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Seventy-five-year-old Geenspot starts serving breakfast at 5 a.m. on weekdays.
EAT Agency/Greenspot

Where to Go for a Brilliant Weekday Breakfast in Montreal

Jumpstart the day with egg-topped poutine, duck confit grilled cheese, or a classic diner breakfast

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Seventy-five-year-old Geenspot starts serving breakfast at 5 a.m. on weekdays.
| EAT Agency/Greenspot

Even the most avid restaurantgoer sometimes overlooks the pleasures of a weekday breakfast, favouring eating out for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. But, as any early riser will tell you, they’re missing out. From old-school diners to cozy neighbourhood hubs, many Montreal restaurants are working hard to plate delicious food before 10 a.m. Here are 14 breakfast restaurants for a standout morning meal — any day of the week.

Looking for Montreal’s essential weekend brunches or the hottest new brunch offerings? They are here and here. Meanwhile, Montreal’s best cafés — many serving pastries and sandwiches for breakfast on the go — are gathered over here.

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Legendary NDG diner Cosmos, founded by the late Tony “Man of Grease” Koulakis, opens Wednesday to Sunday at 7 a.m. for pulse-quickening hangover breakfasts. Although the Koulakis family sold the diner in 2020, the new owners haven’t veered far from Cosmos’ menu, on which potatoes (in the form of delightfully crispy hash browns) are king.

Well offers a breakfast-focused menu with globally inspired takes on café staples both sweet (think ricotta pancakes with bacon or chocolate and cherry waffles) and savoury (including huevos rancheros, shakshuka, and duck confit grilled cheese). Takeout is available.

Arthurs

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Not an old-school Jewish deli but inspired by one, Arthurs Nosh Bar has been a massive hit since opening in 2016, with line-ups for weekend brunch often stretching far along Notre-Dame Street. During the week, diners go for the top-notch breakfast sandwich served on a challah roll, cottage cheese pancakes with maple syrup, or the latke smorgasbord with gravlax and soft-scrambled eggs.

Greenspot Restaurant

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Early risers, rejoice: This long-standing diner with retro tabletop jukeboxes in St-Henri starts serving breakfast at 5 a.m. on weekdays. Find frill-free, pocket-friendly bacon-and-egg diner breakfasts at the restaurant, which recently marked its 75th year in business. Open until late, it also boasts an extensive poutine offering, smoked meat, club sandwiches, and steamies.

Le Cartet

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The weekday breakfast fare at this sleek Old Montreal bistro and boutique comes beautifully presented, with a series of updated classics that are simple yet delicious. The menu includes four kinds of grilled cheese (one with duck confit and another with avocado and veggies), two eggs Benedict dishes, various pastries, and other small bites.

Olive et Gourmando

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It’s not uncommon to see a queue snaking out the door at this adored Old Montreal restaurant, which really is worth the wait. In the morning, patrons go for chia pudding, a panini filled with egg salad, speck, and cheese, or a sweet ricotta plate served with brioche bread. Part bakery, Olive et Gourmando’s pastries — croissants, muffins, scones, and more — are equally delicious and perfect for breakfast on the go.

Beauty's Restaurant

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This landmark diner is a reliable choice for locals and tourists looking for an uncomplicated breakfast in Montreal’s Mile End. Consider the Mish Mash, an omelette with salami, hot dogs, and green peppers, or the Special, a sandwich with lox, cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, and onions — both iconic dishes in the city. Open since 1942 and still in the family, owners recently gave Beauty’s a major refresh with a design they promise continues to “honour the history, the period, and the feeling of the place.”

Bagel Etc

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This 40-year-old breakfast landmark on the Main, favoured by Montreal’s late troubadour poet laureate Leonard Cohen, serves up a range of Montreal diner classics from 7:30 a.m., seven days a week. Bagel Etc’s menu is chock full of Benedicts, French toast, pancakes, bagels, and classic breakfast plates.

This tidy day-to-night dining project from the Lawrence crew is open for breakfast at 9 a.m. all week except for Mondays. It offers up a menu that’s focused on simple English breakfast fare: scones with jam and clotted cream, breakfast sausages, and pikelets.

Le Vieux Vélo

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Vieux Vélo is Montreal’s leading eggs Benedict specialist, going beyond the classics with variations like bacon, avocado and brie, or a grilled veggie option with a tangy pesto hollandaise. These dishes — plus others like pancakes with strawberries and a tofu scramble for the hollandaise-averse — are all reasonably priced and available daily.

Chez José

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Easygoing Chez José has long been a favourite for Plateau residents to grab a breakfast sandwich (in a traditional Portuguese bun) and a refreshing fruit-packed smoothie. Otherwise, expect a menu of filling omelettes and Portuguese-inspired plates that pile fried eggs with tasty chouriço. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

Le Toasteur

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Take a seat in Le Toasteur’s newly revamped dining room in Montreal’s Villeray neighbourhood for a breakfast menu with lots of variety. Open at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays (and on weekends, too), this breakfast restaurant serves egg-topped poutine, lemon poppy seed pancakes, and an array of eggs Benedict prepared with everything from Montreal-style smoked meat to chimichurri. The menu changes every other month.

A charming Persian coffeehouse with a mighty fine breakfast, Byblos keeps a small menu replete with Middle Eastern flavours. Swing by the Laurier East address for omelettes with feta or dates, halym (a steaming, cinnamony bowl of cream of wheat and turkey), and sweet bread with halva.

Régine

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The fabulously popular Régine offers a whopper of a breakfast menu at 9 a.m. every day of the week. Known to serve a breakfast fancier than at your standard Montreal diner, its menu includes items like corn waffles with smoked salmon, grilled cheese with aged cheddar and caramelized onions, and a decadent French toast with strawberries and mascarpone cream. Régine’s sister establishment, Janine, offers breakfast in Verdun from Wednesday to Sunday.

Cosmos

Legendary NDG diner Cosmos, founded by the late Tony “Man of Grease” Koulakis, opens Wednesday to Sunday at 7 a.m. for pulse-quickening hangover breakfasts. Although the Koulakis family sold the diner in 2020, the new owners haven’t veered far from Cosmos’ menu, on which potatoes (in the form of delightfully crispy hash browns) are king.

Well

Well offers a breakfast-focused menu with globally inspired takes on café staples both sweet (think ricotta pancakes with bacon or chocolate and cherry waffles) and savoury (including huevos rancheros, shakshuka, and duck confit grilled cheese). Takeout is available.

Arthurs

Not an old-school Jewish deli but inspired by one, Arthurs Nosh Bar has been a massive hit since opening in 2016, with line-ups for weekend brunch often stretching far along Notre-Dame Street. During the week, diners go for the top-notch breakfast sandwich served on a challah roll, cottage cheese pancakes with maple syrup, or the latke smorgasbord with gravlax and soft-scrambled eggs.

Greenspot Restaurant

Early risers, rejoice: This long-standing diner with retro tabletop jukeboxes in St-Henri starts serving breakfast at 5 a.m. on weekdays. Find frill-free, pocket-friendly bacon-and-egg diner breakfasts at the restaurant, which recently marked its 75th year in business. Open until late, it also boasts an extensive poutine offering, smoked meat, club sandwiches, and steamies.

Le Cartet

The weekday breakfast fare at this sleek Old Montreal bistro and boutique comes beautifully presented, with a series of updated classics that are simple yet delicious. The menu includes four kinds of grilled cheese (one with duck confit and another with avocado and veggies), two eggs Benedict dishes, various pastries, and other small bites.

Olive et Gourmando

It’s not uncommon to see a queue snaking out the door at this adored Old Montreal restaurant, which really is worth the wait. In the morning, patrons go for chia pudding, a panini filled with egg salad, speck, and cheese, or a sweet ricotta plate served with brioche bread. Part bakery, Olive et Gourmando’s pastries — croissants, muffins, scones, and more — are equally delicious and perfect for breakfast on the go.

Beauty's Restaurant

This landmark diner is a reliable choice for locals and tourists looking for an uncomplicated breakfast in Montreal’s Mile End. Consider the Mish Mash, an omelette with salami, hot dogs, and green peppers, or the Special, a sandwich with lox, cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, and onions — both iconic dishes in the city. Open since 1942 and still in the family, owners recently gave Beauty’s a major refresh with a design they promise continues to “honour the history, the period, and the feeling of the place.”

Bagel Etc

This 40-year-old breakfast landmark on the Main, favoured by Montreal’s late troubadour poet laureate Leonard Cohen, serves up a range of Montreal diner classics from 7:30 a.m., seven days a week. Bagel Etc’s menu is chock full of Benedicts, French toast, pancakes, bagels, and classic breakfast plates.

Larrys

This tidy day-to-night dining project from the Lawrence crew is open for breakfast at 9 a.m. all week except for Mondays. It offers up a menu that’s focused on simple English breakfast fare: scones with jam and clotted cream, breakfast sausages, and pikelets.

Le Vieux Vélo

Vieux Vélo is Montreal’s leading eggs Benedict specialist, going beyond the classics with variations like bacon, avocado and brie, or a grilled veggie option with a tangy pesto hollandaise. These dishes — plus others like pancakes with strawberries and a tofu scramble for the hollandaise-averse — are all reasonably priced and available daily.

Chez José

Easygoing Chez José has long been a favourite for Plateau residents to grab a breakfast sandwich (in a traditional Portuguese bun) and a refreshing fruit-packed smoothie. Otherwise, expect a menu of filling omelettes and Portuguese-inspired plates that pile fried eggs with tasty chouriço. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

Le Toasteur

Take a seat in Le Toasteur’s newly revamped dining room in Montreal’s Villeray neighbourhood for a breakfast menu with lots of variety. Open at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays (and on weekends, too), this breakfast restaurant serves egg-topped poutine, lemon poppy seed pancakes, and an array of eggs Benedict prepared with everything from Montreal-style smoked meat to chimichurri. The menu changes every other month.

Byblos

A charming Persian coffeehouse with a mighty fine breakfast, Byblos keeps a small menu replete with Middle Eastern flavours. Swing by the Laurier East address for omelettes with feta or dates, halym (a steaming, cinnamony bowl of cream of wheat and turkey), and sweet bread with halva.

Régine

The fabulously popular Régine offers a whopper of a breakfast menu at 9 a.m. every day of the week. Known to serve a breakfast fancier than at your standard Montreal diner, its menu includes items like corn waffles with smoked salmon, grilled cheese with aged cheddar and caramelized onions, and a decadent French toast with strawberries and mascarpone cream. Régine’s sister establishment, Janine, offers breakfast in Verdun from Wednesday to Sunday.