There’s nothing quite like diving into the best things to do in Montreal. Here you’ll find an essential bucket list that every self-respecting Montrealer and eager visitor should experience, from a combination of eye candy attractions and landmarks, the city’s amazing lotus-eating lifestyle of art, culture, restaurants and bars, and incomparable character that makes it one of the finest cities in the world. It’s a top destination for tourists and a daily celebration for locals spread out across numerous vibrant neighbourhoods: Discover them all with our curated recommendations and have the time of your life. Want to stay updated on what’s best in Montreal? Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on the prize by following us on Facebook.
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.
While Montreal boasts a plethora of amazing attractions, including some of the best restaurants and best bars in Canada, sometimes you need the best day trips from Montreal for a breath of fresh air outside the city. Situated advantageously close to tourist hot spots in Ontario, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and neighbouring regions of Québec, there are no shortage of ideas within reach for a day trip (or an overnight). Whether you want to go camping by a lake, visit museums a historic Québec village, go hiking near Montreal in the mountains—plus skiing if it’s wintertime—or tour local craft beer and artisanal cheese producers, you’ll find a good plan here. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal
UPDATE, December 2021: When it comes to seeking out comforts from the food you find, the best pizza in Montreal leaves everything else in the dust. Now that New York and Detroit-style pizzas have boomed in the last couple of year since this guide was first written, the scene for slices has never been better. Eat widely, tip generously, and enjoy. While it’s no New York or Chicago (or Detroit or Rome), the best pizza in Montreal includes a plethora of great places ranging in price, style, and quality. Some of them figure heavily among the city’s best Italian restaurants, feature wine lists that make them contenders for the best wine bars, and they're great places to fuel up before experiencing Montreal's nightlife or just following a Saturday afternoon of drinking the best beer. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal
UPDATE, August 2021: No one could have predicted when we inaugurated our list of the best bars in Montreal back in 2019 that the world would go through the changes it has. Amongst all of the uncertainty we experienced, some of our most beloved watering holes have been to hell and back and some of them that didn't make it in the end (pour one out for Balsam Inn and Ti-Agrikol). Let's raise a glass to this refreshed and refreshing selection, shall we? Santé, Montreal! We’ve done our homework (and have the hangovers to show for it), having explored the city’s libational landscape to find which spots are the best bars have the top drinks in Montreal. One look and you’ll find a distilled collection of the city’s best wine bars and cocktail bars, pints of the best beer, speakeasy bars, nightlife hotspots and anything else you might be thirsty for. Consider this your guide to the full spectrum of possibilities, ranging from local watering holes to high-end lounges, whether they serve brews, bubbles, or double down as counting among the best restaurants as well. You can’t go wrong when picking your poison here; this is your guide of where to grab it. Want to stay updated on what’s best in Montreal? Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on the prize by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
UPDATE, October 2021: When looking at the best hiking near Montreal, we wanted to climb higher than before with our selection process, and are now looking at the best spots within four (4) hours' drive of the city; you won't believe what that extra radius of travel gives you access to, from misty mountaintops to huge marshlands to explore. It's hard to fall out of love with the bright lights and good vibes of the city, but when you feel like you need to take just the slightest of breaks, the best hiking near Montreal is just what you need to hit refresh. There are lots of majestic waterfalls near Montreal and stunning mountaintops to see, all taking as little time as day trips from Montreal tend to take. And if you need the rest before your drive back, many of the destinations found here supply the some of the best camping near Montreal, too. Use those muscles you’ve got from stepping over potholes and dodging pylons for one of these not-too-distant hikes, ranging anywhere from an hour to four hours one way from the city. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal
Located in the Centre Eaton de Montréal, Time Out Market Montréal is 40,000-square-foot culinary and cultural destination, smack dab in the heart of Downtown Montréal. Inside this expansive space below a massive skylight, you’ll find a handpicked selection of restaurants and chefs by the editorial staff at Time Out Montréal. It’s got every base covered, serving as many mouthwatering local and classic dishes like poutine, Vietnamese pho and bahn mi, and juicy burgers as there are innovative vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options like Caribbean curries and amazing tacos. It’s also got plenty to snack on too, like platters to enjoy with friends during a 5 à 7 in a bar section pouring of top shelf cocktails, pints from Québec microbreweries and an wide range of wines. There’s a lot to take in, so take your time browsing the eateries of Time Out Market Montréal. Clicking on any one of these stellar names and concepts below will give you more information about them and the menus they're serving. Note that there are specials from time to time that are only around for a limited time, so pay a visit to now and then to see what's available. The Market has also put in a lot of safety precautions and new systems like limited seating capacity, enhanced air circulation and filtration, sanitization stations for customers, a dedicated cleaning staff and more to help Montrealers enjoy the best possible dining experience.
UPDATE, August 2021: With their tight corners and intimate vibes, the best speakesy and secret bars in Montreal hidden from view have had a bit of trouble meeting social distancing measures in the city. That means that several have yet to reopen until more favourable conditions come about, so we've taken stock of the ones open and available right now. There’s nothing like the thrill of discovering hidden addresses of the city’s best speakeasy and secret bars. Knowing which unmarked door leads you to award-winning mixologists and incomparably cool settings is unlike anything else in the city. We're talking hideaways that act as the best cocktail bars in Montreal with murder mystery-themed evenings and classy vibes to try on for size before going to a romantic restaurant or making an adventure of it as you explore the full range of nightlife in Montreal. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Montreal
UPDATE, October 2021: Our picks for the best neighborhoods and where to stay in Montreal are now built to reflect the results of the Time Out Index and readers—locals or not—weighing in on the city. Whether it's some former industrial sector turned into a posh enclave or some of the most culturally diverse and welcoming places in Canada, there's a little bit of everything so you can find the right place to visit or set up camp. The city’s best neighborhoods for locals and essential places where visitors can stay in Montreal are all right here in this guide. Montreal has a big presence when it comes to culture, community, and character—and if you need proof, just look at the sheer wealth of Montreal festivals, some of the best things to do in Montreal alongside stellar experiences in the city’s best restaurants and best bars. Better yet, you’ll find a lot of variety in Montreal’s neighbourhoods as you explore them, as each carries its own points of interest and vibes. From business-driven Downtown Montreal to trendier areas like Mile End and Little Italy, there’s a little something for everyone. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal
Ask anyone what you need to eat when you want a true taste of the city, and you'll be pointed straight to the best bagels in Montreal. They're right up there at the top of our list of iconic Montreal food alongside the best delis for Montreal smoked meat—followed closely by diners dishing out the best poutine and best hot dogs in Montreal, of course—and they're a cornerstone offering on the best brunch menus while ranking high among the best cheap eats in Montreal. What humbly started with Jewish immigrants bringing hand-rolled, wood-fired rings of sweet, thin, and dense dough in the early 20th century is become a distinct, world-famous dish today that's put Montreal on the map. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal