Best Restaurants in Montreal

6 Of The Best Restaurants in Montreal

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Pamela MacNaughtan

Montreal’s dining scene is an ever-evolving culinary landscape that blends diverse cultural influences with plenty of creative flare.

Here are 7 of the best restaurants in Montreal to try right now:

1. foxy

vibe: upscale casual, wood-fired grill

Foxy is one of the coziest spots you’ll find for dinner in up-and-coming Griffintown. They’ve got a really well-executed menu of wood-fired and barbecued dishes in a warm, dimly lit space that make you feel like you’re sitting around a campfire. Chef Leigh Roper of Van Papillon fame brings both notoriety and finesse to the final product.

Hanger steak with burnt onion salad shares the spotlight with charcoal grilled sea bass and roast chicken with brown butter. But don’t miss the charred cauliflower and feta maison with smoked eggplant purée to start. Foxy made Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants list in 2016.

This is an LGBTQIA2S+ safe space.

2. marconi

vibe: upscale casual, small plates

Marconi’s inventive, flavourful dishes are meant for sharing, making dinner a fun social experience for couples or small groups. You’ll have a hard time choosing with mouthwatering options like cod fritters with mayonnaise, white beets with crème fraîche and black currant, and whelk and bone marrow toast. Good luck.

This ex-dépanneur has down-to-earth historic charm like a large wine cellar that used to be an old wooden fridge, and distressed white-washed tin tiles on the ceiling and behind the bar. A curtained entranceway makes it feel that much cozier in winter. Marconi made Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants list in 2017.

This is an LGBTQIA2S+ safe space.

3. le diplomate

Vibe: casual, small plates

Le Diplomate is the epitome of a destination restaurant in Montreal’s emerging Mile-Ex neighbourhood. It’s so unassuming you might walk straight past it even with your GPS directions.

Sit at the chef’s-table-style bar to watch your food being made right in front of you. First, pick from the extensive list of natural wines, including many lesser-known bottles and regions. The orange wines make for great food pairings.

Dishes change depending on seasonal ingredients but you can expect things like turbot with coconut and Makrut, squash with dashi, green tomatoes and sesame, or duck with sauerkraut, shallots and cranberries.

Le Diplomate is a relatively off-the-radar favourite with locals which adds a delightful level of convivial authenticity.

This is an LGBTQIA2S+ safe space.

4. lov

vibe: casual, vegetarian, vegan

Helmed by chef Stéphanie Audet, LOV is one of a few standouts lead by the strong female talent in Montreal’s restaurant industry. They do a delightfully down-to-earth version of healthy (local, organic, vegetarian) eating.

The restaurant’s downtown location is bright and fresh feeling with white painted brick walls, pastel green accents, and fun details like inverted basket lampshades. It’s got a large outdoor patio that’s packed in summer.

LOV is vegetarian eating for carnivores. Dishes like roasted roots with chopped pistachios, kale mac and cheese and the Big LOV Burger are hearty and satisfying. Don’t miss the inventive cocktail list that includes a kombucha mojito!

5. le chien fumant

vibe: casual, contemporary French

Le Chien Fumant is a wonderful thing to stumble across in the culinary well-heeled plateau area. The restaurant is ultra-petite which makes dining reminiscent of hole-in-the-wall Paris bistros. The vibe here is refreshingly non-trendy with kitschy branded plates, a stucco ceiling and a quirky bar with bottles dangling from hooks.

The pork belly donair is a must. Whether you choose a pasta, fish or meat dish as your main, ingredient and flavour combinations are unexpected and inventive, like roasted cauliflower, capers and mushroom cavatelli.

This is an LGBTQIA2S+ save space.

6. bar george

vibe: upscale, modern English

Bar George is inside one of the most interesting and impressive historic buildings in Montreal. Once a private gentleman’s club that hosted the likes of Pierre Trudeau and Princess Margaret, the building is now open to the public. Clad in wood panelling and sporting hand-painted wallpaper, eating at Bar George is like dining in a museum.

The English-inspired menu fits its impressive surroundings with classics like beef wellington and modernized interpretations like cured fish and crumpet with Earl Grey salmon, kipper butter and rollmops. It’s equally strong on lunch and dinner. Desserts (“puddings”) are a must. I’d go for the George’s mess (a riff on the classic Eton mess) if you’re looking for something lighter. Stick around and explore the details of the building’s meticulously restored interiors.