Top Montreal restaurants right now


The Top 25 Restaurants in Montreal Right Now

An evolving list reflecting what we’re into and where we think you’re guaranteed to get a good meal.

Below is a list of the Top 25 Restaurants in Montreal Right Now, an evolving selection of places we love to eat at. It’s by no means definitive, it’s just a reflection of what we’re into at the moment and where we think you’re guaranteed to get a good meal.

The Top 25 Restaurants in Montreal Right Now

1. Mon Lapin

Marc Olivier Frappier and Vanya Filipovic’s contribution to Little Italy has been one of the most celebrated restaurants in the country since opening back in 2018. Having recently nabbed a top 10 spot (#6 to be exact) on the 2022 edition of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, Mon Lapin’s list of accolades is only growing. The food here is a poetic mixture of French and Italian cooking penned in Frappier’s unmistakable and ingenious style. As the undisputed Queen of natural wine, Filipovic’s list is expertly curated and chock-full of classics and quaffable curiosities. (150 St-Zotique E.)

2. Foxy

Best known for its exclusively wood-fired kitchen, Foxy, from serial chef-restaurateur Dyan Solomon (Olive + Gourmando, Un Po Di Piu), is delivering one of the most complete and enjoyable restaurant experiences, anywhere. The kitchen is overseen by chef de cuisine Catherine Couvet Desrosiers (formerly of Hotel Herman and le Mousso) and the dining room is worked with effortless grace by general manager and legendary sommelière Veronique Dalle. With a menu built for the open flame, expect dishes with global influences prepared with tact and a generous helping of know-how. (1638 Notre-Dame W.)

3. Beba

Now well into its third year, Beba (owned by brothers Ari and Pablo Schor) has firmly entrenched itself in the ranks of Montreal’s best restaurants. The kitchen, headed up by Dixon Cone and sous-chef Luc Rogers, is responsible for some of the most thoughtful and precise cooking taking place on or off the island. The menu runs the gamut from exceptional fish flown in from Japan to premium caviar, boiled meats and plump empanadas. Argentinian on paper, the restaurant’s roots are accented with Jewish, Spanish and Italian influences resulting in food that is singular, entirely unpretentious (though often luxurious) and absolutely delicious. (3900 Éthel)

4. Bar-St-Denis

Having taken over the space formerly home to a dive bar of the same name back in 2018, Bar-St-Denis remains one of Montreal’s most underrated restaurants. Owned and operated by Au Pied de Cochon alumni Emily Homsy and David Gauthier, Bar-St-Denis has built a cult reputation for its easygoing atmosphere, genuine hospitality and undeniably excellent food. Often irreverent but always delicious, the menu oscillates from French to Italian to Lebanese with relative fluidity. Backed by a very solid beverage program and sharp restaurant design this could very well be your new favourite restaurant. (6966 St-Denis)

5. Salle Climatisée

Montreal’s undisputed coolest restaurant is somehow also the home of the most classic and restrained take on new-wave French fare. Co-owner and general manager Brendan Lavery’s approach to service is informal yet welcoming and flecked with just the right amount of nonchalance that makes you feel like you’ve dropped by a friend’s house for dinner. The kitchen, for its part, is run by Harrison Shewchuck whose ingredient-driven menu is unequivocally simple and lets the rock-solid cooking and exceptional products do all the heavy lifting. Think perfectly poached char with squash, leeks vinaigrette with two sauces, or a beautifully browned cabbaged “millefeuille” — all cooked impossibly well. (6448 St-Laurent)

6. Hong Mère

A family-run, home-style Szechuan restaurant in the heart of Verdun. I’m just going to go ahead and say it — Hong Mère is the Szechuan restaurant you’ve been looking for. If the promise of exceptional cooking and a host of delicious dishes rarely seen on menus elsewhere in the city isn’t enough to pique your interest, then I don’t know what will. The crispy pork with cumin is packed with flavour and utterly delicious, the spicy green chilli salad, which mixes julienned cucumber with long green chillis, heaps of coriander, garlic and black vinegar is one of the best dishes in the city and the salt and pepper squid rivals the best anywhere. Hong Mère delivers family recipes cooked with intention and without compromise. Warning: when they say it’s spicy — they mean it. (3795 Wellington)

7. Pichai

The Thai curry shop in Little Italy, owned and operated by Jesse Mulder, Jesse Massumi and Xavier Cloutier-Guerard, is the finer-dining counterpart of Épicerie Pumpui. Opened mid-pandemic, the trio added a new chef (and third Jesse) to the mix in Jesse Grasso (former of Vin Papillon and Toronto’s Black Hoof). Grasso’s menu is a mixture of Isaan (Northern Thai) staples and thoughtful riffs on traditional Thai dishes that blend local produce with imported Thai ingredients. The food is fragrant, unapologetically spicy and damn delicious. (5985 St-Hubert)

8. Keung Kee

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Keung Kee’s second-floor location means that it’s often overlooked. For those in the know, however, the restaurant is a mainstay for Cantonese-style seafood and a hub for celebratory meals. There’s little to talk about in terms of decor and ambiance but the food hits. Try the famous lobster noodles, clams in black bean sauce or steamed scallops with vermicelli and fried garlic. (70 de la Gauchetière W.)

9. Bistro la Franquette

After a string of wildly successful pop-ups, le Fantôme alumni Louis Deligianis and Renée Deschenes opted to open their version of a classic French bistro. Simple, straightforward dishes are cooked with the kind of technique and focus usually reserved for the finest of fine dining. Deschenes, for her part, works the room with warmth and knowledge. A special point of attention goes to pastry chef Olive Park, whose desserts help to put Franquette in a league of its own. (374 Victoria)

10. Monarque

Monarque is the kind of white tablecloth restaurant that feels like a longstanding fixture of Old Montreal despite having only opened its doors in 2018. The block-long restaurant is helmed by executive chef Jérémie Bastien and co-owned by his father Richard Bastien, the man behind Leméac. Designed by celebrated architect Alain Carle, its look is simultaneously modern and timeless. Bastien’s menu offers a refined take on classic bistro fare only slightly modernized to suit the grandeur and elegance of the dining room. (406 St-Jacques)

11. Paloma

Named after a family-favourite beach located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Paloma is a love letter to Nice penned by father-daughter duo Armand and Rosalie Forcherio. Each having made names for themselves in restaurants abroad and here in Montreal, the Forcherio’s elegant yet understated eatery serves up bits of land and sea cooked in all simplicity: leeks with caviar, seared char with buttermilk and dill, or a hunk of braised pork shoulder with a calvados sauce. The selection of offal here deserves a special mention, as it’s treated with particular reverence — the same can be said for Rosalie’s thoughtfully curated wine list. (8521 St-Laurent)

12. Damas

A veritable institution in Montreal’s fine-dining scene. Run by chef/owner Fouad Alnirabie, Damas is known for its elaborate and sensationally delicious 10-course tasting menus. Moving beyond simple kebabs and mezze (although they do have them and they are outstanding) Alinarabie’s menu covers land and sea and can include, at any time, perfectly prepared lamb, charred octopus, or succulent shrimp fragrant with Aleppo pepper, garlic, and tahini. The food’s only equals are the ornate and spectacular dining room and the wine cellar which holds some of the city’s rarest and most coveted bottles. (1201  Van Horne)

13. Leméac

The bistro with panache. While l’Express might be the gold standard for bistronomy in this city, Leméac, which opened back in 2001, is an undeniable institution in its own right. Olivier Belzile’s menu is a hair more elaborate than the standard, somewhat utilitarian bistro fare — but it’s all the better for it. Dishes like the Boudin with its sauce au cidre and the infamous pain perdu, sauced with maple syrup and topped with dulce de leche ice cream, have become icons of the Montreal dining scene but the truth is you really can’t go wrong with a good steak frites. Combine that with an excellent wine list and damn good weekend brunch and you’re just about as close as you can get to the ideal neighbourhood bistro. (1045 Laurier W.)

14. Hélicoptère

Opened in June 2018, Hélicoptère remains one of the best arguments for making the trek out to Hochelaga. Run by partners David Ollu, Natacha Lehmann, and Youri Boussièrs Fournel, all formerly of Bouillon Bilk, Hélicoptère’s compact, vegetable-focused menu is always great. Though undoubtedly more casual than the ultra-finessed Bouillon Bilk, it packs the same expert sensibilities and masterful technique into a slightly less fussy package. (4255 Ontario E.)

15. Le Super Qualité

Serving up a diverse range of dishes from across the Indian subcontinent, this unassuming spot run by Guillaume Lozeau, Étienne Clément and Jennifer Zachanawich is home to some of the very best Indian food on the island. Unafraid to get regional with the offerings and move beyond the North-Indian status quo, their lunch combos are unbeatable and come served in convenient and compact tiffin sets. While it may seem humble, le Super Qualité’s Chai is worth making the trip for alone. (1211 Bélanger)

16. Bossa

Hoagies, subs, grinders — whatever you call them, Bossa’s are undefeated. The menu at this Italian sandwich shop offers hot and cold options and features some quintessential deli classics in both categories. The meatball and chicken parm sandwiches will do any red-sauce aficionado proud, but if you want to get a real taste for what a Bossa sandwich is all about, I recommend the “Diavolo,” a potent combination of aioli, salami, calabrese, capicollo, fontina, provolone, banana peppers, and an exceptional homemade giardiniera. (4354 Wellington, 3136 Masson)

17. Nguyen Phi

There’s a lot of debate when it comes to Montreal’s best phở, but ask anyone with an opinion and they’ll tell you Cote-des-Neige’s Nguyen Phi is a serious contender. All the classic options are available (and fairly standard to be honest) but what sets Nguyen Phi apart is the exceptional quality of their broth. Golden-hued and nearly clear, save for a few residual droplets of rendered fat, the powerfully fragrant and inviting broth is the result of many hours of patience and care. Easily one of the best noodle soups in town. (6260 Côte-des-Neiges)

18. Mano Cornuto

Griffintown’s finest neighbourhood joint. Run by alumni from le Bremner, Garde Manger, Foxy, and Monkland Taverne, Mano Cornuto is all about simple pleasures. Fluffy focaccia sandwiches, a couple of handmade pastas and some charcuterie-laden salads take up the bulk of the menu. On the bar side, think Italian classics: a negroni, an amaro spritz — an ice cold Peroni. Mano is the place you go to watch the Inter Milan game and the spot you double-park in front of as you dash in for an espresso. (988 Ottawa)

19. Tripolis

The king of the Greek grill. After selling the beloved Parc Ex location to new ownership back in 2010, fans of this iconic eatery were left with a gaping hole. That is until the original owners decided to open up shop again, only this time in a nondescript strip mall in Laval. A meal at Tripolis is built around what comes off the grill. Sure, you can’t miss with the salty loukaniko or souvlaki, but you and I both know that you made the trip to the north shore for a heaping plate of blushing lamb chops. (5034 Samson, Laval)

20. Chez Tousignant

A classic casse-croûte opened by local culinary legends Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita (Impasto, Gema) along with Chef Yann Turcotte. The idea behind Chez Tousignant was to pay tribute to the essential casse-croûte recipes and experience — only do it with better ingredients. Expect cheeseburgers, hot dogs and poutines only everything from the hot dog buns to the richly-hued gravy is made in-house. While the bill might be higher than what you’re used to paying at the road-side stop on the way to the chalet, the quality of the product and the experience of eating in the ’50s-inspired, Zébulon Perron designed dining room is well worth the extra bucks. (6956 Drolet)

21. Ma Poule Mouillée

When the (temporary) closure of Romados reopened the conversation for Montreal’s best Portuguese chicken, Ma Poule Mouillée filled the gap. As the natural heir to the title, their charcoal-roasted, Piri-Piri glazed birds approach Montréalais-Portuguese sainthood. Make sure to try their poutine, loaded with shredded chicken and thick slices of smoked chouriço. It’s the best of both worlds. (969 Rachel E.)

22. Chez Téta

A sensationally good nouveau-Lebanese café on Rachel Est. Téta, whose name comes from the Lebanese word for Grandmother, is about two things: coffee and manoucheh. The sumptuous Lebanese flatbreads are served straight from the oven and can be had with a variety of toppings — a special shoutout goes to the Lahem Bi’ajin (ground meat with peppers and tomato). There’s a smattering of dips and salads but Téta’s other main draws are the pitch-perfect third-wave and potent Lebanese coffee and its tastefully swank dining room. (227 Rachel E.)

23. Osmo X Marusan

Since 2021, the Notman House’s iconic subterranean Café Osmo has been in partnership with fast-casual Japanese lunch counter Marusan and celebrated record shop la Rama to offer a lunch experience unlike any other. Set to a background of live DJs playing hard-to-find funk records, a mix of McGill students and the fashionable downtown crowd mingle over steaming bowls of Katsu Curry, velvety lattes, and perfectly instagramable egg sandos. (51 Sherbrooke W.)

24. Tacos Don Rigo

Don’t be fooled by the kitschy bandito-style western decor, Pierrefond’s Tacos Don Rigo is dishing out some of the best Mexican food anywhere on the island. The tacos are perfectly uncomplicated, the burritos are hefty and rich, but the quesabirria (a fried taco filled with shredded stewed beef) is what draws the crowds. Line-ups aren’t uncommon but Don Rigo is well worth the wait and the commute to the West Island. (4740 St-Jean, Pierrefonds)

25. Pizza Bouquet

A pizza joint for the people. Having started out as a slice shop in NDQ, owner Andre Theriault officially set up permanent operation across the street in 2021. Strictly no-frills, Pizza Bouquet slings New-York style pizza by the slice or by 16” full-pie. The soppressata with spicy honey is a personal favourite, but if you’re looking for something special try the upside-down pieas in cheese-first, sauce-on-top. Regular specials allow the team to flex some creativity and have resulted in some of the best and weirdest pies in recent memory. (45 Beaubien E.)

For more on the Montreal restaurant scene, please visit the Food & Drink section.