16 Spots You Should Go To So You Can Eat Your Way Through Montreal's Plateau
Not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
With some of the city's top rated restaurants, bars, and cafes, the Plateau is the ultimate hotspot to discover some of the best eats in Montreal. From classic, long-time diners, to new and trendy places, the Plateau never fails when it comes to the food scene.
Out of the dozens of incredible food options available, it can be hard to know which ones to hit up when you're on limited time, or just in the neighbourhood to hang out and explore. Thus, I present you with the one day food guide to the Plateau - I hope you're hungry, because this one requires a serious appetite.
1. Head to Fairmount Bagel for your early morning breakfast
Every good morning starts with a fresh, classic Montreal bagel. While the famed St-Viateur Bagel is perhaps mentioned more often than Fairmount, I assure you, this bagel bakery is just as, if not better. I'll leave that controversial debate up to you, but either way, make sure to start your day with one of these warm, delicious bagels.
2. Grab an expertly made espresso or cappuccino from Cafe Nocturne
This hipster coffee bar makes a mean cup of joe, however you take it. Aside from the awesome decor and peaceful ambiance, Nocturne has some great features, such as: a place to bring your bike inside, almond, coconut, and soy milk substitutes for dairy, and a wide variety of newspapers for you to enjoy.
3. For second breakfast (or brunch), go to L'Avenue
If you live in the Plateau or frequent it, chances are you know about the amazing Restaurant L'Avenue. Their brunch is so good, and the crowds you'll find here on a weekend morning are a clear indication of that. But let me assure you, this is one of those popular spots that are definitely worth waiting in line for. So stick it out, and you won't be disappointed. I mean, carrot cake pancakes!? I'll wait an eternity for you.
4. For a healthy boost, try a fresh juice from Aux Vivres
The ever beloved vegan restaurant Aux Vivres is a staple of the Plateau, but it's not only a sit-down eatery. They also have a takeout counter where you can order their delicious, fresh, and super healthy juices to go. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, this would be a great lunch spot for you, but otherwise, everyone should check out Aux Vivres for a great health kick in the middle of their Plateau pig-out day.
5. Make your way to Ma Poule Mouillee for a quick, casual lunch
At this point, I think I've given Ma Poule Mouillee more love than my entire family - and I know that sounds dramatic, but honestly, once you try the Portuguese chicken here you'll understand why. Ranking among the best in all of Montreal, this casual, friendly restaurant crafts this classic Portuguese dish to perfection. Head here for a laid back lunch, and don't hold yourself back; no regrets, just chicken.
6. For an upscale sit-down lunch, head to Plein Sud
With seasonal set menus and great wine selections, lunching at Plein Sud definitely means dining in style. If you like your lunches a little more fancy, then this Plateau favourite is the place for you. A friendly, intimate environment makes this a great place to come with family and close friends.
7. For a mid afternoon coffee or tea, relax at the beautiful Cafe Santropol
No words or description can do this place justice: you just have to go there and experience the absolute magic of Cafe Santropol's garden terrasse. A perfect place to wile away a lazy summer afternoon, sip on one of their artisanal coffees (pro tip: the iced chai latte is where it's at) and enjoy the peace and quiet.
8. Treat yourself to a sweet pick-me-up from Au Kouign Amann
This modest little bakery makes some of the most delicious traditional treats, and their almond croissant? Be prepared to cry tears of joy. But their speciality, of course, is the kouign amann, a classic French pastry that is essentially layers of dough wrapped with butter and sugar, ten times over. Sound like heaven? It definitely is. Give yourself a much needed sugar rush to propel you into the next feasting phase.
9. For pre-dinner cocktails, make your way to La Distillerie no. 1
This ever-popular cocktail bar has a few locations throughout the city, and luckily, one of their best is situated right in the Plateau. Home to a wide selection of ultra-creative, tasty mason jar cocktails, La Distillerie is the perfect place to get your spirits lifted and your good vibes flowing. The place tends to get quite busy as the evening goes on, so that's why its perfect for a pre-dinner drink - arrive at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., and you likely won't have to wait in line.
10. For a fun dinner with great atmosphere, try Saint Sushi Bar
Both veteran and first-time sushi eaters will completely fall in love with Saint Sushi Bar. The staff are friendly and welcoming, the place is always bustling, and the vibes are awesome all around. Due to the sharing nature of sushi, this is a perfect place to bring your friends and try a ton of different dishes and sushi combos. Nestled on lovely Duluth street, you'll leave Saint Sushi satisfied beyond belief.
11. Feel like dabbling on the fancier side? Enjoy a steak at Moishes
One of Montreal's best steakhouses, bar none, Moishes is a dinner spot that will no doubt wow you and your company. While it is on the pricier end of the Plateau restaurant spectrum, you get what you pay for and more: the quality of the steak and the rest of the food is exceptional. But, here's a pro tip: if you're willing to wait until after 9:00 p.m. for dinner, Moishes has a special menu with cheaper offerings, and you can get an amazing steak meal for around $30.
12. Are you a foodie who loves a good cocktail? Go to Majestique
Because of its reputation as a great drinking spot, Majestique's food often gets forgotten about - which is ridiculous, because they serve some of the best seafood fare (including oysters) in Montreal. An excellent place to go for a late dinner, Majestique hits all the marks when it comes to inventive dishes, great cocktails, a fun atmosphere, and a unique ambiance. Experience the magic of this Plateau restaurant and keep it on your short list.
13. For dessert, grab a decadent ice cream from La Diperie
I don't think I need to say much about La Diperie that you haven't already heard: it's one of Montreal's most favourite ice cream spots, and it is truly delicious. From dip flavours like oreo, lavender, and cookie dough, to toppings ranging from sprinkles, to pretzels, to banana slices, La Diperie simply can't disappoint. A true staple of the Plateau, your foodie experience in this borough is just not complete without a trip to this cheery little ice cream shop.
14. To get your evening buzz going, hit up Le Reservoir
A friendly neighbourhood bar that brews their own beer, Le Reservoir is an awesome place to get your night on the town started. From their lovely open-concept rooftop terrasse, you can watch the night's festivities begin to unfold alongside some of their great craft pints.
15. For a classic Plateau post-bar experience, grab some $2 chow mein
An unwritten, yet widely accepted rule: you can only, you must only, eat $2 chow mein while intoxicated. Anything else is just blasphemy. Yes, all it consists of are cheap crispy chow mein noodles doused in melted peanut butter, but regardless, the experience of eating what Montrealers lovingly call "two chow" is a coveted tradition at this point. You really can't say you've experienced the Plateau without lining up here at 2:30 a.m. and watching the chaos unfold. Experience it for yourself, and I guarantee you'll walk away with a story to tell.
16. And finally, for a post-bar poutine, head to the famous La Banquise
Just like La Diperie or the aforementioned Two Chow, a food tour of the Plateau must include La Banquise, a Montreal institution that continually serves up some of the best poutine in the city. It's quite telling that this place tends to get busiest between the hours of 1:00-3:00 a.m.; it's a popular stop over for many post-bar patrons. But really, no matter what time of day you head there, La Banquise provides the poutine experience of a lifetime.