Online goods-and-service review site Yelp has distilled its wealth of restaurant reviews and petty complaints from customers into a ranked list covering all of Canada. They’re billing it as their Top 100 Places to Eat in Canada for 2017.
Yelp offered up a similar list early in 2016, which only featured seven Montreal restaurants, with their method for figuring out who had the best reviews clearly favouring tourist drawcards such as Schwartz’s, La Banquise, and Au Pied de Cochon. This year, they changed the system to only count reviews from Canadians, keeping foreign tourists (especially Yelp’s big base of American reviewers) out of it. They also put less weight on the sheer quantity of reviews received by restaurants.
Most restaurants in Montreal don’t have anywhere near the sheer volume of Yelp reviews as their Toronto and Vancouver counterparts — that would appear to explain why Montreal has fewer restaurants on the list compared to Vancouver, a smaller city.
Bear in mind that Yelp reviews may not always be fair, and restaurateurs are ambivalent about it, because it’s not really fun to receive a one-star review for “delicious food, excellent service, but the toilet paper was only one-ply”. It may not be a perfectly objective gauge of quality: a suburban Toronto creperie called Muncheez is probably not the best restaurant in Canada. But it’s not wrong, either: by most accounts, Bouillon Bilk (the top Montreal restaurant on the list), is a very good restaurant.
Anyway, these are the 13 Montreal restaurants who made the list, along with a sample of the best and worst of their Yelp write-ups, proving that there really is no way to please everybody. Global News has the full list from 1 to 100.