Montreal’s 12 Best Restaurants For Romance

Credit: Bar George

Montreal is flush with romantic restaurants for all tastes. One of the Montreal dining scene’s most endearing traits is the fact that smaller restaurants with limited capacities rule the roost. These spots can feel particularly intimate, especially if you’re dining out in the winter when it’s below freezing and there’s a howling blizzard outside. 

Naturally, the city’s colonial past means that you can opt for a classic romantic dinner date at one of the city’s many French restaurants, which run the gamut from cozy brasseries to haute cuisine destinations. But there are also excellent places to sample everything from Syrian to Cajun cuisine in seductive settings with your significant other. Here are a dozen of the best bets. 

Damas (Outremont)

Credit: Damas

As one of Montreal’s most exemplary fine dining destinations, Damas is renowned for its pitch-perfect Syrian dishes. Start with a cocktail that brings in classic Levantine touches such as  rose water or pomegranate while diving into shareable mezzes, like perfectly smooth hummus or bright and tangy fattoush cut with crispy pita. The menu has an array of succulent grill dishes and soul-warming braised options; try some from both categories if you can. Otherwise, for a special occasion, you can’t go wrong with the tasting menu, allowing you to sample a little of everything. 

Dining in the restaurant: While the dining room is large, reservations are recommended. The deep red interior with hanging lamps evokes a glamorous  souk, with nods to Arabic architecture; a plant-lined patio is available in the summer.

Takeout: Takeout orders can be made directly with the restaurant, and most of the mezzes and mains are available, as are desserts and cocktails (the tasting menu is not an option for takeout). Delivery is also handled by the restaurant, but is only available for orders over $150.

La Chronique (Mile End)

La Chronique is arguably the pinnacle of Montreal’s extensive French dining scene, and among the best options in town altogether. Chef-owners Marc De Canck and Olivier de Montigny have typically avoided the media spotlight, focusing their attention on their craft. You and your companion can tuck into the degustation menu, which changes frequently but typically applies French techniques to fine seafood, meats, and produce from Quebec and Canada. A lengthy wine list prioritizes  classic French options, with bottles for any palate and price point — just ask sommelier Jonathan Sitaras. 

Dining in the restaurant: La Chronique has indoor dining only, in a pristine white room punctuated with mahogany-toned furniture. The restaurant has a tasting menu but has offered a la carte options in the past; reservations are highly recommended.

Takeout: Delivery or takeout are not available. 

Toqué (Downtown/Old Montreal)

Toqué | Credit: Hans Laurendeau

Toqué is considered  a pioneer in Quebec’s fine dining scene, thanks to chef-owner Normand Laprise’s skills in shining a spotlight on the most perfect products that the province has to offer. Though it opened its doors in 1993, it’s still one of the most sensual dining experiences in Montreal: standards such as foie gras get the local treatment with redcurrant and sea buckthorn gels, and tender meats shine alongside mushrooms and root vegetables that showcase Quebec’s fields and forests. Do it right and get the seven-course tasting menu (with an optional, but extremely on-point wine pairing) — although a la carte ordering is possible.

Dining in the restaurant: A plush dining room features white tablecloths and elegant (yet supremely comfortable) leather armchairs at each table. Toqué only offers indoor dining; as one of the city’s top restaurants, reservations are strongly recommended. 

Takeout: Delivery and takeout are not offered.

Le Club Chasse et Pêche (Old Montreal)

In terms of both decor and food, Old Montreal staple Le Club Chasse et Pêche is like taking a trip to a classy cabin in the woods, without even leaving the city. Fittingly, the restaurant’s name, which translates to “the hunting and fishing club”, means diners can expect the freshest and finest products from Quebec’s forests, rivers, and seas. The dishes are refined and let a few key ingredients shine, be it whelks, scallops, Arctic char or duck. A bold wine list features funky natural wines, as well as full-bodied traditionals. 

Dining in the restaurant: Despite the restaurant’s unassuming exterior, Le Club Chasse et Pêche has an alluring vibe perfect for dates, with mood lighting, leather chairs and natural textures to add to the earthy menu; there’s no outdoor dining, though. 

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are not available.

Park (Westmount)

Montreal isn’t generally regarded as a stellar sushi city, but chef Antonio Park’s eponymous restaurant, a date night darling, is one big exception. Park (who was also the first Canadian chef to receive a license to import Kobe beef) uses supremely fresh, top-notch ingredients, such as bluefin and albacore tuna, to craft simple yet exquisite platters of maki, nigiri, and more. He also draws on his Korean and South American heritage to bring in a few twists, like the beef sushi, served with kimchi and chimichurri sauce.

Dining in the restaurant: Park is open from Tuesday to Saturday, serving both lunch and dinner. The chic, modern dining room mixes timeless wood paneling with a few industrial elements and dim lighting.  

Takeout: The entire menu, including the omakase, is available for takeout, which can be ordered from the restaurant’s website. 

Bar George (Downtown)

Credit: Bar George

Impress your date with fine British fare, such as a juicy beef Wellington and whiskey pudding, at restaurant Bar George, boutique hotel Le Mount Stephen’s in-house restaurant. There are also a few nods to this side of the pond, with some elegant seafood dishes like baked black cod. The restaurant is located in a heritage building that was formerly an exclusive social club, so there’s plenty of atmosphere. Brunch, lunch, and a particularly creative cocktail menu are also offered. 

Dining in the restaurant: Bar George has a gorgeous restored Victorian-era dining room with intricate wood paneling and antique furniture — it’ll feel like you’re on a date at an English manor.

Takeout: The entire menu is available for takeout, which can be ordered via the restaurant’s website.

Le Virunga (Plateau)

Whisk your date away on a tour of sub-Saharan Africa by way of Le Virunga’s transportive plates. The meats and seafood on executive chef Maria-José de Frias’s menu are sourced from some of Quebec’s finest producers and shine in dishes such as a goat stew with Nigerian-style yam fufu; there’s also Arctic char from Gaspésie with starchy cassava and a green curry jus — hearty dishes that pair well with Virunga’s entirely South African wine list. It’s all served up with impeccably warm service, led by Frias’s daughter, Zoya. 

Dining at the restaurant: The compact dining room channels a cozy den, with an eclectic mix of colors and textures. Seating is relatively limited, so reservations are key.

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are not available. 

Bistro Nolah (Dollard-des-Ormeaux)

Credit: Bistro Nolah

A little further afield in the West Island city of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Bistro Nolah is worth the 20 to 30 minute drive from Montreal proper. It’s one of the the only restaurants in the city to be fully committed to Cajun cuisine, making it a unique option for date night, boosted by the restaurant’s particularly attentive service. Louisiana classics including gumbo, jambalaya, fried oysters, and catfish fill out the menu. Don’t skip the cocktails: Nolah pays homage to New Orleans, a city that knows how to mix some serious drinks.

Dining at the restaurant: Expect a casual, bistro-style dining room with candles and some jazzy nods to New Orleans; a covered patio with comfy cane chairs is available in warmer months. 

Takeout: Nolah’s comforting gumbos and fried chicken are available for takeout or delivery via third-party apps.

Chez Lévêque (Outremont)

Elegant but unfussy, Chez Lévêque has dished up French brasserie fare to Montrealers for decades. The team has fine-tuned classics such as lobster bisque, terrines, tartares, moules-frites, sweetbreads and a classic steak; save room for a crème brûlée or crêpes suzette. There’s also a great option for couples on a budget: after 9pm every day (except during holiday peaks), Chez Lévêque has a $29 table d’hôte menu with choices between a few menu favorites.

Dining at the restaurant: Chez Lévêque is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. With red banquettes and white tablecloths, the indoor dining room is reminiscent of a dreamy slice of Paris; in warmer months, a large terrasse facing the street is available. 

Takeout: Most of the menu is available for takeout and delivery via the restaurant’s website. Table d’hôte specials are not available to go. 

Coeur de Loup (Petite-Patrie)

Credit: Coeur de Loup

This friendly bistro in the city’s northeast draws inspiration from the bouchons of Lyon, France, which are known for hearty, meaty cuisine — ideal for sharing. But Coeur de Loup shakes it up with chef Fabrizia Rollo’s Italian culinary chops, with a few global accents  sprinkled in for good measure. The result is a classy yet soulful menu, with options ranging from a saucy flank steak to duck confit cavatelli.

Dining at the restaurant: Take a seat in Coeur de Loup’s casual dining room, which is spruced up with chandeliers and artwork. A small street-side terrasse is available in summer. 

Takeout: A limited part of the menu is available for takeout, or delivery via a third party. 

Le Muscadin (Old Montreal)

Since 1987, this grand old dame has served classic antipasti, pastas, and veal dishes in a historic Old Montreal building. Couples will be bowled over by nonna-inspired favorites such as  meatballs, minestrone, carbonara, and seafood linguini. But save room for tender secondi like veal scallopini with a cream sauce. It’s a family-run affair, with warm hospitality to match. 

Dining at the restaurant: Le Muscadin is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday (plus lunch on Thursday and Friday). Dates can eat in its vintage dining room with white tablecloths, antique chairs and oil paintings; no outdoor dining is available. 

Takeout: The full menu is available for takeout and delivery, via the restaurant’s website or third parties.

Casa Galicia (Latin Quarter)

Treat yourself to tapas and shellfish at this welcoming Spanish spot on Saint-Denis Street. As the name suggests, a few Galician specialties (particularly octopus) feature on the menu, but with options such as  paella and gazpacho, it also draws inspiration from all over the Iberian Peninsula. A lengthy wine list shows off full-bodied Spanish and Portuguese options to go with it all. If you head there on a Friday or Saturday night, you can also treat your date to an in-house flamenco performance. 

Dining at the restaurant: Don’t be fooled by the unassuming duplex that houses Casa Galicia: The interiors evoke a Mediterranean villa, with wooden eaves and antiques decorating the dining room. Indoor dining only. 

Takeout: The full menu is available for takeout via the restaurant; delivery is offered through third parties.