The past 12 months have been exciting for Montreal. We've seen everything from upscale Filipino food to fancy donuts, and hopefully 2016 will bring us fancy Filipino donuts. Until then, let's honor this year's best and brightest, with a satisfyingly broad range of awards. So without further ado, here's Montreal's best of everything 2015:
The Thrillist Awards: Montreal's Best New Food & Drink of 2015
Best new line that's worth waiting in
AdamoAddress and Info
When Campanelli’s announced they would open an old-fashioned, New York-style pizza parlour in St. Henri, Montrealers immediately felt their breath quicken. So when Adamo finally opened in September, after months of anticipation, the lines immediately stretched around the block. Though this joint offers only a limited selection of toppings (mozzarella, basil, and pepperoni), sold by the slice -- at $3.75 for a giant piece, this bargain wasn’t lost on Montrealers -- and the lines continue.
Best food truck turned brick-and-mortar
Landry et FillesAddress and Info
Plateau Mont Royal
Tucked away on a quiet part of Papineau, Landry et Filles is one of those gems that once you discover you just can’t get out of your mind. Whether it’s the fried chicken or the lovely, homey atmosphere, Landry et Filles has got us charmed.
Notre-Boeuf-de-GrâceAddress and Info
You may not think of going all the way to NDG for burgers, but for Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce, you should. With homemade condiments, beef ground freshly on-site, and an excellent veggie burger (with options for a lettuce bun if you’re so inclined), NBG seems set to please all palates -- and so far, it’s succeeding. One word of advice? Have patience, because apparently, good burgers take some time to prepare.
Best new pizza
Gema PizzeriaAddress and Info
Pizzeria Gema is the name on everyone’s lips as they yearn for a perfectly crisp wood-fire-oven-baked Italian pie. Even though the food served here is as traditional as they come, the meticulous level of execution and the incredible energy of the staff and owners creates a buzz that sets Gema Pizzeria apart from most other pizza joints.
Best new brewery
Boswell Brasserie ArtisanaleAddress and Info
Plateau Mont Royal
Boswell Brasserie Artisanale demonstrates an adherence to local products that is the envy of hipster market-driven restaurants. Come here for well-loved brewpub classics like fish ’n’ chips, or try one of their more adventures specials like chicken karaage with kimchi; but whatever you do, don’t forget to grab a cold, tall pint of local beer, one of the 20 (!) they have on tap.
Best new Middle Eastern
DamasAddress and Info
When Damas reopened this summer, it blew everyone’s minds by offering Syrian food like we’ve never had it before: bigger, better, and bolder. Whether you’re here for the best grillades in town, or if you’re a vegetarian looking for a quick bite, this honest, chef-driven restaurant is the place to be in Montreal.
Best new brunch
Lili Co.Address and Info
Since it re-opened in its Mile End location in the spring, Lili Co. has been garnering accolades like they were stickers. And though we love the dinners and wine selection at this beautiful chef-owned restaurant, it’s Lili Co.’s perfect brunches that get our hearts thumping every week.
Best new nightspot
SouboisAddress and Info
It doesn’t get much better than Subois for late night fun in Montreal. In the evening, it’s a high-end restaurant with a hidden forest and wilderness motif that offers dishes with touches of herbs, flowers and unusual ingredients like sea asparagus and morels. But once the clock strikes midnight, the enchanted forest goes underground with a darker atmosphere, plenty of beautiful people, and some of the best DJs in North America, and cocktails that sound like they came straight from Wonderland.
Best new poutine
Maam BolducAddress and Info
Plateau Mont Royal
The younger sister of Plateau favourite for the last two decades, Maamm Bolduc has only been open for a couple of months, but its homey fare has already garnered fans throughout the city. The poutine here is excellent and familiar, with a choice of three sauces -- and though none of them feature kimchi or bacon, sometimes, there is no point in messing with a winning recipe.
Best new coffee shop
PaquebotAddress and Info
The first coffee shop in Montreal to offer nitro-brew, this little Rosemont-Petite-Patrie neighbourhood favourite turned out to be more than just a coffee-cocktails-slinging gimmick. Its open-concept, inviting communal space offers a dynamic environment in which to sip your lavender London fog, or plain-old double espresso.
Best new place to camp out with your laptop
Café LucciAddress and Info
A charming little café that serves everything from smoothies to traditional Italian arancini and home-cured gravlax, Café Lucci sprung on the heels of the Griffintown revival of newly opened, hot restaurants, and clubs. The sunlit room and warm, inviting atmosphere make this the perfect place to sit and work -- provided you at least buy some coffee.
Best cocktail bar
MayfairAddress and Info
Plateau Mont Royal
With the atmosphere of a tea room for the rich and famous, Mayfair makes an impression within a few short moments of walking through its doors. The opulent room offers plush couches and some of the most comfortable leather armchairs in Montreal. But it’s the cocktails and alcoholized teas that are the stars of the show: served in beautiful glassware, using only premium imported spirits and the best ingredients, the Mayfair brings a touch of old-world elegance to our busy modern lives.
Best new concept
ProvisionsAddress and Info
The focus of Provisions is market-driven, and with it comes the commitment that only the best ingredients sourced by the chefs that day will make it onto your plate. Go for the $50 prix-fixe menu and be amazed by the secession of picture-worthy plates that come onto your table.
Best new bar, period
LoïcAddress and Info
Loïc is one of the most beautiful and straightforward bars in Montreal. No one is reinventing the wheel at this pared-down wine bar, but everything served here is of the highest caliber, from the small, selected bites, to the big, bold wines.
Best new beer garden
Das BierAddress and Info
Rosemont-La Petite Patrie
Montreal’s first giant beer hall has already made waves with Das Bier. Having made it through its first Oktoberfest with flying colours, Das Bier is now a seasoned veteran at serving currywursts and pretzels with a pint of one of the 20 draft beers it has on offer.
Best new Mexican
Café FridaAddress and Info
This family-owned grocery store and taqueria is as real as it gets: a mom and her two sons, slinging homemade horchata and traditional tacos for $2 from behind a lime-green counter. And yet, the results are flavourful and delicious -- the best among a slew of hipster taco restaurants to open in Montreal in recent years.
1. Adamo4629 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal
2. Landry & Filles4764 Papineau, Montreal
3. Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce5732 Sherbrooke O, Montreal
4. Pizzeria GEMA6827 St-Dominique, Montreal
5. Boswell Brasserie Artisanale2407 Mont-Royal E, Montreal
6. Damas1201 Van Horne, Montreal
7. Lili.Co4675 St Laurent, Montreal
8. Soubois1106, De Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal
9. Maam Bolduc4351 ave. de Lorimier, Montreal
10. Paquebot2110 Bélanger, Montreal
11. Mayfair Cocktail Bar451, rue Rachel, Montreal
12. Provisions1268 Ave Van Horne, Outremont
13. Café Lucci1830 Rue William, Montreal
14. Das Bier5889 Avenue Papineau, Montreal
15. Cafe Frida4412 Notre Dame , Montreal
This old fashinoed, New York-style pizza joint sells huge slices with an endless range of toppings.
This charming joint started as a food truck and serves seasonally inspired Québécois fare with international flair.
This place earns a name for its burgers with homemade condiments, fresh beef ground on-site and accommodations to all diets with options like veggie burgers.
If we were judging by popularity alone, GEMA Pizzeria would hands down win the title of pizzeria of the year -- every year. But there’s so much more here than just buzz -- perfectly crisp, wood-fire oven-baked crust, a lively terrace for the summer months, and meatballs that would make your nona smile.
Come here for pub classics like salmon tartare, fish ’n’ chips, and a very respectable selection of local brews.
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.
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.
This high-end restaurant has a hidden forest motif that even serves its dishes with touches of herbs and flowers. Past midnight, some of the best DJs in America flock North of the border to perform in this mystical atmosphere.
This place's homey fare has quickly garnered fans throughout the city. Go for the poutine with the choice of three unfussy sauces that are done just right.
This coffee bar specializes in nitro coffee which is served bubbly and cold straight from a keg. It's treated with nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide under high pressure and has a foamy head, just like a Guinness. This is the first coffee shop to bring this special brew to the area.
This posh lounge has a Victorian-era vibe and exudes opulence from the moment you walk in. The cocktails and alcoholized teas bring and old world elegance and welcome escape to the chaos of daily life.
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.
This cozy and sunlit café serves everything from smoothies to traditional Italian arancini and home-cured gravlax.
Finally, Montreal has a giant beer hall to call their own!