Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants in Montreal Right Now

Published On 10/09/2017 Published On 10/09/2017
COURTESY OF HVOR
Courtesy of Salmigondis

Salmigondis

Petite Italie

After garnering enough praise for its dinners to last chef Brian Peters a lifetime, Salmigondis decided to venture into brunch and lunch territory, somehow becoming even more popular in the process. The hefty price tag says a lot about the quality of fare served here, where you'll find dishes like deer tartare, gnocchi bursting with umami, piglet bavette, and a damn good steak plate.

Courtesy of Provisions

Provisions

Outremont

A market-driven restaurant with a daily changing menu and plates that are as beautiful as paintings, Provisions has captured the hearts of diners and critics since coming onto the scene with its August 2015 soft launch. Come prepared to share, or go for a prix-fixe menu.

Le Fantome

Le Fantome

Griffintown

First making headlines with its peanut-butter and foie gras sandwich, Le FantĂ´me has gone on to prove that its whimsical spirit and attention to detail extends much further than revamped cult classics. Come here for beautiful dishes that are playful and elegant at the same time.

Courtesy of Nora Gray

Nora Gray

Griffintown

Modern Italian food with a relaxed, but upscale hipster vibe is the purview of this little Griffintown restaurant. Add to that an excellent wine list and one of the most affable chefs in town, and you’ve got yourself a winning formula.

Maison Publique | Farah Khan

Maison Publique

Plateau

A popular gastropub that is as appealing at nighttime as it is during brunch. The playground of Chef Derek Dammann, Maison Publique serves inventive dishes paired with some of the city’s best wines. Just don’t come here looking for Buffalo wings.

Lili Co.

Lili. Co

Mile End

Lili Co. has been on a roll pretty much from the moment it opened two years ago. And with gorgeous Italian-inspired plates, a carefully selected wine list, and eye-popping décor, its continuing success is no surprise.

Courtesy of Satay Brothers

Satay Brothers

Saint-Henri

It’s now been a few years that the Satay brothers have been offering their expertly made Singaporean fare to hungry Montrealers, and the lines just keeping going around the block. Its food is vibrant, fragrant, and cheap, and they're making laksa a household name in Quebec.

Courtesy of Montreal Plaza

Montréal Plaza

Petite Italie

The newest restaurant from the Toqué school of New Quebec cuisine is more accessible in cost, without sacrificing any of the style and aplomb that made the food styling famous. It’s a hot place in an unlikely venue, and we love it for that.

its_al_dente/Shutterstock

Sumac

Saint-Henri

Sumac has been open a little more than a year, but already garnered a following that would be impressive for a glitzy dinner club, let alone an affordable Middle Eastern eatery. We blame it on the combination of authentic dishes, the heavy yet balanced hand chef Raquel Zagoury has with spices, and those addictive French fries.

Damas

Damas

Outremont

After a devastating fire destroyed its previous location, most expected Damas to close its doors and take its excellent Syrian food elsewhere. However, when the restaurant reopened, it surprised everyone by serving bigger, better, and bolder dishes that bolstered its reputation and catapulted it into new heights of fame. Now, Damas is experiencing a renaissance, and you’d be mad not to give it a try.

Courtesy of La RĂ©colte

La RĂ©colte

Petite Italie

Critic-favourite La Récolte has progressed from being a popular brunch spot into the realm of farm-to-table dinners. Fresh ingredients, careful execution, and a flare for the avant-garde make this restaurant this summer’s hottest joint.

Pastaga

Pastaga

Petite Italie

Yes, it's in Little Italy. No, it's not an Italian restaurant. This upscale French eatery offers exquisite dinner and brunch options to a crowd of savvy diners, continually drawing rave reviews. With natural wines and an ever-changing menu, Pastaga is definitely doing the restaurant thing right.

Courtesy of Le Mousso

Le Mousso

The Gay Village

Possibly the most precious of the current-best restaurants in Montreal, Le Mousso’s is chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard’s modernist playground. Each dish here is visually stunning, eclipsed only by the unusual flavours -- a perfect place to bring a date you really, really want to impress over a seven-course meal in a warm, intimate environment.

Courtesy of 3734 Épicerie Comptoir

3734 Épicerie Comptoir

Saint-Henri

3734 Épicerie Comptoir quickly rebounded after being vandalized in its early days and captured our attention with comfort foods like kimchi hot dogs, bacon grilled cheese, and its house-made charcuterie platter. Nowadays, tables are tightly packed almost always, so you’d be well advised to be ready to peruse its grocery store aisles while you’re waiting for a seat

Courtesy of Hvor

Hvor

Griffintown

Though its name is a nod towards Nordic cuisine, don't expect a menu of hard-to-pronounce Danish words here. Hvor's ethos is driven by what's local and seasonal, an homage to Quebec farmers, and the most arresting view is what’s on your plate. And with a name that asks 'where,' it’s clear that Hvor’s answer to the question is 'right here.'

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Bouillon Bilk

Centre-Ville

Quietly, slowly, without too much fanfare or ostentatious headlines, Boullion Bilk has been making a name for itself as the best restaurant in Montreal. With a loyal following, tons of collective expertise, and a newly-redesigned space, this elegant restaurant is capturing the hearts and stomachs of food-savvy Montrealers. Get there for lunch to order the turkey confit (!) poutine.

Fletchers - Espace Culinaire

Fletchers - Espace Culinaire

Plateau-Mont-Royal

A part of the newly opened Museum of Jewish Montreal, Fletchers is more than just a run-of-the-mill museum café. It’s a repository of stories, lost Jewish traditions, and foods your bubbe only vaguely remembers. The gefilte fish sandwich here is hot, the rosewater-laced sweets are fragrant, and you may never want to leave.

SĂ©bastien LĂ©vesque

Agrikol

Gay Village

When Montreal indie darlings Arcade Fire announced they were opening a restaurant, many eyes were rolled across the city. Fast forward a few months later and Agrikol is already impressing how important its Haitian offerings -- the only restaurant cooking this cuisine in the city -- to Montreal. Come for popular and authentic dishes like oxtail and accra fritters; stay for the generous rum cocktails and tropical decor. It’s clear that this place has some bona fide chops.

Restaurant Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Petite Italie

Santa Barbara continues to riff off authentic European food with skill, flair, and an attention to detail that is usually reserved only for fine dining. This small hot spot is anything but pretentious, though: The portions are huge, the menu is ever-changing, and the salad nicoise is incredible. And you simply can’t pass up a taste of the restaurant's cocktails -- the bar program has been making a name for itself throughout the city.

Tiradito
 

Tiradito

Downtown

Upon first blush, the marriage between Peruvian cuisine, with its quinoa and corn, and Japanese, the mecca of simple and clean flavours, may seem like a tenuous one at best. But once you enter the bright world of Tiradito, taste Peruvian-style sashimi, and sip on an expertly concocted pisco cocktail, you too will be forced to leave your skepticism behind.

Campo

Campo

Ville-Marie

It doesn’t get much more irreverent than when the restaurateurs behind two of the best fine dining establishments in the city (Taverne F, Ferreira Café) decide to open a fast-food Portuguese chicken joint. But the food is so delicious that we're inclined to turn a blind eye to any/all infractions.

Restaurant Emiliano's

Emiliano's

Ville-Marie

In just a few short months, Executive Chef Carlos Flores has been able to position Emiliano’s as the place for high-end, authentic Mexican cuisine. Come here for the most refined tamales and cactus salad of your life.

Foiegwa

Foiegwa

St. Henri

One of Montreal’s newest late night hotspots is proving itself as more than just a place for good-looking people to come drown their sorrows in cocktails. The tartare here is excellent, but it’s the massive burgers and the hearty boeuf Bourguignon that have really captured our hearts at this French-American diner.

Arthurs Nosh Bar

Arthurs

St. Henri

Jewish food is having a moment in Montreal. In fact, it’s been having a moment for the past several years, but it may have reached its zenith with the opening of Arthurs Nosh Bar, an elevated Jewish deli experience that pays homage to New York's Russ and Daughters with home-smoked fish, big white plates, and cured meats that were just meant to be paired with a sharp pickle.

Restaurant Foxy

Foxy

Griffintown

The hipster revolution has made things like an all-organic menu, house-churned ice cream, and smoked butter sound like curse words, or at the very least bits from a Portlandia skit. But Foxy, the newest space from the team behind Old Montreal favourite Olive et Gourmando, does it all with style, grace, and a dedication to seasonal and delicious offerings that leaves us satisfied and distinctly unironic.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Salmigondis 6896 Saint-Dominique, Montreal, H2S 3B1

After garnering enough praise for its dinners to last chef Brian Peters a lifetime, Salmigondis decided to venture into brunch and lunch territory, somehow becoming even more popular in the process. The hefty price tag says a lot about the quality of fare served here, where you'll find dishes like deer tartare, gnocchi bursting with umami, piglet bavette, and a damn good steak plate.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Provisions 1268 Ave Van Horne, Outremont, H2V 1K5

This eatery focuses locally-sourced, farm-fresh ingredients to create a rotating menu, with selections such as: grapefruit and coriander seed yogurt, beef tartare with roasted eggplant, and foie gras and pig's head terrine with cherries.

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3. Le Fantome 1840 Rue William, Montréal, H3J 1R5

First making headlines with its peanut-butter and foie gras sandwich, Le FantĂ´me has gone on to prove that its whimsical spirit and attention to detail extends much further than revamped cult classics. Come here for beautiful dishes that are playful and elegant at the same time.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Nora Gray 1391 Rue St-Jacques, Montreal, H3C 1H2

Emma Cardarelli, a prominent chef, and Ryan Grey, a sommelier & mixologist, came together to create a menu of food with perfect pairings of wine or cocktails. The menu includes Southern Italian inspired dishes like Atlantic Halibut with corn & pepper, Zucchini risotto with grilled mushrooms & pine nuts, and Squid ink scarpinocc with lobster sausage and bisque, while the drink menu covers wines, beer, cocktails, and liquors.

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5. Maison Publique 4720, rue Marquette, Montreal, H2J 3Y6

A popular gastropub that is as appealing at nighttime as it is during brunch. The playground of Chef Derek Dammann, Maison Publique serves inventive dishes paired with some of the city’s best wines. Just don’t come here looking for Buffalo wings.

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6. Lili.Co 4675 St Laurent, Montreal, H2T 1K8

Once a tiny restaurant in the Plateau, Lili.Co has moved farther north into the heart of Mile End and into a much larger space to accommodate the scores of Montrealers who already love the resto's cuisine. The improved space offers more cocktails, a later dinner service, and brunch to all those craving a salmon Banh xèo, one of the many European and Asian-inspired dishes to grace the menu.

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7. Satay Brothers 3721 Rue Notre Dame O, Montreal, H4C 1P8

Here you'll find the best Singaporean food in all of Montreal. The Satay brothers have been offering their expertly made Singaporean fare to hungry Montrealers for years, and the lines just keeping going around the block. Its food is vibrant, fragrant, and cheap, and they're making laksa a household name in Quebec.

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8. Montréal Plaza 6230, rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, H2S 2M2

A restaurant from the Toqué school of New Quebec cuisine, Plaza offers affordable options and delivers half specials and half classics in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

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9. Sumac 3618 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, H4C 1P5

Authentic dishes paired with affordable prices make this Middle Eastern eatery (and those addictive fries) a Montreal favorite.

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10. Damas 1201 Van Horne, Montreal, H2V 1K4

Focusing on Syrian cuisine, the menu at Damas brings tons of flavor and complex dishes. Order from the more traditional dishes, like Kibbé, Falafel, and Humus Lahmé (hummus with cubed lamb), to get authentic Middle Eastern flavors.

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11. La Récolte 764, rue Bélanger, Montréal, H2S 1C6

Critic-favourite La RĂ©colte has progressed from being a popular brunch spot into the realm of farm-to-table dinners. Fresh ingredients, careful execution, and a flare for the avant-garde make this restaurant this one of the hottest in the city.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Pastaga 6389, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal,

Yes, it's in Little Italy. No, it's not an Italian restaurant. This upscale French eatery offers exquisite dinner and brunch options to a crowd of savvy diners, continually drawing rave reviews. With natural wines and an ever-changing menu, Pastaga is definitely doing the restaurant thing right.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Le Mousso 1023 Ontario Est, Montréal-Est, h2l1p8

Possibly the most precious of the current-best restaurants in Montreal, Le Mousso’s is chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard’s modernist playground. Each dish here is visually stunning, eclipsed only by the unusual flavours -- a perfect place to bring a date you really, really want to impress over a seven-course meal in a warm, intimate environment.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. 3734 Épicerie Comptoir 3734 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, H4C 1P7

This corner bistro/boutique food store serves a small menu of upscale comfort foods on a beautiful sidewalk terrace that boasts some of Montreal's best people-watching. The grocery store section is filled with products and produce from a multitude of local vendors, and the restaurant cooks with the same fresh ingredients daily. The regular menu features comfort foods like bacon grilled cheese alongside more adventuresome options like kimchi hot dogs and grilled octopus. Brunch service on the weekend is especially popular, with some of the best egg dishes in the city. The little space fills up quickly, so be sure to make a reservation.

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15. Hvor 1414 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal,

Although its name is a nod towards Nordic cuisine, don't expect a menu of hard-to-pronounce Danish words here. Hvor's ethos is driven by what's local and seasonal, an homage to Quebec farmers, and the most arresting view is what’s on your plate. And with a name that asks 'where,' it’s clear that Hvor’s answer to the question is 'right here.' Hvor also has a phenomenal garden, which is located in the middle of the restaurant's own organic garden.

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16. Bouillon Bilk 1595, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2X 2S9

Quietly, slowly, without too much fanfare or ostentatious headlines, Boullion Bilk has been making a name for itself as the best restaurant in Montreal. With a loyal following, tons of collective expertise, and a newly-redesigned space, this elegant restaurant is capturing the hearts and stomachs of food-savvy Montrealers. Get there for lunch to order the turkey confit (!) poutine.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
17. Fletchers 4040, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2W 1Y8

The restaurant space in the Museum of Jewish Montreal, Fletchers merges Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions into its menu of creative Jewish cuisine. The bagel selection is a predictable draw, with specials ranging from a Moroccan sandwich made with preserved lemon cream cheese and ras-al hanout spiced gravlox to crispy pizza bagels. Many menu items are based on traditional Eastern European dishes (borscht, knishes, and pierogies), while others turn familiar concepts upside down (bagel bread pudding and gefilte fish sandwiches).

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18. Agrikol 1844, rue Amherst, Montréal, H2L 3L6

Housed in a white-washed cottage and marked by a bright pink light in the doorway, Agrikol is a popular Haitian food and cocktail haven co-owned by members of Arcade Fire. The colorful and lively space is named after the style of rum distilled from cane juice, so you know the liquor is going to be taken seriously here. The rum selection runs 40 bottles deep, and though cocktails are the highlight, a bottle of Prestige -- Haiti's national lager -- will do just fine for beer loyalists. The Caribbean dishes, like fried plantain discos and lamb-tossed rice, are made for soaking up booze.

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19. Restaurant Santa Barbara 6696 Rue de Saint Vallier, Montreal, H2S 2P7

This fine resto specializes in vegetarian fare, but be sure to try out some of their unique craft cocktails (like the Cocktail en Vedette with tequila, honey, lemon, and sage) in addition to your veggie-centric meal.

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20. Tiradito 1076, rue de Bleury, Montréal, H2Z 1N1

Tiradito is a tribute to Nikkei cuisine, the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors that was born in the 1800s when South America received a wave of Japanese immigrants. Chef Marcel Larrea studied under Peru's celebrated chef Gaston Acurio, and he puts his learned knowledge to use in a menu where both cultures shine.

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21. Campo 1108 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montréal, H3A 1M7

At Campo, a Portuguese chicken fast food joint, you can enjoy your local, grain-fed chicken dishes in the modern, decidedly not-fast-food-looking restaurant … or take it to go. All chicken dishes feature the 24-hour Piri Piri and Portuguese olive oil marinated chicken, so whether you get the whole grilled chicken, wings, or the local-favorite poutine, they all have a spicy kick. While they have Portuguese wine on tap and in bottles from the family vineyard in Portugal, they also serve a Portuguese blonde Super Bock that is arguably the best thing to wash down all that poulet. Pro tip: even though it’s a chicken shop, the juicy Piri Piri baby back ribs with a honey finish fall right off the bone.

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22. Emiliano's 260 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T3, Montréal, H2Y 1T5

Sit upstairs or down at this comfortable, upscale Mexican restaurant that makes a point to serve more than just tacos — although the ones on the menu are pretty outstanding. The menu features familiar favorites like tacos, quesadillas, ceviches, tamales, and guacamole, but Emiliano’s throws in a twist that elevates the cuisine at least one notch. It serves grilled Queso Fresco with mango and avocado, a chipotle beef tartare, a mouth-on-fire octopus ceviche, sweet and spicy chicken tinga tacos, a lobster and shrimp quesadilla, beautifully plated mole tamales, and, to top it all off, Patron Flan. Emiliano’s doesn’t just stick to just tequila drinks (although it has a great tequila list), it serves cocktails like the Coco Loco (spiced rum, apricot brandy, pineapple, and coconut).

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23. Foiegwa 3001, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, H4C 1N9

French fare is combined with the American penchant for casualness and large portions at Foiegwa, whose name is a play on how we barbarians so often mispronounce the French delicacy. The concept fuses French cuisine with American diner sensibilities, so expect dishes like onion soup, garlic butter escargot, and croque madam served in a white-tiled space devoid of the stuffiness typical of formal French restaurants. Sketches of famous Montreal natives lining the walls remind you that you're in French-speaking territory, while milkshakes and Coke floats transport you to an old-school New York soda fountain.

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24. Arthurs 4621 Notre-Dame O, Montréal,

Arthurs Nosh Bar takes on Eastern European Jewish staples like chicken liver, gravlax, pickled salmon, as well as Sephardic dishes like shakshuka. Anything but a deli, Arthurs celebrates a traditional cuisine with fresh takes on ingredients, using Quebec strawberry jam in its blintzes and fresh beets in its borscht. Tradition is also given a facelift in Arthurs décor, combining a penny-tiled floor and black-and-white family photos with bistro chairs and letter board menus.

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25. Foxy 1638, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, H3J 1M1

Griffintown's Foxy revolves around its wood-fired oven, without which dishes like charred coleslaw with pulled duck and Parmesan, blackened chicken thighs tossed with avocado tomatillo salsa, and oven-baked pita with house feta would not be possible. The 68-seat space is cozy, with stacks of firewood and modern light fixtures creating a juxtaposing warmth.