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20 Top Italian Restaurants in Montreal

Try these restaurants for crispy fried calamari, asiago-filled arancini, ricotta gnocchi, spaghetti carbonara, and more

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Montreal has a sizeable Italian-Canadian community, second only to Toronto — so it’s little surprise that there’s a strong cohort of restaurants here to match.

This map showcases some of the best, with an eye to all-rounders — restaurants that offer the full experience from antipasti to dolci (with a few exceptions). If you’re looking specifically for pizza, there’s a separate guide detailing Montreal’s finest in that category.

For updated information about the coronavirus situation and related regulations, please visit the official sites of the Quebec government and Montreal’s public health authority (Santé Montréal).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Antonietta

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Local produce drives the menu at this relatively young Papineau Street destination. Expect a menu that frequently changes with the seasons but always includes plenty of primo plates of pasta and pizzas.

Knuckles Cantine & Vins

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Its name may not sound very Italian, but the handheld pockets of cheesy goodness, whose shape inspired it, certainly are. They’re called panzerotti and are a must to start the meal that’ll go on to include seasonal, veggie-heavy dishes sure to impress.

Luciano Trattoria

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Chef Luciano D’Orazio presents casual trattoria fare in a rustic-meets-modern setting. Appetizers such as beef carpaccio and buffalo mozzarella make for an energetic start to the meal, and classic main courses, including cacio e pepe spaghetti and ricotta gnocchi, won’t disappoint.

Restaurant Moccione

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With pasta-twirling Moccione completing a move over to St-Denis Street, owners Luca Cianciulli and Maxime Landry have debuted a new takeout spot in its place, offering up some seriously delicious pizzas, plus some tried-and-true appetizers and desserts that earned them praise at the original. Don’t miss out on its asiago-filled arancini or pistachio-orange-ricotta cannoli for dessert.

Impasto

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Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita, the restaurateurs behind this sleek Little Italy restaurant, are among Montreal’s most notable, and their combined expertise makes for a mouthwatering offering. Expect pillowy ricotta gnocchi, seasonal salads, house-cured charcuterie, and a wine list that’s extensive and varied. (Impasto is temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 exposure; check its Instagram account for reopening information.)

Barcola Bistro

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Chef Fabrizio Caprioli serves up the flavours of northern Italy, with dishes like eggplant pizza and a seafood tagliatelle that tastes like a trip to the Adriatic. It’s a charming modern Mile End spot, with specials changing throughout the week, dishes that feel positively luxurious for a (mostly) under $20 price tag, and an extensive vinyl collection.

La Panzeria

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While most of the options on this guide stand out for dinner, La Panzeria is a lunch leader. From its Focaccia Barese (where the dough gets dotted with cherry tomatoes and olives) and panzerotto (a crispy pocket of melted cheese and tomato sauce) to its octopus panino and variety of orecchiette pasta dishes, the casual St-Denis Street restaurant and coffee shop ensures Apulian food traditions are alive and well in Montreal.

Ristorante Quattro

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With a prime Old Montreal location, this eatery is an attractive spot for an upscale evening out. It has hot and cold appetizers on the menu, spanning arugula salad to grilled calamari and arancini, and hearty pasta and meat mains, such as speck and porcini mushroom cavatelli and braised rabbit. Finish the meal off with a quintessential Italian dessert and a cappuccino.

Un Po' Di Piu

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A touristy strip of Old Montreal got a breath of fresh air when Olive & Gourmando’s owners opened up this beauty in 2018. With aperitivo-friendly bites, it’s a lighter destination than others on this guide, yet Un Po’ di Piu still excels across the board, from desserts to a small number of larger dishes.

Graziella

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Named for chef and owner Graziella Battista, this top-notch restaurant draws inspiration from her Italian childhood and heritage. Dishes here are some of the most refined in town, with pasta, meats, and desserts all rich in flavour. The restaurant is also the home of Le 116, a private event space for up to 80 people. 

Beatrice

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Beatrice bills itself an “urban oasis,” with a neatly-shaded terrasse making for a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and some top-notch Mediterranean bites. The food, too, is elegant and finely crafted, with some non-Italian ingredients, like wasabi, hummus, and harissa making appearances.

Trattoria Trestevere

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Opened in 1973, downtown restaurant Trestevere is a downtown institution. Despite its location in an area better known for tacky clubs than fine food, expect a lengthy menu of classic dishes, including spaghetti carbonara, mushroom risotto, and cassata, a sweet Sicilian confection made of sponge cake and ricotta cheese layered with candied fruit. 

Da Emma

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A former women’s prison isn’t the first venue that springs to mind for an elegant Italian meal, but that’s one of the many surprises this restaurant has in store. It’s a nearly 30-year-old institution, still owned by Lorenzo Aureli and Emma Riso, both originally from Rome, where its menu also finds its roots.

Mano Cornuto

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Griffintown’s high-rise condo developments surround this Italian staple and fantastic all-rounder. Grab a schiacciatta (smashed focaccia) sandwich for lunch, swing by for a negroni or spritz at aperitivo hour, or hunker down for dinner where the pasta is fresh and the natural wines are excellent.

Nora Gray

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Since opening in 2011, Griffintown’s Nora Gray has been considered one of Montreal’s finest Italian restaurants (and one of the city’s best overall). Owners Ryan Gray, Lisa McConnell, and Emma Cardarelli propose a menu that takes an unfussy approach to intricate, innovative dishes. There are some solid sharing options, with half-servings for the less famished.

Café Gentile (multiple locations)

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Open since 1959 in the Garment District, the original Café Gentile offers a wide range of pastries and sandwiches such as classic chicken or eggplant parm. Its newer Westmount location, with a charming tiled interior, is open for dinner and Sunday brunch, putting an Italian spin on the weekend standard.

BarBara

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Expect many of Italy’s great culinary hits at this young St-Henri hotspot, including bruschetta, arancini, pasts (cacio e pepe, pesto, and bolognese, and more), tiramisu and a limoncello-flavoured cake. Be it a morning coffee, light lunch, or satiating dinner, BarBara does it all — and exceedingly well.

Bistro Amerigo

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Nestled in Monkland Village, this fuss-free neighbourhood bistro is a favourite for homey Italian eating. You can’t go wrong with the fried calamari, spaghetti puttanesca (filled with briny olives, capers, and anchovies), or the osso buco (a braised veal shank), served here with rigatoni.

This extremely popular St-Henri spot hardly needs an introduction: It’s a shoo-in for its gorgeous interior, exciting natural wine selection, and some of the finest wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas the city has to offer. But, be warned, a visit to Elena isn’t complete without a helping of its mafalda pasta, draped in a remarkable rosemary-scented beef and pork ragu.

Residents of Verdun needn’t venture off for some creative Italian fare. Rita’s menu changes often but has been known to feature beef tartare served with focaccia, fried Brussel sprouts with a parmesan and pecorino cream, vegan pizzas, and some always-compelling pasta and dessert options.

Antonietta

Local produce drives the menu at this relatively young Papineau Street destination. Expect a menu that frequently changes with the seasons but always includes plenty of primo plates of pasta and pizzas.

Knuckles Cantine & Vins

Its name may not sound very Italian, but the handheld pockets of cheesy goodness, whose shape inspired it, certainly are. They’re called panzerotti and are a must to start the meal that’ll go on to include seasonal, veggie-heavy dishes sure to impress.

Luciano Trattoria

Chef Luciano D’Orazio presents casual trattoria fare in a rustic-meets-modern setting. Appetizers such as beef carpaccio and buffalo mozzarella make for an energetic start to the meal, and classic main courses, including cacio e pepe spaghetti and ricotta gnocchi, won’t disappoint.

Restaurant Moccione

With pasta-twirling Moccione completing a move over to St-Denis Street, owners Luca Cianciulli and Maxime Landry have debuted a new takeout spot in its place, offering up some seriously delicious pizzas, plus some tried-and-true appetizers and desserts that earned them praise at the original. Don’t miss out on its asiago-filled arancini or pistachio-orange-ricotta cannoli for dessert.

Impasto

Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita, the restaurateurs behind this sleek Little Italy restaurant, are among Montreal’s most notable, and their combined expertise makes for a mouthwatering offering. Expect pillowy ricotta gnocchi, seasonal salads, house-cured charcuterie, and a wine list that’s extensive and varied. (Impasto is temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 exposure; check its Instagram account for reopening information.)

Barcola Bistro

Chef Fabrizio Caprioli serves up the flavours of northern Italy, with dishes like eggplant pizza and a seafood tagliatelle that tastes like a trip to the Adriatic. It’s a charming modern Mile End spot, with specials changing throughout the week, dishes that feel positively luxurious for a (mostly) under $20 price tag, and an extensive vinyl collection.

La Panzeria

While most of the options on this guide stand out for dinner, La Panzeria is a lunch leader. From its Focaccia Barese (where the dough gets dotted with cherry tomatoes and olives) and panzerotto (a crispy pocket of melted cheese and tomato sauce) to its octopus panino and variety of orecchiette pasta dishes, the casual St-Denis Street restaurant and coffee shop ensures Apulian food traditions are alive and well in Montreal.

Ristorante Quattro

With a prime Old Montreal location, this eatery is an attractive spot for an upscale evening out. It has hot and cold appetizers on the menu, spanning arugula salad to grilled calamari and arancini, and hearty pasta and meat mains, such as speck and porcini mushroom cavatelli and braised rabbit. Finish the meal off with a quintessential Italian dessert and a cappuccino.

Un Po' Di Piu

A touristy strip of Old Montreal got a breath of fresh air when Olive & Gourmando’s owners opened up this beauty in 2018. With aperitivo-friendly bites, it’s a lighter destination than others on this guide, yet Un Po’ di Piu still excels across the board, from desserts to a small number of larger dishes.

Graziella

Named for chef and owner Graziella Battista, this top-notch restaurant draws inspiration from her Italian childhood and heritage. Dishes here are some of the most refined in town, with pasta, meats, and desserts all rich in flavour. The restaurant is also the home of Le 116, a private event space for up to 80 people. 

Beatrice

Beatrice bills itself an “urban oasis,” with a neatly-shaded terrasse making for a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and some top-notch Mediterranean bites. The food, too, is elegant and finely crafted, with some non-Italian ingredients, like wasabi, hummus, and harissa making appearances.

Trattoria Trestevere

Opened in 1973, downtown restaurant Trestevere is a downtown institution. Despite its location in an area better known for tacky clubs than fine food, expect a lengthy menu of classic dishes, including spaghetti carbonara, mushroom risotto, and cassata, a sweet Sicilian confection made of sponge cake and ricotta cheese layered with candied fruit. 

Da Emma

A former women’s prison isn’t the first venue that springs to mind for an elegant Italian meal, but that’s one of the many surprises this restaurant has in store. It’s a nearly 30-year-old institution, still owned by Lorenzo Aureli and Emma Riso, both originally from Rome, where its menu also finds its roots.

Mano Cornuto

Griffintown’s high-rise condo developments surround this Italian staple and fantastic all-rounder. Grab a schiacciatta (smashed focaccia) sandwich for lunch, swing by for a negroni or spritz at aperitivo hour, or hunker down for dinner where the pasta is fresh and the natural wines are excellent.

Nora Gray

Since opening in 2011, Griffintown’s Nora Gray has been considered one of Montreal’s finest Italian restaurants (and one of the city’s best overall). Owners Ryan Gray, Lisa McConnell, and Emma Cardarelli propose a menu that takes an unfussy approach to intricate, innovative dishes. There are some solid sharing options, with half-servings for the less famished.

Related Maps

Café Gentile (multiple locations)

Open since 1959 in the Garment District, the original Café Gentile offers a wide range of pastries and sandwiches such as classic chicken or eggplant parm. Its newer Westmount location, with a charming tiled interior, is open for dinner and Sunday brunch, putting an Italian spin on the weekend standard.

BarBara

Expect many of Italy’s great culinary hits at this young St-Henri hotspot, including bruschetta, arancini, pasts (cacio e pepe, pesto, and bolognese, and more), tiramisu and a limoncello-flavoured cake. Be it a morning coffee, light lunch, or satiating dinner, BarBara does it all — and exceedingly well.

Bistro Amerigo

Nestled in Monkland Village, this fuss-free neighbourhood bistro is a favourite for homey Italian eating. You can’t go wrong with the fried calamari, spaghetti puttanesca (filled with briny olives, capers, and anchovies), or the osso buco (a braised veal shank), served here with rigatoni.

Elena

This extremely popular St-Henri spot hardly needs an introduction: It’s a shoo-in for its gorgeous interior, exciting natural wine selection, and some of the finest wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas the city has to offer. But, be warned, a visit to Elena isn’t complete without a helping of its mafalda pasta, draped in a remarkable rosemary-scented beef and pork ragu.

Rita

Residents of Verdun needn’t venture off for some creative Italian fare. Rita’s menu changes often but has been known to feature beef tartare served with focaccia, fried Brussel sprouts with a parmesan and pecorino cream, vegan pizzas, and some always-compelling pasta and dessert options.

Related Maps