Sometimes derided as a lonely endeavour, dining alone can actually be a real treat — it’s a great time to disconnect from the bustle of real life for a little while, to have a quiet date with a book, or to simply enjoy a great meal while traveling alone. Depending on one’s motives, there are a lot of great options to eat alone in Montreal. From comfortably anonymous restaurants like Kumamoto Ramen to friendly picnic-style dining like McKiernan Luncheonette, here are seven places to go solo in the city.Read More
7 Places to Dine Alone in Montreal
There’s no shame in grabbing a table for one — and here are some of the best places to do it.
Whether in Montreal on business or simply in the mood for a great meal in a gorgeous environment, look no further than L’Express. This Parisian-style brasserie is loved by locals for its vintage feel and luxuriant French fare. Tuck into a corner table for an intimate meal alone, or grab a seat at the bar and have a conversation with iconic bartender Claude Masson if he’s there.
This quirky indoor-outdoor restaurant serves up fine Haitian cuisine (think everything from accras to elevated rice and beans) from chef Paul Toussaint in an unpretentious, colourful setting. Guests can pull up a seat at the bar for a rum cocktail and a more anonymous evening, or nestle into the beautiful, picnic-style terrasse to strike up conversation with nearby diners.
3. Kumamoto Ramen
Inspired by the anonymity of ramen purveyor Ichiran in Tokyo, Kumamoto is an obvious choice for eating alone. The dining room looks more like a study hall than a restaurant — each individual table has walls on either side that create a cozy, solo dining experience. Guests don’t even have to speak to a waiter to order. They simply write down their ramen order and press the call button. A waiter brings the order from behind a personal window into the kitchen, and then rolls the blinds back down so guests have a totally private nook to eat and enjoy.
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Nestled into an unassuming block of Saint Catherine Street West, this budget-friendly joint serves some of the absolute best falafels in the city. Behind the counter is Nilufar Al-Shourbaji, the restaurant’s namesake, and one of the warmest people anyone could have the pleasure of meeting — strike up a conversation with her and you’ll leave the restaurant in a much better mood than when you walked in.
5. Le Vin Papillon
Vin Papillon can be as anonymous or as social as one wants it to be. Guests can pull up a seat at the bar and spend the evening chatting with the friendly staff about wine and farm-to-table fare, or sneak into one of the window banks to enjoy an introspective evening alone. The dimly lit restaurant is cozy and inviting and the selection of wine and chalkboard menu are a must see when visiting Montreal.
6. Club Social P.S.
Solo diners who prefer to have their meal with a great conversation should head to Club Social P.S., behind Elena in west Saint-Henri. The wine bar and pizza joint is small, with about ten chairs that all face the centre bar, making it very conducive to chatting. The friendly staff are happy to chat about the by-the-glass wines. In warmer months, the cozy outdoor dining space is usually brimming with locals enjoying a glass of wine or coffee, and can also be a great place to meet new people.
The latest addition to the Joe Beef group, McKiernan is tucked into an office building by the canal in Côte-St-Paul. Here solo eaters can expect a plethora of great sandwiches and viennoiseries (the exact menu changes every few weeks), and now, casual dinner service. What makes McKiernan great for solo eaters is its large, casual dining room. Prefer to have a chat over lunch? Tuck into one of the family style picnic tables and wait for a group of diners to join. The restaurant fills up quickly and due to that, dining with strangers becomes common practice by default.