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Winter beet and gorgonzola tortellini
Nora Gray

15 Primo Places for Pasta in Montreal

Where to carb load for winter

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Winter beet and gorgonzola tortellini
| Nora Gray

Good pasta in Montreal isn’t restricted to Little Italy. While that neighbourhood offers some of the best carb-loading staples in the city (Impasto, Luciano Trattoria, Pizzeria Napoletana) to name a few, but other areas also hold their own in pastas of various shapes and sizes.

It’s also not just Italian restaurants that specialize in pasta dishes: icons like Joe Beef and L’Express offer signature pasta dishes such as lobster spaghetti and house-made raviolis, respectively. Then there’s the newer breed of Italian spots with more modern takes, like Nora Gray in Griffintown, and Le Serpent. Whether it’s old school or new school, pasta is primi at these spots around town.

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Ristorante Lucca

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For almost 20 years Lucca has been serving traditional Italian fare from Little Italy. The house specialty is linguine frutti di mare alla marinara — linguine with a melange of seafood and tomato sauce. If that doesn’t do it, tagliatelle with rabbit ragu is a great bet.

Pappardelle al cinghiale
Ristorante Lucca

Inferno

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Pasta may not be the sole emphasis here, but what Inferno lacks in selection, it makes up for in quality. Italian classics like spaghetti vongole with clams and guanciale in white wine sauce steal the show.

Kabocha squash gnocchi
Inferno

Impasto

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Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita’s spot in Little Italy is a go-to for modern Italian in the city. Their pasta and gnocchi is made in-house about as authentic as it gets, and should make any nonnas in the neighbourhood proud. 

Pizzeria Napoletana

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Despite the name, Pizzeria Napoletana has an equally impressive selection of pastas. From long noodles like spaghetti, and fettuccine, to stuffed pastas like ravioli and tortellini, they offer well over 30 different options that can quash any carb craving.

Farfalle tre formaggi
Pizzeria Napoletana

Luciano Trattoria

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One of the newer Italian spots in the area, this trattoria isn’t to be overlooked simply because of a lack of history in the neighbourhood. Chef and owner Luciano D’Orazio does great justice to his heritage and market ingredients. Naturally, pasta is included.

Barcola Bistro

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This spot just north of St. Viateur on Parc specializes in northern Italian dishes. The selection changes from day to day but pasta, gnocchi, and risotto are all menu staples.

Il Pagliaccio

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Garnering an almost-perfect three and a half (out of four) stars from Lesley Chesterman in 2015, this unassuming Italian trattoria on Laurier isn’t a big name spot, but it knows its audience. Satisfying with a selection of pastas and meatier mains, it’s worth detouring to.

Ragù di porcellino

A post shared by Federico De Marchi (@_fede_dm_) on

Drogheria Fine

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Little more than a shopfront window selling jars of pasta sauce and more, Drogheria Fine also makes some fine gnocchi. Pillowy bites of potato dumpling are smothered in tomato sauce and a liberal helping of parmesan cheese — and it’s just a few dollars for a solid takeout container of it.

Maison Publique

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Maison Publique’s ever-changing pasta specials can be some of the most creative and out-there takes on the staple in the city. (Given pasta fan Jamie Oliver’s connection to the restaurant, it makes sense.) Keep an eye out for everything from tortellini stuffed with winter squash, to maccheroni (a type of long, square edged noodle) with egg and bottarga.

A post shared by Derek Dammann (@maisonpublique) on

L'Express

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Montreal classic L’Express may be oh-so-French, but its homemade ravioli should not be overlooked. Stuffed with veal and mushrooms, they’re the ideal ratio of filling to pasta, not to mention a complete umami bomb.

L’Express
Randall Brodeur

Joe Beef

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A Montreal pasta guide wouldn’t be complete without Joe Beef’s beloved lobster spaghetti. Creamy lobster sauce envelopes perfectly al dente noodles: it’s an easy sell and a crowd-pleaser. 

A post shared by Nik Naks (@nik_nak_nate) on

Nora Gray

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Looking to combine a romantic date night and a pasta fix all in one go? Nora Gray isn’t archetypal Italian, but it is seductively delicious. All primi (pasta) courses come in two sizes, to facilitate sampling.

Pappardelle with rabbit bolognese
Nora Gray

Le Serpent

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Pasta is what truly shines at this Italian cousin to Le Club Chasse et Pêche. The menu changes seasonally to reflect all that is fresh and abundant, while still satisfying the comforting aspect of truly excellent pasta. The same restaurant group also recently added the much-more-casual pasta counter, Il Miglio.

A post shared by Paul Kwon (@7.12.24) on

Graziella

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Graziella Batista is one of the finest Italian chefs in the city, and this Old Montreal restaurant is where she showcases it all. Options like juicy duck confit ravioli and pillowy gnocchi shine on a small, but very refined menu.

Da Emma

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Can’t book a trip to Rome on the spot? Da Emma is the next best bet. Nothing is ground breaking, but good pasta doesn’t have to be. Classics like fettuccine with porcini mushrooms (pictured) are what diners are in it for.

A post shared by Varda Etienne / (@vardaetienne) on

Ristorante Lucca

For almost 20 years Lucca has been serving traditional Italian fare from Little Italy. The house specialty is linguine frutti di mare alla marinara — linguine with a melange of seafood and tomato sauce. If that doesn’t do it, tagliatelle with rabbit ragu is a great bet.

Pappardelle al cinghiale
Ristorante Lucca

Inferno

Pasta may not be the sole emphasis here, but what Inferno lacks in selection, it makes up for in quality. Italian classics like spaghetti vongole with clams and guanciale in white wine sauce steal the show.

Kabocha squash gnocchi
Inferno

Impasto

Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita’s spot in Little Italy is a go-to for modern Italian in the city. Their pasta and gnocchi is made in-house about as authentic as it gets, and should make any nonnas in the neighbourhood proud. 

Pizzeria Napoletana

Despite the name, Pizzeria Napoletana has an equally impressive selection of pastas. From long noodles like spaghetti, and fettuccine, to stuffed pastas like ravioli and tortellini, they offer well over 30 different options that can quash any carb craving.

Farfalle tre formaggi
Pizzeria Napoletana

Luciano Trattoria

One of the newer Italian spots in the area, this trattoria isn’t to be overlooked simply because of a lack of history in the neighbourhood. Chef and owner Luciano D’Orazio does great justice to his heritage and market ingredients. Naturally, pasta is included.

Barcola Bistro

This spot just north of St. Viateur on Parc specializes in northern Italian dishes. The selection changes from day to day but pasta, gnocchi, and risotto are all menu staples.

Il Pagliaccio

Garnering an almost-perfect three and a half (out of four) stars from Lesley Chesterman in 2015, this unassuming Italian trattoria on Laurier isn’t a big name spot, but it knows its audience. Satisfying with a selection of pastas and meatier mains, it’s worth detouring to.

Ragù di porcellino

A post shared by Federico De Marchi (@_fede_dm_) on

Drogheria Fine

Little more than a shopfront window selling jars of pasta sauce and more, Drogheria Fine also makes some fine gnocchi. Pillowy bites of potato dumpling are smothered in tomato sauce and a liberal helping of parmesan cheese — and it’s just a few dollars for a solid takeout container of it.

Maison Publique

Maison Publique’s ever-changing pasta specials can be some of the most creative and out-there takes on the staple in the city. (Given pasta fan Jamie Oliver’s connection to the restaurant, it makes sense.) Keep an eye out for everything from tortellini stuffed with winter squash, to maccheroni (a type of long, square edged noodle) with egg and bottarga.

A post shared by Derek Dammann (@maisonpublique) on

L'Express

Montreal classic L’Express may be oh-so-French, but its homemade ravioli should not be overlooked. Stuffed with veal and mushrooms, they’re the ideal ratio of filling to pasta, not to mention a complete umami bomb.

L’Express
Randall Brodeur

Joe Beef

A Montreal pasta guide wouldn’t be complete without Joe Beef’s beloved lobster spaghetti. Creamy lobster sauce envelopes perfectly al dente noodles: it’s an easy sell and a crowd-pleaser. 

A post shared by Nik Naks (@nik_nak_nate) on

Nora Gray

Looking to combine a romantic date night and a pasta fix all in one go? Nora Gray isn’t archetypal Italian, but it is seductively delicious. All primi (pasta) courses come in two sizes, to facilitate sampling.

Pappardelle with rabbit bolognese
Nora Gray

Le Serpent

Pasta is what truly shines at this Italian cousin to Le Club Chasse et Pêche. The menu changes seasonally to reflect all that is fresh and abundant, while still satisfying the comforting aspect of truly excellent pasta. The same restaurant group also recently added the much-more-casual pasta counter, Il Miglio.

A post shared by Paul Kwon (@7.12.24) on

Graziella

Graziella Batista is one of the finest Italian chefs in the city, and this Old Montreal restaurant is where she showcases it all. Options like juicy duck confit ravioli and pillowy gnocchi shine on a small, but very refined menu.

Da Emma

Can’t book a trip to Rome on the spot? Da Emma is the next best bet. Nothing is ground breaking, but good pasta doesn’t have to be. Classics like fettuccine with porcini mushrooms (pictured) are what diners are in it for.

A post shared by Varda Etienne / (@vardaetienne) on

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