10 Fantastically Fancy Quebec Restaurants for Special Occasions

Credit: Damas

The French-speaking province of Quebec has an eye-popping selection of fun and fancy restaurants for any special occasion, from birthdays to wedding anniversaries. Naturally, there’s plenty of fine French fare due to Quebec’s connections with the European culinary power. But with Quebec’s abundant produce (at least outside of the winter months), mushroom and game-filled forests, and oceans and rivers loaded with Arctic char and trout, some restaurants also put a much more local spin on fine dining — and then Quebec’s immigrant history brings other options such as superb Syrian or perfect Portuguese food to the mix.

This guide features ten of the best options across the province of Quebec, not just in Montreal — because for a truly special occasion, it’s worth the travel time.

Montréal

Damas (Outremont)

Credit: Damas

Damas isn’t just an excellent Syrian restaurant — it’s one of the best restaurants in Canada, period. With silky hummus, creamy labneh, and crispy falafel, it’s tempting to order every mezze on the menu, but you should absolutely save space for the mains, which include plates of juicy grilled meat, seafood, halloumi, and vegetables, as well as two hearty fattets (braised meat dishes with rice, yogurt sauce, and crispy pita). The beverage program excels, too: Cocktails feature unique Syrian touches (apricot gimlet, anyone?), and the wine list focuses on Old World classics that pair well with the restaurant’s punchy flavors.

Dining in the restaurant: The restaurant offers a large, leafy terrasse (patio) separated from the sidewalk; the large dining room has a stunning mix of deep red and stained wood tones, with lanterns and Middle Eastern design touches to cap it off. While it’s not required, it’s worth dressing up.

Takeout: Damas accepts takeout orders by phone or on its website; delivery is only available for orders over $150.

Le Filet (Plateau/Mile End)

Located directly across from the popular Jeanne-Mance Park is Le Filet, the modern, seafood-focused sister restaurant to Le Club Chasse et Pêche, another Montreal dining destination. Chef and co-owner Yasu Okazaki crafts an innovative, ever-changing menu that artfully intersects ingredients and flavors from Japan and Quebec — for example, tuna tartare with nori. A thoughtfully assembled wine list centers around French vintages; the restaurant’s sharply contemporary black-and-white design matches the cool, creative crowds that flock here.

Dining in the restaurant: There’s a small terrasse facing the park for outdoor dining; the indoor room is spaced out but not huge, so it can fill up quickly.

Takeout: Le Filet does not offer takeout or delivery. 

Graziella (Old Montreal)

Arguably the finest Italian table in the city is at chef Graziella Batista’s eponymous restaurant. Her menu takes the much-vaunted Italian approach to eating seriously: Her dishes focus on a limited number of exceptionally high-quality ingredients, from seasonal antipasti that center Quebec’s formidable vegetable harvest to primi like gnudi with a simple San Marzano tomato sauce. She’s also not afraid to add some local touches, like Quebec halibut or Nordic shrimp — but any departure from the classics is always done with careful, judicious thought.

Dining in the restaurant: Graziella offers indoor dining only with tables and bar seating; the restaurant is also open for lunch Tuesday to Friday.

Takeout: Takeout (no delivery) is only available with an order in advance via the restaurant’s online shop.

Île Flottante (Mile End)

While many of Montreal’s fine-dining establishments can skew traditional, Île Flottante feels a little more avant-garde. Chef and co-owner Sean Murray Smith gets playful with textures and ingredients, and with a constantly-changing degustation menu, you’ll likely be surprised by some futuristic or left-of-center dishes, served in a space that’s both modern and inviting. While there is some meat on the menu, vegetables are often the focus here, and vegan and vegetarian diners are exceptionally well looked after. The wine pairings are strong, but be sure to sample the equally creative cocktails, too.

Dining in the restaurant: The restaurant offers tasting menus only. It’s not a huge space, so reservations are highly recommended.

Takeout: Île Flottante does not offer takeout or delivery.

Maison Boulud (Downtown)

Credit: Maison Boulud

Famed French-via-New York City chef Daniel Boulud’s swanky Montreal outpost is a true model of consistency. A brassy, Art Deco-infused dining room sets the tone for one of the city’s classiest meals. While the menu firmly highlights Boulud’s French pedigree, executive chef Riccardo Bertolino spices up the menu with carefully thought-out additions, like a Sichuan pepper-infused tomato coulis for the cannelloni, or dried lime to add zing to a Quebec lamb and eggplant dish. Maison Boulud also has an extraordinarily long wine list covering all bases, Old and New Worlds and natural and traditional varieties.

Dining in the restaurant: In summer, you can take a seat on the terrasse facing the Ritz-Carlton’s exquisitely landscaped garden.

Takeout: A special takeout and delivery menu is available and can be ordered from the restaurant’s website. 

Portus 360 (International District)

Located on the 31st floor of the Plaza Centre-Ville building in downtown Montreal, Portus 360’s panoramic views of the city and St-Lawrence River are an obvious drawcard — and as a revolving restaurant, you can take the breathtaking view in from all angles. But the food here doesn’t play second fiddle to the views: Chef Helena Loureiro’s takes on traditional Portuguese cuisine are eminently sumptuous. There’s plenty of seafood on offer, with standards such as sardines, cod croquettes, and salted codfish all figuring into the menu, as well as roasted or grilled meats. Flaky and delicate pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) are the natural way to wrap up the meal.

Dining in the restaurant: The restaurant is located across two levels, both of which feature the same excellent views — you’ll have to take an elevator up from the ground floor, of course. There’s no outdoor dining.

Takeout: Portus 360 doesn’t offer takeout or delivery, but nearby sister restaurant Helena, which also specializes in Portuguese cuisine, has a prix fixe menu available for takeout. 

Wellington (Verdun) 

Credit: Caroline Perron

This warm and welcoming French bistro is an excellent bet for those looking to celebrate a special occasion a little more casually. Wellington’s menu leans into classics — think beef tartare, duck breast, boudin noir, and moules frites. That soulful menu is matched by a convivial interior that screams cozy neighborhood haunt. The restaurant is BYOB, making it a great option for those looking for a lovely dinner that won’t break the bank.

Dining in the restaurant: Wellington has indoor seating at tables or banquettes. It’s a bring-your-own wine restaurant, so it does not otherwise serve alcoholic beverages.

Takeout: Takeout and delivery aren’t offered.

Quebec City

Le Continental (Vieux-Québec)

The grand dame of Quebec City’s dining scene, Le Continental is a très French affair. The restaurant specializes in flambéed dishes, prepared tableside by servers in snappy white suits, such as whiskey-flambéed shrimp or steak. The non-flambé parts of the menu are classically French — think escargot or foie gras torchon, as well as some nods to local produce such as snow crab. Save room for dessert, in the form of crêpes Suzette, flambéed (of course) with orange liqueur.

Dining in the restaurant: The elegant interior has an old-world allure, with white tablecloths and lots of warm wood paneling. The seating is mostly at tables; it can get rather full on weekends, holidays, and in the summer tourist season.

Takeout: Le Continental does not offer takeout or delivery.

Laurie Raphäel (Basse-Ville)

Credit: Optique Photo

Chef Daniel Vézina is a big name within Quebec, and Laurie Raphäel is the arena where he shows off his expertise. Vézina and his team mix French classicism with a strong focus on local ingredients, and some restrained use of molecular gastronomy techniques add an element of surprise. The restaurant’s space is an intriguing mix of contemporary design with earthy touches, with brassy faux trees adorning the dining room. Be sure to save some room for sweets, especially if you opt for the nine-course tasting menu — the restaurant’s signature melting dome desserts are stunning.

Dining in the restaurant: Indoor dining only; choose between a six- and nine-course tasting menu (no à la carte ordering).

Takeout: At present, Laurie Raphäel does not have a takeout or delivery menu.

Eastern Townships

Le Hatley (North Hatley)

Credit: Le Hatley

Located alongside the luxuriant lakeside hotel Manoir Hovey, Le Hatley is a truly stellar dining option for a short retreat into Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The restaurant has an orderly approach to seasonal cuisine, breaking the year up into seven parts — visit in April and you’re more likely to encounter lamb or maple, and in winter, it’s house-made preserves and root vegetables. No matter what time of year you go, the restaurant delivers an extraordinary immersion into the bounties of Quebec’s forest, fields, and waterways, enhanced by the stately lakehouse that the restaurant occupies.

Dining in the restaurant: Le Hatley is in a rural area about a 30-minutes drive from the city of Sherbrooke, so it would be wise to reserve, since there are few other options in the immediate vicinity. The restaurant offers prix fixe and tasting menus only (except for its à la carte brunch). 

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are not offered, although there is a limited room service menu available for Manoir Hovey guests.

Tried them all? Check out other options here.