15 Excellent Montreal Restaurants That Won't Cost Your Entire Paycheque

Don’t go downgrading your lifestyle just because things are getting more expensive!

Contributing Writer
A veal dish from Restaurant Cadet. Right: Karaage from Ichigo Ichie Izakaya.

A veal dish from Restaurant Cadet. Right: Karaage from Ichigo Ichie Izakaya.

@restaurant_cadet | Instagram, @ichigoichieizakaya | Instagram

We get it: Anyone living in Montreal is going to feel the sting of things getting more expensive from time to time, but in a city full of award-winning spots, they’ll still want to eat at a fancy restaurant on the cheap. No stress! It’s totally possible for you to eat out like a person with a fat bank account without completely draining your actual bank account.

The following selection of restaurants will provide you with a go-to list of places when you’re looking to impress family, friends, or maybe a date — if you want to eat the best the city has to offer without spending too much. You’re going to be spending more than $10, but that’s just the name of the game at places like this.

Consider this your cheat sheet to looking and feeling fancy without spending fancy. We've included rough price guides for each place, but drinks, taxes and tips can of course change your bill significantly.

Le Petit Alep

Where: 191, rue Jean-Talon E.

Why You Need To Go: This Syrian-Armenian restaurant opened with the mission of feeding the city’s bohemians, so it’s little surprise that they’re keeping things on the cheaper end. It’s a bright and colourful spot to grab a bottle of wine from their huge wine cellar to go with a menu full of aromatic soups, salads, stuffed pita, grilled platters, and mezze like hummus, labneh, mouhamara, and stuffed grape leaves.

Price: $8.50 to $26



Where: 4629, avenue du Parc

Why You Need To Go: Load up your table with a variety of this popular Middle Eastern restaurant’s dishes, split the cheque between yourself and a few others, and you’ll be surprised to find that you barely broke the $40 to $50 mark. From the fatteh with layers of crispy pita, yogurt, tahini and nuts to the kefta brochettes, the menu is huge and at its most cheap when you mix and match a lot.

Price: $8 to $26


Quartier Perse

Where: 4241, boul. Decarie

Why You Need To Go: A full meal here generally goes for about $30 to $40 a person, and when you consider this Persian restaurant’s generous portions, it’s more than a steal. Hearty stews, brochettes of filet mignon, tea and sweet and crispy baklava for dessert — you won’t just leave full, you’ll leave with enough money for a drink or two afterwards. Best of all, it’s BYOB, so you can save a bit by bringing a bottle of your own.

Price: $30 to $40


Sushi Momo

Where: 3609, rue Saint-Denis

Why You Need To Go: There’s a reason why it can sometimes be next to impossible to nab a weekend table at this vegan sushi restaurant in the Plateau. They specifically have a section of their menu for ‘deals’ that will combine miso soup, gyoza, or soba salads with platters of sushi so delicious you’ll have a hard time believing that there isn’t a single speck of fish in it. Big props to plant-based chef Christian Ventura for this chic spot to eat dinner.

Price: $18.50 for one person to $44.50 for two people


Restaurant de l'ITHQ

Where: 3535, rue Saint-Denis

Why You Need To Go: If you can’t afford to eat at the restaurants of the biggest chefs in the city, then why not go where you can eat the food made by the city’s biggest up-and-coming chefs? L’Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec’s in-house restaurant is the training ground for many future culinary stars and it’s where, supervised by the head instructor, you’ll get service that has something to prove. Take note that from Tuesday to Thursday, you can get a three-course menu between $49 and $59.

Price: $49 to $59



Where: 3927, rue Saint-Denis

Why You Need To Go: What can be said about this nationally acclaimed classic French restaurant that hasn’t already been said? It made a name for itself decades ago when it fed the artists of the Plateau, and today carries that torch nicely with generous menus of rich food. You can overspend here if you order too much, but thankfully, one or two plates before wine will be enough to satisfy. Recommendations go to the daily specials and essentials like croque-monsieur, quiche, and bone marrow.

Price: $13.50 to $35



Where: 1431, boul. Saint-Laurent

Why You Need To Go: If you thought about eating at Bouillon Bilk and got hesitant over their prices, try this cheaper alternative that’s run by the same restaurant group. Plates like späetzle with broccoli or scallops may come off as small, but they’re so flavorful and well-made that you can’t second-guess eating here. It’s perfect for small group dining, where you can try bites of multiple dishes and leave fully satiated.

Price: $6 to $26



Where: 4255, rue Ontario E.

Why You Need To Go: With a table d’hôte menu for $70 that gives you a taste of just about everything you could want from the menu, this now-famous Hochelaga restaurant is a great place to eat fine dining on the cheap. That price point may not sound cheap to some, but the table d’hôte truly takes you on a trip through the menu. Still not convinced? Pick a few fewer plates for yourself and you can bring down the bill.

Price: $70



Where: 5201, boul. Saint-Laurent

Why You Need To Go: When you scan the menu for prices at this Mile End destination for breakfast, lunch and dinner, keep in mind that tips are included. Everything from the kitchen here is delicate and surprisingly filling despite much of the menu being termed 'small plates.' If you want something more substantial, grab one of their sandwiches and you’ll be more than good to go.

Price: $13 to $22


Bonheur d'Occasion

Where: 4001, rue Notre-Dame O

Why You Need To Go: This restaurant in Saint-Henri brings together exceptional experience in cooking and serving in Montreal’s restaurant scene, all in an informal place to eat well. If you want the best deal here, look out for their Sunday menus that go for $35 or $45, where you’ll get to eat things like snow crab and hand-made pasta in addition to a couple sweet drink deals on wines or cocktails. You can thank us later for this hot tip.

Price: $35 to $45


Chez Lévêque

Where: 1030, avenue Laurier O.

Why You Need To Go: This French brasserie is an industry favourite for anyone working in restaurants and bars, and for good reason: From Monday to Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. till close, $29 fetches you an appetizer and a main. The menu offers a lot, from terrine and snail puff pastry for starters followed by boudin or coq au vin. There are a few heavier options available as well for just a bit extra.

Price: $29


Les Canailles

Where: 3854, rue Ontario E.

Why You Need To Go: This Hochelaga BYOB restaurant is a local favourite for dishes of foie gras, oysters Rockefeller (how much fancier can you get?), pasta and large meat-forward plates. Folks love the fact that this place offers a high-quality alternative to pricier options without sacrificing any important fine dining element, like knowledgeable service. It’s a cozy place too, with an intimate atmosphere worth enjoying on a special occasion.

Price: $19 to $42


Pick Thai

Where: 5221, boul. de Maisonneuve O.

Why You Need To Go: This Thai restaurant in NDG is a hidden gem for many with its unassuming location near Vendôme station. The owner and chef Vilay Douangpanya is among the best chefs in the city for Thai cuisine, whether it’s for her classic pad Thai, satay skewers, papaya salad, or bright red curries packed with just the right amount of spice. Once you split a decent selection of dishes with friends or family, you’ll eat well — and that’s including tax and tip.

Price: $5 to $26



Where: 5215, boul. Saint-Laurent

Why You Need To Go: This Turkish restaurant in the Plateau is a big local favourite for its grilled meat, mezze, hummus with lamb, and other rich classics like the scrambled egg dish menemen. For $85, two people can eat from one of two long menus that include dessert and coffee, providing you with more than enough food that’s been expertly crafted. There’s a sizeable selection of vegetarian dishes to pick from, too.

Price: $85 for two people


Ichigo Ichie Izakaya

Address: 360, rue Rachel E.

Why You Need To Go: Japanese cuisine can be pricey from time to time, and while your money’s always going to be put to good use, it can’t get better than at this izakaya. Bring some friends and split plates of tataki, fried karaage, marinated short ribs on hot plates, and other snacks, and it won’t be long before you’ll have a full stomach of some of the city’s best — especially after a sake bomb or two.

Price: $11 to $23


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JP Karwacki
Contributing Writer
JP Karwacki is a contributing writer for MTL Blog.