Let’s be honest, surviving winter in Montreal can be tough. Freezing temperatures and short days can make it difficult to find the motivation to want to do much other than curl up under the covers and stay cozy. However, these eats are worth braving the cold for. From hearty soups to spicy rice bowls, rum cocktails to heaps of pasta, they are all ensured to warm you up, and keep you that way, this winter.Read More
These Montreal Restaurants Want to Warm You Up This Winter
Ramen, rum, and relaxation
Pasta is always a good idea when you’re in need of some food that is guaranteed to warm the soul. Co-owned by chefs Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione, Impasto’s pasta game is particularly strong. From homemade ricotta gnocchi to spaghetti chitarra alla carbonara, they likely have the carbs you're craving.
2. Le Jardin Du Cari
QC H2T 1S8, Canada
This hole-in-the-wall spot on St. Laurent just past St. Viateur is not to be missed. Its goat curry with homemade roti is exactly what you want when it’s -30 degrees out and you’re dreaming of a vacation to the Caribbean.
3. Bishop & Bagg
This ain’t just your average English pub: this happening Mile End locale offers several seasonal salads and a particularly diverse menu that go well with a homemade cocktail or two. The lamb pitas are out-of-this-world and easy to share. Recommended for gin lovers: the Sergio.
Syrian food might not be a staple in your dining out repertoire, but it should be. Damas does it right with a comprehensive tasting menu to get you exposed to all the cuisine has to offer. They also have a great wine list if your plan is to drink your way through to spring.
5. Au Pied de Cochon
What do you get when you put together foie gras, all of the pork products you can possibly imagine, and some maple syrup to top it all off? Quebecois comfort food at its finest. Au Pied de Cochon offers their decadent menu all year long but it’s best suited for winter when all you want to do is curl up and eat.
6. Khyber Pass
Nothing helps you forget about the weather outside more than cozying up in a comforting, cavernous space and chowing down on a lamb shank with myriad other Afghani side dishes. Not to mention, Khyber Pass is also BYOW so you can warm up from the inside out. Expect a different façade next time you pass by.
Sometimes all you need to get you out of that winter funk is some fun, lively times with friends. That’s easily accomplished over a good bottle of wine and some great French bistro eats at L’Express. It’s a Montreal landmark for good reason: the dishes are classic and simple, but are executed on point.
If you can’t make it to the tropics this winter, an alternate bet is to go have a drink and some bites at Agrikol. Their ti ponch with barbancourt rhum and crispy griot will have you forgetting that you are actually living in the Great White North and not soaking up the sun in Haiti.
With limited counter space available, this comforting Japanese spot is downright homey. Pork (or mushroom) okonomiyaki and takoyaki (fried octopus balls) are the two main focuses, along with a rotation of udon noodle dishes, curries and soups. Bring an appetite and try a little of everything.
A solid place to waste away a few hours than this Tex-Mex taco and burrito bar in the heart of the Plateau. Order a bucket of fried chicken and watch it get dumped out right onto your table, otherwise, the portobello mushroom tacos, steak burrito, and bourbon lemonade are amongst some of the other classics.
Take off your shoes and sit cross-legged on plush cushions at this family owned and operated Indian restaurant in the Quartier des Spectacles area. The must haves include the lamb madras, shrimp biryani and chicken tikka. The vegetable pakora is also seriously unbelievable.
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12. Kinton Ramen
This map makes it clear: warm broth and noodles are a winter necessity. Nothing cures cold-related blues better than slurping up a giant bowl of ramen, and Kinton has plenty of options to choose from, starting with pork or chicken broth and adding in plenty of garnishes like egg, scallions, and chicken breast.
13. Sen Vàng
Nothing can warm the spirits quite like a steaming hot bowl of Vietnamese pho, and the secret is out on this family-owned restaurant in Côte-des-Neiges. Arguably serving up one of the best Tonkinese soups in the city, other options such as the vermicelli bowls, served with fried imperial rolls, are also a solid choice. Cash only.
14. Arthurs Nosh Bar
Bubby is down in Florida for the winter and you’re dying for your next fix of matzoh ball soup? Arthurs has you covered for classic and refreshed takes on Jewish fare. Its extensive menu has a mix of healthy and non-healthy options that’ll cater to just about everyone’s needs, from a robust schnitzel sandwich and latkes to cottage cheese pancakes. Pro tip: use their new Waitlist feature avoid waiting in (often lengthy) lines).
One of the hottest new(ish) places in town, Elena offers two spaces for diners — one that requires reservations (full menu) and another café (by day) that can be accessed by the back alley, serving salads, pizzas, and cannoli (both have bar licenses). The must have is the munjabel pizza, but all the wood-fired pizzas are excellent, as are warming pastas.
16. Mon Ami (multiple locations)
Korean fried chicken and beer is great anytime of year, but especially on those dark, winter nights when you need something to lift your spirits — even better, this location also offers barbecue. Best shared with a group of friends and a couple bottles of soju on the side. Not ideal for vegetarians.
17. Les Street Monkeys
A hot-spot in the rapidly-evolving borough of Verdun, Les Street Monkeys fills up hungry Montrealers with flavours from Cambodia. Traditional dishes include spicy papaya salad, fish amok and Khmer chicken and beef brochettes, although some great fusion items exist as well.