Montreal Restaurants and Nightlife
Montreal has a large number of excellent restaurants that serve up a
wide variety of cuisines and cater to a range of budgets. The city has a
lot of street life and is very safe to explore at all hours of day and
night. The public transport system runs until 1 a.m. and taxis are easy
to hail on busy streets.
Montrealers love to go out, and there are many lively neighborhoods with very distinctive flavors.
Some neighborhoods with a lot of streetlife and restaurants are:
- Downtown Montreal: Home to three of Montreal's four universities,
downtown Montreal is always buzzing with activity. Ste. Catherine Street
has more shops than restaurants but is good for people-watching at all
hours of day and in all seasons. Crescent Street has a lot of bars with
outdoor seating. The area west of Concordia has been dubbed a new
Chinatown and has over 50 Asian restaurants. Quartier des Spectacles is a
pleasant area that hosts many street festivals and concert venues.
- Plateau Mont Royal: a unique mix of residential streets, funky
boutique shops, and trendy restaurants, this neighborhood has been
called the hippest place to live in Canada. Prince Arthur street is a
pedestrian-only street with a lot of restaurants. St. Laurent and St.
Denis Streets also have many restaurants and interesting shops.
- Old Montreal: One of the oldest neighborhoods in North
America, old Montreal charms with its cobblestone streets and beautiful
historic buildings. Some eating places here are tourist traps, but there
are some very good high-end restaurants as well. The conference banquet
will be in the Science Center which is in old Montreal.
Iconic dishes and restaurants
Montreal's iconic dishes include poutine and smoked meat . Montreal also has many bistros; one iconic restaurant is is l'Express , but there are many others.
A newer restaurant with a lot of buzz is Au Pied de Cochon . The most recent rage is food trucks : a particularly acclaimed one is Grunman78 which is at Place des Festivals next week.
Urbanspoon appears to be the reviewing destination of choice in Montreal. You can find reviews for their most popular restaurants . Classified by price range, they are:
The website also has reviews classified by neighborhood and cuisine. The
neighborhoods close to the conference center and hotels are
Golden Square Mile . It might also be worth checking out
Latin Quarter ,
Old Montreal , and
Plateau Mont-Royal ,
as these are also interesting neighborhoods with many restaurants.
- $$$$: Au Pied de Cochon ,
- $$$: L'Express, Tavern on the Square, Holder, Tapeo, Le Cartet
- $$: Kazu, Schwartsz's Montreal, Olive et Gourmando, Qing Hua Dumpling, Aux Vivres
- $: Resto la Banquise, Rotisserie Romados, Fairmount Bagel, St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe, Burger de Ville
Lesley Chesterman, the fine dining critic for the Montreal Gazette, writes about her top restaurants of 2012 .
See her abbreviated list below.
The conference center has a list of nearby restaurants.
- Most exciting: Mezcla . nuevo latino cuisine,
1251 de Champlain St.; 514-525-9934; $$$
- Most impressive: Park part Japanese, part
South Korean, part French and part North American.
378 Victoria Ave.; 514-750-7534; $$-$$$$
Most passionate: Pastaga.
6389 St. Laurent Blvd.; 438-381-6389; $$-$$$
Most delicious: Hostaria. Pitch-perfect Italian comfort food,
236 St. Zotique St. E.; 514-273-5776; $$$
Most chic: Graziella Italian restaurant
116 McGill St.; 514-876-0116; $$$$
Most fun: Moishes . This is one heck of a steak house.
3961 St. Laurent Blvd.; 514-845-3509; $$$$
Coolest: Nora Gray Italianate food,
1391 St. Jacques St.; 514-419-6672; $$$-$$$$
Most Montreal: Hotel Herman. 5171 St. Laurent Blvd.; 514-278-7000;
Below is Lata's list of favorite restaurants of 2013-13. All these
places are vegetarian-friendly, in that they have decent vegetarian
choices, and most are moderately priced.
- Qing Kua Dumpling : Excellent Chinese dumplings at a decent price. Near Concordia.
- Kazu : A different kind of Japanese restaurant, no sushi to be
found here. A tiny informal place with menus on the wall. They do not
take reservations, and there is often a long lineup outside. Near
- Kanbai : Authentic Sichuan food. Order the signature fish soup if you dare, it is covered with red chilis. Near Concordia.
- Phaya Thai : The best Thai food downtown. Near Concordia.
- Da Vinci : Expensive but very good Italian restaurant. Near Concordia.
- Ouzeri : Nice Greek place in Plateau Mont-Royal (metro Laurier on the orange line).
- Bu: Wine bar in Plateau Mont-Royal with good food. (metro Mont-Royal on the orange line)
- Thanjai : South Indian food, think dosas and vadas (metro Plamondon, the neighborhood is very multi-ethnic).