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The Eater Montreal Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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mtlheat.jpgWhat is the most difficult reservation in town? Where is the buzz? Welcome to the ever in flux Eater Heatmap - where we take the pulse of Montreal's restaurant scene.

The December 2013 installment of this regular look at front-of-mind restaurants with diners in the 514 sees newcomers in Ahuntsic, Chinatown, the Plateau, Mile End and Old Montreal. All in all, a mish-mash of hot spots that best represents what Montreal's culinary landscape is about - at present.

So enjoy, and remember, this list is in geographic order.


12/05/13: Added: La Bête à Pain, Maïs, Lili Co., Hof Kelsten, Orange Rouge, Racines, Le Richmond Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Bête à Pain

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114 Rue Fleury Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H3L 2T6, Canada
Ahuntsic champion Marc-André Royal and co. have a special sister spot for Le St-Urbain that comes strong on the boulangerie front and, most recently, private import wines as well.

2. Impasto

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48 Dante, Montreal, Quebec
H2S 1J5, Canada
Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita have struck gold with their finely-tuned Little Italy collaborazione.

3. Maïs

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5435 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
H2T 1S5, Canada
(514) 507-7740
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Will Cody, Gil MacNutt and Dave Schmidt operate this spirited taco slash cocktail joint. The food is rock solid and bartender Lon Benattar pours a mean drink.

4. Lili Co.

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4650 rue Mentana, Montreal, Quebec
H2J 3B9, Canada
(514) 507-7278
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Bistro Bienville had followers galore but Lili Co. has made converts of the old regulars and done well with Montreal's food critics too.

5. Micro Resto La Famille

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418, rue Gilford, Montreal, Quebec
H2J 1N2, Canada
(514) 508-8700
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The deft crew behind this pygmy café serves impeccable plates and provocative natural wines. Expect to queue.

6. Iwashi

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9 ave. Fairmount, Montreal, Quebec
H2T 1C7, Canada
(514) 802-8899
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Café Sardine's Third Wave (and doughnut) bona fides have been widely disseminated but now that the Mile End spot has transformed into a ramen-dispensing izakaya by night, the stakes have been upped.

7. Hof Kelsten

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4524 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
H2T 1R4, Canada
Jeffrey Finkelstein's ways with flour and water have won him cult-like baker's status but Hof Kelsten's lunch menu may be the sleeper hit of the year. Soulful soups and sandwiches all score.

8. SAT FoodLab

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1201 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
H2X 2S6, Canada
(514) 844-2033
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Laloux expats Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse run the most inventive, experimental restaurant in the city. The unlikely venue (the Société des Arts Technologiques) and neighbours (Café Cléopâtre and Montreal Pool Room) make it all the more alluring.

9. Orange Rouge

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106 de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H2Z 1C3, Canada
(514) 861-1116
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After a memorable stint at Café Sardine, many were keen to discover chef Aaron Langille's next move. That it was to a kitchen in Chinatown, in historic digs adjacent to Wing's noodle factory no less, was a major surprise.

10. Racines

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444 McGill, Montreal
Quebec H2Y 2G5, Canada
(514) 544-0444
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Racines is a stunner, no doubt. Much of the talk about the Old Montreal restaurant hinges on the room and the décor. The fact that it provides a platform for chef Simon Mathys' talents to shine, however, is the big story.

11. Le Richmond

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377 rue Richmond, Montreal, Quebec
H3J 1T9, Canada
(514) 508-8749
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Space-wise, Luc Laroche and Paul Soucie have built one of the most impressive restaurants of 2013 and proven that Griffintown is a comer.

12. Le Vin Papillon

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2519 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H3J 1N4, Canada
Dave McMillan, Fred Morin, Vanya Filipovic and Marc-Olivier Frappier's no reservations wine bar is an elegant companion to Joe Beef and Liverpool House.

13. Ludger

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4001 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H4C 1R3, Canada
(438) 383-3229
This buvette gourmande is yet another recent notch in Saint-Henri's belt. A menagerie of regulars love-tweet about the mindful cocktails and bar food on the regular.

14. Le H4C

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538 Place Saint-Henri, Montreal, Quebec
H4C 2R9, Canada
The architect owners of this shiny new Saint-Henri spot did a tidy refurb job on heritage post office digs. But chef Dany Bolduc's food (late of Réservoir) is the story here.

15. BlackStrap BBQ

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4436 rue Wellington, Verdun, Quebec
H4G 1W6, Canada
(514) 507-6772
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One of the thrills of Blackstrap BBQ, besides Dylan Kier's champion brisket, pork, turkey and chicken, is placing bets on how early in the day his wife Clara Barron will tweet that the restaurant has run out of meat.

1. La Bête à Pain

114 Rue Fleury Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H3L 2T6, Canada
Ahuntsic champion Marc-André Royal and co. have a special sister spot for Le St-Urbain that comes strong on the boulangerie front and, most recently, private import wines as well.
114 Rue Fleury Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H3L 2T6, Canada

2. Impasto

48 Dante, Montreal, Quebec, H2S 1J5, Canada
Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita have struck gold with their finely-tuned Little Italy collaborazione.
48 Dante, Montreal, Quebec
H2S 1J5, Canada

3. Maïs

5435 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, H2T 1S5, Canada
Will Cody, Gil MacNutt and Dave Schmidt operate this spirited taco slash cocktail joint. The food is rock solid and bartender Lon Benattar pours a mean drink.
5435 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
H2T 1S5, Canada

4. Lili Co.

4650 rue Mentana, Montreal, Quebec, H2J 3B9, Canada
Bistro Bienville had followers galore but Lili Co. has made converts of the old regulars and done well with Montreal's food critics too.
4650 rue Mentana, Montreal, Quebec
H2J 3B9, Canada

5. Micro Resto La Famille

418, rue Gilford, Montreal, Quebec, H2J 1N2, Canada
The deft crew behind this pygmy café serves impeccable plates and provocative natural wines. Expect to queue.
418, rue Gilford, Montreal, Quebec
H2J 1N2, Canada

6. Iwashi

9 ave. Fairmount, Montreal, Quebec, H2T 1C7, Canada
Café Sardine's Third Wave (and doughnut) bona fides have been widely disseminated but now that the Mile End spot has transformed into a ramen-dispensing izakaya by night, the stakes have been upped.
9 ave. Fairmount, Montreal, Quebec
H2T 1C7, Canada

7. Hof Kelsten

4524 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, H2T 1R4, Canada
Jeffrey Finkelstein's ways with flour and water have won him cult-like baker's status but Hof Kelsten's lunch menu may be the sleeper hit of the year. Soulful soups and sandwiches all score.
4524 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
H2T 1R4, Canada

8. SAT FoodLab

1201 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 2S6, Canada
Laloux expats Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse run the most inventive, experimental restaurant in the city. The unlikely venue (the Société des Arts Technologiques) and neighbours (Café Cléopâtre and Montreal Pool Room) make it all the more alluring.
1201 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
H2X 2S6, Canada

9. Orange Rouge

106 de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H2Z 1C3, Canada
After a memorable stint at Café Sardine, many were keen to discover chef Aaron Langille's next move. That it was to a kitchen in Chinatown, in historic digs adjacent to Wing's noodle factory no less, was a major surprise.
106 de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H2Z 1C3, Canada

10. Racines

444 McGill, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2G5, Canada
Racines is a stunner, no doubt. Much of the talk about the Old Montreal restaurant hinges on the room and the décor. The fact that it provides a platform for chef Simon Mathys' talents to shine, however, is the big story.
444 McGill, Montreal
Quebec H2Y 2G5, Canada

11. Le Richmond

377 rue Richmond, Montreal, Quebec, H3J 1T9, Canada
Space-wise, Luc Laroche and Paul Soucie have built one of the most impressive restaurants of 2013 and proven that Griffintown is a comer.
377 rue Richmond, Montreal, Quebec
H3J 1T9, Canada

12. Le Vin Papillon

2519 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H3J 1N4, Canada
Dave McMillan, Fred Morin, Vanya Filipovic and Marc-Olivier Frappier's no reservations wine bar is an elegant companion to Joe Beef and Liverpool House.
2519 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H3J 1N4, Canada

13. Ludger

4001 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H4C 1R3, Canada
This buvette gourmande is yet another recent notch in Saint-Henri's belt. A menagerie of regulars love-tweet about the mindful cocktails and bar food on the regular.
4001 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
H4C 1R3, Canada

14. Le H4C

538 Place Saint-Henri, Montreal, Quebec, H4C 2R9, Canada
The architect owners of this shiny new Saint-Henri spot did a tidy refurb job on heritage post office digs. But chef Dany Bolduc's food (late of Réservoir) is the story here.
538 Place Saint-Henri, Montreal, Quebec
H4C 2R9, Canada

15. BlackStrap BBQ

4436 rue Wellington, Verdun, Quebec, H4G 1W6, Canada
One of the thrills of Blackstrap BBQ, besides Dylan Kier's champion brisket, pork, turkey and chicken, is placing bets on how early in the day his wife Clara Barron will tweet that the restaurant has run out of meat.
4436 rue Wellington, Verdun, Quebec
H4G 1W6, Canada

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