6 Great Restaurants in Downtown Montreal

Montreal's downtown eateries highlight the city's global culinary culture
Montreal's downtown eateries highlight the city's global culinary culture | Courtesy of Les Enfants Terribles
Photo of Tess Boissonneault
20 August 2020

With reportedly the most restaurants per capita in North America, serving dishes from all across the globe, Montreal is famed for its culinary culture. Make sure you try some of Montreal’s finest food at these downtown eateries.

Nilufar

Restaurant, Vegetarian
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Nilufar, Montreal
Courtesy of Nilufar
Though it is one of the cheapest restaurants in downtown Montreal, Nilufar is also among the best. Located just minutes from the Concordia University downtown campus, the casual spot is best known for its falafel (one of the best in the city!) and Middle-Eastern staples. Nilufar also offers many vegetarian and vegan options, including “tofu-taouk,” a soy-based take on shish-taouk.

Café Il Cortile

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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You’d never guess from Café Il Cortile’s modest storefront on busy Sherbrooke Street that it is one of the most charming and authentically Italian eateries in the city. Inside, decorative tiles and wooden decor transport you to Europe, and the restaurant’s hidden terrace is truly magical. The ambience is complemented by the food, which is inspired by the restaurant’s roots in Scanno, Italy.

Brasserie T!

Brasserie, Restaurant, Canadian, French, $$$
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A map of Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles (entertainment district) painted on anaircon unit
© CBW / Alamy Stock Photo
Located in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles, Brasserie T! is the perfect spot to grab a bite before or after a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Arts or a show at Place des Arts. Opened by acclaimed local chefs Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche of Toqué! fame, the small restaurant offers a changing menu, featuring many local and seasonal ingredients.

Kazu

Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
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Popular Japanese restaurant Kazu is well-loved by locals, but the hole-in-the-wall joint still has the feeling of being an undiscovered gem. The restaurant serves up traditional Japanese fare in a casual, intimate setting. Luckily, the affordable prices mean you can try many small dishes without breaking the bank. Don’t be deterred by a line-up, it’s truly worth the wait.

Les Enfants Terribles

Restaurant, Canadian, $$$
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Les Enfants Terribles, Montreal
Courtesy of Les Enfants Terribles
Some restaurants are worth it just for the view, and Les Enfants Terribles is one of them. Located on the 44th floor of Place Ville Marie, the restaurant offers one of the best panoramas of Montreal. Beyond the stellar view, the restaurant’s stylish decor, local cuisine and buzzing atmosphere make for a memorable dining experience.

Bar George

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, British, $$$
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Bar-George-Interiors4_ImgCredit_Cindy La
© Cindy La / Courtesy of Bar George
Not many Montreal restaurants are found in historic mansions, but Bar George is. Housed in the Mount Stephen Hotel – previously the private mansion of 19th-century Canadian businessman Sir George Stephen – the ornate dining space serves British fare (with a Quebec twist) and a wide range of classic and signature cocktails. The combination of lavish setting and homey food make for an always enjoyable experience.
These recommendations were updated on August 20, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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