Saint-Leonard is a borough of Montreal that is recognized for it's Italian culture. However, there are so many things that make Saint-Leonard the place it is, other than it's Italian influences. One of the things that make Saint-Leonard the perfect place to live is that although there are a ton of Italians, there are a mix of cultures and ethnicities that call Saint-Leonard home.
As a result, a variety of delicious ethnic restaurants have emerged in this east-end borough, making the trip to Saint-Leonard a bit more 'appetizing'. Here are the ten best restaurants in Saint-Leonard everyone needs to try, at least once (you will most definitely be going back for more).
Photo cred - Montreal Food Divas
1. Café Milano
Café Milano is a landmark of Saint-Leonard. Almost everyone in Montreal has at one time or another heard or visited Café Milano. If you are looking for something easy, quick and delicious, Milano's is the go-to place. They serve a variety of different sandwiches and salads, all made with fresh and delicious ingredients. You can also get the best Italian coffee, espresso or latté, with a choice of cookies or Italian desserts that will have you screaming for more. Everything is extremely affordable, and the service is amazing. Café Milano definitely lives up to it's reputation.
Photo cred - TripAdvisor
Thai food is given justice and the praise it deserves at Phuket. Feast on the best Tom Yum Chicken, General Thai Chicken, Sweet and Sour Wok Shrimp and many more Thai dishes, for an overall reasonable price. They even have sushi for those who can't get enough!
Photo cred - La Bella Italiana
3. La Bella Italiana
Do you love pizza? If you answered yes, then you need to try La Bella Italiana in Saint-Leonard. They have the most delicious pizza, that comes straight out of the wood burning oven. They have a large variety to choose from, making your decision difficult. Nevertheless, no matter what pizza you take, you won't be disappointed. They also serve other Italian dishes, for those pizza haters! Note that they also serve a Nutella Pizza, that will change your life.
4. Jarry Smoked Meat
Montreal has some pretty great smoked meat restaurants, and Jarry Smoked Meat is definitely one of them. Open 24/7, this is the perfect place to go to if you want a smoked meat sandwich, poutine, french-fry or even better, a smoked-meat poutine at 4am. It's super cheap, and the service is fast and efficient. Get ready to eat your hearts out and walk out needing a few extra days on the treadmill (so worth it, though).
5. Yoko Sushi Lounge
It's somewhat hard these days to find a good sushi restaurant. Look no further. Yoko Sushi Lounge not only has delicious and fresh sushi, but also a great vibe. It is classy, yet affordable!
Photo cred - Jason M.
6. Paninneria da Marco
You have never eaten a sandwich as delicious as one from Paninneria da Marco. This gem is a super small and quaint sandwich shop in Montreal, serving it's customers the greatest Italian sandwiches, made with the freshest meats and ingredients. They also have this special sauce which is to-die-for. If you are in Saint-Leonard and want a quick and easy sandwich, head over to Paninneria da Marco, you will not only be served with a smile, but with the best sandwich, ever.
7. Gallo Nero
Gall Nero is a top-of-the-line Italian restaurant. If you love rustic Italian cuisine, you need to try this place. Gallo Nero has the best Italian meats, pastas, fish and espresso! The staff will serve you with open arms, and ensure that you are treated and catered too with respect. After eating at Gallo Nero, you will understand why Italian food has the reputation it does!
8. Egg Cetera
Everyone loves breakfast/brunch. Egg Cetera is the best brunch place to-date in the east end. You can have your classic bacon and eggs, or have pancakes, waffles, french toast and a ton of other dishes. This place is popular, so you'll be sure to see someone you know. Make sure to arrive at a reasonable hour (not sure what time that is) because there is usually a small line. That just proves how good and worth it the food is at Egg Cetera.
Photo cred - TripAdvisor
Portuguese food, and chicken (to be specific), is delicious, right?. Well, you can enjoy some of the best Portuguese food at O'Cantinho, just a few steps outside of Saint-Leonard, in Villeray/Saint-Michel (it is practically in Saint-Leonard). This restaurant is too close and too good to be left out! You can choose from a large selection of meats and fishes, followed by desserts and coffee. Prepare to eat like a king/queen at O'Cantinho!
Photo cred - Bouleur
Ad-Deyafa offers Montrealer's a taste of Morocco in the heart of Saint-Leonard. This Moroccan jack-0f-all-trades is not only a small sit in restaurant, bakery, butcher and tea house, but also provides catered food for parties and events. Although it is not your everyday restaurant, you can still sit and enjoy a small meal or cup of tea with friends and family. So, fall in love with Moroccan dishes at Ad-Deyafa.