Come summertime, Place des Arts is one of the busiest spots in all of Montreal, but solid dining options bring tourists and locals to the area all year long. Stay away from the more obviously available chain restaurants in the neighbourhood and opt for some of the hidden gems to be found at the peripheries. Whether it be Parvis and Furco tucked away on Mayor Street, or Tiradito and La Finca on Bleury Street, there are some top dining options to be had at all times of day.
One of the only BYOB options in the area, Grenadine offers a solid take on French cuisine with duck and horse both on the menu. The six-course tasting rings in at a mere $60 for those looking to put their dining decisions in the chef’s hands.
Splurge with a meal at one of Montreal’s most notable restaurants a few steps away on St-Laurent. It’s unassuming from the outside, and quite minimalist inside (although it had a recent makeover), but the food coming out of François Nadon’s kitchen tastes just as delicious as it looks.
Quebec’s craft beer scene is nothing to scoff at, and features heavily at Pamplemousse, with 20 local options on tap at any given time. Come for a drink and stay for the food, with Caribbean-inspired eats like jerk roast cauliflower and salt cod fritters.
This Korean restaurant from Mile End also has a second location on Ontario and the neighbourhood is that much better for it. Korean standards like kimchi jigae, bibimbap, and bulgogi are all must-haves for both lunch and dinner.
Bouillon Bilk’s less formal younger sibling packs just as much punch when it comes to flavour and creativity. The sharing menu focuses on highlighting local, seasonal ingredients and it also offers a mean cocktail to ensure you won’t get thirsty.
One of Montreal’s favourite wine bars, Pullman offers tasting flights so you don’t have to commit to a particular glass. Find one you like, choose some bites to munch on as you sip, from a light but formidable selection of charcuterie and more.
Next door to Pullman is Moleskine, where the ground level offers some of the city’s top Neapolitan-style pizzas, amidst a selection of other snacks to choose from. Head upstairs to find a more refined menu with salads, pasta, and in general some of the city’s most soigné Italian cuisine. If you happen to be walking by on a hot, summer day, it also serves ice cream from their window to passersby (after you pay, of course).
Serving up Portuguese tapas with a twist, Taverne F, from the city’s pre-eminent Portuguese restaurateurs, the Ferreiras, is the place to sit back and relax with a glass of vinho verde and some marinated olives. Save room for their olive oil chocolate mousse for dessert.
Chef Normand Laprise’s more casual spot right next to the contemporary art museum is exactly what you’d expect from when one of Quebec’s most celebrated chefs does something a little more low-key. It’s simple; foie terrine, tartare, steak frites, and the like, but masterful.
The Place-des-Arts location of this crowd-pleasing vegetarian and vegan restaurant offers a myriad of both fresh and comforting dishes. Try the namesake poutine with homemade fries, cheese curds, and mushroom gravy, or nachos with a plethora of veggie fixings.
This central spot in the heart of Quartier des Spectacles is a solid bet for both locals and tourists, with unpretentious France-meets-Quebec plates. Their huge terrasse is great for people-watching, too.
Capitalizing on the smaller number of third-wave coffee options in the downtown area, Parvis makes a mean latte. Beyond that, it also offers great brunch, lunch, and dinner menus offering simple fare such as Roman-style pizza and inventive salads.
Extraordinarily popular with the after work crowd, Furco is always bumping. Grab a table on the terrasse and enjoy a happy hour drink, or head inside for some late night eats and beats
Located beneath Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant, Tiradito, is the pool-inspired bar, Club Pelicano. Cocktails are reliably well-executed and reflective of what one might opt to drink poolside featuring plenty of tropical twists, but as an all rounder, the beer and wine options are great, too. A small snack menu is also available, courtesy partially of Tiradito upstairs and Italian chef Fabrizia Rollo — it’s served until 3 a.m.
Just down Bleury Street in between Place-des-Arts and Palais des Congrès is La Finca, a charming coffee shop and workspace with great lattes and a succinct selection of eats. Soups, salads, and sandwiches are all made to order and prepped in-house daily.
If you’ve never tried Nikkei cuisine (the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian), Tiradito is a fairly stellar introduction, courtesy of chef Marcel Larrea. Start off with a pisco sour to accompany some of their ceviche or the titular tiraditos (akin to sashimi). Bring friends: the small plates are made to share.