Facebook/Chez Sophie
Shawn K. Thompson
Facebook/T & T Tacos and Tortas
Facebook/Mile-Ex Restaurant et Traiteur
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1. Chez Sophie 1974, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal, H3J 1M8

After years abroad and many successful restaurants later, Chef Sophie Tabet brings her elegant French cuisine (with Italian influences) to the city that saw her career debut. If dinner prices are a little too steep for your budget (mains between $29-$36), go for lunch (table d’hôte, $25), brunch ($15), or for a drink and order from the bar menu.

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2. Ma'tine 1310 Maisonneuve Est, Montreal, H2L 2A5

This Ville-Marie spot features cafe fare in the morning, bistro/takeout at lunch, and 5 Ă  7 snacks with natural wines and a gorgeous terrasse.

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3. Pizzeria GEMA 6827 St-Dominique, Montreal, H2S

This 50-seater in Little Italy offers pizzas ($13-$18) cooked in an electric deck oven imported from Northern Italy (no fire!), classic Italian starters like fried calamari, meatballs, as well as frozen custard from Laiterie Chagnon for dessert.

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4. T & T tacos and tortas 51, rue Rachel Ouest, Montreal, H2W 1G2

As its name indicates, partners Alberto Rivera and Chef Demetrio Vasquez bring you classic Mexican fare like well, tacos and tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches), and make all of their tortillas, buns, and churros in-house.

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5. Tapas 24 420, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, H2Y 1V3

This Old Montreal spot is perfect to indulge in a menu loaded with classic Spanish tapas, as well as an extensive wine list put together by leading sommelier, François Chartier.

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6. Sa-Fran 3979 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, H2W 2M4

Japanese sushi bar meets French bistro cuisine at this Plateau spot, and it goes beyond “fusion” -- downtempo music included -- while offering contemporary dishes from both cultures, in separate menus, that pair well following each other, courtesy of Chefs François Leleu and Satoshi Matsumoto.

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7. Foyer 3532 Notre Dame Ouest, Montreal, H4C 1P3

Located in the booming food scene of St-Henri, Foyer swears by its wood-burning oven to deliver classics, as well as comfort food options (onion soup pizza, anyone?). They also compose market-fresh dishes, daily, except Sunday when they are closed.

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8. Spoum 6631 Jeanne-Mance, Montreal, H2V

Located in Restaurant Mile-Ex, this ice cream bar serves sorbets, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and "spoum", which is a British-style ice cream that has the consistency of a mousse. Plus, you can also get pastry chef Valentin Wajda’s bite-sized treats AND dog ice cream. Seriously.