Where To Eat In Montreal

Goat cheese and nut pizza, Pizzedelic.

Goat cheese and nut pizza, Pizzedelic.

I just got back from several days in Montreal and, boy, am I full.

Eating is pretty much what Montreal is about, in my view. It’s a great multi-ethnic restaurant town, and the long, cool summer evenings are ideal for dining al fresco at restaurants that spill out into lively sidewalk cafes.

Here are some highly subjective recommendations based on many visits over many years:

Le Flambard, northeast of downtown at 851 rue Rachel est, is so French that it took some doing to dredge up an English menu on our last visit. It’s a neighborhood place, not on the tourist radar, and the food is excellent.  This is where we celebrated the kid’s graduation from McGill University, our most recent anniversary and then pretty much anything else we could justify celebrating. 

The creme brulee at Le Flambard.

The creme brulee at Le Flambard.

The table d’hote menu with soup, appetizer, dessert and coffee ranges from $28 to $35CA. I recommend everything, especially the sublime creme brulee, which will add $2 to the cost of the table d’hote. Pay it. There’s no liquor license, so bring your own wine or beer. Oh, and you will need a reservation.

Le Taj is a sophisticated Indian restaurant, downtown at Sherbrooke and Stanley. The lunch buffet is an excellent value at $13CA, and the dinner menu is broad and well-executed. The decor is upscale, the service is (usually) attentive and the cross-legged drummer in one corner adds some mellow atmosphere. A reservation is advisable for dinner.

Heaping fruit and brioche, Chez Cora.

Heaping fruit and brioche, Chez Cora.

Chez Cora is a chain found all across Canada that serves high-quality breakfast and brunch dishes. Our favorite, at 3465 Avenue du Parc, is open daily until 3 p.m.  Hot crepes, creative omelettes and heaps of fresh fruit make a hearty meal, whenever you get to it. For us, every trip to Montreal must include at least one visit. Beware: late mornings on weekends can get very crowded.

Also worth a mention:

– The Pizzedelic chain serves a wide variety of gourmet, thin-crust pizzas. The one at 39 Notre-Dame Ouest in Old Montreal is particularly charming. It has a pretty nice wine list for a pizza place.

Gandhi at 230 rue Saint-Paul ouest in Old Montreal is another great Indian restaurant, with formal service and an excellent menu.

– Café Cherrier, 3635 rue St-Denis, at Cherrier, is a very pleasant bistro near Square St.-Louis with al fresco dining in season.

Marché Atwater, 138 Atwater Avenue, south of Notre-Dame, is a gourmet market with gorgeous displays of fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, cheeses and more. The Boulangerie Première Moisson sells excellent sandwiches and pastries. We usually stop by for lunch on our way out of town.


5 thoughts on “Where To Eat In Montreal

  1. kate

    Those are all excellent suggestions.

    I don’t think I have ever visited or lived in a city that has the same level of restaurant choice and quality as Montreal does. The ethnic variety of restuarants is remarkable- from Greek to Thai to Lebanese to Turkish to Parisian to … the list goes on.

    What I MOST recommend is Chinese. Montreal has LOTS of Chinese restaurants and against all odds, I don’t think I’ve ever been in one that has disappointed me.

    Specific recommendations:
    1. Wok and Roll on St. Denis north of Rachel. This is a relatively cheap Chinese restaurant with surprisingly delicious meals. I’d say it’s the best value Chinese food I’ve ever had. I’ve never had pepper steak as good as they serve it there.

    2. Pique (Szechuan cuisine) on St. Denis just north of Sherbrooke, across the street from Cafe Cherrier. It’s been a few years, so I imagine their prices have gone up. But last time I was there, their lunch special was a great deal and their food was fantastic.

    Otherwise, just walk around until you see something that looks appetizing. It won’t take you long, and chances are you won’t be disappointed.

  2. John

    One of my favorite places was Commensal, a vegetarian restaurant chain with several locations in Montreal. The one I went to is on rue St-Denis. It’s buffet style, and you pay by weight. I was very happy to find one last year in Quebec City as well.

  3. ron iaboni

    my wife and I are going to Montreal at the end of September for our 25th wedding aniversary. She truly enjoys french style cuisine. Is there a place you can recommend for us that is both romantic and the food is very good? thank you (it is our first time going there)

  4. Jeanne Leblanc Post author

    Hi Ron,

    I find Le Flambard quite charming, and very French, but if you are looking to really aerate your credit card, the place to dine is said to be Toqué in Old Montreal. Entrees are in the $40 range and the table d’hote goes for $92. This is routinely named Montreal’s best restaurant. I have never eaten there; but someday I’ll find a reason.

    Here’s the Toqué Web site: http://www.restaurant-toque.com/en

    And Frommer’s review: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/montreal/D32988.html

    Please let me know how you make out.



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