Montreal Restaurants

Montréal has one of Canada's most cosmopolitan restaurant scenes with trendy new eateries popping up regularly, their menus heavily influenced by flavors from around the globe, and often with an added touch of French flair.

Montréal's top dining destinations are plentiful, especially as young chefs move to hip destinations in Mile End and the Plateau areas to open new restaurants. Downtown, convenient to many hotels, finds most of its restaurants clustered between rues Guy and Peel and on the side streets that run between boulevard René-Lévesque and rue Sherbrooke. Rue St-Denis and boulevard St-Laurent, between rues Sherbrooke and Jean Talon, have long been, and continue to be, convenient and fashionable areas, with everything from sandwich shops to high-price gourmet shrines. Old Montréal, too, has a collection of well-regarded restaurants, most of them clustered on rue St-Paul, avenue McGill, and place Jacques-Cartier.

You can usually order à la carte, but make sure to look for the table d'hôte, a two- to four-course package deal. It's often more economical, offers interesting specials, and may also take less time to prepare. For a splurge, consider a menu dégustation, a five- to seven-course tasting menu that generally includes soup, salad, fish, sherbet (to cleanse the palate), a meat dish, dessert, and coffee or tea. A menu dégustation for two, along with a good bottle of wine, will cost around C$250.

Most restaurants will have an English menu or, at the very least, a bilingual menu—but some might only be in French. If you don't understand what a dish is, don't be too shy to ask; a good server will be happy to explain. If you feel brave enough to order in French, remember that in Montréal an entrée is an appetizer, and what Americans call an entrée is a plat principal, or main dish.

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  • 1. Au Pied de Cochon

    $$$ | The Plateau | French

    Not for the timid, the menu at this famous bistro—one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorites—is an ode to nose-to-tail cooking. Martin Picard is a...Read More

  • 2. L'Express

    $$$ | The Plateau | French

    This iconic Montreal bistro hasn’t changed much since its opening in 1980 and it’s just as well—regulars would throw a fit if it did. Quintessential...Read More

  • 3. La Croissanterie Figaro

    $$ | Outremont | French

    The self-proclaimed "un coin perdu de Paris" is famous for its wraparound patio, Parisian vibe, and 100-year-old corner building. It's hard...Read More

  • 4. Leméac

    $$$ | Outremont | French

    This sophisticated French bistro pleases Montrealers with its flawless classics and its heated wraparound outdoor terrace; not to mention the...Read More

  • 5. Toqué!

    $$$$ | Old Montréal | French

    Frequently named one of Montréal's best restaurants (a very coveted title in this foodie capital), a meal at Toqué! is not so much about sustenance...Read More

  • 6. Boris Bistro

    $$$ | Old Montréal | French

    Behind a freestanding facade (the remains of a burned-out historic building) is one of the best alfresco dining areas in Montreal. Like an enchanted...Read More

  • 7. Bouillon Bilk

    $$$$ | Downtown | French

    The decor at this restaurant reflects its philosophy: fresh, thoughtful, and simplified (yet not simple). The market-based menu changes often...Read More

  • 8. Brasserie Central

    $$$ | Westmount | French

    It takes a lot of nerve to open a French bistro in Montréal’s most voraciously English-speaking neighborhood, but Brasserie Central spruces...Read More

  • 9. Brasserie T

    $$$ | Downtown | French

    The informal sibling of Montréal's famous Toqué! restaurant, Brasserie T is a see-and-be-seen spot in the heart of downtown. It's an excellent...Read More

  • 10. Chez l'Épicier

    $$$$ | Old Montréal | French

    Menus at this French fusion restaurant are printed on brown paper, but there's nothing down-market about the crisp white linens and the seasonal...Read More

  • 11. Chez Victoire

    $$ | The Plateau | French

    A beacon of the French cultural diaspora in Montréal, Chez Victoire is the epitome of Plateau-Mont-Royal’s joie de vivre and warmth; fittingly...Read More

  • 12. Kitchen Galerie

    $$$ | Little Italy | French

    With its small ingredient-based menu, this homey bistro is an example of excellence through simplicity. The chefs do everything—the shopping...Read More

  • 13. La Chronique

    $$$$ | Outremont | French

    It's an elegant place with white walls and high ceilings flooded with light, but people don't come here for the ambience; they come for the...Read More

  • 14. Laloux

    $$$ | The Plateau | French

    Priding itself on an exemplary environmental approach, cuisine at Laloux is in one word "fresh," based on ultra local ingredients like juniper...Read More

  • 15. Le Cartet

    $$ | Old Montréal | French

    As a gourmet grocery shop, takeout counter, and French restaurant rolled into one, this splendid space was quickly adopted by local foodies...Read More

  • 16. Toi Moi et Café

    $$ | Outremont | French

    Film producers and poets congregate at this corner café-bistro, sitting on the terrace to sip award-winning espresso. Although there's a hearty...Read More

  • 17. Birks Café par Europea

    $$$ | Downtown | French

    Because where else could you possibly treat yourself to afternoon tea while sitting in a 150-year-old diamond store? A visit to Birks Café is...Read More

  • 18. Bistro Bienville

    $$ | Mont-Royal | French

    You probably know people whose dining rooms are larger than the Bistro Bienville. Twenty people will fill it, and that includes a handful sitting...Read More

  • 19. La Moulerie

    $$$ | Outremont | French

    This bustling French restaurant focuses its efforts on mussels, luring in local media personalities and politicians with the all-white decor...Read More

  • 20. Le Caveau

    $$$ | Downtown | French

    Hidden among the towers of downtown is this Victorian house where buttery French sauces and creamy desserts have survived the onslaught of nouvelle...Read More

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