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The tides have certainly turned on vegetarian dining in Montreal. Over the years, the city has gone from only having a small selection of plant-based restaurants to a metropolis booming with great veggie locales. From nutritious salad bars and all-vegan brunch fare to more indulgent dishes like seafood-free sushi and meatless charcuterie boards, you won’t believe what these spots can do with cauliflower, liquid smoke and pea protein. These are the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in the city that even meat-eaters can happily get behind.
Vegetarian fare doesn’t have to be just granola and quinoa salads – you might be surprised by how refined vegetables can be. LOV is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that has stolen the hearts of both plant-based eaters and curious carnivores thanks to its seasonal menu. Find innovative dishes like beet tartare, truffles with ‘caviar,’ and vegan lasagna. Note that LOV has recently expanded and has locations across Montreal; however, its downtown location comes highly recommended as it’s easier to grab a seat thanks to its expansive dining room, bar and summertime patio.
Ask any university student or graduate in the city where to find the best cheap vegetarian eats in Montreal, and the answer will always be Restaurant Nilufar. The legendary Middle Eastern institution serves some of the best falafels in town. If you are not in the mood for falafel, there’s also ‘tofu-taouk,’ ‘mushwaram’ and even vegan poutine with fries, falafel and tahini.
Tucked into a quiet block of Montreal’s Plateau neighborhood is a vegetarian-friendly Ethiopian restaurant. Grab a seat in the zebra-themed dining room and order the vegan tasting menu, which includes a handful of delicious vegetable dishes, such as yekik alicha (split peas with turmeric) and yemesser watt (lentils in berbere sauce). While the restaurant itself isn’t entirely vegetarian, Nil Bleu touts itself as vegetarian first and ensures there’s no cross-contamination or lack of flavor.
While a lot of Indian restaurants are a safe bet for vegetarians, Pushap takes plant-based eating to the next level, as it is entirely vegetable-based. The curry house just down the road from Namur Metro is well-loved for its cheap but hearty vegetarian thali, which usually includes a hearty palek or shahi paneer, but can easily be swapped out for a vegan option. Note that although a thali will cost you less than 10 Canadian dollars ($7.60), the restaurant is strictly cash only, so be sure to bring some money.
Sushi Momo tops the best sushi lists across the city, but it’s entirely plant-based. This cozy bistro specializes in creative vegan sushi rolls and Japanese entrées while making use of seasonal ingredients like jackfruit, truffle oil and hibiscus flower. Make sure to try the Fuji flambé, a fried avocado maki topped with torched jackfruit tartare and tartar sauce.
Admittedly, finding a vegan-friendly brunch spot is still quite a challenge for plant-based eaters; however, Invitation V does just that. The stylish Old Port bistro is on the pricier side, but the locally sourced organic dishes are well worth the price. The entirely vegan menu touts everything from plant-based pancakes to tofu scramble, but the main draw is the vegan omelet, which comes topped with mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes and a plant-based hollandaise sauce. There’s also kombucha mimosas and freshly squeezed juices.