France's Fête des Lumières Is a Light Festival Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen
After giving us one of the city’s most explosive Vietnamese menus, chefs Hà Nguyen and Ross Louangsignotha continue to win us over in warmer weather with one of the city’s most colourful terrasses, perfect for eating cold papaya salad and cod fritters on. And in an area as steeped in colour as the Plateau, that’s an impressive feat.
The vibe here is decidedly Young Professionals Letting Loose, and the view of the port is enough to stop you in your tracks. Come here for loud music and to leave your troubles in glasses of chilled rosé and the prettiest, multicolored sangria you've ever seen in real life.
Despite only being open for just over a month, 3734 wins us over by offering what might be the one of nicest ways to have your breakfast: lounging on a cute terrasse outdoors. So next time somebody asks you how you’d like your eggs, tell them "al fresco."
In the city’s hippest neighbourhood, Le Richmond has become the hangout of the new Montreal up-and-coming elite. The drinks here ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it for the converted loft space's decor, upscale vibe, and the feeling like you’re winning at life. Might as well get some oysters, burrata, and swordfish crudo to share while you're there, since Le Richmond doesn't let you drink without eating too.
These venerable Montreal institutions share one patio, and it couldn’t be more appropriate for the neighbourhood. Just a few long tables, some ferns, and a trout pond will make you feel like you’re at the best backyard party around, with some of the best food.
For a more quaint and secluded terrasse experience, seek out Il Cortile’s hidden garden. With a beautiful set-up and a clandestine vibe, this quaint spot laden with fresh flowers will make you feel like you’re in the Tuscany countryside.
Tucked away in a dark back alley, Le Sainte-Elisabeth may not look like much from the outside. But when you pass through the little bar and step out onto the terrasse, you will find a little piece of shaded, wooded paradise -- dozens of tables artfully arranged between trees and trailing vines that go all along the encircling walls. It’s one of the prettiest places you can find to enjoy a casual drink with friends.
We couldn’t complete a terrasse list without mentioning an oldie that has made a name for itself with excellent food, an authentic Montreal atmosphere, and its eclectic backyard. For strong coffee and hippie sandwiches, come to Café Santropol, grab a spot by the fish pond, and let the city wash all over you.
With food that screams of Quebec terroir, design that gives a nod toward Nordic cuisine, and an atmosphere that brings to mind some of the most secluded spots in the world, you can expect Hvor’s terrasse to be absolutely unique -- which it certainly is. Located in the midst of the restaurant’s organic garden, this 900sqft terrasse feels like a slice of heaven in the heart of Montreal.
This enclosed backyard patio is not much more than one big, long communal table... which is precisely why it’s one of the best, most intimate ways to spend an afternoon outdoors. Sip on one of its many local beers and ciders, order an excellent plate of local, seasonal food, kick back, and relax: Vices & Versa is what summer in Montreal is all about.
One of the most stunning views in the city is quietly on top of a nondescript hotel right by the boardwalk of Old Montreal. Duck into a hidden entryway, take a rickety elevator up to the fifth floor, and then follow the sound of laughter and clinking glasses to discover a breathtaking vista of the Old Port. Fair warning: the sangria pitchers here are killer.
A chill, low-key microbrewery with a nice view overlooking one of the most picturesque streets of the Plateau. You could do much worse than spending a Thursday night on the Reservoir’s rooftop terrasse. And because the menu is entirely vegetarian, you finally have a go-to spot to hang with your friend who's cut meat from their diet.
The secret of Montreal’s best parties lies on the rooftop terrasse of Foodlab, the Society of Technological Arts’ foodie playground. This is where rising-star chefs demonstrate their skills on one night, while a complete unknown will offer a workshop on food photography the next. Whatever the theme of the day, the food here is always excellent, the drinks generous, and the atmosphere electric.
With a stunning view of one of the city’s landmark abandoned grain silos and the Lachine canal, Terrasse St-Ambroise could not be located in a more Montreal-like spot. Bring your dog(s) and order one pitcher of in-house beer after another.
Walking along rue McGill, all one sees of Boris Bistro is a torn-down building facade with a small gate. Compared to the grandeur of its surroundings, the tree-shaded, overgrown little enclave feels like an abandoned yard... that is, until you're lured into a real-world fairytale land. Little bistro tables hiding under large green parasols, fantastical lighting, and beautiful planted flowers make this place feel like a dream.
One of the city’s loudest bars, known for its crazy DJ nights, turns into open-air debauchery when its rooftop terrasse opens -- but it's undeniably cool. Who can blame people for getting excited once they hit the roof? Thursday through Sunday is when you'll find those big parties.
If you're lucky enough to be able to afford a table at Maison Boulud, Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, then you simply must sit outside in the hotel’s secret backyard. Eating exquisite food amidst flowing waterfalls and perfectly manicured lawns, you'll feel like you're being treated to your own private estate.
1. Hà243, avenue Mont-Royal Ouest, Montreal
2. Terrasses Bonsecours364, de la Commune E, Montreal
3. 3734 Épicerie Comptoir3734 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal
4. Le Richmond377 rue Richmond, Montréal
5. Terrace at Le Vin Papillon, Joe Beef and Liverpool House Terrace2519 Notre-Dame O, Montréal
6. Il Cortile1442 Sherbrooke St. West, Montréal
7. Le Sainte-Élisabeth1412, rue Sainte-Élisabeth, Montréal
8. Café Santropol3990 rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal
9. Hvor1414 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
10. Vices & Versa Bistro Du Terroir6631 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal
11. Terrasse sur l'Auberge97 de la Commune Est, Montréal
12. Réservoir9 rue Duluth Est, Montréal
13. Labo Culinaire1201 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal
14. La Terrasse St-Ambroise5080 Rue Saint-Ambroise, Montreal
15. Boris Bistro465 rue McGill, Montréal
16. Tokyo Bar3709 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal
17. Maison Boulud1228 Rue Sherbrooke, Montréal
Chefs Hà Nguyen and Ross Louangsignotha anchor this popular Vietnamese restaurant, which has been bringing the explosive flavors and colors of southeast Asian cuisine to Montreal since 2014. Inspired by the traditional street corner restaurants of Vietnam, Hà serves simple, tasty dishes of cold salads, hot soups, and small plates, all made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The vibrant food is matched by the colorful and funky design inside. There's also a breezy terrace outside, filled with lush vegetation and even more seating. Reservations aren't necessary, but there may be a wait without one.
A bright and fun bar that attracts the city's 20-somethings like catnip, the Terrasses Bonsecours boats both breathtaking views of the port and some of the prettiest sangria you've ever seen. Located right in the Old Port, you can see the entire waterfront from the sunny terrace. Large couches and patio furniture fill the space with plenty of seating for lounging post-work or on the weekends. The pride of the bar is their multicolored sangria, which packs a punch and comes in all colors of the rainbow. Tapas-style small plates and bar snacks are available to offset the alcohol, and a DJ turns the place into a nightclub on weekend nights.
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.
This upscale, Italian-influenced restaurant is right at home in hip Griffintown. Set in a gigantic, airy loft with distinct industrial overtones, Le Richmond serves up fresh seafood, homemade pastas, and sous-vide meats, all with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms. The dining room is full of natural light that highlights the angular, modern furniture, and there are another 90 seats out on the terrace. Reservations are definitely in your best interest, and be forewarned: Le Richmond won't let you drink without ordering food as well.
La Vin Papillon, Joe Beef and Liverpool House Terrace in St. Henri are all three of the most celebrated institutions in Montreal, and another fact they have in common is that they share a spacious patio. It's very popular among the locals and visitors alike (Martha Stewart even visited one time) and is simple, but in the best way. With just a few tables, ferns and a trout pond, you will feel like you are drinking and eating in your friend's backyard during summer.
Il Cortile in Dowtown Montreal is the perfect place to take someone you are trying to impress to a secluded and romantic spot. The restaurant has a hidden garden with plenty of flower arrangements, which gives it a bit of a Tuscan countryside vibe. You'll keep that Italian theme going as you venture into the menu, which includes authentic Italian dishes such as risotto, caprese salad and pasta. Top off the night with the restaurant's impressive wine selection.
Le Sainte-Elisabeth is tucked away in a back alley, but once you find it, you'll discover one of the most elegant and relaxing spots in Montreal. This European-style pub has tons of microbrews on tap alongside an extensive whiskey selection. The best part of this spot, however, may be its giant, vine-covered outdoor terrace. The terrace is shaded and has plenty of tables all arranged underneath trees. We recommend calling in for a reservation to grab a prime spot at this restaurant, which gets busy during the summer.
This cafe offers an amazing back garden where you can enjoy a variety of tasty bites, the best of which are their sandwiches, including their acclaimed "Killer Tomato". The garden literally feels like a forest as you venture through foliage and small ponds of water. Grab a good book and order some of the strongest coffee in Montreal. We recommend sitting by the fish pond.
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.
VIces & Versa offers many local beers and ciders as well as local seasonal food. Wash down pub grub like pulled pork poutine and fries served with Imperial Stout-infused mayo with their 33 craft beers on tap. In the summer, the outdoor patio is the perfect spot in Montreal to soak up the sun and grab drinks with your friends. The seating is set up as long communal tables, so you can drink, eat and make new friends at the same time.
On top of the historic Auberge du Vieux-Port hotel in Old Montreal is this stunning terrace bar that has one of the best views in the whole city. The hotel is right by the Boardwalk, but the entryway to the bar is a little hidden so don't be afraid to ask for help. The bar boasts a full list of wines and cocktails, but their crowning achievement is their sangria pitchers, which pack a punch but don't taste like it. They're perfect for ordering with a group of friends after work, and since this beautiful rooftop can accommodate up to 100 people at a time you can bring the whole crowd. They do not take reservations so get there early.
One of Montreal's finest brasseries, Reservoir has a full bar with a handful of specialty beers, in bottles and on tap, and they also serve some killer brunch items and snacks. This microbrewery also has a killer rooftop terrasse, which overlooks one of the most beautiful streets in the Plateau. The menu is entirely vegetarian, so there's bound to be something for everyone to choose from while sipping an ice-cold just-brewed beer.
Tucked inside Montreal's Société des Arts Technologiques (or SAT, for short), Labo Culinaire is an experimental resto churning out inventive, weekly-changing dishes. After your meal, check out a show or DJ set at the 360-degree Satosphère. The best part about this culinary experiment (besides the awesome rooftop) is the variety of food that it offers. One night, renowned chefs will craft dishes while another night a completely unknown chef will hold a workshop.
The St-Ambroise is a large outdoor patio outside the McAuslan brewery where you can enjoy seasonal and artisan brews (while you watch them being made). The terrace also has a BBQ menu with items like the Griffon Red pulled pork sandwich, which not only highlights the flavors in your beer, it's made with them. Another great aspect of the sweeping patio is that dogs are welcome, so bring your four-legged friend and chill out under the shadow of the silos.
Boris Bistro in Downtown Montreal is a gem along rue McGill. On the outside, the restaurant just looks like a run-down building facade with a tiny gate. However, once you venture inside the walls and into the patio, you will find yourself in an atmosphere reminiscent of a fairytale. The beautiful flower-lined yard leaves plenty of room for shaded tables. As for the menu, you'll find many fresh dishes with plenty of vegetables and a hearty wine and cocktail list to choose from.
This bar and nightclub features a sweet patio to chill outside during comfortable weather, as well as special themed nights with live music and DJs. Tokyo Bar might be one of the city's loudest bars because of the off-the-wall DJ nights, but once you get to the undeniably cool rooftop, you'll understand why everyone is having such a good time. To hit Tokyo Bar at its peak, visit Thursday through Sunday.
Maison Boulud is located in the Ritz Carlton, and for a pretty penny, you can dine at Chef Daniel Boulud's signature restaurant and indulge in a five-star meal. The real gem of this place, however, is the secret backyard. With flowing waterfalls and manicured lawns, you'll feel like the entire place is just for you. And in fact, it can be: it's a popular place to reserve for parties and weddings.