the creation of a Canadian first with the plant-based sushi of his beloved Sushi Momo to the galaxy of Mexican and Japanese flavour combinations on offer here at Casa Kaizen, there’s no doubt in our minds that chef Christian Ventura is this city’s most innovative vegan pioneer to date.

Signature dish: The 'Calamari'

 

  • Restaurants
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Brunch Royal MTL

Brunch is pure medicine in Montreal, and chef Arnaud Glay is among its most accomplished doctors. Festive tartines that pop with colour? Montreal bagels with gravlax? French toast fries? Signature eggs Benedict on brioche that are topped with foie gras? It’s all wonderful here, and a bite here will make you feel even better.

Signature dishes: Foie Gras Poached Egg & Panko French Toast

  • Bars and pubs
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The Time Out Bar is not your average watering hole—we got our hands on drink recipes from ten exceptional Montreal bars so that you could taste the work of the city’s greatest mixologists without having to bar-hop. 

  • Bars and pubs
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As much as we love mixology, sometimes nothing can beat a glass of beer, and that’s why we’ve put together a range of Québécois microbreweries—plus a couple of fancy imports—for you to knock back. Here's where you want to grab a pint brewed by spots like Dieu du Ciel, Archibald, Microbrasserie de Charlevoix and Pit Caribou, as well as some imports to try out. Be sure to ask for a flight! 

  • Bars and pubs
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Whether you’re a major oenophile or just someone who wants a drink as fancy as the food you ordered, pull up to the Wine Bar for your next glass of red, white, bubbly, pét-nat, or orange. You’ll find a diversified selection from around the globe, from New Zealand and Greece to France and Italy, as well as options from our own backyard in Québec and Ontario.

  • Restaurants
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Whether you’re the designated driver, having a sober month, or just don't want to drink, we got you. Instead of opting for a glass of water, we’ve put together a menu of alcohol-free drinks that bring together some stellar flavors, like the Yuzu Smash with yuzu, cucumber and lime, the Zingi made with ginger soda, strawberry and lime, a range of flavors for homemade sodas or “pints” of killer kombucha.

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