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Where to Eat Brilliant British Food in Montreal

Everything from fish and chips to fanciful afternoon tea.

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Montreal may seem like an unlikely place for quality British food (if you’re even of the opinion that “quality British food” isn’t an oxymoron), but the city is home to a surprising number of excellent British pubs and restos that will make you rethink any preconceived notions you might have about the culinary traditions and standards across the pond.

Comfort food is what the British do best, and comfort is in great supply at casual spots like hole-in-the-wall chippy Brit & Chips and homey Hudson restaurant/speciality food shop Clarence & Cripps. But British food (which, for the purposes of this map, includes restaurants that draw inspiration from any part of the United Kingdom) isn’t all chips and beans on toast. At establishments like Dominion Square Tavern, the fare on offer is modern and refined (like much of the food you’ll find in actual contemporary British gastropubs). From Sunday roasts to full English breakfasts or afternoon tea, Montreal is nailing the dishes of ol’ Blighty.

(If you’re looking for a pub — British or otherwise — there’s a map for that over here.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Maison Publique

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This upscale Plateau “public house” has shifted somewhat from its more overt British tavern-inspired origins (it was opened in 2012 by chef Derek Dammann with investment from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver). It could equally be classed as an upstanding example of Canadian fare, although the ever-changing menu is still reminiscent of modern London gastropubs (the Welsh rarebit is a perennial favourite).

Inside Maison Publique
Inside Maison Publique
Randall Brodeur/Eater Montreal

Bishop & Bagg

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There’s no doubt that the team behind Bishop & Bagg is well-versed in British food culture: the pub is part of the Burgundy Lion Group, which operates two other entries on this map (Brit & Chips and the eponymous Burgundy Lion). Their unpretentious Mile End pub is all about remembering its roots in the form of playful pub fare and an extensive gin list.

Cardinal Tearoom

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Occupying a gorgeous vintage space above bar Sparrow (which itself has English influences), Cardinal offers English elegance in a uniquely Montreal setting. From a picturesque balcony above the main dining room, guests can enjoy a classic afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, petits fours, and scones with jam and clotted cream, all served on delicate mismatched china.

Lawrence

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While not strictly British, chef Marc Cohen’s English upbringing is visible in the classic, unfussy menu at renowned Mile End restaurant Lawrence. Cohen worked in high-end establishments in London before relocating to Montreal, and his background is especially evident in Lawrence’s brunch menu, which includes staple items like bubble and squeak, scones with jam and clotted cream and meat pies. Casual sibling restaurant Larrys, right next door, also taps in to some of those influences.

Brit & Chips (multiple locations)

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Stepping into this busy Old Montreal spot (which has a second location downtown on Maisonneuve) feels like stepping into a classic late-night chippy in a British seaside town (albeit with more seating and fewer post-club night revellers). Brit & Chips offers the classic beer battered cod n’ chips alongside other chip shop essentials like sausage rolls, chips with curry sauce, mushy peas, and deep-fried sweets, but the less conventional options such as hake with gluten free Orange Crush batter or smoked tofu with chipotle batter are worth trying (and you can wash it all down with a nice, cold Irn Bru).

Dominion Square Tavern

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Dominion Square Tavern is an aesthetically-pleasing nod to British cuisine with an old school feel and a polished take on the classics. It’s especially famed for its Sunday roasts, which are served with all the trimmings (including Yorkshire pudding), and the sticky toffee pudding is perfection. The bar also has an impressive cocktail list, including a number of gins to pair with house-made tonic.

Bar George

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Bar George does English and Scottish cuisine for those whose tastes skew more “garden party” than “cheeky after-work pints at the local”. Staples like Welsh rarebit, Scotch egg and beef Wellington are served with a reverence that reflects the surroundings — the restaurant is located in a lush dining room inside the swanky Mount Stephen hotel.

Burgundy Lion

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This enduring Little Burgundy pub covers a lot of bases: European football on the screens, a weekly pub quiz, afternoon tea, curry dishes, and a traditional Sunday roast. There’s a mix of Canadian and European beers on draft, but the pub is especially proud of its extensive whisky collection, which is featured in private tasting programs. The food menu is full of items so quintessentially English (sticky toffee pudding, scotch egg, shepherd’s pie, ploughman’s board) that you could feel teleported across the pond, were it not for the “English poutine” on the menu.

Clarence & Cripps

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You won’t find any “modern takes” on anything here — Clarence & Cripps is pure English tradition, from the bacon sarny and (delightfully) greasy full English for breakfast, through to the lunchtime Cornish pasties and meat pies. If you’re trekking out to Hudson from the city, reward your efforts with a visit to Clarence & Cripps’ adjacent shop, which stocks hard-to-find British treats.

Maison Publique

Inside Maison Publique
Inside Maison Publique
Randall Brodeur/Eater Montreal

This upscale Plateau “public house” has shifted somewhat from its more overt British tavern-inspired origins (it was opened in 2012 by chef Derek Dammann with investment from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver). It could equally be classed as an upstanding example of Canadian fare, although the ever-changing menu is still reminiscent of modern London gastropubs (the Welsh rarebit is a perennial favourite).

Inside Maison Publique
Inside Maison Publique
Randall Brodeur/Eater Montreal

Bishop & Bagg

There’s no doubt that the team behind Bishop & Bagg is well-versed in British food culture: the pub is part of the Burgundy Lion Group, which operates two other entries on this map (Brit & Chips and the eponymous Burgundy Lion). Their unpretentious Mile End pub is all about remembering its roots in the form of playful pub fare and an extensive gin list.

Cardinal Tearoom

Occupying a gorgeous vintage space above bar Sparrow (which itself has English influences), Cardinal offers English elegance in a uniquely Montreal setting. From a picturesque balcony above the main dining room, guests can enjoy a classic afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, petits fours, and scones with jam and clotted cream, all served on delicate mismatched china.

Lawrence

While not strictly British, chef Marc Cohen’s English upbringing is visible in the classic, unfussy menu at renowned Mile End restaurant Lawrence. Cohen worked in high-end establishments in London before relocating to Montreal, and his background is especially evident in Lawrence’s brunch menu, which includes staple items like bubble and squeak, scones with jam and clotted cream and meat pies. Casual sibling restaurant Larrys, right next door, also taps in to some of those influences.

Brit & Chips (multiple locations)

Stepping into this busy Old Montreal spot (which has a second location downtown on Maisonneuve) feels like stepping into a classic late-night chippy in a British seaside town (albeit with more seating and fewer post-club night revellers). Brit & Chips offers the classic beer battered cod n’ chips alongside other chip shop essentials like sausage rolls, chips with curry sauce, mushy peas, and deep-fried sweets, but the less conventional options such as hake with gluten free Orange Crush batter or smoked tofu with chipotle batter are worth trying (and you can wash it all down with a nice, cold Irn Bru).

Dominion Square Tavern

Dominion Square Tavern is an aesthetically-pleasing nod to British cuisine with an old school feel and a polished take on the classics. It’s especially famed for its Sunday roasts, which are served with all the trimmings (including Yorkshire pudding), and the sticky toffee pudding is perfection. The bar also has an impressive cocktail list, including a number of gins to pair with house-made tonic.

Bar George

Bar George does English and Scottish cuisine for those whose tastes skew more “garden party” than “cheeky after-work pints at the local”. Staples like Welsh rarebit, Scotch egg and beef Wellington are served with a reverence that reflects the surroundings — the restaurant is located in a lush dining room inside the swanky Mount Stephen hotel.

Burgundy Lion

This enduring Little Burgundy pub covers a lot of bases: European football on the screens, a weekly pub quiz, afternoon tea, curry dishes, and a traditional Sunday roast. There’s a mix of Canadian and European beers on draft, but the pub is especially proud of its extensive whisky collection, which is featured in private tasting programs. The food menu is full of items so quintessentially English (sticky toffee pudding, scotch egg, shepherd’s pie, ploughman’s board) that you could feel teleported across the pond, were it not for the “English poutine” on the menu.

Clarence & Cripps

You won’t find any “modern takes” on anything here — Clarence & Cripps is pure English tradition, from the bacon sarny and (delightfully) greasy full English for breakfast, through to the lunchtime Cornish pasties and meat pies. If you’re trekking out to Hudson from the city, reward your efforts with a visit to Clarence & Cripps’ adjacent shop, which stocks hard-to-find British treats.

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