As an antidote to Montreal’s brutal and snowy winters, the city springs to life in the summer. From June to September (give or take a few weeks), restaurants, bars, and cafés in every borough burst out onto sidewalks, rooftops, and courtyards—or terrasses, as locals say. Make a reservation in advance if you can, and note that due to some permitting rules, some restaurants can only serve you alcohol if food is ordered. Here are some of the best terrasses for enjoying Montreal’s hot and humid summers.
Terrasse William Gray (Old Montreal)
Head up to the eighth floor of the boutiquey Hôtel William Gray to take in a formidable view of Old Montreal, the St. Lawrence River, and beyond. Pair it all with sangria or spritzes, plus casual bites, ranging from a charcuterie and cheese board to a burger and grilled tuna.
Le Belvédère (Sorel-Tracy)
While Le Belvedere isn’t exactly in Montreal — it’s in the exurb of Sorel-Tracy, about an hour northeast — its stunning location deserves a special mention. Its terrasse is perched above the banks of the majestic St. Lawrence river, with sprawling views of the water and nearby forested islands—not to mention the stellar sunsets. Expect a comforting menu centered around bar classics: poutine, burgers, club sandwiches, and a family-friendly vibe.
One of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants also has one of its best streetside terrasses, ringed by trees and planters on a leafy street in Outremont. Fine Syrian food is the focus at Damas, with silky smooth dips and tender, juicy charcoal-grilled lamb, and chicken. The tasting menu, while pricey, is an excellent choice, allowing you to sample a large part of the impeccable menu here.
LOV de la Montagne (Downtown)
One of Montreal’s most stylish vegan restaurants also has an exceptionally charming terrasse, lined with greenery and dotted with picnic tables and a water feature. Expect a menu that’s comforting but also refined, with dishes such as a seitan-eggplant croque monsieur and buckwheat-sweet potato gnocchi. Don’t bypass the drinks menu: a creative cocktail program shakes up classic flavors: pear-sage mimosa, anyone? Take note: while LOV has two locations in Montreal, only the downtown outpost offers outdoor dining.
Le Filet (Plateau/Mile End)
This seafood-centric fine dining haunt from the owners of Montreal’s famed Le Club Chasse et Pêche features a solid terrasse looking out to the beautiful Jeanne-Mance Park. But the main attraction is the excellent menu, laden with carefully sourced seafood and nods to Japanese cuisine. For those feeling less fishy, a few equally elegant meat dishes round out the menu.
Maison Boulud (Downtown)
Daniel Boulud’s Montreal outpost at the Ritz-Carlton is a veritable oasis amid the city’s concrete jungle. Its veranda, right on the hotel’s landscaped garden, is one of Montreal’s most beautiful outdoor dining options, and the exquisite food from executive chef Romain Cagnat rises to that ambiance. Expect a French-tinged menu with caviar, oysters, foie gras, and fine Canadian beef and seafood.
Restaurant Mélisse (Old Montreal)
Multipurpose Mélisse does comforting-yet-refined brunch by day before morphing into a trendy spot for Mediterranean-inflected meals come nighttime. Expect summery fare that draws on Italian, Greek, Syrian, and Lebanese cuisines, and a tidy wine list centered around natural options, particularly from France and Italy — a perfect fit for Mélisse’s chilled-out, plant-wreathed terrasse.
Chez Sophie – Montreal (Griffintown)
With experience from MICHELIN-starred Parisian restaurants such as L’Astrance, chef-owner Sophie Tabet brings her expertise back home to her Griffintown restaurant. At her namesake spot, there’s fine French fare with some international twists — salmon tartare with a ginger-sesame vinaigrette, and veal sweetbreads with celeriac and a coffee gastrique. It’s a bright selection that pairs well with Chez Sophie’s tranquil backyard terrasse.
Fiorellino Laurier (Outremont)
From the owners of the famed-but-shuttered Montreal supper club Buonanotte comes this more casual take on Italian dining. The menu is filled with classics, centered around antipasti, pasta, and a robust selection of red and white pizzas, and the terrasse is a large wooden deck stretching out onto quiet and leafy Laurier Avenue in Outremont. Take note: there are two other Fiorellino locations — one in Little Burgundy, also with a sizable terrasse, and the original downtown restaurant, with very limited outdoor seating.
Hoogan & Beaufort (Rosemont)
Chef Marc-André Jetté converted a former industrial building in Rosemont into one of the city’s dining destinations, with a spacious courtyard terrasse and an in-house fire pit. Perfectly crafted fresh pasta dishes and seafood mains, showcasing Quebec’s bounty, are just as stunning to look at as they are to eat.
Cafeden (Little Italy)
This sleek, walk-in only Vietnamese restaurant, where outdoor seating means greenery galore, fuses other influences from east Asia into its small-but-mighty menu. It’s ideal summer food: grilled shrimp, papaya salad, and Cantonese-Vietnamese banh bao (steamed buns), complete with a light-and-bright wine selection.
Jacopo (Old Montreal)
With a location on Place Jacques-Cartier at the heart of Old Montreal, Jacopo may well have the best terrasse in town for people-watching—and views of gorgeous heritage architecture. Jacopo’s menu offers trattoria-style Italian fare: house-made pasta is at the heart of the selection, but meatier secondi, such as grilled octopus or saucy braised lamb shanks, also figure among the options. Alternatively, stop by on a weekend for an Italian-style brunch with bellinis and pane d’orato, Italian-style French toast.
Tim Forster is the former editor of restaurant news site Eater Montreal, and is now a freelance journalist and editor covering food, tech, culture and more.
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