Montreal Restaurant Reviews

The following is a comprehensive list of restaurants that Damian and I tried in Montreal from February 2004 to December 2009, with accompanying reviews.

If you're looking for dining ideas for other cities, here is our review page for Amsterdam and a list of our favourites in other places.

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 A particular favourite.
 An outstanding experience.
 Good cheap eats.
 Avoid at all costs.
(+) Denotes a chain (often just a local one with a few locations). The locations listed are the ones we have visited.

African Bakery & Dessert Breakfast Café Chinese Delis, Diners, & Fast Food French, Québecois, & Bistro Ice Cream Indian International Italian & Pizza Japanese & Sushi South American, & Caribbean Middle Eastern & Mediterranean Other Asian Other European Portugese & Spanish Pub & Brewery Steakhouse Sausages & Market Food Vegetarian

Restaurant Location Comments
Bakery & Dessert
Au Pain Doré (+)Greene & St-CatherineNice apricotine, terrible croissants. Overall we prefer Premiere Moisson.
Autour d'un Pain1253 Beaubien EstThe croissants are chewier and have more texture than the Premiere Moisson ones, which just flake into a million pieces when you bite into them. Probably our favourite croissants in Montreal. Not so keen on the cheese ones though. Pastries are also nice.
Cocoa Locale4807 du ParcCharming shop with a swing seat and many pretty cakelets. We tried the chocolate-chai and vanilla cupcakes. Both were lovely. The texture was light, the icing was tasty, and they were very cute. I only wish there were more flavours in rotation. The spicy chocolate cake is a delight.
Fairmount Bagel74 Fairmount O.The original Montreal bagel bakery. Nice fresh bagels, but we personally prefer St-Viateur's slightly denser and chewier texture.
Le Fromentier1375 Laurier E.Well-regarded and deservedly so. Delicious specialities that change daily.
Les Saveurs du PlateauLaurier E.Patisserie. Yummy eclairs.
Juliette et ChocolatSt-Denis & Émery 377 Laurier O.Delicious hot chocolate and crepes. The salads are very generous as well as tasty. The insanely thick Grandma-style hot chocolate is a dessert all on its own. The crepe susanne (dark chocolate, nutmeg, whipped cream) is also delightful. Update: service at the St-Denis location has become terribly slow and inattentive. I only go to the one on Laurier now.
Itsi-Bitsi2621 rue Notre-Dame O.Nice cupcakes, but not as good as Cocoa Locale's. The icing is a bit over sweet for the amount on the vanilla cupcake and the chocolate cake not chocolatey enough on the choco-coco. It balanced better on the choco-choco cupcake. Lavender and honey was an interesting combination. The daily changes in flavours is a nice touch.
Patisserie BelgeParc & MiltonTheir croissants are actually too buttery for my liking: heavy and greasy.
Patisserie de Notre Maison4101 St-LaurentLots of yummy desserts (particularly the eclairs). Also had nice kaisers for 25 cents.
Petits Gâteaux783 Avenue Mont-Royal EstVery cute shop, which matches the cupcakes. The raspberry-sour cream cupcake is stunning and the chocolat-poire and tarte citron cupcakes are delicious. There's an appealingly wide variety of flavours and styles. This place has vastly improved with the new pastry chef. (detailed review, April 2008). They now offer mini-cupcakes which is so fun for trying several different flavours. (Oct 2010)
Premiere Moisson (+)Mont Royal, Sherbrooke, Gare CentraleLovely baked goods of all types. Croissants are fluffy on the inside and crisp and flaky on the outside. Desserts are delectable. The crusty breads are especially nice. They do good sandwiches as well.
Samos4379 St-LaurentGreek bakery with very fresh and filling kaiser rolls for 25 cents.
St-Viateur Bagel Shop263 St-Viateur O.Our favourite Montreal bagels (also made at the St-Viateur Bagel & Café). Delightfully homely, chewy, and completely scrumptious.
Ice Cream
Bilboquetsupplied to various locationsYummy ice cream and sorbet. The grapefruit sorbet was particularly refreshing and tart.
Crème Glacée Bo-Bec1300 Laurier E.A large selection of both standard and unusual ice cream flavours made on premises. We enjoyed the fruits-de-bois sorbet and the cappuccino. Also notable for having homemade popsicles and ice cream sandwiches.
Crèmerie de l'Ange430 Laurier E.Nice selection of standard ice creams. The mint-chocolate chip and espresso-chocolate chip were both enjoyed.
Havre Aux GlacesMarché Jean-TalonDelicious and interesting sorbet and ice cream. 3 flavours can be tried in a cup for $3.25. We had Lemon, Grapefruit, Chai Masala, Chestnut, Ginger, and Raspberry. The chestnut just tasted kind of sweet and unidentifiable to me, but the rest were all amazing. The lemon was suitably tart and the ginger and chai masala both suitably spicy.
Léo le glacier916, rue DuluthDelicious artisinal sorbets and gelatos with some unusual flavours (pineapple basil, melon saffron).
Meu Meu4458 St-DenisAmazing selection of unusual and tasty artisinal ice creams and sorbets. You get two different flavours on a regular cone, so I tried cinnamon and chocolate-sea salt. Delicious!
Le PatioMont-Royal & St-HubertLots of interesting and delicious ice creams and sorbets. They have so many flavours that many are listed, but not on display. They'll go to the back to get them for you though. The hours are a bit of a mystery. They seem to be open when people might want ice cream. They'll be closed at noon if it's raining and open late at night if it's hot and people are around.
RipplesSt-Laurent & St-CuthbertHas a few interesting flavours, though the chocolate-ginger was a let down because the chocolate over-powered the ginger flavour.
Sinis Artisan Glacier916 avenue Duluth EstArtisinal ice creams. Not as good as Havre-aux-Glaces, but many interesting fruit-based combinations. We tried citron, pamplemousse-campari, pomme verte, ananas-basilic, mangue-jasmine, and chocolat fraise.
Chez Cora (+)St-Catherine & StanleyA good breakfast-only chain. Lots of fruit, nice juice blends, and pancakes/crepes/waffles/eggs/whatnot.
La Grand-Mere Poule1361 av. du Mont-Royal Est All-day breakfast. The watery hot choclate tastes like it's from a packet. The rosti are an unusual option with some interesting toppings, but they've got a mashed-potato-y texture. They don't seem to have any sort of fruit crepe which is too bad and no cappucino after 3:00pm. The omelettes look tasty. Overall, the food was fine and it wasn't too busy, but that's probably because there are better places for breakfast nearby.
Chez JoséDuluth E. & L'Hôtel-de-VilleCharming little place for breakfast. The crèpes and omelettes are delicious. They have good espresso and super yummy juice mixes. (last visit: July 2009)
La Petite MarcheBlvd St-Joseph & St-DenisBrunch has very generous portions (think platters, not plates). Was once a favourite, but the last visit had truly appalling service and a waitress with the gall to berate us at the resulting low tip. We'll never return. (Mar 2009)
Au Pain Perdu4489 rue de la RocheDelicious and reasonably priced breakfast/brunch. (July 2009)
Brulérie St-Denis (+)Mont-Royal & MentanaApparently the original on St-Denis is better, but we had a lovely Saturday afternoon drinking fancy drinks and sharing a lemon-something pie.
CaféoRachel & St-DenisThe sandwiches are nothing exciting and a bit expensive, but they are yummy. They have a nice atmosphere when the windows are open in the summer. Good coffee drinks.
Caffe Art Java837 Avenue du Mont-Royal EstPleasant cafe with tasty desserts and excellent cappuccino. Sandwiches on the lunch menu are good. Update 2009: Menu has changed substantially and it feels more generic and over-priced than it used to. Also bad for being hard to get a table due to the people camped out with laptops.
Café des Beaux-Arts1380 Sherbrooke Street O.The bistro in the Musée des Beaux Arts (not the cafeteria) has lovely, seasonal fare. One of the better places you can have a nice lunch downtown.
Café Imagination (+)du Parc & SherbrookeA comfortable cafe with a nice selection of salad/sandwich combos and tons of fancy coffee drinks.
Café L'ÉtrangerSt-Catherine & McGill CollegeA popular downtown lunch spot. Very slow and not consistent. They used to have huge menus of a million different sandwiches, but now only have a sheet of specials. I suspect the menus are still available for supper. I've had too many bad meals here to ever want to go again.
Calories4114 St-Catherine W.A dessert and coffee place conveniently near the AMC Forum theatre and open late. Desserts were enjoyed all around and others seemed to enjoy the Calories iced tea, which looked like a fruity slushy.
Camellia Sinensis351 EmeryA tea house with a large variety of teas and a few treats to accompany them. Lovely Asian-style atmosphere, but best for groups of 4 or fewer. I found the iced tea to have too much of a bitter aftertaste, but others liked it and the hot teas seemed to be well-received.
Chez Gabriel220 Mont RoyalAlright coffee, very inexperienced service, the decor was too bright and reflective to relax. Might be better for their food, which we didn't try. They're very new, so the service might improve.
Kilo CaféSt-Laurent & FairmountA nice sandwich and dessert cafe.
La Maison de la Torréfaction412 rue GilfordA strange mix of café food and Vietnamese appetizers, but the atmosphere and food was pleasant.
Café République (+)St-Catherine & St-UrbainSo-so. We know a die-hard fan of their tuna-salad-three-ways.
Olive + Gourmando351 St-Paul O.One of the best choices for lunch in the otherwise overpriced, tourist-oriented Vieux Port. Delicious sandwiches, vibrant atmosphere, yummy coffee and pastries.
Piz PistolSt-Catherine & BleuryMainly a pasta place. Nothing particularly interesting. Generally good, but we can make better at home and so can you.
SantropolDuluth & St-UrbainA lovely sandwich spot with a back terrace and garden that is very tranquil and pleasant in the summer.
Café Shaika5526 Sherbrooke W.Nice iced coffees. Door is a bit slammy, so watch for the person behind you.
St-Viateur Bagel & CaféMont-Royal & Christophe-ColombThe bagels are famous for good reason. The coffees and bagels sandwiches for the cafe are also good, but it's busy on the weekend.
Delis, Diners, & Fast Food
L'Anecdote801 Rachel Est (at St-Hubert)The hamburgers and sandwiches are a notch above the ordinary. Filling and fresh, the omelettes and crepes are both nice, specifically the 3-cheese omelette and the bacon-mushroom crepe. Best for groups of 4 or fewer.
La BanquiseRachel & Parc La FontaineBest poutine we've had in Montreal. Lots of other places have good fries and cheese curds, but the gravy/poutine sauce is where La Banquise leaps ahead. Try "Le Galvaude" with chicken and peas. Very bustling atmosphere at 1:00am on a Friday night so we had to wait a bit for a table. They're open 24 hrs, so you can probably find a quieter time, though you'd be missing some of the atmosphere and appetite that makes poutine so appealing.
La Belle Provence (+)variousMore of those Quebecois fries and random other fast food. The "steamies" and the gyros are ok as far as fast food goes.
Restaurant Belle VilleSt-Catherine & City CouncillorsYummy deli lunch.
Ben'sMaisonneuve & MansfieldA classic old deli/diner. The atmosphere is great and it looks like it hasn't changed in 40 years. The food is pretty ordinary and just what you'd expect. Their "famous" cheesecake is surprisingly as good as they claim.
Bofinger5667 Sherbrooke OuestA Southern-style BBQ and fast food restaurant. The food was fine for the price point (everything under $10), but as someone who's never been to Texas, even I could tell that BBQ could be done better than this. Still a better choice than a burger/fast food chain. (last visit: March 2008)
Buns Hamburger House (+)3673 St-LaurentVery basic menu of burger, double burger, and potatoes. A simple, basic burger. Nothing fancy, but definitely tasty. (August 2009)
Dunn's (+)Metcalfe & St-CatherineNeither atrocious nor great. Mediocre poutine, mediocre smoked meat. There's better places for everything they serve.
FameuxSt-Denis & Mont-RoyalThe poutine gratinée (with extra cheese) is yummy and different, but very thirsty-making. The milkshakes are quite thin.
Frite Alors (+)St-Denis, Rachel, du ParcNice Belgian-style fries. Their aioli is delicious. We like their poutine, but then, we are not fans of the Quebecois-style soggy chips. I much prefer the neighbourhood feel of the smaller locations.
Gibeau Orange Julep7700 boulevard DécarieThe giant orange sphere is un-missable, but the food less so. The orange julep drink is tasty, but I think most of the draw here is the nostalgia factor.
The MainSt-Laurent & NapoléonThe smoked meat place across from Schwartz's: much less busy, and nearly as good.
Meat Market4415 St-LaurentLunch menu of affordable gourmet sandwiches with a nice mix of sweet potato and regular fries for accompaniment.
Mondo Fritz (+)3899 St-LaurentSimilar to Frite Alors with softer, darker fries and a choice of multiple dips included in the price. The dips sounded interesting, but mostly didn't actually have much distinguishable difference.
Mont Royal Hot DogMont Royal & BoyerOpen late, seems like generic diner/fast food, but is pretty popular locally. Their poutine is reasonably good, but there are better places if that's all you want. The fish and chips was reasonable, but nothing to compare to coastal fish and chips.
Nickels (+)St-Catherine & CrescentBoring fake-50's style diner.
La ParyseOntario & St-DenisDelicious hamburgers that live up to their reputation as the best in Montreal. Soggy, overly-dark, greasy fries: not my thing, but they suit some people. Excellent and very large milkshakes. The fries had improved on my last visit.
Patati PatataRachel & St-LaurentYummy poutine, but very different flavour from La Banquise. Apparently they use red wine in the sauce. Tasty burgers too. Awesome atmosphere!
Pitarifique8 rue Rachel OuestPita, souvlaki, hamburgers, etc. Unremarkable. Fine for a quick lunch, but not spectacular. For hamburgers, you should go across the street to Patati Patata instead.
Rolopan3723-A St-LaurentOverpriced, skimpy crepes. The ham and cheese had two small slices of ham and some random cheese slice in a sweet batter crepe for $6.
Schwartz'sSt-Laurent & NapoléonA Montreal institution. Go late at night during the week to avoid ridiculous queues. If you like sandwiches full of meat with a tiny bit of bread and nothing else, then you'll be satisfied. Go for the "medium" sandwich as the "lean" would be way too dry.
Steve PizzaRachel & St-LaurentABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE pizza. The crust was soggy and the whole slice was really greasy. I'm not really sure what "steve pizza" is or if I want to know.
Pub & Brewery
Hurley'sCrescent & St-CatherineUnremarkable bar food type menu with a few nice specials. This place is popular, but people aren't coming for the food.
Le Vieux DublinUniversity & CathcartHidden entrance. They actually allow you decide how you want your burger done. The fries were overcooked and greasy.
RéservoirDuluth & St-LaurentHas a very classy brunch.
Les Trois Brasseurs (+)St-Denis & ÉmeryThe micro-brew is apparently not great, but they have yummy, slightly-expensive pub/bistro fare otherwise. Their not-pizza on pastry is rather unpleasant. The bière-croque-monsieur was good.
Moishes3961 St LaurentTypical steakhouse fare. The baked potato dish was super delicious, probably because they almost certainly poured one of those little containers of cream into it.
Gibby's298 Place d'YouvilleBland and unexciting. Traditional steakhouse food and setting, which isn't really our thing. Moishe's is better just based on the baked potato. (Oct 2008)
Restaurant du Vieux Port39 rue Saint-Paul EstI was only here for a banquet, so their regular menu might be better. The banquet food was fine, but nothing worth returning for. The salad was at least mesculin as opposed to iceburg lettuce. The steak was reasonably cooked and seasoned. Garlic mashed potatoes had some hard lumps in them. Dessert was a very processed looking cube of "tiramisu". (Dec 2008)
le Steak Frites St-Paul(+)4167 rue St-DenisOne of our steaks was overcooked and had to be replaced. The fries were stale and a bit acrid tasting. Not a great result given the name of the restaurant. (Dec 2009)
Aux Délices de SzechuanSt-Denis & ÉmeryPretty forgettable. I recall that there was a good eggplant dish though.
Beijing RestaurantChinatown Food was yummy with lots of vegetarian options. 1 dish / person was enough, or maybe a little light but could be easily filled with spring rolls. About one dish, plus rice and spring roll/soup was roughly $15. High quality food, not overly greasy, lots of ingreadients in the dishes (i.e. "beef and black beans" has more than 2 discernable ingredients). The wonton soup should be avoided as the wontons had way too much heavy wrapper. The pan-fried spicy shrimp is delicious though.
Hong KongSt-Laurent & de la Gauchetière (Chinatown)Absolutely terrible. Everything was greasy and very salty. The spring rolls literally dripped oil, leaving a pool on my plate. The wontons in the soup were hard and chewy.
Keung Kee Restaurantde la Gauchetière & St-Urbain (Chinatown)Clearly part of some mystical concentration of good Chinese food, it's located above/between the bakery and bbq pork place. The portions are generous. One soup is enough for 5 or 6 people. <1 dish/person required.
Lotte FuramaClark & René-Lévesque (Chinatown)Excellent dim sum with a huge variety of dishes. Go on Saturday or Sunday around 10:30 or 11:00. Going after 12:30 will result in very slow service and not as much variety if you're sitting upstairs. UPDATE (Dec 2007): The dumpling master has left and the quality of the food has gone downhill.
Maison DumplingCity Councillors & St-CatherineI'd probably never have eaten here if it wasn't downstairs from where I worked. I wouldn't have missed anything if I hadn't. It's convenient and nothing else.
La Maison Kam FungSt-Urbain (Chinatown)The dim sum was tasty, but too many fried and non-dim-sum options like soup or noodle dishes. The service was kind of slow and our table was very crammed in. I prefer Lotte Furama, but this is an OK alternative. UPDATE (Dec 2007): Now better than Lotte Furama, but not as much selection. The same carts came by repeatedly. Update (2008): Kam Fung is highly dependent on where you're seated. If you go early, with a smallish group, and are seated centrally, it's now one of the best Chinatown options for dim sum.
M.M. Legendede la Gauchetière & St-Urbain (Chinatown)Otherwise known as "the chinese bakery with the wedding cake in the window". Tasty cocktail buns and other sweet goodies. The bbq-pork buns in the hot oven are addictive.
PacifiqueSt-Denis & ÉmeryThe crispy spinach is tasty. In general, the portions are awfully small for the price. 1.5 dishes/person required.
Le Pavillon NanpicChinatownFood was mediocre, the only Chinese were staff (always a bad sign), and there were no chopsticks.
Parfums d'Asie3754 St-Laurent$2 chow mein better than expected. A not terrible snack.
Pret à MangerSt-Catherine & St-MathieuA boring and disappointing replacement for Koko.
Restaurant Noodle FactorySt-Urbain (Chinatown)Nice noodle soup, stir-fried noodles not overly greasy. Dumplings were fine, but filling was non-descript. Service was speedy and attentive. Seems more like a lunch place.
Ruby Rouge1008 Clark (Chinatown)A yummy dim sum, with lots of variety of steamed dumplings and a relaxed pace. This is probably our new favourite for dim sum. (last visited: April 2008)
Soupbol NoodlesPlace Phillips & St-CatherineBoring and forgettable.
Soup and Noodles (+)St-Catherine & du FortThe best of the string of cheap Chinese restaurants along St-Catherine. Not as cheap as Wok Cafe, but better quality food.
Sun Sing Lungde la Gauchetière & St-Urbain (Chinatown)Also known as "the bbq pork place next to chinese bakery". BBQ pork on rice with a spring roll for $5 is enough for 2. Really friendly proprietors too.
Wok CafeSt-Catherine & St-MarcIf your three restaurant metrics are Quality of Food, Amount of Food, and Price, then Wok Cafe optimizes the latter two. The value for money is so good that it almost makes up for the rather Americanized-Chinese style and mediocre quality. Almost, but not quite.
Japanese & Sushi
Bleu Caramel4517, rue de la RochéLike dining in a night garden with lanterns dangling from the trees. The service was plodding, but the sushi was good and geisha dessert was fun (chocolate covered balls of fruit skewered into a mound of ice). The menu says there are 50 types of tea. A definite keeper.
KandaBishop & MaisonneuveOk, so this isn't exactly cheap by the normal definition. But the sushi "buffet" on Monday through Thursday nights is a good deal if you're hungry. There's lots of turnover so the fish is fresh and tasty. $23 all-you-can-eat from the special menu. It's made to order, despite the name "buffet". UPDATE (2008): We've heard that things have gone downhill with new management.
MikadoSt-Denis & ÉmeryIf you're in the mood for expensive sushi, go with lots of people and get one of the tatami room tables for the best atmosphere to go with the prices.
OguraUnion & MaisonneuveOne employee -- Ogura-san. Nice, but frequently out of various dishes. When choosing, find a handful of dishes you'd like to attempt to order.
Osaka SushiBleury & SherbrookeUnremarkable. Miso is pleasant.
Ramen-ya4274 St-LaurentFlavourful ramen. The soy broth is our favourite. The fried mochi dessert is very nice.
Tri Express1650 Laurier EstThe best sushi I've had so far in Montreal. We had the 5-course omakase, which was delicious, interesting, and well-priced at $41. (May 2009)
Zen YaSt-Catherine & City CouncillorsI had a horrendous lunch experience here. We had enough people to fill one of their "special" tables which were all empty, but they made us wait 30 minutes for some other table instead saying that those tables were "for later". I was on the point of walking out in a huff when they finally had a table for us and I wish I had. The food was overpriced and not tasty (soggy, mushy gyoza was particularly bad). A second lunch experience eating the chef's selection of sushi was much much better.
Other Asian
Chao Phraya50 Laurier Av. West (corner Clark)Thai. Has a fantastic and unusual hot and sour wonton soup.
KokoSt-Catherine & St-MathieuKorean/Japanese. They had lovely light tempura and delicious gyoza. Friendly service. I was really sad to see them go.
Little SheepChinatownMongolian Hot-pot. Fun, but more work than I am normally used to in a restaurant. You select and cook your own food in spicy or mild broth. Go hungry so that you get your money's worth. The fresh sesame balls with red bean paste filling were hot and delicious and probably the highlight.
Miga431 Rachel EstKorean. Yummy, but North-American-ized. I would like to try one of the one bowl meals next time as I expect that will be where they shine. Staff is friendly, but seems inexperienced.
Pho Bang New YorkChinatownVietnamese. Enjoyable, but not as good as Pho Lien. Spring and imperial roll wrappers were much too thick on the most recent visit. (June 2008)
Pho CaliChinatownVietnamese. Pho and Bun dishes are alright; ditto the spring rolls. The kitchen is open later than Pho Bang New York, which is why we went. It's ok, but no comparison to (the unfortunately not usefully located) Pho Lien.
Pho Lam4525 du ParcVietnamese. Really fresh imperial and spring rolls. Good pho and bun dishes.
Pho LienCôte-des-Neiges & Côte-Ste-CatherineVietnamese. Pho and Vermicelli dishes are excellent. Spring rolls are also lovely. It tends to be very busy at lunch time. Our favourite Vietnamese restaurant for the food, but least favourite for the inconvenient location.
Souvenirs d'Indochine243 av Mont Royal OuestSoutheast Asian. The food was alright, but in this neighbourhood my tummy was thinking about Chu Chai. The service was abominably slow and rather inattentive.
TampopoMentana & Mont RoyalPan-Asian. The wonton soup appetizer has the most delicious, delicate shrimp wontons. They truly are like "swallowing clouds". The two seating options are at the wavy bar and the low Japanese-style tables. Take-out is also available.
Le Gourmand Nouilles PlusBrébeuf & Mont RoyalPan-Asian. The tonkinese soup was OK tasting, but didn't do anything to satisfy my craving for phó. Mediocre and acceptable, but not worth a repeat visit with Tampopo nearby.
French, Québecois, & Bistro
Auberge le Saint-Gabriel426 St-GabrielImpeccable service and cozy dining room. The food was beautifully presented and very tasty. It was rather overpriced, though that's not surprising given its ultra-touristy location in an 18th Century auberge in Old Montreal.
Bistro GourmetSt-Mathieu & MaisonneuveA small neighbourhood bistro. Two small table d'hote menus of simple dishes. The service is imperfect, but charming and the food is lovely. The only downside is their silly penchant for tall food and the overdressed salads. Frites are slender and crisp, yet fluffy. Chocolate mousse made with milk chocolate is a bit of a let-down though. We love the cosy atmosphere and any missteps have been minor. (last visit: Nov 2008)
Bistro Gourmet IISt-Denis & DuluthHighly disappointing. Nothing like the other one and I would never go again. The service was poor, the food mediocre, and the atmosphere lacking.
Bistro L'entrepot4622, ave de l'Hotel-de-VilleNice, teeny, apportez-votre-vin. The foie gras crème brûlée had to be tried and was a surprisingly successful combination of sweet and savoury. The goat cheese salad was also apparently really yummy. (Feb 2009)
Café Méliès3540 boul. St-LaurentBoring and bland French bistro fare and expensive for what it was. The atmosphere was cold. I felt like I was eating in a temporary space since it's basically in a lobby and it was quite empty for a Friday evening.
CassisMont Royal & ChambordYummy food and very nice service. Avoid the creme brulee though. It was everthing it shouldn't be: hot, soupy, bitter/acrid burnt flavour.
Chez Lévèque1030 Laurier O.Enjoyed the $21 after 21h00 menu. Service was good. The steaks all seemed done one level above what was ordered though (ie. my medium rare was more medium). The tarragon-pernod ice cream that accompanied the tentation au chocolat was amazing. Delicious and somewhat savoury, it stole the show.
Au Cinquième Péché330 Mont Royal E.Charming, delicious, and everything a little bistro should be. We will definitely go back. $100/person w/o wine. (Feb 2009)
Le Club Chasse et Pêche423 Rue St-ClaudeWonderful food and service. The waiter who suggeted wine pairings was both knowledgable and endearing. Presentation and flavours were exquisite, though both desserts had minor issues; it was close to perfect. Portions are small making it comfortable to eat 3-4 courses. Expect to spend $100-$150 per person.
Cuisine et Dependence4902 boul. St-LaurentYummy and nicely presented modern food with some nice seasonal specials. Delicious desserts. $75/person. (April 2009)
Decca771077 DrummondGood service and food and open Mondays. Very affordable prix fixe menu at $35, though the mains on the à la carte were a lot more interesting looking. Oyster appetizer and panna cotta dessert from the prix fixe menu were both delicious. (Feb 2009)
Les Héritiers5091 de LanaudièreA small apportez-votre-vin bistro. Nothing really experimental or exciting, but solid, simple dishes. Traditional in style, with a few less traditional options like bison ribs. (July 2009)
Les Infidèles771 RachelA lovely apportez-votre-vin bistro. Delicious food and open on Mondays, but a bit loud. (Sept 2008) Service for large groups isn't great. I wouldn't go with more than 4 people. (Feb 2009)
Justine, Bistro à vin4517 Saint DenisSmall, cozy little place with delicious and very affordable food. A good selection of unusual and interesting wines is available. The 3-course lunch menu for $11.95 is a bargain. (last visit: July 2009)
Laloux250 avenue des Pins EstFabulous French bistro food in a light, airy atmosphere. Certain to become a new favourite. (June 2009)
Leméac1045 rue Laurier O.Delicious. We'll definitely return. Ravioli starter was fantastic, as were the lamb and the frites. The duck was a bit chewy despite being nicely cooked, but it still tasted wonderful. The indescribably good pain perdu dessert was enough for two to share. Service was attentive, but not intrusive. Our starters arrived very quickly. $130 for two including tax/tip, but no wine.
M sur Masson2876 rue MassonUpscale brunch that was delicious and reasonably priced. (They also do lunch and dinner). (Nov 2008)
Au Pied de CochonDuluth & St-HubertAn ode to pig, duck, and above all foie gras. An unforgettable, rich, and vastly overfilling experience. (last visit: Sept 2008)
Le Poisson Rouge1201 Rue Rachel EstA bit underwhelming. Everything was alright, but I was expecting a bit more given other reviews. Menu is mostly seafood. The very middle of my salmon was a bit mushy as if it had been frozen and thawed poorly, but my companions' fish was fine. Service was charming and friendly. $35 for 4 courses with small servings.
Toqué900 Place Jean Paul Riopelle The tasting menu of 7 courses was delicious, but not as creative or unusual as I was expecting from what I'd heard of Toqué. The highlight was a scallop dish with diced apple and apple foam that you ate off the shell like an oyster. The service and pacing was lovely. $100 per person before tax/tip/wine.
Italian & Pizza
Amelio'sSt. Famille & MiltonPeople certainly seem to be nuts about this place, but I was rather indifferent. The salads were boring cafeteria-quality and most of the pizza was rather ordinary too. The five-cheese pizza that everyone raves about was indeed tasty, but very greasy and rich. One slice was enough.
Bella Pizza5151 avenue PapineauExcellent delivery pizza with a tasty crust. This is not gourmet pizza, though some of the toppings are exotic. It is a delicious option when you don't want the greasy cardboard that most delivery places offer, nor restaurant pizza (though you can eat-in or takeout if you want).
BiceSherbrooke & GuyA place to see and be seen, but not a place to eat. The food was expensive and mediocre at best. They do not know how to make risotto. As Joanne Kates once wrote of Yorkville restaurants in Toronto: they have to be chic, they have to be expensive, but they do not have to be good. This definitely applies to Bice.
DNA Restaurant355 Maguerite d'YouvilleA memorable feast (but with reasonable portion sizes to enjoy everything). The flavour of a simple pasta dish made with red fife wheat and black truffle was an unexpected highlight for me. All the pasta dishes our table tried were simple combinations done perfectly. While we enjoyed all of our meal (though the chili with the oysters was too spicy, my first taste of veal sweetbreads will have me ordering it in the future), the pasta/gnocchi course sang most brilliantly. The service was exceptional. (last visit: July 2009)
Il FocolaioSquare Phillips & CathcartReasonably nice thin crust pizza.
La Piazetta4097 rue St-DenisSlow. slow. slow service. We waited an HOUR for pizzas and salad. They seem to think that foccacia is a form of pizza and that pizza is really just a topping for tortillas. Maybe if they put the pizza toppings on their "foccacia", they'd have something like what I expected. Not too greasy or salty though. (last visit: April 2008).
Misto929 Mont Royal E.Expensive for the fairly pedestrian, though yummy Italian food. The buffalo mozarella appetizer was the highlight. Pasta mains were fine, but not exciting. A "panna cotta" that resembled a chocolate mousse in texture and flavour was a strange end to the meal.
Pizzédélic (+)Mont Royal & BrébeufLots to choose from if you like pizza. Very bright and colourful decor sure to appeal to children and probably a prime birthday party destination. UPDATE (Dec 2007): The crust was strangely like an undercooked flatbread and the toppings we tried were bland on one and over-salty on the other.
PratoSt-Denis & NapoléonGourmet pizza place. Yummy, but not super special.
Santangelo'sGuy & SherbrookeThe most deliciously addictive sandwiches. They roast their own meat and pickle their own eggplant (which is divinely good). Even the mere mention of their name is enough to make me crave one of their porcetta sandwiches on ciabatta.
Tomato4319 St-DenisThe toppings are fresh, but a bit scanty for the price. The thin crust is a bit floppy. It might be better if you eat in the restaurant. Still a better delivery choice than one of the big chains.
Portugese & Spanish
Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas1134 Mont Royal EstSpanish. Loud and progressively dark atmosphere. Mediocre and expensive tapas platters.
Chez Doval150 Marie-Anne EstPortugese. Food surprisingly good, but no lunch menu and terrible service. (June 2009)
Pintxo256 Rue Roy EstUpscale modern Spanish. You can either have lots of little "pintxos" (like a smaller version of tapas) or a few as appetizers followed by a main. Delicious and fun. (June 2009)
Restaurant Portuscalle4281 St-LaurentUpscale modern Portugese. Lots of fish on the menu. Spicy fish soup was very yummy. $16 table d'hôte for lunch.
Rotisserie Coco Rico3907 St-LaurentPortugese grilled chicken (takeout). Greasy roast chicken and roast pork sandwiches. Go to Romados instead!
Rotisserie Portugalia34 Rachel OuestPortugese grilled chicken (takeout). You must order in advance and they will sell out. Other than that, it's equivalently yummy to Romados, but with a dry rub, rather than oil-based sauce for the spicing.
Rotisserie PortugaiseMont Royal & St-LaurentPortugese grilled chicken (takeout). Dry and flavourless. Will not bother trying again given the delicious alternatives nearby. (last visit: March 2008)
Rotisserie RomadosRachel & BullionPortugese grilled chicken (takeout). Fantastically amazingly good and so simple. The fries and salad with the combo meals are also reasonably good.
Other European
La Raclette1059 GilfordSwiss. Specializes in raclette and fondue. The fondue was delicious, but makes for a very rich supper. The shrimp/scallops and magret de canard went over well with our dining companions. (Feb 2008)
Middle Eastern & Mediterranean
Al-TaibGuy & MaisonneuveCheap, greasy 99-cent pizza. Apparently the Middle Eastern stuff is better. Caters to the Concordia student crowd and late-night post-bar munchies.
AmirSt-Denis & CherrierSkimpy chicken pitas and a sketchy owner. Eat somewhere else, anywhere else. (June 2008)
Basha (+)St-Catherine & StanleyLebanese fast food and generally pretty good as far as fast food goes.
BoustanMaisonneuve & CrescentSuper friendly owner. Tasty and cheap. The usual sort of Lebanese fast food combos, shawarma, and various pita sandwiches. They toast the pita sandwiches, which is unusual and very nice.
Byblos1499, Laurier EstWe had an interesting brunch with some unique Middle Eastern elements. I like the airy, laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant, though the lady who served us was a bit strange (seemed convinced we actually wanted to order omelettes). The coffee, hot chocolate, and feta/walnuts/bread dish were all nice. In the end, I think it's somewhere we'd rather go for lunch than breakfast.
Cafe CrystalUnion & CathcartTurkish. Cafe-style lunch was pretty good and the owner was friendly.
FattouchSt-Laurent & des PinsOne of the best places to get a gyro/donair/pita. They have the most ingenious "lid" method of wrapping the pitas too. Update (April 2006): Looks like it's been totally ripped up inside, so we're assuming it's gone.
Jardin de Panos521 Duluth E.Greek. Overpriced and uninteresting. The food tasted fine, but the mains mostly weren't particularly "Greek". A good restaurant for the very unadventurous.
Milos Restaurant5357 du ParcUpscale Greek seafood. Nice $20 table d'hote for lunch with smoked salmon and micro green appetizer, grilled salmon main, yummy yogourt-quince compote for dessert. On a Tuesday it was full, but more with the executive set than the office lunch crowd. (last visit: March 2008.)
Philinos4806 Ave Du ParcGreek. The seafood platter for two was enormous and got excellent reviews by those who partook. The large platter of mussels I had were uneven... some were lovely and some were overcooked and lukewarm. Perhaps a large group is a less ideal way to try this restaurant. Prices were on the expensive side.
RemelMaisonneuve & AylmerRandom cheap food. Not as good as Basha.
Rumi Grill & Café4403 blvd St-LaurentMiddle Eastern. Really nice saffron chicken pita. Better take-out option than other nearby pita places.
Trinity Restaurant1445 DrummondGreek. Grilled octopus was good. Calamari was rubbery. Iceberg lettuce salad was, well, iceberg lettuce. Everything else totally forgettable.
Villa du SouvlakiSherbrooke & DecarieYummy and cheap chicken pitas. Kinda sloppy to eat, but filling enough that you can feed two for under $10.
Café Blue Monday4424 WellingtonI've never been to the actual café, but I've had their (delicious) sandwiches and brownies at a catered party. Vegan food that isn't smug.
Chuch4094 Saint-DenisDelcious vegan Thai and Chinese style dishes. The fake meat looks and tastes incredibly convincing, though the texture is noticeably different for omnivores. Best enjoyed with communal dishes so that you can try a variety. About $20 for supper. last visit:February 2009.
Chu Chai4088 Saint-DenisSame kitchen as Chuch, but slighly less informal atmosphere. last visit:July 2008.
Le Commensal (+)St-Denis & ÉmeryCafeteria-style buffet. Charges by weight and seemed rather expensive, but it was pretty yummy. Pan-handlers begging from table-to-table inside the restaurant was very obnoxious though. last visit:January 2008.
Abiata3435 Rue Saint-DenisEthiopian. A fun, communal eating experience that kids would probably enjoy, but nothing particularly exciting. We liked the lamb with carrot and potato dish best. One of the vegetable dishes was way over salty. Water glasses were refilled frequently. Lots of choice for both vegans and omnivores.
Chef Guru4120 boul St-LaurentButter chicken was delicious. Would definitely go back. (May 2009)
Etoile de l'Inde1806 St-Catherine W.Yummy and reasonably priced.
PushapParé & DécariéCheap and plentiful and pretty good. The display case full of mysterious little squares of various colours and shapes had many tasty little desserts. All food is vegetarian and some is vegan.
South American, & Caribbean
3 Amigos (+)St-Catherine & St-MathieuMexican. Mostly rather ordinary tex-mex, so I suspect most people go for the margaritas and party atmosphere.
La Chilenita64 Marie-Anne W.Chilean. Yummy beef and avocado sandwich.
Jean's Trinidad Foods5914 Sherbrooke O.Caribbean. Delicious, generous, cheap. And wonderfully warm, friendly service.
Taqueria Mex4306 St-LaurentMexican. Better food than 3 Amigos.
Sausages & Market Food
L'OlivierMarché Jean TalonYummy merguez and lamb sausages. Their outdoor rotisserie always smells amazing.
William J. Walters, SaucissierMarché Jean TalonEuropean-style sausages. Our favourite of the sausage places because they're the most filling. We like the "William's semi".
An-NasrMarché Jean TalonGenerous chicken skewers on a bun. They are a little bland if you don't get the hot sauce.
Champs d'OlivierMarché Jean TalonWorst value for money of the sausage places. You get mostly bun with a tiny merguez sausage.
EssenceUniversity & MaisonneuveA little bit of everything and nothing the least bit remarkable. A step above the chain restaurants downtown, but not by much. They must survive on the corporate crowd since there's nothing to draw anyone else here.