In a city whose cultural identity shifts between British, French, and North American, it seems like pretty much as good a place as any to have a huge surge in the popularity of the awesome Japanese pubs known as izakayas, which serve shareable Japanese bar food known as sakana, and which’ve only gotten cooler after the militant Parti Quebecois started hating on them. Here are the city’s best:
Montreal's greatest izakayas. Also: what an izakaya is.
It may be Big in Japan, but Montreal loves it too. This Japanese izakaya was visited by Anthony Bourdain and he certainly loved the sake, and you will too, as well as the green tea-braised spare ribs.
This slick Japanese izakaya offers over 25 varieties of sake and wine, an impressive sushi bar, and killer cocktails like the wasabi-infused Kyo Cesar or Sake Colada.
By day, this Mile End cafe serves up fresh homemade donuts, sodas, and lunch items, as well as piping-hot coffee from Kittel and Phil & Sebastien. By night, it transforms into Izakaya Iwashi, serving Japanese fare made by expert Chef Hachiro Fujise.
Always packed to the brim (and more often than not with Japanese ex-pats), this izakaya serves a variety of sake and Japanese fare, and don't miss out on their heralded takoyaki octopus balls.