As any dedicated food expert will tell you, Montreal has quickly evolved into a leading dining destination in North America. It’s surpassed New York City’s restaurant roster only through the open-mindedness and sophistication of its chefs and locals, and tons of people are starting to take note. For a closer look into this culinary revolution, look no further than these 9 spots.
Written by Arielle Crane
Since it opened last May, Cul-Sec has become a respected casual dining mainstay. It’s a Little Italy wine shop by chef Martin Juneau where customers are required to purchased food by law, which is great for a restaurant that’s all about discovery. Pair their one-of-a-kind natural wine selections with crowd favorites like the house ricotta, beef tartare or smoked meat and enjoy its notably relaxed atmosphere.
29 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2S 1P7, Canada
Popular Instagram Chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard carefully unleashed Le Mousso last Fall, and it’s since received some of the best restaurant reviews in the country. Food is served in tasting-menu style with 30 open seats and a $60 prix fixe menu complete with some of the most inventive and artistically inspired dishes. No matter what your order (though really all are divine) each dish is assembled on beautifully handmade plates. It’s got minimal decor and communal-type tables so that the food can really take center stage, and it does.
1023 Rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2L 1P8, Canada
Les 400 Coups
Chef Jonathan Rossi of Les 400 Coups has successfully curated a menu that’s equally as local sourced as it is creative. The result is a restaurant that’s keen on sensibility and serving up delicious flavors. Les 400 Coups is located in the heart of Old Montreal with a lavishly posh interior. With main courses like the suckling pig, venison and veal tartare, customers know this place is supremely inventive and very Montreal.
400 Rue Notre-Dame Est, Montréal, QC H2X 1C8, Canada
Toqué! is a sure leader in Quebec’s gastronomy scene ever since its inception in 1993. It’s a product of Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche’s culinary imaginations with a slant towards market-fresh ingredients and fine wines. The atmosphere is relaxed but for people who are serious about foods and flavors hailing from the finest produce from Quebec. With Duck Magret and Guinea Foul as favorites off of the a la carte menu, it’s easy to see why this restaurant is a true reflection of Quebec’s exquisite cuisine and draws in diners from around the world.
900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 2B2, Canada
At the center of Old Montreal is the local hotspot Barroco, best known and for its chic and rustic vibe with the best short ribs and cocktails in town. It’s a sceney yet intimate restaurant that draws in a good-looking crowd, all who love the antiquity of the building (it dates back to the 1800s!). The menu has a Mediterranean slant served up with crazy-cool cocktails like the Passion Caiperoska, composed of lime, passion fruit, sugar cane and vodka. Step in for a thrill and comfy, cozy night out.
312 Rue Saint Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A3, Canada
One of the hottest restaurants in Montreal right now is also its most down to earth and family-oriented, which is exactly what ex-Toqué! chef Charles-Antoine Crête and owner intended. The restaurant, Montreal plaza, is a hot ticket for good reason; it’s got whimsical entrees that are hard to beat and the restaurant is like a revolving door for its patrons that seem to always be in 24/7. It’s menu is small and with little description, but don’t let that fool you; the dishes are all rich and savoury. Plus it’s located in Plaza St-Hubert, a neighborhood filled with a cool and interesting vibe that definitely seep through the restaurant’s walls.
6230 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal, QC H2S 2M2, Canada
Restaurant Manitoba is as easy-going as they come. It heavily focuses on farm-fresh cuisine inspired by nature and the forest, and is located in the industrial stretch of St-Zotique. The place is unparalleled in ambiance with groovy background music and the wine and food menus listed on a black chalkboard. Menu highlights include the Deer Steak and Chocolate Mousse dessert, but all of the appetizers are equally as delicious. Come for a highly organic experience complete with cocktails made with local plants, natural wines, and down-to-earth guests.
271 Rue Saint Zotique O, Montréal, QC H2V 1A4, Canada
3734 Epicerie Comptoir opened this past May and has been luring in huge crowds ever since. It’s a grocery store/boutique with an adjacent restaurant that serves up delights like cod fritters, a smoked cheddar burger and a serious brunch menu that includes bacon grilled cheese and pancakes. The atmosphere inside is airy and light with wooden bar stools that are perfect to sit on while enjoying a morning coffee and pastry.
3734 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC H4C 1P7,
The Caribou Gormand Bistro is owned by Inès and Guillaume Paimparay, a couple from Normandy, France serving up seasonal cuisine with a mixture of Quebec and Norman influences. A young couple, they were drawn to settle in Quebec, inspired by its openness and friendliness and their food elicits the same simple, warm approach. Popular bites include the Fish and Chips de Morue, Oeuf Frit, and the Shooter, all at reasonable prices. With a very cozy, cafe-like atmosphere and affordable high quality food, this place is a sure staple amongst Montreal food lovers.
5308 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1S1, Canada