Downtown Montreal has never been a food destination per se, certainly not in the mold of a Mile End or Little Burgundy. The bridge and tunnel crowds rarely make a specific, purposeful trip to dine in the core of the city - Downtown beckons with other business and diversions after all - but, in many respects, that reputation is now under threat.
This new reality is about to collide with the busy holiday season, as Ste-Catherine street clogs up, the Underground City's hours extend and parents bundle kids up to go see Casse-Noisette and Ogilvy's festive window display. And while the likes of Al-Taib, Boustan, Bangkok and Mister Steer will do in a pinch, the emphasis of this map, with one possible exception, is on Downtown Montreal restaurants that offer a more cultivated brand of service and cuisine. And alcohol. The importance of alcohol, especially in December, cannot be overstated.