Where to DIne Al Fresco in Montreal

Photo of Sam Grimes
11 January 2017

Montreal gets bitterly cold in the winter, but it has delightful springs and summers and hosts an absolutely glorious autumn. What better way to enjoy two-thirds of Montreal’s year than by dining outside and leisurely enjoying the changing beat of the city. The selections for al fresco dining are far from limited, and some of the best are reviewed here.

Taverne F | ©Taverne F Instragram

Taverne F

Serving delicious Portuguese food, Taverne F serves its mostly meat dishes in big iron frying pans laid on the table. Be sure to brush up on your Français before heading in, or, of you don’t fancy a seat in the sun-bathed dining room take up a seat on the terrace, and watch Montreal life pass by as you savor the Portuguese fare.

Price: Mid-range

Joe Beef

Joe Beef offers excellent French cuisine at its most perfect and is perhaps the purveyor of some of Montreal’s tastiest food. It combines the portion size of a gastropub with seafood and steak prepared as they would be at an establishment that specializes in only one, but Joe Beef manages to master both. The atmosphere is casual, and if the dining room does not suit your fancy, book a table on the terrace. Vegetarians should beware, because Joe Beef, like many places specializing in French food, does not really accommodate you.

Price: Fine dining

Barbounya | ©Twitter/Barbounya


Chef Firsun Ercan immigrated to Montreal from Turkey where she learned the art of Turkish cooking from her mother and grandmother and later studied cuisine at the College Lasalle. Barbounya is the product of her cooking. The light and colorful dishes she prepares are delightful to look at and wonderful to eat. Her food is spicy, spiced, or both, and the menu caters to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. A lovely terrace is just beside the front façade of the entrance, shaded by the boughs of the trees overhead. The tables are long, allowing parties to sit next to strangers and open the conversations to new frontiers with new faces.

Price: Mid-range

Maison Boulud | ©Pinterest/Tourisme Montreal

Maison Boulud

Named for its founder, New York celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, the Maison Boulud is in the Montreal Ritz-Carlton. Offering a fine dining experience with even finer cuisine, the restaurant blends indoor and outdoor seating in the same way it blends the heavy nature of French food with the lightness of a chic wine bar. Sit in either the beautiful dining room or the glorious garden, and be sure to order a bottle of wine from the list of over 300 labels.

Price: Fine dining

1228 Sherbrooke West | The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal,Quebec H3G1H6, Canada +1 514-842-4224

Chez Cook’s

Chez Cook’s is fun little Mediterranean joint with a mini patio out front. Without a website or any online connection, Chez Cook’s epitomizes an eclectic but still old-fashioned diner. This place is great for lunch with many options for Italian-inspired sandwiches, vegetarian delights, and refreshing lemonade. Come with a group of friends and chow down in the crisp Canadian air.

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