Who here's ever been to an izakaya? If you have, then you know how awesome it truly is. Izakayas are a delicate blend of casual, welcoming fun, delicious and authentic food, and, of course, drinking.
If you've never experienced this Japanese dining adventure, then don't worry. Montreal has tons of authentic, fun Japanese izakayas for you to enjoy.
1. Kinka Izakaya
Honestly, there's something magical about this spot. Located super close to Concordia University, Kinka Izakaya should absolutely be on your list of awesome places to check out.
The main thing about this izakaya? Their authenticity. Not only does it offer the super welcoming, fun, and casual atmosphere we've all come to know and love, but the food here is also super legit, as well. Offering up options like ramen, kimchi udon, and gyoza, as well as awesome drinks (including their Niji, which features tri-coloured sake), there's literally no way you can go wrong at this fantastic Japanese izakaya.
The food at this spot is spearheaded by Chef Junichi Ikematsu; if the name sounds familiar to you, that's because he's also the genius behind Montreal's Jun-I restaurant.
Unlike Jun-I, though, Saka-Ba! focuses mainly on Japanese comfort food, like perfectly cooked and flavoured ramen (including ramen made from lobster and pork broth!), succulent, flavourful, and crispy kara age (Japanese-style fried chicken), and tasty, tender gyoza dumplings. Which means that you're getting the best of both worlds, TBH.
Wrap that up with their warm and laid-back atmosphere and super fair prices, and what do you get? That's right, friends. You get your new fave.
Searching for a super fun spot to grab a drink and a bite of delicious Japanese food? Well, stop the search. Imadake is here to save your whole life, TBH.
Imadake's extensive menu features tons of authentic and yummy Japanese selections, all of which are made from high quality, organic, non-GMO ingredients. Although they've got traditional izakaya foods, such as ramen and kara age, they've also got options that are a little bit more difficult to find - like gindara (miso marinated codfish), tuna cutlets, and eel.
With their super unpretentious, welcoming, and straight-up fun vibe, this spot is a sure hit for your next Montreal izakaya experience, to boot.
4. Saiko Bistrot Izakaya
Known for its amazing sushi, Saiko is pretty much a surefire way to experience an awesome izakaya right here in Montreal. And, even though their sushi are out of this world amazing, they've got a super varied menu full of Japanese delights.
Known for its amazing sushi, Saiko is pretty much a surefire way to experience an awesome izakaya right here in Montreal. And, even though their sushi are out of this world amazing, they've got a super varied menu full of Japanese delights - like chicken katsu, squid ikayaki, and sashimi salad.
5. Kinoya Izakaya
Alright, first of all, this spot is seriously impressive. The interior is incredibly gorgeous, and gives off a super welcoming, warm feel. Which is a pretty good way to describe Kinoya's vibe in general, actually: Friendly and inviting, this is the perfect place to grab a bite with friends, or for a super fun first date.
The food here is equally amazing; always fresh, and always tasty, Kinoya offers authentic Japanese dishes with a little twist, that are cooked and flavoured to absolute perfection. A sample of their delectable dishes? Their Aburi Unagi, barbecue eel with cheese, avocado and sliced almond, and their seared sake-marinated tuna dish.
6. Izakaya Kabocha
If you're a lover of sashimi, then you're going to absolutely adore Kabocha. Featuring fresh, buttery, and flavourful chunks of raw fish, this Plateau spot has some of the tastiest sashimi in the whole city; and the rest of their food? No joke, it'll actually blow your mind.
The atmosphere will pretty much blow your mind, too, TBH. Friendly and welcoming, with an undeniable fun vibe, it's very clear that if you're looking for a unique and awesome spot to enjoy some delicious Japanese plates, Kabocha's where you're going to want to go.
Lively and upbeat, Biiru is definitely an amazing place to go if you're in the mood to have a seriously awesome good time.
A vast food and drink menu (featuring dishes like their Suika Sarrada, with watermelon, salmon sashimi, and fried noodles; and drinks like their Abokado, with avocado, simple syrup, and cacahaça), gorgeous decor, and welcoming vibe mean that this spot is pretty much perfect for you no matter what you're in to - and your friends will find something they love about it, too.
8. Bistro Isakaya
A vibrant Japanese isakaya located in the Plateau with a fun and fresh vibe, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more authentic Japanese experience in the city.
Bistro Isakaya serves up some legitimately savoury, traditional Japanese food, like sashimi, grilled scallop, and seared tuna steak (and, although all their food is amazing, protip? Try their tasty and fresh Salmon Salad, with salmon, avocado, and tobiko). Coupled with their incredibly friendly service and fun atmosphere, it's really no wonder why this spot has been around for over a decade.
9. Ichigo Ichie Izakaya
This energetic and adorable izakaya is located right down the hall from one of Montreal's most awesome ramen places, so straight away, you know you're going to be in for an awesome time.
And an awesome time is exactly what you're going to have. Other than having some seriously innovative-yet-traditional - and highkey gorgeous - plates, Ichigo Ichie boasts an incredibly welcoming, warm, and super fun atmosphere to ensure that you're getting the absolute most out of your Montreal izakaya experience.
10. Sumi Dojo
Located right in the Plateau, Sumi Dojo boasts an incredibly inviting atmosphere, and authentic, delicious, fresh food.
Their menu is seriously huge, and features enough choices so that you could probably eat here forever and never have the same thing twice. No worries if you're having trouble deciding, though. Everything here is seriously game changing, so anything you pick, you know you're golden.
Plus, their drinks? Out of this world amazing. Protip: Try their "Rainbow Bomb" drink, with beer, sake, and midori, layered in different glasses for a super fun experience.