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12 Great Places to Eat in Griffintown

Where to dine in the working-class hood turned condo-town

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Despite living in the shadows of Little Burgundy — which boasts the Joe Beef, Liverpool House and Vin Papillon trio — neighbouring Griffintown is more than worthy of acknowledgement thanks to a handful of vibrant spots that manage to push past the area’s overpriced business lunch-leaning tendencies.

An ongoing surge in condo developments continues to bring about a spate of openings, joining longer-established spots, like Nora Gray and Foxy, two of the most notable names in the area. Also worth consideration: artisanal bread or brunch at La Bête à Pain, Filipino fare at Junior, barbecue at Le Boucan, and Lebanese food at promising newcomer SHAY.

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Chez Sophie

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The husband-and-wife team behind Chez Sophie bring some impressive experience to the table and are serving up French and Italian-inspired fare at this Notre Dame spot. Poised without being pretentious, it offers a great spot to host a celebration (or an excuse to treat yourself).

If you’re not familiar with Filipino food, Junior is a great introduction (and one of few in town to offer it). Must-try menu items are the lumpia rolls (not unlike spring rolls filled with shredded pork) and pancit bihon (glass noodles with shrimp, chicken, and a melange of veggies). Junior isn’t only worth checking out for dinner; open from 11 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, the restaurant’s daytime bowls make for a great quick lunch bite or lazy weekend brunch.

Le Boucan

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Get your barbecue fix in Griffintown with a trip to Le Boucan. Whether you go for a heaping plate of ribs or a pulled pork poutine, be sure to bring your carnivore A-game because vegetables are definitely not the star of the show here.

Nora Gray

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Take all of your preconceptions of generic Italian food and throw them out the window. Nora Gray’s menu is simple yet thoughtful; it’s all about the quality of the ingredients, of which there are relatively few. Add a friendly atmosphere and solid wine list, and Nora Gray is easily one of the best Italian joints in the entire city. It may be a whisker outside Griffintown’s technical boundary, but the restaurant identifies itself as part of the ‘hood.

Bird Bar

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The bird’s the word at this fried chicken joint, which has classed things up with plenty of champagne and other bubbles to choose from. Get your fix on weekends, too, with chicken and waffles for brunch. Need more booze to wash it all down? Check out the basement speakeasy, Henden, open Thursday through Saturday.

Perles & Paddock

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This chic white and glassy space just off Notre Dame is serving seasonal food accompanied by craft beer and cocktails, all of which emphasize Quebec ingredients. Prices land a meal on Perles & Paddock’s small menu in “special occasion” territory, but it also offers an afternoon/late-night menu that’s a bit easier on the wallet, as well as brunch.

Restaurant Grinder

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Grinder’s famously pricey menu might not make it the best spot for a quick, casual bite, but if it’s top-quality meat (the restaurant boasts its own boucherie) and a beautifully designed terrasse atmosphere you’re after, you can’t do much better.

This spot from the owners of Olive & Gourmando is roasting up a variety of tasty offerings with its in-house fire pit. Flatbread, check. Roast chicken, check. Rotisserie pork, check. It’s like camping, but fancier, and with someone else doing the cooking for you and a hot shower to go home to.

Another bold pandemic opening, Mediterranean restaurant Ayla was launched in May 2020 by the same team behind Ryú, who recently brought that chain to the neighbourhood, as well. Ayla’s menu of Levantine-inspired sharing plates are vastly different from the offerings at its sister restaurants, but the dedication to quality is unquestionably on par.

New kid on the block Shay (pronounced “shy”—the Arabic word for tea) has already made a strong impression on diners in the neighbourhood, despite a late start that saw the modern Middle Eastern joint push its slated 2020 opening to 2021 because of lockdown measures. Shay does a great picnic basket, but it’s worth visiting the restaurant in person, if only to take the pressure off of having to decide between the selection of mezzes: from innovative takes on Middle Eastern flavours, like falafel bao buns and shawarma tacos, to classics like shish taouk and kibbeh nayeh.

Mano Cornuto

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Italian snack bar Mano Cornuto has been serving its sandwiches, salads, pastas, schiacciata and other fresh ingredient-forward takes on classic Italian light bites to great fanfare since 2019. Its homey interior itself feels like a little slice of Italy, so saddle up to the bar, order yourself an Aperol spritz and a bowl of homemade pasta and pretend you’re in bella Italia for the afternoon. 

La Bête à Pain

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There aren’t a ton of options for great bread in Griffintown, but with this outpost of Marc-André Royal’s Ahuntsic bakery La Bête à Pain, locals arguably have everything they need. You can stop by to grab a loaf to take home to eat with cheese or toast up for breakfast, or stop to eat in for brunch or lunch.

Chez Sophie

The husband-and-wife team behind Chez Sophie bring some impressive experience to the table and are serving up French and Italian-inspired fare at this Notre Dame spot. Poised without being pretentious, it offers a great spot to host a celebration (or an excuse to treat yourself).

Junior

If you’re not familiar with Filipino food, Junior is a great introduction (and one of few in town to offer it). Must-try menu items are the lumpia rolls (not unlike spring rolls filled with shredded pork) and pancit bihon (glass noodles with shrimp, chicken, and a melange of veggies). Junior isn’t only worth checking out for dinner; open from 11 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, the restaurant’s daytime bowls make for a great quick lunch bite or lazy weekend brunch.

Le Boucan

Get your barbecue fix in Griffintown with a trip to Le Boucan. Whether you go for a heaping plate of ribs or a pulled pork poutine, be sure to bring your carnivore A-game because vegetables are definitely not the star of the show here.

Nora Gray

Take all of your preconceptions of generic Italian food and throw them out the window. Nora Gray’s menu is simple yet thoughtful; it’s all about the quality of the ingredients, of which there are relatively few. Add a friendly atmosphere and solid wine list, and Nora Gray is easily one of the best Italian joints in the entire city. It may be a whisker outside Griffintown’s technical boundary, but the restaurant identifies itself as part of the ‘hood.

Bird Bar

The bird’s the word at this fried chicken joint, which has classed things up with plenty of champagne and other bubbles to choose from. Get your fix on weekends, too, with chicken and waffles for brunch. Need more booze to wash it all down? Check out the basement speakeasy, Henden, open Thursday through Saturday.

Perles & Paddock

This chic white and glassy space just off Notre Dame is serving seasonal food accompanied by craft beer and cocktails, all of which emphasize Quebec ingredients. Prices land a meal on Perles & Paddock’s small menu in “special occasion” territory, but it also offers an afternoon/late-night menu that’s a bit easier on the wallet, as well as brunch.

Restaurant Grinder

Grinder’s famously pricey menu might not make it the best spot for a quick, casual bite, but if it’s top-quality meat (the restaurant boasts its own boucherie) and a beautifully designed terrasse atmosphere you’re after, you can’t do much better.

Foxy

This spot from the owners of Olive & Gourmando is roasting up a variety of tasty offerings with its in-house fire pit. Flatbread, check. Roast chicken, check. Rotisserie pork, check. It’s like camping, but fancier, and with someone else doing the cooking for you and a hot shower to go home to.

Ayla

Another bold pandemic opening, Mediterranean restaurant Ayla was launched in May 2020 by the same team behind Ryú, who recently brought that chain to the neighbourhood, as well. Ayla’s menu of Levantine-inspired sharing plates are vastly different from the offerings at its sister restaurants, but the dedication to quality is unquestionably on par.

SHAY

New kid on the block Shay (pronounced “shy”—the Arabic word for tea) has already made a strong impression on diners in the neighbourhood, despite a late start that saw the modern Middle Eastern joint push its slated 2020 opening to 2021 because of lockdown measures. Shay does a great picnic basket, but it’s worth visiting the restaurant in person, if only to take the pressure off of having to decide between the selection of mezzes: from innovative takes on Middle Eastern flavours, like falafel bao buns and shawarma tacos, to classics like shish taouk and kibbeh nayeh.

Mano Cornuto

Italian snack bar Mano Cornuto has been serving its sandwiches, salads, pastas, schiacciata and other fresh ingredient-forward takes on classic Italian light bites to great fanfare since 2019. Its homey interior itself feels like a little slice of Italy, so saddle up to the bar, order yourself an Aperol spritz and a bowl of homemade pasta and pretend you’re in bella Italia for the afternoon. 

La Bête à Pain

There aren’t a ton of options for great bread in Griffintown, but with this outpost of Marc-André Royal’s Ahuntsic bakery La Bête à Pain, locals arguably have everything they need. You can stop by to grab a loaf to take home to eat with cheese or toast up for breakfast, or stop to eat in for brunch or lunch.