clock menu more-arrow no yes

The 38 Essential Montreal Restaurants, Fall 2017

The city's indispensable tables

View as Map

It's time to deliver a new Eater 38 for Montreal. This indispensable group of restaurants (listed in geographical order, not ranked) covers many neighbourhoods and styles, and is intended to represent the tapestry of Montreal's dining options, including an array of price points and cuisines. Every few months, newer restaurants (open a minimum of six months) will be considered, alongside worthy older ones. (For a guide to new restaurants, it's best to look at the Eater Heatmap; for a thorough, all-encompassing roadmap to dining in Montreal, check out An Eater's Guide to Montreal.)

With that, please welcome three new restaurants into the fold: first is chef Daniel Vézina's Montreal outpost Laurie Raphaël. Then Plateau favourite Le Quartier Général returns to the 38, a powerhouse for hearty bistro meals (and it's BYOB to boot). Finally, ambassador to char-grilled Japanese skewers Otto Yakitori nabs a place on the 38. This means Impasto, Tuck Shop, and Manitoba are farewelled from the guide — but don't forget about them, as they're still solid tables.

In early November, St-Henri patisserie Libertine Bakehouse closed permanently, meaning a mid-season shuffle is in order for this guide. In its place, please welcome the city's finest Moroccan restaurant, Tangia.

For all the latest Montreal dining intel, subscribe to Eater Montreal's newsletter.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Park

Copy Link
378 Victoria Avenue, Westmount
QC H3Z 2N4, Canada
(514) 750-7534
Visit Website
Antonio Park has a private fish import license and isn't afraid to use it. The affable native of Argentina, and Culinary Institute of Japan alum has knife skills as sharp as his hashtag game, and has risen from the ranks to become one of Canada's most recognizable star chefs. At Park, the Chopped Canada judge has what is arguably Montreal's first destination sushi restaurant.
Randall Brodeur

2. Le Vin Papillon

Copy Link
2519 Notre-Dame ouest, Montreal
QC H3J 1N4, Canada
This walk-in wine bar was a seamless, and seemingly no-brainer, addition to the Joe Beef family when it opened in the summer of 2013. As of late August 2015 there's twice as much Vin Papillon to love. Come terrasse season, the Parc Vinet-facing alley behind Joe Beef's three restaurants will thrum.
Randall Brodeur

3. Joe Beef

Copy Link
2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
QC H3J 1N6, Canada
(514) 935-6504
Visit Website
Dave McMillan, Fred Morin and Allison Cunningham opened their first restaurant together in 2005 on a moribund stretch of Notre-Dame in Little Burgundy. Montreal (and the world, frankly) has yet to recover — Joe Beef's hearty meats, lobster spaghetti, and more, have led to two more adjacent restaurants (Liverpool House and Le Vin Papillon), and mountains of international accolades.
Randall Brodeur

4. Nora Gray

Copy Link
1391 rue Saint-Jacques, Montreal
QC H3C 1H2, Canada
(514) 419-6672
Visit Website
Chef Emma Cardarelli, Lisa McConnell and Ryan Gray run one of the most sought-after tables in town on a once-quiet strip below the Bell Centre. The formula: a warm room, easygoing vibe, savvy wine service and beautifully-executed seasonal Italian food. It's hard to reap more total satisfaction from any other restaurant in the city.
Randall Brodeur

5. Toqué!

Copy Link
900 place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal
PQ H2Z 2B2, Canada
(514) 499-2084
Visit Website
Normand Laprise won a James Beard award for his 444-page cookbook, Toqué!: Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy, and after two decades, the chef's flagship restaurant is as crucial as ever — Laprise and team mix French techniques with thoroughly local ingredients and the result is food that has been considered crucial to Quebec's contemporary culinary identity.

6. Le Club Chasse et Pêche

Copy Link
423 Saint-Claude, Montreal
QC H2Y 3B6, Canada
(514) 861-1112
Visit Website
An ode to earth and sea, Le Club Chasse et Pêche manages refinement without grandiloquence, and is just a gorgeous restaurant, in every respect — dishes with restraint let top-notch produce speak for itself, and patissier Masumi Waki's fabulous desserts round it all out. Le Serpent and Le Filet, also from restaurateurs Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier, are also great bets, but this is the true capital of their figurative empire.

7. Le Bremner

Copy Link
361 Rue Saint Paul Est, Montréal
QC H2Y 1H3, Canada
(514) 544-0446
Visit Website
Chuck Hughes' second venture hit the scene in 2011 with nary a whisper of a sophomore slump. In many respects, Le Bremner is Garde Manger's superior. The Old Montreal room's a charmer, and chef Danny Smiles, a former Top Chef Canada contestant has a way with comforting yet fancy seafood dishes, the focus at this Old Montreal mainstay.

8. L'Express

Copy Link
3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal
QC H2W 2M4, Canada
(514) 845-5333
Visit Website
The city's bellwether bistro feels even more indispensable since the untimely death of founder Colette Brossoit in 2014. But the oh-so-classic French offerings at this day-and-night favourite have stayed just as good, from tartare to steak. Pro tip: sit at the bar and watch the venerable Claude Masson at work.

9. Au Pied de Cochon

Copy Link
536 Ave. Duluth Est., Montreal
QC H2L 1A9, Canada
(514) 281-1114
Visit Website
It's difficult to remember where Montreal's restaurant scene was before Martin Picard wrote his love letter to Quebec cuisine, in the form of Au Pied de Cochon, in 2001. Picard has been credited with elevating poutine from a maligned, greasy snack to a Québécois culinary icon with his foie gras-laden take on it, but there's much more to Au Pied de Cochon than that (although there is a lot of foie gras poutine throughout the menu).

10. Maison Publique

Copy Link
4720 Rue Marquette, Montréal
QC H2J 3Y6, Canada
(514) 507-0555
Visit Website
Derek Dammann, prominent chef ambassador for Montreal that he is, is an ardent advocate of a Canada-wide culinary identity (his cookbook, True North, is all about it). His popular Plateau gastropub brings it all home, with hearty flesh and root dishes from Canadian terroirs.

11. Bouillon Bilk

Copy Link
1595 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2X 2S9, Canada
(514) 845-1595
Visit Website
After stints at the likes of Globe, Brontë, Portus Calle, Les Trois Petits Bouchons and XO, veteran chef François Nadon struck gold on an unlikely strip of Saint-Laurent. Bouillon Bilk has wrested a loyal following in the process. A recent facelift and expansion means there's more of the elegant restaurant to love. Cadet, a new wine bar from Nadon and partner Mélanie Blanchette, opened midway through 2016, a block south of Bouillon Bilk.

12. Pastaga

Copy Link
6389 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2S 3C3, Canada
(438) 381-6389
Visit Website
Most diners are now hip to the fact that Pastaga, despite the name, Little Italy address and playful vitello tonnato, is not an Italian restaurant. Kudos go to veteran restaurateur and chef Martin Juneau, who has finally won a measure of celebrity beyond Montreal. The 2011 Canada Gold Medal Plates champ helms a restaurant with presence.
Randall Brodeur

13. Le St-Urbain

Copy Link
96 rue Fleury Ouest, Montreal
QC, H3L 1T2
(514) 504-7700
Visit Website
Le St-Urbain put Ahuntsic on the map for many. More than half a decade on, Marc-André Royal and partner Adam Ganten (who is now guiding the menu) have yet to slow down. French technique meets high-end bistro fare and Québécois produce on a satisfyingly earthy menu that feels both classic and adventurous, all in one.
Randall Brodeur

14. Ferreira Café

Copy Link
1446 rue Peel, Montreal
QC H3A 1S8, Canada
(514) 848-0988
Visit Website
Carlos Ferreira's flagship restaurant has served sophisticated Portuguese fare for two decades. Ferreira Café retooled in 2015 for its milestone anniversary, and looks better than ever. A casual Portuguese chicken restaurant from the same team, Campo, also opened just around the corner in September 2016.

15. Damas

Copy Link
1201 Van Horne, Montreal
QC H2V 1K4, Canada
(514) 439-5435
Visit Website
Damas is one Montreal's biggest comebacks: after a fire gutted it in 2015, it was reborn in Outremont and became better than ever, from mezzes through to hefty char-grilled mains replete with Syrian flavours from sumac to Aleppo peppers.
Randall Brodeur

16. Lili Co.

Copy Link
4675 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2T 1K8, Canada
(514) 507-7278
Visit Website
Lili Co. has enjoyed a well-deserved ascendancy since it relocated from the Plateau to Mile End in 2015. A unanimous critical coup de cœur since, the restaurant from couple Catherine Draws and David Pellizzari is now one of the most sought-after new tables in the city. Of late, Lili Co. has made a move towards being more vegetable-focused but the offal that it was first known for is still there, too.
Randall Brodeur

17. Le Fantôme

Copy Link
1832 Rue William, Montréal
QC H3J 1R5, Canada
(514) 846-1832
Visit Website
With apologies to Lili Co., Le Mousso, and Montréal Plaza, this tidy Griffintown spot from Kabir Kapoor and chef Jason Morris may well have been 2015's restaurant of the year. Within days of opening, Le Fantôme was winning everyone over with creations like peanut butter, jelly, and foie gras on brioche, celery root lasagna, and malted ice cream sandwiches. Those previously familiar with Morris's cooking haven't stopped screaming "We told you so!".

18. Le Mousso

Copy Link
1023 Rue Ontario E, Montréal
QC H2L 1P8, Canada
(438) 384-7410
Visit Website
At Le Mousso, chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard is helping to reshape a rapidly transforming neighbourhood (Centre-Sud Montreal), one photogenic plate at a time. The neighbours haven't always been cooperative, but diners and critics have championed the restaurant since it opened in October 2015, with playful and modern dishes that take Québécois cuisine to creative heights. (Take note: the restaurant is technically a bar, and, as such, cannot serve minors.)
Randall Brodeur

19. Provisions

Copy Link
1268 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal
QC H2V 1K5, Canada
(514) 508-0828
Visit Website
At Provisions, manager Tina An, and chefs Hakim Rahal and Pablo Rojas (pictured), replaced the somewhat stuffy Van Horne with a 25-seater focused on market cuisine, and plenty of sharing plates. There's no menu — ingredients are listed on a chalkboard each day, making the menu a total surprise.
Randall Brodeur

20. Montréal Plaza

Copy Link
6230 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal
QC H2S 2M2, Canada
(514) 903-6230
Visit Website
In Montréal Plaza, ex Toqué! chef Charles-Antoine Crête, with partners Sébastien Blanchette (front-of-house) and Cheryl Johnson (chef), wanted to provide a place where "people feel welcome and good, like at home." The menu can be surprising, yet simple — items like whelk gratiné with miso butter are light on bells and whistles, but not on flavour.
Randall Brodeur

21. Hoogan et Beaufort

Copy Link
4095 Rue Molson, Montreal
QC H1Y 3L1, Canada
(514) 903-1233
Visit Website
The Rosemont restaurant from chef Marc-André Jetté and sommelier William Saulnier — both Les 400 Coups alums — has rare bragging rights: to date it is universally adored by local food critics. The dreamy yet industrial-feeling build sits in the Technopôle Angus development. Sweeping windows and exposed 25-foot ceilings give plenty of breathing room to the captivating, locally sourced food on the table. The à la carte menu is equally suited to sharing or traditional ordering. Just note that Jetté has an especially gifted hand with vegetables and the handmade strozzapretti with sea urchin has quickly become a signature dish.
Randall Brodeur

22. Candide

Copy Link
551 Rue Saint-Martin, Montréal
QC H3J 2L6, Canada
(514) 447-2717
Visit Website
The brainchild of chef John Winter Russell (Van Horne) sits tucked away in the basement of Little Burgundy's former historic St. Joseph's Church. A passion project in every sense of the word, Candide puts forth nightly four-course $45 fixed price menus that have been called “a steal” in an atmosphere that almost imperceptably incorporates the church’s former pews and tables into its predominatly wood- and evergreen-toned workshop ambiance. Besides the unconventional flavor combinations on the menu (zucchini with lobster roe, anyone?), the beautifully-selected wine list and excellent service round out the experience to garner consistent praise.
Randall Broudeur

23. Foxy

Copy Link
1638 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
QC H3J 1M1, Canada
(514) 925-7007
Visit Website
With its handsome, broodingly dark decor and crackling fire-fueled kitchen, the newer sibling to Olive et Gourmando effortlessly creates that “it” place feeling. Now, after settling into the Griffintown scene, the mostly organic menu has fallen into stride too. Everything from the smoked butter, to the cured ham, to the ice cream adorning many dessert plates is made in house and options change often with the season. Words to the wise: don’t miss the wood-fired flatbreads; order steak when it’s on the menu; and always, always save room for dessert.
Randall Brodeur

24. La Chronique

Copy Link
99 Ave. Laurier Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2N6, Canada
(514) 271-3095
Visit Website
This immaculately white 20-year-old temple of French gastronomy has a "save it for a special occasion" rep, but the food is more playful than most imagine; items like the beloved corn-lobster soup are decidedly French, but not mired in classicism. All in all, it's not just for that yearly anniversary dinner.

Randall Brodeur

25. Agrikol

Copy Link
1844 Rue Amherst, Montréal
QC H2L, Canada
Montreal band Arcade Fire's foray into the restaurant world could have come across as a meritless vanity project. But together with top Toronto restaurateurs Jen Agg and Roland Jean it's a success, with boozy rum-based cocktails and Haitian plates such as griot or oxtail, rice and plantains.

26. Hvor

Copy Link
1414 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 937-2001
Visit Website
Possibly the freshest restaurant in the city, Hvor is seriously dedicated to local produce — so much so that they have an on-site garden and beehives. With tasting menus as the only option, Hvor changes its menu weekly to be up-to-the-second seasonal.

27. Le Coq de l'Est 2015

Copy Link
8803 Rue Hochelaga, Montréal
QC H1L 2N1, Canada
(438) 385-9455
Way out in oil refinery territory lies Le Coq de l'Est, where food used to come second as an attraction to a crew of "serveuses sexy", Omar Zabuair (ex-Joe Beef) and Vanessa Beeching (ex-Au Pied de Cochon) have definitely flipped that script. Zabuair brings his Pakistani heritage to the roasting process in the form of tandoori spices, resulting in a chicken some deem the city's best. Much of the rest of the menu follows the same thought process — homey food (ribs, poutine), with careful execution and nuanced (but not gimmicky) twists.

28. Moleskine

Copy Link
3412 Av du Parc, Montréal
QC H2X 2H5, Canada
There are effectively two Moleskines — the casual lower level, and the more refined upstairs space, and this is a stamp of approval for both. The principals behind nearby wine bar Pullman along with Frédéric St-Aubin make it all happen, from wood-fired pizza down below to rich, meaty, Italian fare that has made every critic in the city salivate. Sommelier Véronique Dalle's wine skills push it up a notch, too.
Moleskine

29. Tiradito

Copy Link
1076 Rue de Bleury, Montréal
QC H2Z 1N1, Canada
(514) 866-6776
Visit Website
Chef Marcel Larrea impressed eaters in years past at (now-closed) Mezcla in the Village, and he's doing it again downtown with Tiradito. Nikkei cuisine — the Peru-specific fusion of Japanese and Peruvian food — is on offer, and Larrea, who worked under celebrated Lima chef Gaston Acurio is the perfect Montrealer to execute it. Sashimi-like tiraditos, ceviche, and meaty street snack anticuchos all feature, alongside pisco sours and an impressive mid-century-meets-tropical design.
Randall Brodeur

30. Graziella

Copy Link
116 rue McGill, Montreal
QC H2Y 2E5, Canada
(514) 876-0116
Visit Website
Graziella Batista's eponymous Old Montreal restaurant has become a staple in its decade-long life, courtesy of her heartfelt Italian dishes with exceptional quality. Staples like the osso bucco have induced many an "oh my God", served in a locale with the soigné vibe of a gracious classic with many more years under its belt than the relatively young Graziella.

31. Restaurant Su

Copy Link
5145 Wellington St, Montreal
QC H4G 1Y2, Canada
(514) 362-1818
Visit Website
Described as an "ambassador for Turkish cuisine in Montreal", venerable Verdun restaurant Su needs no diplomatic immunity from the judgments of restaurant-goers. Here and at Mile End's Barbounya, chef Fisun Ercan oscillates between classics and her own more modern creations that are simple, not busy, and brimming with bold flavours: an indisputable pinnacle for the cuisine in this city, with grilled meats, garlicky yogurts, and tangy mezzes.

32. Le Virunga

Copy Link
851 rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H2J 2H9, Canada
(514) 504-8642
Visit Website
"Pan-African" is an intimidatingly broad culinary category to take on, but chef-owner Maria de Frias is the woman to take it on, with roots in the Congo and extensive travel on the continent. Expect cassava from sub-Saharan regions, or a Nigerian-inspired nut-crusted arctic char; the sauces (grounded in familiar flavours like ginger, but fusing other spices in to create novel profiles) bring dishes together into one very savoury whole.
Randall Brodeur

33. Larrys

Copy Link
9 Avenue Fairmount E, Montréal
QC H2T 1S4, Canada
(514) 708-1070
Visit Website
Open day and night, it seems there's little Larrys can't do. Coffee and a breakfast sandwich? Covered. Tartare with a solid selection of natural wines? They're equally covered at this more casual restaurant from the owners of neighbouring Lawrence. The beer list, cocktails, and small plates with ample vegetables also shine — the only downside is the space, which can be squishy at best during peak hours.

34. Arthurs

Copy Link
4621 Notre-Dame O, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 757-5190
Montreal's culinary style is solidly grounded in Jewish traditions, and since 2016 Arthurs have taken those traditions and slingshotted them towards the future. Deli-esque but far from a traditional deli, Raegan Steinberg and Alex Cohen take elements of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine and spin new dishes out of them: a schnitzel sandwich or cured fish may sound dull, but Arthurs' versions of them are far from it.

35. Le Quartier Général

Copy Link
1251 rue Gilford, Montreal
QC H2J 1R2, Canada
(514) 658-1839
Visit Website
Neighbourhood BYOBs are prominent in Montreal, and Le Quartier Général — the crowning jewel in Vincent Chatelais and Dominic Laflamme's mini BYOB empire — is at the top of the scene. The menus change regularly but typically have a classic, hearty French feel, with saucy duck or rabbit dishes, and ample Quebec-sourced ingredients.

36. Laurie Raphaël

Copy Link
2050 Mansfield, Montreal
QC H3A 1Y9, Canada
(514) 985-6072
Visit Website
Daniel Vézina may not have drawn the same international attention as other Quebec culinary figures like Martin Picard, but within the province, he's beloved, and his Montreal restaurant, headed up by Samuel Sauvé-Lamothe in the kitchen, demonstrates why. French technique meets Québécois terroir. Much of the food is presented in that ol' "deconstructed" format, at times getting into the molecular field, but it's not overwrought like so many other attempts at the fad. Flavours of the forest (mushroom and sea buckthorn) and ocean (sea lion and sea snail sauce) are artfully matched, and the spectacular melting-sphere desserts are not to be missed.

37. Otto Yakitori

Copy Link
1441 Rue Saint Mathieu, Montréal
QC H3H, Canada
(514) 507-8886
Montreal is not the biggest Japanese food hub, but the city fares OK for izakayas — and Otto is the best of the bunch. Yakitori (char-grilled skewers) are the specialty, with eel, lamb, gizzard, classic chicken, and more, starting at a tiny $1.50 a pop. A few bigger items (salads, karaage chicken) and homemade ice cream round out the menu — be prepared to wait in line, or take advantage of their late-night hours.
  • Open in Google Maps
  • Foursquare
  • 38. Tangia

    Copy Link
    2072 Drummond, Montreal
    QC H3G 1W9, Canada
    (514) 282-9790
    Visit Website
    Seasoned restaurateur Dan Medalsy has gone all out in this relatively new arrival, creating what's now Montreal's finest Moroccan restaurant. It's part-traditional (a smooth hummus, and luscious tagines), and part-creative, with updates on classics like pie-adjacent pastilla, and all-flavourful. Creative cocktails that integrate flavours like mint, pomegranate, and harissa help seal the deal.

    1. Park

    378 Victoria Avenue, Westmount, QC H3Z 2N4, Canada
    Randall Brodeur
    Antonio Park has a private fish import license and isn't afraid to use it. The affable native of Argentina, and Culinary Institute of Japan alum has knife skills as sharp as his hashtag game, and has risen from the ranks to become one of Canada's most recognizable star chefs. At Park, the Chopped Canada judge has what is arguably Montreal's first destination sushi restaurant.
    378 Victoria Avenue, Westmount
    QC H3Z 2N4, Canada

    2. Le Vin Papillon

    2519 Notre-Dame ouest, Montreal, QC H3J 1N4, Canada
    Randall Brodeur
    This walk-in wine bar was a seamless, and seemingly no-brainer, addition to the Joe Beef family when it opened in the summer of 2013. As of late August 2015 there's twice as much Vin Papillon to love. Come terrasse season, the Parc Vinet-facing alley behind Joe Beef's three restaurants will thrum.
    2519 Notre-Dame ouest, Montreal
    QC H3J 1N4, Canada

    3. Joe Beef

    2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H3J 1N6, Canada
    Randall Brodeur
    Dave McMillan, Fred Morin and Allison Cunningham opened their first restaurant together in 2005 on a moribund stretch of Notre-Dame in Little Burgundy. Montreal (and the world, frankly) has yet to recover — Joe Beef's hearty meats, lobster spaghetti, and more, have led to two more adjacent restaurants (Liverpool House and Le Vin Papillon), and mountains of international accolades.
    2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
    QC H3J 1N6, Canada

    4. Nora Gray

    1391 rue Saint-Jacques, Montreal, QC H3C 1H2, Canada
    Randall Brodeur
    Chef Emma Cardarelli, Lisa McConnell and Ryan Gray run one of the most sought-after tables in town on a once-quiet strip below the Bell Centre. The formula: a warm room, easygoing vibe, savvy wine service and beautifully-executed seasonal Italian food. It's hard to reap more total satisfaction from any other restaurant in the city.
    1391 rue Saint-Jacques, Montreal
    QC H3C 1H2, Canada

    5. Toqué!

    900 place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, PQ H2Z 2B2, Canada
    Normand Laprise won a James Beard award for his 444-page cookbook, Toqué!: Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy, and after two decades, the chef's flagship restaurant is as crucial as ever — Laprise and team mix French techniques with thoroughly local ingredients and the result is food that has been considered crucial to Quebec's contemporary culinary identity.
    900 place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal
    PQ H2Z 2B2, Canada

    6. Le Club Chasse et Pêche

    423 Saint-Claude, Montreal, QC H2Y 3B6, Canada
    An ode to earth and sea, Le Club Chasse et Pêche manages refinement without grandiloquence, and is just a gorgeous restaurant, in every respect — dishes with restraint let top-notch produce speak for itself, and patissier Masumi Waki's fabulous desserts round it all out. Le Serpent and Le Filet, also from restaurateurs Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier, are also great bets, but this is the true capital of their figurative empire.
    423 Saint-Claude, Montreal
    QC H2Y 3B6, Canada