Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

Best Restaurants in Montreal

by Pierre Timotheatos

Welcome to Montreal, with over 5000 restaurants representing over 40 ethnic groups you're sure to find something to please the palate and budget. With a large French, Greek and Italian population, Montreal excels in providing culinary delights from these 3 main influences. The city and province pride themselves on having over 100 festivals year round to keep you entertained between meals.

30 Second History

Jacques Cartier discovered a Huron Indian village (Hochelaga) at the base of Mount Royal when he visited the site in 1535. More than a century passed, however, before the first European settlement, a fortified mission station called Ville-Marie de Montreal, was established (1642) on the site by the sieur de Maisonneuve. The settlement languished for several decades, and the first real development did not come until the early 1700s, when Montreal became an important base for westward explorers and fur traders. The British captured the city from the French in 1760. It served as Canada's capital from 1844 to 1849. At the time of confederation in 1867, Montreal had become the dominant city of Canada, with a population of about 100,000. By the turn of the century this total had grown to 270,000.

The restaurants are divided by alphabetical type and pricing reflects a meal for two people not including wine, tax or tip.

Tax in Quebec = 15%
Tips = 15%
Wines: start at about $20.00 per btl. (Alcohol is also taxable)

Price Guide
$25.00 and under
$26.00 to $50.00
$51.00 to $75.00
$76.00 and up

Bar & Grill

Indianas Diner & Bar American
2001 University Street
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 845-2002

A typical bar and grill which has enjoyed good success in Montreal considering its location and the stiff competition when it comes to bar and grills. Large portions are standard. Chicken, steaks, and deep-dish pizzas are a staple and not bad for the price. Stay away from the ribs, not their specialty and just plain bad. A good variety of local and imported beers are offered. Great place for large groups on a budget or families with children.


1 St. Paul West
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 287-9582

A relative newcomer in Old Montreal, Modavie has enjoyed great success. Always full for lunch, and a good dinner crowd. The secret? Give people variety, atmosphere, and a good price and they will keep coming back. The menu is interesting with pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and some classic dishes. What makes Modavie original is that they take great liberties with their food to offer you something new every week. Un go�t immortel!


Magnan Restaurant & Tavern
2602 St. Patrick
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 935-9647

An icon in Montreal for as long as anyone can remember, serving typical brasserie food and draft beer they have expanded with a restaurant and terrasse. Steaks and prime rib are their specialty, and throughout the summer you can enjoy their lobster, shrimp and scallop festivals. Good food and service is what has kept this legend in Montreal from falling prey to the competition. Reservations are recommended in the summertime.


Beauty's Restaurant
93 Mont Royal West
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 849-8883

Beauty's has been around forever. Unlike Chez Cora, they never expanded and remained faithful to Montreal's breakfast tradition. The food and service is excellent, however be prepared to pay a little more for this quality. The restaurant is small so bringing children is not recommended as lineups are long. A great place to have breakfast on Sundays with your significant other.

Chez Cora desjeuners
9394 l'Acadie Blvd.
(Tel: (514) 381-5606)
7573 Newman Blvd.
(Tel: (514) 364-5884)
5940 Cote des Neiges
(Tel: (514) 341-2672)
Montreal, Quebec

Although Chez Cora has lost its charm when they decided to franchise their operations, they still offer a terrific breakfast seven days a week until mid afternoon. The portions are huge and the quality is above average. The menu is varied enough to satisfy the health conscious among us and for those of us who don't care. All their locations are usually quite full on the weekends, so be prepared to wait anywhere from fifteen to forty five minutes to be seated. The restaurant is geared towards families, so bring the kids and enjoy a breakfast that you would never make at home.


Buffet Vichy
5819 L�ger Blvd.
(Tel: (514) 326-2764)
6406 Sherbrooke St. East
(Tel: (514) 253-5650)
Montreal, Quebec

Bring your friends, family, but most of all, bring your appetite. Over 100 choices and all you can eat of each for under $10. Buffet Vichy has taken great care in how their restaurants look. A rich decor is a standard in all their locations. Offering roasts, seafood, pasta, salads, and endless varieties of desserts, you can't get a better deal for the money. All locations are full at lunch and dinner seven days a week. With that many people, you are guaranteed the food is always fresh.


Le Sabayon
666 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 288-3872

The decor has not changed in the last twenty years. Neither has the recipe which has made Le Sabayon great. The food is good -- Parisian steak, surf and turf are all staples that have been on the menu for over ten years. The wine list is minimal and expensive, as is the food. But at Le Sabayon you get live bands, belly dancers and professional service. This, in itself, more than compensates for the price. A great place to celebrate in style.


Le Jardin Nelson
407 Place Jacques Cartier
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 861-5731

In the heart of Old Montreal a gem exists. A huge terrace set between three buildings and a facade of a fourth building, which opens on to St. Paul Street. The facade still retains its original openings along with an elevated terrasse where jazz is played all summer long. Sit back and enjoy an endless variety of crepes or a cold beer during the short summer season. Get there early as it is usually full.


Deli Nickels
1790 Cote Vertu 5460 Sherbrooke E.
(Tel: (514) 333-6884)
710 St. Catherine W.
(Tel: (514) 259-6937)
1384 St. Catherine W.
(Tel: (514) 871-2899)
Montreal, Quebec

Quebec-born superstar Celine Dion started this chain of delis across the province some years ago, and to great success. The restaurant's have a fifties theme to them, with rock memorabilia, booths, and waitresses wearing poodle skirts. The food is typically smoked meat, burgers and fries. Although not the best smoked meat in town, you do get the second one for a nickel. Good children's menu and great breakfasts are a good and inexpensive eat any day of the week.


Restaurant Bonaparte
443 St. Francois Xavier
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 844-4368

Romance, good food, excellent service and tradition is what Bonaparte is all about. The food is above average, specializing in game. The wild boar is a must. The warm and cozy atmosphere, accented by dim lighting, is perfect to add a spark to your relationship. Add to this an excellent wine list and wonderful desserts, such as Grand Marnier souffle and profiteroles, and you will be back for more. Truly an unforgettable experience. For those of you who want to impress a client, Bonaparte is open for lunch five days a week.

Le Mas des Oliviers
1216 Bishop St.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 861-6733

For thirty years, Le Mas des Oliviers has been bringing the taste and beauty of Provence to Montreal. Somewhat of a landmark as an old boys club, Le Mas des Oliviers' culinary marvels are always adapting to suit the discriminating tastes of today's clientele. However, not for the light-hearted. Rich sauces and meats dominate the menu. An excellent wine list heightened by a knowledgeable staff only helps to increase your dining experience. Note that wines are expensive, $28-$4,000.

Le Mousqueton
120 Rue Principale
St. Sauveur des Monts, Quebec
Tel: (514) 277-4330

Located one hour outside of Montreal on rue Principale in St. Sauveur, Le Mousqueton is among sixty restaurants on this popular street. A touch of the medieval decorates this restaurant as well as period dress for the staff. However, on warm summer days sit out on the large terrasse and enjoy the fresh air of the country. Le Mousqueton specializes in game - duck, lamb and caribou dominate the menu. The caribou is a must if you have never tried it, especially served in a cocoa sauce. Save room for dessert, as they are all homemade and delicious. Creme brulee and sugar pie with raspberries are both excellent and quite original.

Le Saint Amable
410 Place Jacques Cartier
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 866-3471

Located in historic Place Jacques Cartier, Le Saint Amable serves French cuisine as its best. Sitting on the front terrace watching all the activities of Place Jacques Cartier in the summertime, enjoying terrine de gibier and boeuf en croute, capping it all off with gateau au framboise - an excellent way to end a hectic week at the office and absorb the spirit of Old Montreal.

Les Halles
1450 Crescent St.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 844-2328

Inspired by the famous Marche Des Halles in Paris, after 27 years, it is still one of Montreal's finest restaurants. With its many dining rooms, all reminiscent of Paris bistros, Les Halles is a great place for groups or just an intimate dinner for two. Exceptional quality of food will make Les Halles a memorable experience. For all enthusiasts of fine cuisine, the "surprise du patron" menu will please even the most difficult palates. Also offering lunch specials to accommodate all budgets. Les Halles is closed on Sundays.


Le Jardin de Panos
521 Duluth East
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 521-4206

Prince Arthur and Duluth Streets in the Plateau Montreal are littered with Greek restaurants. The menus and quality of food repeat themselves from door to door. However, Le Jardin de Panos has broken with tradition and offers a better menu with quality meals at the same price. Lamb chops, brochettes and moussaka are staples. All are served with large salads and Greek lemon roasted potatoes. Good meals, good times, come and enjoy their beautiful terrace and bring your own wine as they do not have a liquor license.

Mythos Ouzeri
5318 Park Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 270-0235

Come and enjoy the sounds and tastes of Greece. This authentic Greek tavern, located in Montreal's Greek district, is by far the closest you will get to the Mediterranean without being there. The Greek bouzouki band plays Thursday to Sunday till all hours of the night while you are enjoying Greek delicacies found nowhere else. The pan-fried bread served with a hot pepper-feta dip is very addictive and quite filling. The menu is mainly composed of hot and cold starters, which after trying out most of them over the last two years, are truly exquisite, such as Octopus, squid, lamb filets, all grilled or slow roasted to perfection. Don't worry if you are not familiar with the food, the friendly staff with guide you to a truly wonderful Greek experience after which you can dance to the sounds of Greece.

Psarotaverna du Symposium
5334A Park Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 274-7022

The Symposium would be what most Greeks from Greece would call a fast food restaurant. With only fourteen items on the menu and all of them being starters, this is a great place to get a quick bite. Items range from karababa to spanakopitta. If you are looking for a full meal, ask to see their famous fisherman's basket, where half a dozen fresh fish will be presented to you on ice for you to choose from. The restaurant lacks ambiance, but the food and service more than make up for it.


Buon Pranzo
1858 St. Catherine St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 937-4445

Without a doubt the best grilled seafood you will have in this price range. Buon Pranzo brings new flavors to your palate. The grilled squid and mussels are a must. Large portions and a cozy and romantic atmosphere only help to enhance your dining experience. Open only two years ago, Buon Pranzo has received rave reviews from everyone. If you are in Montreal, this restaurant is a must.

Il Focolaio
1223 Phillips Square
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 879-1045

Although listed as an Italian restaurant, Il Focolaio is mainly a pizzeria. But what a pizza!! They are baked in a wood oven, with over forty variations including a thin crust over your pizza with Parmesan and spices. Very different, but wonderful. Not in the mood for pizza, they offer pastas, and calzones also baked in a wood oven. For lunch or dinner you can't miss with Il Focolaio.

Il Sole
3627 St. Laurent Blvd.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 282-4996

Viva Italia! This charming Italian restaurant on St. Laurent Boulevard offers simple, but wonderful Italian delights. Veal with prosciutto, sole stuffed with salmon mousse, and great pastas, along with an excellent wine list which includes Torcolato and Grappa. A must if you are on St. Laurent. The owner, Grace, and her friendly staff will make this a meal you won't soon forget.

La Gioconda
5625 Decarie Blvd.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 731-1109

Cozy, little Italian eatery, which has managed to maintain a regular clientele despite its location. They have some of the most wonderful pizzas, along with the usual veal, pasta, and seafood dishes found in most Italian restaurants. The quality and service is passable, and in the end you won't be disappointed with your meal. A simple and inexpensive wine list will complement your meal accordingly. Closed on Mondays.

La Sorosa
56 Notre Dame West
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 844-8595

For me, pizza has always been a staple. What else can incorporate all the food groups? La Sorosa has been open since 1977, and after 21 years can still draw in the crowds. A large selection of pizzas are available, including the building of your own. Try the Italian sausage, pepperoni and bacon. La Sorosa, a true testament to pizza.

408 St. Francois Xavier
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 844-9656

Located on historic St. Francois Xavier Street in Old Montreal, this small restaurant would do the great tenor proud. A small menu, mostly fresh pasta with some of the most flavorful sauces to grace your palate. You can feel the history surround you as you listen to classical music throughout your meal. An incredible wood chandelier dominates the ceiling as well as a period fireplace decorated with antiques. The soup is a must, as well as the lunch special ($10.95) which includes the soup and one pasta dish. Olive bread and olive oil always accompany every meal. Don't forget to look at the pictures on the walls of Old Montreal as it was.

Trattoria La Capricciosa
5220 Decarie Blvd.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 487-1234

Quite popular among the locals of Snowdon and N.D.G., La Capricciosa still brings in new clientele on a regular basis. Located on the service road of an expressway, not the best spot but the food is well worth the location. Real risotto, as it should be made, veal, seafood, and pasta. Simple food, excellent service keeps people coming back for more. Interesting wine list, ranging from $28-$300.


Sushi Maki
1240 Crescent St.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 861-2050

Montreal offers many good sushi restaurants however, Sushi Maki will always be a favorite with its simple menu and ambiance. Their traditional service is friendly, quick, and the food is always fresh. Offering many varieties of sushi and sashimi a la carte, or if you prefer, have the chef preplan your meal. The restaurant boasts many regulars, which is why you will rarely see it advertised. So come and enjoy the taste and tradition of Japan.


Casa de Mat�o
440 St. Francois Xavier
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 844-7448

Welcome to Mexico! Where mariachi bands stroll and play while you eat. Cooks will come to your table and make guacamole for you and, in the background, watch as a woman makes flour tortillas from scratch. The menu is hot, but is categorized for those of us who can't handle too much spice. As authentic as you will get this side of the border.


Stash's Cafe
200 St. Paul West
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 845-6611

Home cooked meals are hard to come by in most restaurants, Stash Cafe excels in this task. Although pirogis, mielony, potatoes and red cabbage were traditionally a laborer's meal, Stash has a large following with the business crowd. The food is beyond reproach, earthy and simple. Stash Cafe is open every day for lunch where you can get a good meal for under $10, but be warned it fills up quickly, so get there early.


Ferreira Cafe Trattoria
1446 Peel St.
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 848-0988

Art Deco for the non smokers, and traditional Portuguese decor for the smokers. Ferreira is by far the best Portuguese restaurant in the city. A great wine list, featuring many Portuguese wines not readily found elsewhere. Be warned, as they are quite expensive, $40-$500. The food is excellent, giant platters of grilled seafood, traditional Portuguese dishes, terrific desserts created by their pastry chef. Lunch menus are equally great. However be warned, lunch with everything included, can run up to $60 for two. Regardless of the prices, treat yourself just once, you will be talking about it for years.


Chez Flamingo
1809 St. Catherine West
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 937-7418

By far not the best Szechwan food in Montreal, but for the price you would be hard pressed to find it elsewhere in the city. They have great specials for lunch, and an all you can eat buffet for $5.95-$10.95. Prices for the evenings vary depending on the day, but are always under $20 per person. Chez Flamingo also has a take-out service where you will get a 10% discount, or they will deliver.


Maestro S.V.P.
3615 St. Laurent Blvd.
Tel: (514) 842-6447
Montreal, Quebec

Oysters and seafood abound. Located on Montreal's trendy St. Laurent Boulevard, owner Ilene Polansky takes great pride in inviting you to this cozy and friendly seafood and oyster haven. Oysters served all year round and in as many ways as you can think of. Not in the mood for oysters? Try the P.E.I. mussels priced right, and delicious. For those of you who don't eat seafood, you won't be left out as the Maestro also has a good selection of pasta, Thai, and grilled dishes. Great food, great atmosphere -- what more can you ask for? Be sure to check out their website at www.maestrosvp.com.


Le Keg
25 St. Paul East
Montreal, Quebec
Tel: (514) 871-9093

A staple in Old Montreal for lunch and dinner for a number of years, The Keg has not lost any of its flavor. The restaurant has a rustic feel to it, which is reflected in the decor. The food at The Keg is very simple. Meat, meat, and more meat. Vegetarians keep out. Twenty varieties of steak cooked to perfection and always served the way you like it. The Keg has a great lunch special under $10, which includes a lunch buffet, or great burgers and fries. Come and relax in the oversized chairs and bring your appetite. At The Keg you always get your money's worth. The Keg can also accommodate large groups, but reserve ahead of time as it is usually full in the evenings.

Pierre Timotheatos is a freelance food writer based in Montreal, Quebec.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

Share this article with a friend:

Free eNewsletter SignUp

Sally's Place on Facebook    Sally Bernstein on Instagram    Sally Bernstein at Linked In

Global Resources

Handmade Chocolates, Lillie Belle Farms

Food411 Food Directory