Montréal is one of the ten UNESCO Cities of Design, and is also the cultural centre of French-speaking Canada. Stemming from the city’s influences, the cuisine in Montréal evokes the French charm of alfresco Parisian dining mixed with modern Québécois creativity and exploration. From British-inspired gastro-pubs to real Canadian dining, we revisit Montréal’s vibrant collection of eateries.
With a city-wide reputation as the best place to go for French coastal cuisine, Restaurant Europea, combines fresh, delicious ingredients, into some of Montreal’s most beautifully presented dishes. With excellent food and impeccable service, it’s no wonder that venue is well respected in the area.
Les Deux Singes de Montarvie is a trendy, upscale French bistro with a vintage feel. Set in a wealthy arrondissement called the Mile End, the restaurant features traditional French cuisine, dabbling in the areas of gastronomy. The wine list is diverse and as carefully chosen as the dishes.
Maison Publique is more than your typical British-style pub. Taking inspiration from well-loved British pubs and with the help of the head chef, the menu features interesting twists on traditional British pub food. The décor is as you would expect: warmly lit, cladded in Victorian wallpaper and intentionally rough around the edges with a cosy and comforting atmosphere.
In the heart of historic Vieux-Montréal, you’ll find some of the city’s most innovative dining. Restaurant Les 400 Coups, with its vaulted aluminum ceiling and simple design, keeps things interesting with its rotating menu of seasonal food. The staff are helpful in choosing a wine to pair with your dish and with an unusual line-up of imported and domestic.
Le Vin Papillon wine bar and restaurant is a veritable heaven for oenophiles. Once a General Store but now sleekly converted, the building boasts a minimalistic and simple style: white-washed brick walls, black board signage and long communal tables, giving off a stylish yet relaxed air. Whilst the food is seasonal, freshly prepared, and features a uniquely large selection of vegetable dishes, the highlight of any meal here is, of course, the wine.
Le Comme Chez Soi fuses traditional French-style cuisine with bold North American food, offering dishes like the organic bison burger and house-made crêpes. There’s an oversized brunch offered on the weekends and a different table d’hôte each day of the work week. There’s also a place for gluten and lactose-free diners.
Looking for a foodie experience in Montréal? Head to Joe Beef, a spot with a boho vibe and a great wine selection. Favourites include the tournedos de cheval, horse-meat wrapped in bacon, and the lobster spaghetti.
For a charming breakfast or lunch, Olive + Gourmando, or so-called ‘O+G’, has few competitors that come within reach. With mouth-watering sandwiches and house-made cakes, Olive + Gourmando is among one of Montreal’s finest, with panini as their speciality.
Poutine, a Québecois specialty, is done right at La Banquise and since it first opened back in 1968. A dish originating in rural Québec in the 50s, this comfort food classic takes on a tantalising twist with over 20 different variations to choose from, with toppings including bacon, steak, smoked meat, and a variety of vegetables.
Don’t be discouraged by the exterior, Rôtisseries Romados is a gem. The menu is short but sweet as this spot has honed in on serving one item for years: Portuguese-style roasted chicken. The racks constantly rotate full of chickens roasting, and the line is typically long. Choose from a whole chicken, 1⁄2 or 1⁄4, and be sure to add a side of fries which comes in its usual mountainous portion.