Best Restaurants in Montreal

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Québec is renowned for its regional foods from le terroir (“the region”) and the best restaurants in Montreal dish up everything from foie gras to organic vegetables available dans la belle province. Happily, fresh local fare is easy to find at bustling farmers’ markets.

So, it’s not surprising that one of the best things to do in Montreal is to try the superb cuisine. Don’t be concerned if you don’t speak French as food transcends all language barriers. My husband Eric and I have lived here for 25 years and aren’t fluently bilingual!

A smile bridges language challenges – many residents speak English – and we all speak the language of food. 

There are more than 5,500 restaurants in Quebec’s capital and the types of Canadian foods on the menu has broadened considerably. The concept of a vegan Montreal might have been off the table a few years ago but these days, there’s a growing number of vegan restaurants too. 

So, it doesn’t matter where your tastes lie, you’ll find good food everywhere. Here’s where to eat in Montreal. 

Montreal Restaurants and Food Halls

Montreal farmers markets

Eric’s and my favourite foodie hangouts are Montréal’s vibrant farmers’ markets.


1- Jean-Talon Market

montreal markets jean talon
Photo: Tourisme Montreal.

Dating from 1933, this is North America’s largest open-air market from June through October.

We love it because of Marché des Saveurs du Québec which sells Québec products.

Find maple-wood smoked venison, maple products (Québec is the largest producer of maple syrup in the world), tourtière (meat pies), blueberry and other preserves plus much, much more.

Tip: Maison des Vins & Boissons artisanales du Québec presents liqueurs, microbrewery beers, wine and cider made in Québec.

Don’t miss tasting ice cider.

Ice cider is produced from apples which freeze on the trees prior to harvesting and processing.

Freezing concentrates the sugars, hence, these ciders are velvety and flavourful.

Look for Neige Cidre de Glace (Snow Ice Cider) – our all-time favourite.

It is made at La Face Cachée de la Pomme, an orchard found just south of Montréal, in the beautiful, rural Montérégie region.

2- Atwater Market

Best Restaurants in Montreal
Photo: Tourism Montreal

Atwater, also founded in 1933, is in a historic Art Deco building.

Here sample some of Québec’s gold-medal artisanal cheeses, bread, and meats which include dried sausages, smoked fish, and duck confit.

If you’re a cheese aficionado, visit Fromagerie Atwater, an Old-World-style cheese shop. Try Cendrillon, a goat cheese covered in black ash.

Equally delicious, Pied de Vent (foot of the wind) is made in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, a windswept archipelago in Québec north of Prince Edward Island.

Made from “Canadienne” cows (a rare breed), it’s a truly Canadian cheese!

Tip: Take your camera. Atwater has the largest flower selection in the city so the colours are mesmerising.

Best restaurants in Montreal

Here are our top picks of the best restaurants in Montréal.

3- Au Pied de Cochon

Best Restaurants in Montreal
Au Pied de Cochon is one of the best restaurants in Montreal for poutine.,

A local hangout for Québec’s heart-stopping indulgence, poutine (poo-teen).

What’s that?

Take hand-cut French fried potatoes.

Put melted cheese curds on top. Pour on homemade gravy.


Au pied de cochon offers sinfully extravagant foie-gras poutine.

Try it.

4- Les Filles du Roy at Maison Pierre du Calvet

Montreal restaurants
Les Filles du Roy at Maison Pierre du Calvet is a fine Montreal restaurant.

Perhaps the most historic old inn (1725) in the Montréal’s Old Port houses what we believe is the most romantic restaurant.

Choose le terroir gastronomic menu.

We first tasted organic lamb from Québec’s Charlevoix region here; it’s particularly tasty because the animals graze on grass that’s salt-enriched, because of the sea breezes from “la mer.”

That’s what the Québecois call the St. Lawrence River, whose waters are salty here, where that mighty river widens to eventually join the Atlantic.

5- Toqué

Even more upscale, Montréal boasts twoRelais & Châteaux tables: Europea and also, Toqué.

At Toqué, discover why co-owner, chef Normand Laprise is considered the pioneer of new Québec cuisine – for which he was appointed a Knight – the highest honour the Québec gives to anyone.

These ideas only touch the surface of fine cuisine and good eats in Montréal…

We’ve not mentioned, for instance, the bring your own wine restaurants, the experimental FoodLab, which changes its cuisine monthly…

Foodie events abound here, too: for a complete list of culinary events, workshops and more, visit Montréal Culinary Events and Tours.

6- Montréal’s Botanical Gardens

On the less-known foodie path, visit Montréal’s Botanical Gardens (Espace pour la vie) where you can visit the unusual First Nations Garden.

Learn how Canada’s native peoples grew the three sisters (corn, beans, squash), and discover medicinal, culturally significant (spiritual), and other food plants such as cedar, hazelnut, maidenhair fern, and lingonberry.

Feeling hungry? Here are 10 more restaurants in Montreal. 

Local Cafes and Restaurants in Montreal

7- Le Bouillon Bilk

For brilliant and sharp bistro cuisine

8- The Tuck Shop

For seasonal cooking with market-fresh products in a simple no-fuss but nice décor.

9- Cafe Rumi

For Middle Eastern, Central Asian and North African homemade cuisine in an exotic heart-warming decor.

10- Cafe Myriade

Under Club Monaco on Ste-Catherine Street. Too beautiful.

11- Cafe Parvis

On Mayor in the old fur district. The light in the morning is wonderful.

12- Cafe Falco 

On de Gaspé. Beautiful space and great siphon coffee

Where To Eat Quebec Traditional Foods

13- Montreal Bagels

montreal bagels
Montreal bagels at St Viateur

There’s nothing like biting into a fresh bagel, hot from the oven, especially so in Montreal. Montreal’s first bagel recipes were brought to the city by Jewish settlers from Poland in the 1900s.

Over the last decade, making bagels has evolved into an art form and consuming them has become a religion.

St-Viateur Bagels has been in business since 1957 and is a favourite haunt of Celine Dion.

Their ovens work 24 hours a day seven days a week and they sell over 1,000 dozen bagels a day. Each bagel is hand rolled and baked in a wood-burning oven.

Fairmount Bagel Bakery was the first to open in Montreal in 1919 and sells more than 20 different varieties of bagels.

Fairmount’s bagels went to outer space when Canadian astronaut Gregory Chamitoff packed 18 sesame bagels for his expedition to the International Space Station in 2008.

14- Schwartz’s Delicatessen

Smoked Meat on a plate at Schwartz's Delicatessen
More of a diner than a Montreal restaurant, the smoked meat is a local staple.

In the Jewish area of Boulevard Saint-Laurent, which is a historic artery connecting Montreal’s ethnic enclaves and the immigrant corridor where Jewish, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese and Greek immigrants first settled.

Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen is a favourite local hangout for smoked meat on rye.

The smoked meat, which is marinated for ten days and smoked daily, is prepared the old-fashioned way using a recipe of herbs and spices that have been in existence since 1928.

15- Sugar shacks

hot taffy on ice
For a Montreal restaurant with a difference, try one of the sugar shacks.

The province of Quebec consumes more maple products per capita than anywhere else in the world and the sugar shack experience is an essential cultural experience here.

In Quebec in winter, people flock to sugar shacks (cabane à sucre) to fill up on sausages, baked beans and scrambled eggs covered with a generous coating of sticky-sweet maple syrup.

The experience often includes traditional music played during the meal, a much-needed walk through the maple forest after the meal and eating hot maple taffy on fresh snow.

Maple taffy stands can be found in the markets and there are hundreds of sugar shacks within driving distance of Montreal’s city centre.

16- Poutine

A dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy, poutine is a fast food that was invented in Quebec in the 1950s.

You’ll find poutine everywhere in Montreal, including inventive poutine creations such as butter chicken poutine, Greek poutine and donut poutine with duck gravy.

The best time to get your chops into poutine tasting is during Montreal Poutine Week in February.

Old Montreal Restaurants

Old Montreal restaurants
Old Montreal restaurants are great for atmosphere.

If it’s your first time in Montreal, you’ll want to stay in Old Montreal.

The good news is there are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the historic quarter.

17- Taverne Gaspar

Taverne Gaspar offers comfort food inspired by the British Gastro Pub tradition with French and Quebecois accents.

House specialties are scallops with pork belly and butterflied Cornish hen.

18- Barocco

Barocco has a rich atmosphere and a menu of meat dishes, such as a steak with chimichurri that ranks among the best in town, as well as studied full-course meals such as guinea hen with cognac and truffle sauce, with purple potatoes and manchego.

20- Olive + Gourmando

Olive + Gourmando is a top spot for breakfast or lunch. 

When in Quebec, it’s worth visiting Quebec City, which is around 250 km from Montreal and has a fun winter carnival.

Best Restaurants in Montreal
Best Restaurants in Montreal

Plan Your Trip

best car rental

Rent A Car – Find the best car rental rates at Discover Cars. They compare car hire companies to provide you with the best deal right now.

Find A Hotel – If you’re curious about this article and are looking for somewhere to stay, take a look at these amazing hotels.

Previous article15 Things to do in Bucharest
Next articleAustralia Zoo | Home of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin
Katharine Fletcher
Katharine Fletcher is a Quebec-based freelance author and writer who is happiest in the wild, back of beyond or exploring cultural destinations. She co-authored Quebec Off the Beaten Path (5th edition, Globe Pequot Press). and is happiest in the wild on a multi-day horseback expedition, riding in the backcountry and camping.