The largest city in the province of Quebec has unquestionably one of the most exciting food scenes in Canada. The unique combination of European and North American cultures is visible throughout the city’s architecture and the authentic international cuisine that’s tabled here. Here we take a look at some unmissable restaurants and cafes.
This upmarket brunch spot is best known for its tasty eggs Benedict and outlandish decor. The star dish of Restaurant L’Avenue finds the eggs poached to perfection and the hollandaise sauce to be just the right balance between smooth and creamy; a true delight for the taste buds. L’Avenue uses suspended bicycles and maple syrup canisters as decor, while the restrooms are illumined with fluorescent paintings on their walls. The ambiance is decidedly hipster and the menus display some friendly satirical jokes about Canada’s neighbor south of the border, all in French of course.
Chef Marc-Andre Royal is in charge of creating a variety of weekly brunch menus at La Bete a Pain. Located in the Fleury neighborhood of the city, this unique brunch spot boasts a bakery, a deli and a quality selection of freshly baked goods. Order the tartine, a piece of toast spread with almond paste and homemade jam topped with roasted almonds. They also have a more traditional selection of pastries, including croissants and artisan breads. Complete the breakfast here with one of the excellent cups of coffee.
Visitors will find Salmigondis in the Little Italy neighborhood of Montreal offering unique dishes in a hip ambiance. The restaurant is elegantly designed and features an open kitchen where customers can watch their meals being prepared from scratch. The menu offers a few select choices ready to satisfy anyone’s tastes, all changed seasonally. The French toast served with goats’ cheese and butternut squash puree is absolutely exquisite. For those with a knack for the sweeter things in life, the house-made doughnuts with ricotta and a side of caramel sauce are full of fluffy deliciousness.
Sparrow offers comfort food and cocktails galore to make for some of the most fulfilling breakfasts in town. There are standard brunch items like sunny side eggs, bacon, sausage, and granola and yogurt drizzled with sweet honey. There are also less traditional choices, such as the breakfast donuts filled with lemon curd and the Turkish breakfast which includes a fig jam, pita bread, an assorted nut selection, soft boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes and fruit. Breakfast comes with hot drinks served in antique tea cups.
Santa Barbara is a vegetarian-friendly joint offering a complete European-inspired menu along with seasonal dishes. The cocktails are flowing aplenty and the portions are more than generous in this off-the-beaten-track find. Some of the breakfast items waiting to be tried here are the apple crepes, the gravlax with avocado dill cream and the scrambled eggs with assorted greens. The drinks mix fresh juices with alcohol to make for a strong start to the day. Address:Santa Barbara, 6696 Rue de Saint Vallier, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-273-4555
Sel Gras is the place to go for those looking to enjoy a fancy brunch in a rustic ambiance. Located in the Mile End area, the breakfast menu draws influence from Mediterranean cuisine and offers a vast array of options that are both flavorful and hearty. Some of the offerings include the butternut squash frittata and the chocolate French toast served with creme fraiche. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed and the decor is enhanced by the wood floors and the chic vibe.
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Located in the heart of downtown, Lawrence is one of the most popular brunch options in the city. The restaurant features simple decor that is elegant and ultimately enhanced by the neutral colors and the white walls. The ambiance is cozy and has plenty of natural light coming in from the large centric windows. Order the French toast consisting of two slices of buttery brioche, fresh cranberry compote, and house-made whipped cream.
Located in Old Montreal, Le Carter offers a brunch replete with gourmet food and unique breakfast specials. For example, the Brunch de L’Atlantique is served with a salmon cake, potatoes, smoked salmon over a bagel, eggs and a side of salad and fruits. On the other hand, Brunch des Cantons comes with an English-style breakfast served with beans, ham, eggs and sausage in a cast iron skillet. Drink the freshly squeezed orange juice or one of the original coffees such as the moka noir orange flavored coffee. The options abound in this classic French-Canadian joint. Address: Le Carter, 106 Rue McGill, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-871-8887
Restaurant, Canadian, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Welcome to Faberge, located in the Mile End district, this iconic brunch spot remains lively, with its family-friendly ambiance and excellent drinks menu featuring anything and everything from spicy Bloody Marys to mimosas. One of the more famed dishes is the chicken waffle that comes with a boneless fried chicken, a side of spicy sriracha coleslaw and a bowl of fresh fruits. The portions here are huge and the cozy and bright decor keeps residents and visitors coming back for more.
Located across from the Plaza de les Arts, Eggspectation consistently delights patrons with a relaxed ambiance and a huge menu offering traditional and more modern fare. Most of the plates are healthy and hearty at the same time, such as veggie omelet, the bagel BLT sandwich and the banana walnut pancakes. Or try the ‘sugar shack special’: maple syrup, eggs, smoked ham, potatoes, beans and a bowl of fruit including pineapple, grapefruit, and orange, not so healthy perhaps, but darn tasty! Address: Eggspectation, 1313 De Maisonneuve West, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-842-3447