Montreal Restaurants

Montréal has one of Canada's most cosmopolitan restaurant scenes with trendy new eateries popping up regularly, their menus heavily influenced by flavors from around the globe, and often with an added touch of French flair.

Montréal's top dining destinations are plentiful, especially as young chefs move to hip destinations in Mile End and the Plateau areas to open new restaurants. Downtown, convenient to many hotels, finds most of its restaurants clustered between rues Guy and Peel and on the side streets that run between boulevard René-Lévesque and rue Sherbrooke. Rue St-Denis and boulevard St-Laurent, between rues Sherbrooke and Jean Talon, have long been, and continue to be, convenient and fashionable areas, with everything from sandwich shops to high-price gourmet shrines. Old Montréal, too, has a collection of well-regarded restaurants, most of them clustered on rue St-Paul, avenue McGill, and place Jacques-Cartier.

You can usually order à la carte, but make sure to look for the table d'hôte, a two- to four-course package deal. It's often more economical, offers interesting specials, and may also take less time to prepare. For a splurge, consider a menu dégustation, a five- to seven-course tasting menu that generally includes soup, salad, fish, sherbet (to cleanse the palate), a meat dish, dessert, and coffee or tea. A menu dégustation for two, along with a good bottle of wine, will cost around C$250.

Most restaurants will have an English menu or, at the very least, a bilingual menu—but some might only be in French. If you don't understand what a dish is, don't be too shy to ask; a good server will be happy to explain. If you feel brave enough to order in French, remember that in Montréal an entrée is an appetizer, and what Americans call an entrée is a plat principal, or main dish.

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  • 1. Ikanos

    $$$$ | Old Montréal

    A far cry from the cliché-clad tavernas found elsewhere in the city, Ikanos serves refined Aegean gastronomy in an elegant and sleek environment. No blue-and-white...Read More

  • 2. Impasto

    $$$ | Little Italy

    This unpretentious, industrial-chic Little Italy restaurant has garnered a great reputation, thanks in part to its celebrity-chef owners, Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione. Start by...Read More

  • 3. La Croissanterie Figaro

    $$ | Outremont

    The self-proclaimed "un coin perdu de Paris" is famous for its wraparound patio, Parisian vibe, an 100-year-old corner building featuring stained glass and woodwork, an...Read More

  • 4. Le Virunga

    $$$$ | The Plateau

    A mother-daughter team helm this delightfully cozy pan-African Québécois fusion restaurant in Le Plateau. Innovative and well executed dishes like cassava couscous with okra and...Read More

  • 5. Leméac

    $$$$ | Outremont

    Open since 2001, this sophisticated French bistro pleases Montrealers with its flawless classics and its heated wraparound outdoor terrace. Regulars gravitate toward dishes such as...Read More

  • 6. Moishe's

    $$$$ | The Plateau

    Elegant and old-school, Montréal's premier steak house has been in the Lighter family since 1938 and family members have consistently been hands-on when it comes...Read More

  • 7. Da Emma

    $$$$ | Old Montréal

    The cellar of what used to be Montréal's first women's prison hardly sounds like the ideal setting for an Italian eatery, but grandma Emma's cooking...Read More

  • 8. Les 400 Coups

    $$$ | Old Montréal

    This low-key destination is the perfect spot for an intimate yet elevated meal, where diners can safely anticipate irreproachable dishes (including the $125, five-course tasting...Read More

  • 9. Nora Gray

    $$$$ | Verdun

    The crowd that fills this casual and lively spot nightly is hip, and the simple, modern Southern Italian comfort food and impeccable service keeps them...Read More

  • 10. Restaurant le H4C

    $$$$ | Verdun

    Housed inside a stately former bank topped by a clock tower, this well-worth-the-trek restaurant uses the bank's old vault as a walk-in cellar, while the...Read More

  • 11. Tapeo

    $$ | Villeray

    Bringing tapas uptown, this Spanish-inspired eatery is a chic yet casual place to drink imported wines and share a few small plates. The Tapeo version...Read More

  • 12. Birks Café par Europea

    $$$ | Downtown

    Because where else could you possibly treat yourself to afternoon tea while sitting in a 150-year-old diamond store? A visit to Birks Café is not...Read More

  • 13. Laloux

    $$$ | The Plateau

    Priding itself on an exemplary environmental approach, cuisine at Laloux is in one word "fresh," based on ultra local ingredients like juniper berries, sea buckthorn,...Read More

  • 14. M.Mme

    $$$ | Outremont

    With a simple but slick decor of exposed brick walls, natural woods, and leather chairs and banquettes, the scene-stealer in this trendy wine bar is...Read More

  • 15. Mezcla

    $$$ | The Village

    This South-American restaurant specializes in modern interpretations of Peruvian cuisine. Its aromatic dishes will win any wavering heart the minute the first dish arrives at...Read More

  • 16. Osteria Venti

    $$$ | Old Montréal

    Authentic regional Italian cuisine comes to life at this restaurant, housed in a rustic 200-year-old building on a cobblestone street in historic Old Montréal. You...Read More

  • 17. Van Horne

    $$$ | Outremont

    The tiny 28-seat restaurant is decorated in neutral tones yet stuns with its choice of imposing and unique art pieces like a collection of colorful...Read More

  • 18. Le Fantôme

    $$$$ | Verdun

    Equal parts whimsy and polish, Le Fantôme—widely touted as one of Canada's best restaurants—offers an exciting dining experience. Rather than a typical à-la-carte menu, diners...Read More

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