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13 Places to Dine Alone in Montreal

Where to go for a solo meal — and to not have to share with anyone

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There’s something to be said for dining alone, by choice or by circumstance. Whether it’s a quick meal with a book (or a phone), a conscious choice to focus on savouring each bite in silence, or a solo business or pleasure trip, it can be fun to mix things up for a meal alone, away from the familiarity of home. After all, a change is as good as a break, right?

From upscale brasseries to more prosaic lunch spots, here’s a list of some of our favourite places to enjoy your own company.

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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Le Super Qualité

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The ever-changing thali at Le Super Qualité is the perfect meal for one: veg or non-veg, the stainless steel katori bowls are filled with delicious options of sambhar, minced vegetables in thoran South Indian style, yogurt, and pickles surrounding a mound of rice and crispy pappadum. If a thali is too much for one person, Super Qualité’s chicken bargar or masala dosas are individually portioned, too, and just as delicious. 

Café San Gennaro

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Little Italy pizza al taglio spot San Gennaro is worth the visit just to see what’s on offer at any given time. In the early morning there’s breakfast pizza with a tiny baked egg and roasted tomato; later in the day there’s salsiccia e rapini, margherita, and a traditional tomato pie (among others). Add an old school coffee and a cannoli to your order and take up a prime spot at the counter looking out onto St-Zotique.

Le Elsdale Buvette de Quartier

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This Rosemont café moves effortlessly from daytime to evening service, warmly welcoming customers indoors and outdoors on their large summertime terrasse. The seasonal menu changes slightly as the day goes on, with bright sandwich combinations, inventive pastas, homemade pastries and signature cocktails with local ingredients. 

Bar Henrietta

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With its long bar and extensive (and tasty) small plates menu, this Laurier West bistro offers a compact menu well worthy of exploration. Start with manchego popcorn and ease towards ceviche, polenta, or a charcuterie plate and end with homemade sweets.

Otto Bistro

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It’s a two-person operation at the Plateau’s Bistro Otto: Chef Hiroshi at the burners and the delightful Dominique at the bar. The menu changes daily but the high quality of the sashimi, the inventive noodle dishes — from ramen bowls (in two sizes) to uni carbonara and lobster mazemen — make this a place to return to over and over again.

L'Express

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L’Express ticks all the boxes for a chic night out on your own. Loved by Montrealers for its vintage feel, classic French fare, and reasonable wine list, tuck into a corner table for an intimate meal, or sit at the bar and be part of the bustle. 

Schwartz's Deli

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There might be a lineup, but no matter: there’s always good conversation to overhear or participate in with locals and tourists. Eating is cheek-by-jowl at Schwartz’s: since the mingling (and the smoked meat) is what it’s all about, embrace it. Get a pickle, some coleslaw, and a cherry coke, and get ready to get lost in thought.

Restaurant Fleurs et Cadeaux

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One of Chinatown’s newest additions, this food, sake, and wine bar in a former flower shop has all the right elements for a night out for one, including artfully prepared chirashi bowls and bento boxes ideal for solo dining.

Yin Ji Chang Fen

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Open from morning to night, Yin Ji Chang Fen’s got congee, steamed rice rolls, and dim sum morsels, and a window to all the street life that is Sainte-Catherine’s Shaughnessy Village. Portions are ample for one person; check out the meal specials, too, when they’re available. The kind, efficient staff here make anyone feel at home. 

Kumamoto Ramen

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Inspired by the anonymity of Ichiran “flavour concentration booth” ramen shops, the long dining hallway at Kumamoto might feel more like a library corridor than a restaurant: each individual table has walls on either side that create an intimate experience between the diner and their bowl. Orders are taken without having to speak to a server; once your meal is delivered, the blinds go down and you can slurp away in total privacy.

Monarque

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This elegant Old Port establishment offers two options: the brasserie side with à la carte meals and a less formal (though no less elegant) vibe, and a dining room with swish banquettes and a table d’hôte menu. Take your pick and prepare to be pampered. 

Club Social P.S.

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The cozy round bar at Club Social P.S. behind Elena in Saint-Henri has about ten stools facing the centre bar, making it conducive to chatting with your neighbour. The menu is the same as in the main dining room; if there’s no space in the back, just ask for a seat at the bar in front. Summertime is particularly nice (and social) here, with seating on several levels and fairy lights.

Falafel Yoni

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Crispy vegan orbs await at Falafel Yoni, both in Verdun and on the St-Viateur strip between Parc and St-Laurent. Tucked into pita or served with salad, on a plate, with hummus, or just on their own with some za’atar fries. The real deal is the sabich sandwich, though, full of eggplant-y goodness and more than a drizzle of their signature amba mango sauce.

Le Super Qualité

The ever-changing thali at Le Super Qualité is the perfect meal for one: veg or non-veg, the stainless steel katori bowls are filled with delicious options of sambhar, minced vegetables in thoran South Indian style, yogurt, and pickles surrounding a mound of rice and crispy pappadum. If a thali is too much for one person, Super Qualité’s chicken bargar or masala dosas are individually portioned, too, and just as delicious. 

Café San Gennaro

Little Italy pizza al taglio spot San Gennaro is worth the visit just to see what’s on offer at any given time. In the early morning there’s breakfast pizza with a tiny baked egg and roasted tomato; later in the day there’s salsiccia e rapini, margherita, and a traditional tomato pie (among others). Add an old school coffee and a cannoli to your order and take up a prime spot at the counter looking out onto St-Zotique.

Le Elsdale Buvette de Quartier

This Rosemont café moves effortlessly from daytime to evening service, warmly welcoming customers indoors and outdoors on their large summertime terrasse. The seasonal menu changes slightly as the day goes on, with bright sandwich combinations, inventive pastas, homemade pastries and signature cocktails with local ingredients. 

Bar Henrietta

With its long bar and extensive (and tasty) small plates menu, this Laurier West bistro offers a compact menu well worthy of exploration. Start with manchego popcorn and ease towards ceviche, polenta, or a charcuterie plate and end with homemade sweets.

Otto Bistro

It’s a two-person operation at the Plateau’s Bistro Otto: Chef Hiroshi at the burners and the delightful Dominique at the bar. The menu changes daily but the high quality of the sashimi, the inventive noodle dishes — from ramen bowls (in two sizes) to uni carbonara and lobster mazemen — make this a place to return to over and over again.

L'Express

L’Express ticks all the boxes for a chic night out on your own. Loved by Montrealers for its vintage feel, classic French fare, and reasonable wine list, tuck into a corner table for an intimate meal, or sit at the bar and be part of the bustle. 

Schwartz's Deli

There might be a lineup, but no matter: there’s always good conversation to overhear or participate in with locals and tourists. Eating is cheek-by-jowl at Schwartz’s: since the mingling (and the smoked meat) is what it’s all about, embrace it. Get a pickle, some coleslaw, and a cherry coke, and get ready to get lost in thought.

Restaurant Fleurs et Cadeaux

One of Chinatown’s newest additions, this food, sake, and wine bar in a former flower shop has all the right elements for a night out for one, including artfully prepared chirashi bowls and bento boxes ideal for solo dining.

Yin Ji Chang Fen

Open from morning to night, Yin Ji Chang Fen’s got congee, steamed rice rolls, and dim sum morsels, and a window to all the street life that is Sainte-Catherine’s Shaughnessy Village. Portions are ample for one person; check out the meal specials, too, when they’re available. The kind, efficient staff here make anyone feel at home. 

Kumamoto Ramen

Inspired by the anonymity of Ichiran “flavour concentration booth” ramen shops, the long dining hallway at Kumamoto might feel more like a library corridor than a restaurant: each individual table has walls on either side that create an intimate experience between the diner and their bowl. Orders are taken without having to speak to a server; once your meal is delivered, the blinds go down and you can slurp away in total privacy.

Monarque

This elegant Old Port establishment offers two options: the brasserie side with à la carte meals and a less formal (though no less elegant) vibe, and a dining room with swish banquettes and a table d’hôte menu. Take your pick and prepare to be pampered. 

Club Social P.S.

The cozy round bar at Club Social P.S. behind Elena in Saint-Henri has about ten stools facing the centre bar, making it conducive to chatting with your neighbour. The menu is the same as in the main dining room; if there’s no space in the back, just ask for a seat at the bar in front. Summertime is particularly nice (and social) here, with seating on several levels and fairy lights.

Falafel Yoni

Crispy vegan orbs await at Falafel Yoni, both in Verdun and on the St-Viateur strip between Parc and St-Laurent. Tucked into pita or served with salad, on a plate, with hummus, or just on their own with some za’atar fries. The real deal is the sabich sandwich, though, full of eggplant-y goodness and more than a drizzle of their signature amba mango sauce.

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