Montreal is one of the coolest cities in the world, with the food scene being majorly responsible for this. The restaurants and bars in the area are shaking things up and doing things a little differently, while still sticking to their Quebec roots and Canadian values. Aside from all the poutine you can imagine, the wide-ranging menus at the many different establishments in the city are not to be missed. These are 10 places you definitely need to eat at in Montreal.
1. Joe Beef
Located in the neighborhood of Little Burgundy, Joe Beef is regarded as one of the best restaurants in the country, let alone in the city of Montreal. No wonder, with mouth-watering menu items like lobster spaghetti with bacon, grilled rib eye, pressed duck with seared foie gras, a Scottish egg wrapped in smoked eel, sea urchin, wood-oven baked stuffed trout, and duck fat fries.
Head on over to Agrikol for Haitian food and rum cocktails. Order a dark and stormy or an old-school bottle of Coca-Cola and pair it with grilled plantains, pork ribs, cashew chicken, ceviche, oxtail, chickpea fritters, or beef cheek. The décor is beautiful and eclectic, and if you’re lucky enough to dine here in the summer be sure to sit on their terrace.
3. Le Vin Papillon
Wine bar Le Vin Papillon is cozy and charming, with a farm-to-table menu that features crab legs with clotted cream, cured ham and cheese, razor clams, a kale and egg tart, roasted cauliflower, smoked sturgeon with gnocchi, brown butter squash, and a popcorn ice cream sundae. And of course, the incredible wine selection, boasting bottles you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
4. Garde Manger
Chef Chuck Hughes’ hotspot Garde Manger makes seafood their specialty. Serving up a lemony and buttery walleye, oysters from all over the country, seared scallops, octopus salad, and their famous lobster poutine. They know a thing or two about meat as well – with dishes like bison tartare, beef carpaccio, bone marrow, and pork tenderloin. Check out Garde Manger’s sister bar, Le Bremner, for small bites and killer cocktails.
Kazu is a little hole in the wall joint located downtown that always seems to have a line-up outside. Luckily the food is served up fast so the turnaround ensures you’re not waiting long, but regardless it’s well worth it. You can’t go wrong ordering anything off of the Japanese-influenced menu, favorites include a tuna and salmon salad rice bowl and a shrimp burger made from fresh black tiger shrimp from the Atlantic ocean.
The ever-changing menu at restaurant and bar Loïc never disappoints – think outstanding pasta plates, juicy oysters sourced from different provinces, and a perfect burger. The atmosphere is as fun as can be, and with mood lighting and good music, it’s one of those places that you have a good time at every time you go.
7. Nora Gray
Craving Southern food and Italian for dinner tonight? There’s no need to decide at Nora Gray, where they do both really, really well. Their menu features grilled pork chops with a parsnip puree, red wine braised boar with barley risotto and wild mushrooms, seared duck breast with fennel roasted carrots, a beet salad with goat ricotta and almonds, and pig skin spaghetti in a tomato sauce.
8. Au Pied du Cochon
There’s no better place to experience traditional Quebec food than at Au Pied du Cochon. They make veal loin, chicken liver mousse, crispy pig head, foie gras poutine, beef shoulder, French onion soup, charcuterie, a hot chicken sandwich, stuffed pork shank, and duck in a can. And as if that wasn’t Canadian enough, their crème brûlée is made with pure maple syrup.
9. Liverpool House
Joe Beef’s sister restaurant Liverpool House does comfort food like no other. The inviting atmosphere, the extensive wine list, and the delicious food make this place a must-stop when you’re in the city. Menu items include hanger steak with Tokyo turnips and gremolata, duck breast with sour cherries, rabbit sausage, Nordic shrimp with trout row, and a beet panzanella.
Popular spot Foiegwa hits all the right notes. The décor is cool, the vibes are casual, and the staff is friendly. You’ll constantly be craving their dishes, including the organic fried chicken, ratatouille with goat cheese, garlic butter escargots, and truffle and parmesan beef tartar. They also have a pretty impressive weekend brunch menu. Oh, and did we mention you can add foie gras to anything they make?