The list of unique Montreal restaurants that exist is beyond extensive, and we foodies are always out looking for a new spot to try. Sadly though, like everything in life, some good things must come to an end.
By that, I mean sometimes our favourite spots end up having to close their doors. Here's a list of seven restaurants we had to say bye-bye to in 2021 — they'll remain forever in our hearts, though!
This tasty Montreal vegan joint closed forever in August 2021. But luckily, if you never got the chance to try it, you'll be able to once again in 2022 as the restaurant plans on reopening next spring, but in Eastern Quebec rather than Montreal this time around.
This Caribbean restaurant in Lasalle took to Facebook in June 2021 to make people aware of its official closure. But, Cuisine Caraibe Delite reassured the public that its recipes and "signature jerk chicken dish" can still be found at Le Jardin du Cari on rue Saint-Laurent.
In October, renowned Montreal chef and co-owner Martin Juneau shared the news on Instagram that Cul-Sec, a much-loved wine bar in the city, would be shutting down. Juneau described Cul-Sec as a "collateral victim of both a global pandemic and the local construction sites of the past few years."
Known as an Old Port staple, Le Bremner sadly closed permanently in 2021. Owner Chuck Hughes posted the news on their Instagram account in June, explaining the closure was a result of a conflict with the landlord and too many repairs needed.
Address: Casino de Montréal, 1, av. du Casino, Montreal, QC
A press release from April 2021 announced the end of the Casino de Montréal's L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (AJR). "The exceptional circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the time at which the Casino will reopen have informed this decision," it read.
One of Montreal's most beloved Portuguese restaurants, Romados, subtly announced its official closure in a Facebook comment in June.
Eater Montreal reported in October that the restaurant had reopened with new owners. However, another Facebook comment by the original Romados account says that "any incarnation that is operating is in total violation of what the original owners created."*
Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.
The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.
"Thank you to all our loyal customers, for the wonderful years," they said.
With a menu overflowing with huge, yet affordable, meat and mustard sandwiches — sauerkraut, pickles and Cherry Cokes were also standard — Boucherie Slovenia is the latest of the Main's iconic old-school institutions to close.
The beloved Moishes steakhouse announced its closure under the strain of the pandemic in the summer of 2020.
The Boucherie Slovenia Facebook post asks readers to share their memories of the restaurant and butcher shop, with many offering childhood stories of visiting for a pepperette sandwich or their "underrated" smoked meat, which is "the best in the city," according to one commenter.
Many apparent long-time customers said they wouldn't know where to go to find dishes comparable to Boucherie Slovenia's treasured menu items.
Others remarked on how yet another classic Montreal restaurant is closing its doors. "Nothing replaces these fantastic old shops," said one person. "It's a loss. The rich character of the boulevard is disappearing."
Who needs a trip to Italy when you've got a taste of it in Montreal's very own Verdun? In the age of COVID-19, with dining rooms currently closed, we've got you covered on a must-try spot that is bound to fulfill all of your takeaway needs. BOSSA is an Italian restaurant and grocery store that prides itself on being family-run, and their signature sandwiches certainly set them apart.
Located on rue Wellington, BOSSA offers over 20 varieties of hot and cold sandwiches. From their sausage and peppers mix ($11.95) and prosciutto mortadella ($12.95) to their roasted chicken sandwich fixed with pesto, dried tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction ($12.95), you'll be salivating just thinking about it — we certainly are!
BOSSA owner, Daniel Lo Manto had been working in the restaurant business for over six years and figured it was time the neighbourhood got a much-needed "Italian centred" lunch spot. In addition to the restaurant's fully packed sandwiches, their menu also includes an array of authentic Italian pasta dishes and pastries made with fresh ingredients — items the BOSSA owner said stem from the recipes and techniques of his grandparents.
"There's a lot of heritage in this place, and a lot of love!" Lo Manto told MTL Blog.
When asked about the recipe he's most proud of, Daniel boasted about the porchetta sandwich ($11.95). However, in terms of popularity, it comes in second to their must-try chicken parm ($12.95), made with basil oil, mozzarella, chicken cutlet, parmesan and hot peppers.
A Montreal restaurant promises to open on January 30 in violation of public health rules. Quebec ordered the closure of bars on December 20 and restaurant dining rooms on December 31 and has not said when they can reopen.
"We can no longer comply with these arbitrary measures that have been proven NOT to be effective in solving the issue we are all faced with," avenue Fairmount Italian restaurant Kesté wrote in an Instagram post Thursday, further warning that "if something doesn't change and we don't take a stand small businesses will turn into something of the past."
Kesté is calling on other restaurants, bars and cafés to open on January 30, too. It shared an image of a flier encouraging businesses to "take back our rights" and participate in a "national mass movement" of civil disobedience.
"As a city we all need to work together to no longer allow any more unnecessary lockdowns that no one supports," the Instagram post reads. "We cannot fix the damage done in the past but we can definitely prevent it from happening again."
Health Minister Christian Dubé responded to Kesté's commitment to reopen in a press conference on Thursday.
"We understand that people want to go back as quickly as possible to a normal life," he said. "But we need to do things gradually."
"I would just ask this restaurant owner and all other merchants to be patient. I know it's difficult." He pointed to government programs offering businesses financial support.
"I'm just saying, let's make sure that we don't go back."
With restaurants in Quebec being closed and no reopening date announced yet, we're all missing indoor dining right about now. Luckily, six Montreal restaurants have teamed up with hotels in the city and found a way to continue providing this experience starting January 14.
A press explained that four hotels in Old Montreal "are opening up their rooms to offer you an intimate culinary experience."
Here are the possible restaurant/hotel combinations:
All of these restaurants offer private in-room at some of the prettiest hotels in Montreal. You can look at each restaurant's menus to see what's available for your fancy three or four-course meal, which are all available for two or four people, and see which dinner options excite you the most. Packages vary in pricing.
After your much-awaited indoor dining experience, you can dress warm and go enjoy all the winter festivities happening around the city. You'll already be in Old Montreal, which is the perfect spot to go on a snowy walk.
Or, you can stay the night at one of the hotels.
Some of the packages are the "staycation" type, so you can enjoy your tasty meal and spend the night at the hotel. A win-win, right? Since there isn't much else to do in Montreal right now — especially if you don't like the cold weather — then this seems like the perfect way to treat yourself (and finally get out of your apartment).
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.