Montreal's Most Authentic Italian Restaurants

16 spots that rival nonna's home cooking.
Staff Writer
Montreal's Most Authentic Italian Restaurants

From pizza to pasta, and homemade comfort food, Montreal has it all. Thanks to an abundant Italian population, the city's culinary landscape has been shaped by Italian influence in a uniquely singular way.

Montrealers LOVE their Italian food and will go to great lengths to defend their favourite restaurant. So scroll on down and see if your favourite made the list.

TL;DR  MTL Blog brings you a list of Montreal's most authentic Italian restaurants.

Okay, full disclosure - I'm not Italian. 

Just thought I should make that clear before you all come after me in the comments section. After all, because its Montreal, most of my high school's graduating class was Italian. Back then, Jersey Shore was all the rage. So yeah, you can say I've been around my fair share of Italians. Let's hope I can do this list justice, for all our sakes! 

Without further ado, here are Montreal's most authentic Italian restaurants! 

Restaurant Tre Marie 

Since 1967, Restaurant Tre Marie has been serving up some of the most authentic Italian food in Montreal. Their Osso Bucco and pasta trios are a hit with their faithful customers who frequently visit the Tre Marie for consistently awesome food and inviting atmosphere. Still owned and operated by three generations of the Fabrizio family, Tre Marie is a classic and unpretentious choice for authentic Italian eats. They even have a line of homemade sauces that you can take home!

Where: 6934 rue Clark

Check it out here!

Restaurant Épik 

Tucked inside Hotel Épik on St. Paul Street, this Old Port gem is easy to miss if you're walking around aimlessly. Stay awhile when you find it because Restaurant Épik is serious about providing an authentic Italian experience in a chic setting. Enjoy the decadence of their seafood risotto, paired with wine from their extensive list. One thing that Épik does right above all is their incredible service. They seriously have some of the best waiters that I've ever seen in Montreal.

Where: 171 Saint-Paul W

Check it out here!

Parma Cafe 

Parma Cafe is a favourite for many Montrealers. With amazing sandwiches, coffee, pizza, and pasta, Parma is the perfect lunch choice. Don't let the hip vibes throw you off, Parma Cafe is as authentic as they come. Using fresh ingredients and the most classic recipes, Parma Cafe is a little slice of nonna's kitchen in bustling downtown Montreal.

Where: 1202 Bishop & 505 de la Gauchetiere

Check it out here!

Cafe Gentile

Cafe Gentile is another classic Montreal institution that serves up some of the most delicious dishes and coffee in the city. Opened in 1959 by the Gentile family by way of Sicily, the cafe is a historic landmark that offers authentic dishes in a modern setting. They still use Nonna Theresa's original recipes so you're guaranteed the most authentic Italian food possible!

Where: 4126 Sainte-Catherine & 9299 Parc Ave

Check it out here!


Impasto is a legendary Montreal restaurant that some say is the most authentic Italian experience in the city. Pretty much everything is made in house with fresh ingredients from nearby markets. Owner and chef Stefano Faita aim to provide their customers with the best Italian food, using only original recipes. It's upscale and classy, to be sure, but Impasto is absolutely a must-try if you're looking for authentic Italian eats.

Where: 48 rue Dante

Check it out here!

Il Focolaio 

Since 1984, Il Focolaio has been synonymous with amazing pizza in Montreal. Some might even say it's the best pizza in the city. Even if you disagree, Il Focolaio is undeniably delicious and authentic. With 100 or so pizza options to choose from, Il Focolaio will never disappoint. They even have gluten-free and lactose-free options!

Where: 1223 Place Phillips

Check it out here!

Da Emma 

Some would say Da Emma is the most authentic Italian restaurant in Montreal. I mean, how can you disagree when Nonna Emma is still in the kitchen making food for her adoring customers? Da Emma is an Old Port institution located in the basement of an old heritage building. which gives the restaurant an undeniable coziness and warmth. Da Emma is fine dining that feels like home. With a daily changing menu, be sure to visit as often as possible!

Where: 777 rue de la Commune W

Check it out here!

Cafe Via Dante 

Cafe Via Dante is one of those classic unpretentious Little Italy restaurants that serves up some delicious coffee and incredibly comforting Italian dishes. Their menu is sourced from nearby Jean Talon Market and is fresh every day. It's a tiny menu with classics such as polenta, gnocchi, and quite possibly the best rabbit dish in the city. Owner Renato Trogi prides himself on using quality ingredients and authentic family recipes for one of the best Italian experiences in the city.

Where: 251 rue Dante

Check it out here!

Caffe Italia 

Many Montreal Italians will tell you that the best Italian atmosphere in the city is at Caffe Italia in Little Italy. Sipping espresso and eating a cannoli while watching some soccer at Caffe Italia will make you forget that you're in Montreal. With a bustling environment that boasts a great summer terrace, Caffe Italia is a slice of an Italian village cafe in Montreal.

Where: 6840 St Laurent

Check it out here!

Barcola Bistro 

Barcola Bistro is a small restaurant tucked away on Parc Ave that offers delectable Northern Italian dishes in a warm setting. Chef Fabrizio Caprioli graces diners with a phenomenal menu that changes daily. Risotto, homemade pasta, meat, and seafood are the highlights at Barcola Bistro and the wine pairings are expertly crafted by a dedicated staff.

Where: 5607 Parc Ave

Check it out here!

Pizzeria Napoletana 

There is perhaps no other pizza place in Montreal that is more famous than Pizzeria Napoletana in Little Italy. People from all over have flocked to this Montreal institution to experience some of the finest pizza this side of Naples. If you haven't gone yet, stop what you're doing and go right now.

Where:189 rue Dante

Check it out here!

Cafe Bistro La Marinara 

Cafe Bistro La Marinara is reminiscent of a Roman bistro in the middle of a square. Though, instead of Rome, you're in downtown Montreal! La Marinara is known for deliciously authentic homemade Italian food that uses the freshest ingredients. You'll get five-star quality Italian cooking in a lowkey setting should you grab a spot at La Marinara.

Where: 1218 Stanley

Check it out here!

Il Pagliaccio 

Il Pagliaccio is a perfect little Italian ambiance in the middle of the Plateau. Delightfully tasty classic Italian dishes is Il Pagliaccio's specialty, making homemade pasta and regular menu updates. The surface here is bar-none and the carefully curated menu will keep you coming back for more.

Where: 365 Laurier O

Check it out here!

Trattoria Trestevere 

Trattoria Trestevere feels like somewhere Tony Soprano would go for a birthday party but in all the right ways. The restaurant is old-school, classic Italian with emphasis on the classic. Hidden away from the club kids along Crescent Street, Trattoria Trestevere is one of Montreal's primo Italian restaurants if you're looking for that old-school, truly authentic vibe.

Where: 1237 rue Crescent

Check it out here!

Chez Ennio 

Chez Ennio is yet another restaurant that Tony Soprano would be happy to dine in. Located on de Maisonneuve, away from all the noise on St. Catherine, Chez Ennio is a BYOW restaurant that specializes in comforting, homemade Italian specialties. Chef Ennio himself might even greet you at the door and tell you some crazy stories before he lovingly prepares an amazing meal.

Where: 1978 de Maisonneuve

Check it out here!


@ameliaspizzaembedded via

Amelia's has some of the most delicious pizza in the whole city. This popular Plateau pizza shop is famous for its white pizza and incredible bustling atmosphere that people love. It's BYOW and cash only, so make sure to come prepared!

Where: 201 rue Milton

Check it out here!

Whatever your desire, Montreal's most authentic Italian restaurants will leave you speechless and impress that date. You might even impress nonna! Let's be real, who doesn't love a warm plate of pasta?

Happy eating, Montreal!

Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer
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