21 Restaurants That Make Montreal Dining Great

Editor’s Note: Welcome to The Greats, a series on the restaurants that define their cities. Here now, a guide to the Montreal Greats.

Montreal is a world-class dining metropolis. A mix of influences from its French colonial past, the vast Canadian wilderness, Indigenous produce, and various immigrant communities from the Caribbean to the Middle East and beyond merge together to create one of the most unique food scenes in the world.

Among Montreal’s greats are multiple generations of famed restaurants: There’s renowned fine dining at Toqué, considered to have put haute Québécois cuisine on the map in the ’90s, and internationally renowned Joe Beef with its meaty menu and relaxed ambiance that’s still going strong after more than a decade. Then there’s a new guard that’s emerging in destinations such as Île Flottante, which are moving away from Quebec’s meat-focused traditions to create stellar new gastronomic options. And while they’re definitely not fancy spots for multi-course meals, it would be remiss to skip local specialties such as a poutine from La Banquise or Montreal-style bagels at Bagel St-Viateur.

The following 21 Montreal favorites are a key part of the city’s dining tapestry, including fine French dining, Québécois food both fancy and affordable, steakhouses, a Syrian destination, and more.

Damas (Outremont)

Credit: Mike Vesia

After a fire forced Syrian fine dining destination Damas out of its old premises several years ago, it bounced back better than ever, just a few blocks away. With new digs and a sprawling terrasse (patio) in leafy Outremont, it catapulted back to the top of the city’s food scene. With mezzes such as fattoush salad and creamy hummus, plus mains centered around melt-in-your-mouth lamb with perfectly spiced sauces, chef and owner Fuad Alnirabie and his team usher Levantine cuisine to stunning new heights. 

Dining at the restaurant: Damas is open for indoor dining, with a sheltered streetside terrasse (patio) available in summer. Reservations are highly recommended.

Takeout: Order via the restaurant’s website. Delivery is only available with a large order (over CAD $150).

Marcus (Downtown)

At the heart of Montreal’s relatively new and très luxuriant Four Seasons hotel is celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s eponymous restaurant. Headed by Montreal chef Jason Morris (known for exceptionally creative work at Pastel and Le Fantôme), Marcus focuses squarely on a mouthwatering combination of seafood and vegetables, boosted by the presence of a Japanese-style robata grill in the kitchen, among other nods to Japanese cuisine. With a gleaming Art Deco space and a plant-lined terrasse, it’s also a fitting spot for a casual drink, thanks to a crafty cocktail menu that’s equal parts fruity and spicy.

Dining at the restaurant: Dine in the restaurant or at the adjacent lounge, with a gorgeous balcony terrasse available in summer. Marcus also serves breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. 

Takeout: The restaurant doesn’t offer takeout.

Maison Boulud (Downtown)

Credit: Maison Boulud

As one of several outposts in renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s empire, Maison Boulud occupies an exquisite space in Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, accompanied by a gorgeous garden-side patio. Chef Romain Cagnat delivers a refined mostly-French menu with staples such as beef tartare and foie gras plus prime rib with béarnaise sauce, as well as a divine weekend brunch.

Dining at the restaurant: You can dine indoors or on a tranquil patio facing the garden. 

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are available via third party apps. 

Chez Sophie (Griffintown)

This restaurant’s namesake chef, Sophie Tabet, cut her teeth in MICHELIN-starred restaurants such as L’Astrance in Paris and Dal Pascatore in Lombardy, Italy. Almost a decade ago, she brought those best-in-class skills back to her hometown, and this upscale neighborhood spot is the result of that. Expect French-leaning dishes that draw on Tabet’s impressive pedigree, but with plenty of nods to native Canadian products such as mushrooms to seafood, plus some international twists.

Dining at the restaurant: Indoor dining is available at Chez Sophie, as well as a backyard terrasse when weather permits. 

Takeout: The restaurant doesn’t offer takeout.

Le Club Chasse et Pêche (Old Montreal)

Le Club Chasse et Pêche’s owners, Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier, have crafted a small kingdom consisting of several top Montreal restaurants, but this Old Montreal fine-dining spot is where it all began. The name translates to “The Hunting and Fishing Club” and gives a fairly clear idea of what to expect: The restaurant’s simple yet elegant dishes showcase main ingredients such as Arctic char, seal, and duck, all served in a handsome space with just the right amount of log cabin-inspired decor.

Dining at the restaurant: Le Club Chasse et Pêche offers indoor dining only, in a cozy space with a chalet vibe.

Takeout: The restaurant doesn’t offer takeout.

Restaurant Toqué! (Quartier International)

Credit: Hans Lanrendeau

Normand Laprise is one of the province’s most famed chefs, credited as an innovator who raised historically maligned Québécois cuisine to new heights. His restaurant Toqué! is where much of this happened — open since 1993, it’s still a seminal institution on the French-Canadian dining trail. Expect a tasting menu that spotlights fine meats, mushrooms, cheeses, and seasonal produce; it’s quite a special occasion restaurant, so it would be wise to splurge on the wine pairing option, too.

Dining at the restaurant: Toqué offers indoor service only, in its dining room: it’s recommended to dress smartly, although there’s no explicit dress code. 

Takeout: The restaurant doesn’t offer takeout.

Joe Beef (Little Burgundy)

With multiple stamps of approval from the late great Anthony Bourdain, Joe Beef is Montreal’s most internationally famous restaurant — and it backs up that reputation with serious gastronomic chops. Owner Fred Morin delivers an ever-changing menu laden with dishes that center top-notch Quebec and Canadian produce, from horse meat to radishes. Don’t skip the iconic lobster spaghetti, and take advantage of the exceptionally well-crafted, natural-leaning wine list.

Dining at the restaurant: Joe Beef offers indoor dining, plus a summer terrasse behind the restaurant. 

Takeout: The restaurant doesn’t offer takeout. 

Terrasse William Gray (Old Montreal)

Credit: Tourisme Montréal – Madore, Daphné Carol

Come to this rooftop venue for the splendid views of Old Montreal and the St-Lawrence River, but stay for the takes on classic bar and brasserie food. Located on the eighth floor of the William Gray Hotel, the Terrasse dishes up burgers, beef tartare, grilled trout, and steak frites, while also offering an extensive bar menu of spritzes, sangrias, and Montreal-brewed beer from St-Ambroise. If there’s no space on the Terrasse, you can also head to Perché on the hotel’s fourth floor, which offers a full bar and beachy tacos. 

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant offers outdoor dining only, on an 8th floor terrasse with views. There are limited covered parts of the venue in case of inclement weather. 

Takeout: Terrasse William Gray doesn’t offer takeout. 

Bar George (Downtown)

Formerly the exclusive Mount Stephen Club, this historic building at the heart of downtown Montreal is now boutique hotel Le Mount Stephen — and the crowning jewel might just be its British restaurant Bar George. Grab a classic cocktail and snacks such as chicken liver toast or mushy pea fritters, or just dive into the hearty main menu with beef Wellington, or a hearty baked cod. 

Dining at the restaurant: Bar George offers indoor dining in a classy heritage building. 

Takeout: Delivery and takeout are available via the restaurant’s website and third-party apps. 

Le Filet (Plateau/Mile End)

Although this chic spot facing Jeanne-Mance Park hails from the owners of Old Montreal’s Le Club Chasse et Pêche, it takes quite a different path. Regularly featured on lists of the best meals in the city, yet somehow managing to remain low-key, Le Filet delivers a lighter, seafood-oriented menu. Chef and co-owner Yasu Okazaki draws thoughtfully on his Japanese heritage to craft unique dishes in perfect equilibrium — and they’re usually quite photogenic, to boot.

Dining at the restaurant: Indoor dining is offered in a sleek, modern dining room, with a small street-facing patio in warmer months. 

Takeout: The restaurant doesn’t offer takeout. 

Île Flottante (Mile End)

After owners Nada Abou Younes and Sean Murray Smith overhauled former restaurant Les Deux Singes de Montarvie and opened Montreal Île Flottante in its place, a new dining darling was born. This tasting menu-only establishment in the center of the ever-cool Mile End focuses its attention on Quebec’s harvests, stepping away from the meaty focus of many other local icons. The menu changes rapidly but typically features thoughtful and complex concoctions; past dishes such as a savory carrot cake or trou normand with cucumber sorbet convey the vibe you should expect. Take note: Île Flottante is exceedingly vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, but it’s not strictly vegetarian.

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant is open for indoor dining only. 

Takeout: Île Flottante does not offer takeout.

Hoogan et Beaufort (Rosemont)

Chef Marc-André Jetté leads this stunning venue tucked in a quiet corner on the east side of Rosemont, using the restaurant’s in-house fire pit with care to compose careful, refined dishes that go well beyond the rustic norm of fire pit cooking, such as local lamb with oyster mushrooms, turnip and marinated garlic flowers. Jetté’s crew also know when to put the flames aside, like in the restaurant’s restrained pasta dishes that are bursting with flavor. It all goes down in a trendy converted warehouse with a sprawling off-street terrasse in the warmer months.

Dining at the restaurant: Indoor dining is offered in an airy, post-industrial space; a terrasse is available in summer. 

Takeout: Hoogan et Beaufort does not offer takeout.

Bonaparte (Old Montreal)

It’s a très French affair at the Bonaparte Hotel’s in-house restaurant: The robust menu skews classic with dishes such as lobster bisque and filet mignon with five pepper-cognac sauce on a six-course degustation menu. If you’re looking for fewer courses, the classicism continues on the a la carte menu with tartares, soupe à l’oignon, or roasted duck breast.

Dining at the restaurant: Bonaparte offers indoor dining. 

Takeout: The restaurant offers a weekly takeout package, Bon Apporté, to pick up and heat at home. Order via the restaurant website. 

Bagel St-Viateur (Mile End, various)

Montreal-style bagels are a breed of their own; thinner and denser than their New York counterparts, they’re a fraction sweeter by virtue of being boiled in honey water. Arguably the best place to get them is at this famed Mile End bakery, a historic hub of Jewish Montreal. Montreal bagel bakeries are a no-frills affair, so if you want anything on your bagel (lox, cream cheese), you’ll need to do it yourself, although St-Viateur helpfully has a fridge loaded with the standard toppings. St-Viateur has a small empire with another bakery down the street, a café-bakery down about a mile away in the Plateau, and a couple of suburban locations in Laval and the West Island. Take note: some Montrealers will vehemently disagree with this recommendation as one of the city’s signature debates is whether St-Viateur or Fairmount Bagel reign supreme. Luckily, Fairmount is only a couple of blocks away, so you can try both.

Dining at the restaurant: You can only dine in at Bagel St-Viateur’s café locations on Mont-Royal East, in Laval, and in Dollard-des-Ormeaux. The original bakery and other locations are takeout only. 

Takeout: Takeout is available at all Bagel St-Viateur locations; no delivery. 

La Banquise (Plateau) 

This 24/7 diner is a round-the-clock hotspot for a classic Québécois poutine (seriously, check out the line out front at 3 a.m. on a weekend). La Banquise does the famed French-Canadian comfort food exactly as any good casse-croûte (diner) should, with skin-on fries, squeaky cheese curds, and a meat-based gravy made in-house — never from a can or a powder. Those looking to make their poutine even heavier can choose from various toppings ranging from fried onions and peppers to bacon or sausage. A vegetarian gravy is also available, as well as other diner staples like burgers.

Dining at the restaurant: Indoor dining is available in a diner-style setting, with a small patio in summer. No reservations, there is sometimes a wait for seating. 

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are offered via third-party apps; you can also skip the line for indoor dining if you’re ordering takeout in person.

La Chronique (Mile End)

Credit: La Chronique

Chefs Marc De Canck and Olivier de Montigny built this Laurier Avenue restaurant up into one of the city’s go-to special occasion destinations. The pair approach their degustation menus with a firmly French technique—but a great dollop of creativity, too. That means dishes with a few local twists, such as Canadian bison, mushrooms, or seafood, all with picture-perfect styling and delivered with impeccable service. A detailed and predominantly French wine list seals the deal. 

Dining at the restaurant: La Chronique offers indoor dining in an upscale setting. 

Takeout: Takeout is not available at La Chronique.

Le Chien Fumant (Plateau) 

This French-inspired bistro is a neighborhood favorite, courtesy of chef-owner Maksim Morin’s often meaty dishes and more cosmopolitan fare, resulting in a menu that has both steak-frites and lobster gumbo. Night owls take note: Chien Fumant is also a great spot for a non-fast food late night meal. The exact hours vary, but it’s typically open much later than many Montreal restaurants. Plus, there’s a superlative weekend brunch. 

Dining at the restaurant: Le Chien Fumant has casual indoor seating.

Takeout: The restaurant does not offer takeout.

Mui Mui (Villeray)

With a minimalist dining room on a post-industrial stretch of Jean-Talon Street, the focus at Mui Mui is undoubtedly the food. And boy, does chef Minh Phat deliver. Expect fusion dishes that are laden with creativity—Phat doesn’t place any firm labels on his cuisine, but draws on Chinese, Vietnamese, and French influences (among others). Expect plenty of vibrant textures and spice from a menu that’s rich with fresh vegetables and bold yet well-balanced flavors. 

Dining at the restaurant: Mui Mui has indoor seating in a modern, casual setting.

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are available via Mui Mui’s website.

Renoir (Downtown)

Credit: Renoir

Located in the Sofitel Hotel, right in the middle of downtown Montreal and next to McGill University, Renoir is one of the city’s most reliable hotel restaurants. Hailing from Burgundy, chef Olivier Perret delivers nouveau French dishes that draw on plenty of Québécois produce, on a short but sweet menu with options like maple-lacquered octopus with tarragon, or a morel mushroom risotto. Enjoy it in a classic white-tableclothed dining room, or on the terrasse perched above the bustling Sherbrooke Street below. Don’t skip dessert, as pastry chef Clément Tilly brings perfectly refined sweet treats, helped by his substantial experience in Paris. 

Dining at the restaurant: Renoir has a large dining room, plus outdoor dining in warmer months. 

Takeout: Renoir offers a heat-at-home menu for pick-up: you must order in advance via the restaurant website.

Chez Lévêque (Outremont)

For a slice of Paris without leaving Montreal, look no further than Chez Lévêque, which has been dishing up French brasserie classics since 1972. That means tartares, steak-frites, mussels, and sweetbreads (offal is a specialty here). It comes with friendly service in a classy yet eclectic dining room. If you arrive after 9 p.m., there’s a special (and extra-affordable) late night table d’hôte menu; it’s also available at lunch. 

Dining at the restaurant: Indoor dining with a bistro vibe is available, plus a small sidewalk terrasse in the summer months. 

Takeout: Order via Chez Lévêque’s website or phone — delivery is possible, but for a substantial fee. 

Gibbys – Old Montreal (Old Montreal)

Credit: Gibbys

This Old Montreal steakhouse is a staple of the city. In addition to an array of cuts of beef (some served with a delectable cognac-pepper sauce), the restaurant spreads its wings with items like a herby, garlicky rack of lamb and buttery chicken kiev. Seafood, particularly oysters and lobster, are another focus, for those who fancy both surf and turf. The ambiance is fantastic, too: Gibby’s is located in a converted 18th century stable, with stone walls, beamed ceilings, and a cozy yet upscale vibe. There’s also a location in the mountain town of Saint-Sauveur, about an hour north of Montreal. 

Dining at the restaurant: Indoor dining is available. 

Takeout: Gibbys doesn’t offer takeout available.

Tim Forster is a freelance writer and editor focusing on food, culture, and technology. 

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