These Are The Montreal Restaurants Winning Awards & High Praise In 2023
A tasteful blend of fine dining and budget-friendly cuisine. 🍽️
Montreal's restaurant scene is cooking up a storm and not just locals are being swept away. International experts have taken notice and the city's culinary gems are scoring big on Yelp's Top 100 in Canada, shining bright among Forbes' Star Awards and checking the boxes on La Liste's definitive worldwide ranking.
Whether you're pinching pennies or ready to shell out clams this year, here are some of the best restaurants in Montreal worth adding to your foodie bucket list:
Where: 1595, boul. St-Laurent
Why You Need To Go: This downtown restaurant, known for its blend of traditional French methods with modern ingredients, secured the lucky number 13 spot on Forbes' Best 100 in Canada list. It's pricey — a dozen oysters will set you back $42; the guinea fowl with foie gras, $48 — but the quality of the food, along with the intimate and sophisticated ambiance, makes it a perfect spot for a romantic date.
Where: 1201, ave Van Horne
Why You Need To Go: This stunning Syrian restaurant is a feast for your eyes and your taste buds — the colourful decor and authentic dishes will transport you to the Middle East. The meze platters are a must-try starter between the creamy hummus ($18) and smoky baba ghanoush ($29). A standout entrée is the lamb shoulder, slow-cooked to perfection and served with a side of Syrian smoked wheat ($55). Another popular main is the octopus salad, tender and flavourful with a hint of smokiness from the grill ($44). The Mile End destination placed 7th on Forbes' Top 100 ranking.
Where: 345, rue St-Jacques
Why You Need To Go: This cozy plant-based eatery serves up Middle Eastern street food from mouth-watering falafel ($9) to vegetarian shwarma/shish taouk ($10). The Lachine counter offers generous portions that are perfect for an affordable picnic by the canal.
Gia Vin & Grill
Where: 1025, rue Lenoir
Why You Need To Go: This Saint-Henri Italian restaurant specializes in Tuscan dishes, serving grilled dishes accompanied by an extensive wine selection. This hidden gem has been recently featured on Time Out's list of "coolest secret restaurants on the continent," solidifying its status as a must-visit for food enthusiasts.
Where: 3900, rue Wellington
Why You Need To Go: This Verdun gem is the sister restaurant to Régine Café with modern twists on classic brunch options like brioche bread French toast ($22) and cornflake-fried chicken and waffles ($22). The decor is bright and airy with seating options so elegant you can't help but feel like you're spoiling yourself.
Where: 176, rue Saint Viateur Ouest
Why You Need To Go: This French restaurant in the Mile End serves culinary creations that double as works of art. You'll enjoy a blend of classic French and Quebecois flavours prepared with modern techniques as part of the $110 seasonal tasting menu. Current offerings include spiced duck breast with pickled persimmon, roasted beets, fois gras schmaltz and cinnamon raison St-Viateur bagel croutons.
Where: 2491, rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Why You Need To Go: This tavern in Little Burgundy serves indulgent dishes made with local and seasonal ingredients in a rustic yet refined atmosphere. You might have a hard time picking between the lobster spaghetti and the "Foie Gras Double Down" — two foie gras patties sandwiched between slices of house-cured bacon with a side of maple syrup-infused toast — the good news is you can't go wrong.
Where: 1067, rue de Bleury
Why You Need To Go: This charming café in the heart of downtown serves specialty coffee, sourced from a small farm in Costa Rica and roasted in Montreal. You can pair your gourmet latté or cappuccino with a comforting croissant sandwich, bagel BLT or made-to-order parfait.
Where: 922, ave Mont-Royal Est
Why You Need To Go: This iconic brunch go-to in the Plateau serves creative dishes along with funky decor and a lively atmosphere. You can start your meal with a signature drink, like the famous Nutella Latte ($5) or a classic Mimosa ($10). For the main course, you might try the decadent "Masoub Caramelized Bananas" with thick French toast coated in panko and topped with bananas, dates, walnuts and coconut caramel ($19). Or perhaps the "Mac Texan" featuring parmesan and spinach ravioli piled high with Mac & cheese sauce, Texan chili, a sunny-side-up egg, salsa and fried onions ($19). The portions at L'Avenue are famously large, so be prepared to share or take home leftovers.
Le Club Chasse et Pêche
Where: 423, rue St-Claude
Why You Need To Go: As the name suggests, this Old Montreal restaurant serves Québécois fish and game dishes. Start your meal with seared scallops, lemon confit and fennel purée ($29) followed by an American wagyu entrée with truffle dauphinoise, porcini and red wine sauce ($63).
Where: 1831, rue Gilford
Why You Need To Go: This BYOW restaurant off Papineau serves upscale French fare, from braised pork cheek with hazelnut and raisin ($32/$46) to doe filet with bacon, cabbage and mushroom sauce ($35/$49). Depending on whether you opt for the table d’hôte (soup or salad, main course, coffee) or gourmet meal (soup or salad, entree, main course, dessert, coffee) will impact the listed price of each dish.
Where: 1025, rue Ontario Est
Why You Need To Go: This restaurant in the Village takes guests on a journey through the world of avant-garde cuisine — in some cases putting the "stick" in rustic. The tasting menu is a feast for the senses, showcasing creative and experimental chef techniques. Each dish is beautifully presented and combines unexpected ingredients and flavours. If you're willing to dish out $250 for the unique experience, you won't be disappointed.
Where: 3739, rue Ontario Est
Why You Need To Go: The Hochelaga hotspot serves hearty and affordable comfort food, like fried cauliflower ($9), veggie "pulled pork" sandwiches ($13) and fried chicken sandwiches ($14). There's also a great selection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails to complement your meal. If you're looking for hip, cozy and casual, this spot is a must-try.
Ma Poule Mouillée
Where: 969, rue Rachel Est
Why You Need To Go: This Plateau resto is a must-try for anyone craving juicy Montreal-style rotisserie chicken. Their secret marinade, generous portions and affordable prices make the eatery a local favourite, especially for spicy sandwiches ($10) and poutine ($17).
Where: 1228, rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Why You Need To Go: This fine dining destination in Montreal's Ritz-Carlton Hotel has no shortage of accolades and has already won a Forbes Star Award this year. You can order exceptionally-prepared French dishes like rabbit with foie gras ($58) and scallops with Iberico ham ($65). The service is impeccable and a reliable choice for a luxurious night out.
Where: 150, rue Saint-Zotique Est
Reason to try: This Little Italy wine bar run by the same team behind Joe Beef, made it to the top tier of La Liste's rankings this year. With a charming outdoor terrace, playful bunny decor and creative dishes that complement the extensive wine list, it's no surprise why.
Where: 985, boul. Saint-Laurent, 6th floor
Reason to try: The sixth floor of the new Hampton by Hilton hotel, located at the southern edge of Chinatown, is home to Terrasse Carla. The restaurant offers a fusion of French bistro and modern Vietnamese cuisine and has gained recognition for its unique blend of flavours and charming ambiance, earning a spot at number 16 on Time Out's list of the "coolest secret restaurants on the continent."
Where: 1112, boul. de Maisonneuve Est
Why You Need To Go: This Village restaurant serves seasonal French cuisine with an emphasis on presentation — dishes are plated to showcase the ingredients' colours and textures. Vegetarian dishes include the $18 gnudi (ricotta-filled gnocchi) with squash and $18 beetroot tartlet. Meat options include $24 seal with plum emulsion and $26 scallops with Ontario peach. The rustic, intimate space is BYOW so you can pair your meal with a favourite vintage.
Where: 1840, rue Beaubien Est
Why You Need To Go: This trendy brunch staple near Plaza St-Hubert has an elegant vintage vibe. Expect a bustling atmosphere with bright decor and equally colourful juices. The pastry counter is stacked with appetizing baked goods, which you can sample with the "Un Peu de Tout" ($28). If you're more in the mood for savoury, the grilled cheese on walnut and pistacio bread with smashed potatoes ($21) is a treat.
Saint Sushi Plateau
Where: 424, ave Duluth Est
Why You Need To Go: This Plateau restaurant raked in rave reviews from Yelp's annual ranking for its high-quality rolls named after pop culture icons. The menu offers a range of prices, from budget-friendly options like the "Tupac" roll with shrimp and tempura ($17) to more expensive specialty rolls, like the soy-wrapped "Prince" with softshell crab and shrimp and mint ($22).
Where: 447, rue Saint Francois Xavier
Why You Need To Go: This gourmet French restaurant is located in a beautifully restored 19th-century building that was once home to the Bank of Montreal. The interior features grandiose chandeliers, opulent draperies and classic architectural details that create a luxurious atmosphere. You can fill up on beef bourguignon ($36) or scallop delight with truffle oil and mushroom fricassee ($48), as well as daily specials that highlight seasonal ingredients. Bonaparte has an extensive wine list, with over 500 labels, and wine pairing suggestions for each dish on the menu.
Where: 3609, rue Saint-Denis
Why You Need To Go: This Japanese-inspired vegan restaurant recreates the flavours and textures of traditional sushi with plant-based ingredients. The "Mumbai" futomaki, for instance, features mock shrimp, green onion and avocado ($7.5), while the "Jacque Épicé" is stuffed with fried jackfruit, mango, cucumber and kimchi ($8). Sushi Momo also offers creative desserts, like fried vegan ice cream ($10).
Where: 900, Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Why You Need To Go: Dining at this downtown destination is an elegant experience that comes recommended by Forbes and La Liste. The restaurant interior is sleek and stylish, with dim lighting that creates an intimate ambiance. The restaurant offers a tasting menu that changes to reflect seasonal ingredients, chef-driven creativity and contemporary French cuisine. The foie gras terrine with blueberry ($35) and Quebec lamb with squash purée ($64) are particularly popular. The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of wines, carefully curated by their sommelier to complement the food.
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