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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. Salle Climatisée

Montreal’s undisputed champ of new-wave French fare. Known for chef and co-owner Harrison Shewchuk’s seemingly simple yet impossibly good cooking, as well as co-owner and general manager Brendan Lavery’s informal yet welcoming approach to service, Salle is a perfect marriage of old-world charm and Montreal’s signature brand of nonchalance. After a run of pop-ups with a range of international guest chefs (Le Saint Eutrope’s Harry Lester, Ha’s Dac Biet, Livingston Marseille) and having added Dmetro Sinclair (formerly of Willow Inn) to the kitchen team, the restaurant is as good as it’s ever been. (6448 St-Laurent)

2. 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 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)

3. Lawrence

Having originally started as a pop-up kitchen running out of Sparrow in 2010, Lawrence is a name synonymous with hearty English cooking, whole animal butchery and, of course, brunch. After a period of being somewhat eclipsed by (and subsequently swapping storefronts with) its sister restaurant Larrys, Lawrence is once again one of the city’s most exciting restaurants. After the departure of long-time chef de cuisine and collaborator Endi Qendro, co-owner and executive chef Marc Cohen has been running the kitchen solo. The concise but balanced menu focuses on tidy composed dishes that marry the best of old Lawrence’s offaly-good cooking with a newfound elegance, sophistication and maturity. (9 Fairmount E.)

4. 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 nabbed the #1 spot in the 2023 edition of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, Mon Lapin’s list of accolades only continues to grow. The food here is a poetic mixture of French and Italian cooking 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.)

5. Paloma

Named after a family-favourite beach located in France’s Côte d’Azur, Paloma is a love letter to Nice by father-daughter duo Armand and Rosalie Forcherio. A serial restaurateur with nearly five decades of experience, Forcherio Senior brings a rarely observed maturity and self-assuredness to his kitchen. Rosalie, for her part, honed her craft at Copenhagen’s Geranium, Pariss’ Saturne and Montreal Plaza, and runs the front-of-house with aplomb. Elegant yet understated, Paloma serves up bits of land and sea cooked in all simplicity, but it’s offal in particular that 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)

6. Foxy

Spectacularly good wood-fired cooking, cleverly finessed cocktails, warm-yet-professional service and one of the city’s very best wine lists — honestly, what more could you ask for? 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. Though currently undergoing a period of retooling following the departure of chef de cuisine Catherine Couvet Desrosiers, the restaurant remains in the hands of many of the city’s finest names in hospitality including the legendary Véronique Dalle, who directs the front-of-house while overseeing the 400 reference wine-cellar. 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.)

7. Bistro la Franquette

Now three years in business, it’s hard to remember the Westmount dining scene without Bistro la Franquette. Chef and co-owner Louie Deligianis is a genuine obsessive and it shows in his food. Vegetables and proteins are cooked with masterful precision, sauces are rich when they ought to be and delicate when not, and special attention is always paid to dessert. The menu is dynamic, moving from grilled halloumi with fava beans or a beef tartare ‘club sandwich’ to guinea fowl cacciatore or a perfect steak frites. You’d be remiss to abstain from the bread course (its early reputation was built on its sourdough) or the past, which is supplied by the neighbouring fresh pasta purveyor, Paradiso. Co-owner and front-of-house manager Renée Deschenes, for her part, provides an exceedingly warm and welcoming brand of hospitality and keeps a well-stocked wine cellar. (374 Victoria)

8. Taverne on the Square

For over 20 years, Taverne on the Square has been a beloved fixture of the Westmount dining scene. As classic as they come, Taverne’s intimate and elegant dining room, with its spectacular curved banquettes and expertly draped white tablecloths, is among the most attractive in the city. Chef Stephen Leslie built his reputation on sourcing the best ingredients and puts together pitch-perfect renditions of tried-and-true dishes like salmon tartare, mac n’ cheese (theirs uses 18-month comté) and Caesar salad. Unfussy and incredibly consistent, it rarely misses. Co-owner Jon Cercone’s wine list also deserves a special mention as it’s filled with an abundance of rare and sought-after wines. (1 Westmount Square)

9. HENI

Centred around the ancient and diverse culinary traditions of the SWANA regions (an acronym for Southwest Asia and North Africa), HENI is one of the most unique, clearly defined and well-executed restaurant offerings to hit Montreal in some time. The kitchen is run by chef Julien Robillard (ex-Pastel and Hotel le St-James) along with sous-chef Rami Nassim and pastry chef Tien Nguyen. The menu embodies the flavours, techniques and diversity of the various regions it claims (think kibbeh nayyeh, Moroccan pastilla and couscous) and delivers them with finesse, refinement and a great deal of respect. Aside from the food, co-owners Noah Abecassis and Soufian Mamlouk also run Sienna Wines, an importation agency dedicated to importing low-intervention wines from Lebanon — one of the world’s oldest winemaking regions. (2621 Notre-Dame W.)

10. Pichai

A Thai restaurant without equal and easily one of the city’s best restaurants. Moving away from silky curries and mango sticky rice, which made its sister restaurant Pumpui famous, chef Jesse Grasso’s food is diverse, composed and more reflective of dishes you’d see in northern Thailand. The fried fish balls in a sweet chilli sauce are incredible, as is the Laab Ped, a spicy salad of duck and duck hearts, but it’s the specials that keep the crowds coming back. Seasonal specials might include firefly squid served with nam jim talay, a potent dipping sauce made of lime, coriander and pickled garlic, or grilled veal heart with a fragrant lemongrass relish. The food is powerfully flavourful, unapologetically spicy and damn delicious. (5985 St-Hubert)

11. Bar St-Denis

The reimagined resto-bar run by PDC alumni Emily Homsy and David Gauthier remains one of Montreal’s most underrated restaurants. A regular haunt for industry folk and Little Italy locals, the beautifully designed restaurant has built its reputation on 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.  (6966 St-Denis)

12. Liverpool House

No longer just Joe Beef Jr., the Little Burgundy stalwart has a clear identity of its own and is full of the hearty yet playful dishes on which the restaurant’s reputation was built. Having added a seafood counter, known as Vinette, in the back of the restaurant, the raw bar (and oysters in particular) remains a major draw but you certainly can’t go wrong with the infamous zesty Italian beef tartare, perfectly roasted trout with morels or an old-fashioned steak frites. Don’t worry, the lobster spaghetti is still on the menu. (2501 Notre-Dame W.)

13. Damas

A veritable institution in Montreal’s fine dining scene. Run by chef/owner Fuad 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)

14. 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 alone. (1211 Bélanger)

15. L’Express

The bistro that needs no introduction. Open since 1980, l’Express is perhaps the city’s most beloved dining institution. Classic French fare like steak frites and rognons de veau are served in the generously lit, Luc Laporte-designed dining room. While the restaurant isn’t known for being particularly innovative, the daily specials have gotten a lot more playful in recent years and have graduated from casual curiosities to frequently must-order dishes. 44 years after its opening, l’Express feels refreshed and reinvigorated and may be better than it has been in some time. (3927 St-Denis)

16. Lou’s Pointe-Claire

This swanky New American spot from restaurateurs Max Ruiz Laing (Loïc), chef Liam Barron (Loïc) and Peter Mant (Apt.200, SuWu, École Privée, Name’s on the Way) brings nostalgic fine dining to the heart of the Pointe-Claire Village. The stylish, late- ’60’s-inspired dining room by designer Kyle Goforth (Sid Lee) oozes with sophistication and nostalgia acting as the perfect backdrop for Barron’s steakhouse-meets-diner menu. Vintage steakhouse classics like Parker House rolls, onion dip and dry-aged steaks feature prominently but the signature cheeseburger might be the very best in the city. On the beverage side, cocktails are king and damn-good Martinis are the star of the show. (309 Chem. du Bord-du-Lac-Lakeshore)

17. Mont-Brise

Exceptional Japanese cuisine in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellvue. The charming waterfront village on the western end of the island is not known as a culinary destination — save for Cunningham’s Pub, which earned praise from Halle Berry for its legendary chicken wings — but Mont-Brise is making a strong case for it. Run by Chinese ex-pats and certified Japanophiles Bingran Yu and his partner Jia Liu, Mont-Brise prides itself on exclusively importing the highest quality of fish and seafood from Japan. Hokkaido uni, conger eel, Hamachi and exquisite bluefin tuna are prepared with great finesse and technique and are truly transcendent. Fish aside, Mont-Brise serves a host of seasonal specials, unbelievably delicate chawanmushi (egg and dashi steamed custard) and beautifully crispy tempura. (130 Sainte-Anne, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue)

18. Ho Guom

An off-the-beaten-path Vietnamese restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Ha Noi. If you make the trek out to the eastern recesses of Jean Talon you’ll be rewarded with a selection of exceptional dishes almost exclusively served here. Ho Guom staples include bun cha muc nuoc — a citrusy, tomato-based noodle soup studded whelks and fried fish cakes and Bò Lá Lốt — grilled beef wrapped in betel leaf. There are plenty of options for standard phở but it’s the house specialties that make Ho Guom stand out from the crowd.  (2605 Jean-Talon E.)

19. Christina’s Cuisine

Ask almost anyone in Laval what their favourite Greek restaurant is and they’ll likely say it’s Christina’s. The eponymous Christina runs the restaurant with her daughter Dora and son George and oversees the kitchen where long-standing (and frankly delicious) family recipes are faithfully prepared. The gyros and souvlaki are great here but you come to Christina’s for the homemade specialties — roast lamb and pork, perfect pastitio and almost impossibly crispy fried calamari. (4367 Notre-Dame, Laval)

20. 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)

21. Bossa

Hoagies, subs, grinders — whatever you call them, Bossa’s are undefeated. The menu at this celebrated 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, Time Out Market)

22. Dobe & Andy

Run by second-generation BBQ masters the Ku brothers, this Chinatown cha chaan teng (Hong Kong-style diner) has secured a cult following. Classic Cantonese BBQ is the main draw but the brothers’ often eclectic verging on stoner specials (like the mapo-bolognese and incredible fried chicken sandwich) are regularly worthwhile add-ons. Aside from being one of the area’s most cherished institutions, it remains one of the best places in Chinatown for high-quality Chinese BBQ at a very reasonable price. My advice for a first-timer: Get the Sandman combo (all three meats on rice) and an extra scallion-ginger sauce. (1071 St-Urbain R-12)

23. Keung Kee

Keung Kee’s relatively unmarked second-floor location, on the busy part of de la Gauchetiere in the heart of Chinatown, means it’s an easy enough place to overlook. However, for those in the know, 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 is phenomenal. The menu is on the large side so look around the room to see what folks are eating and don’t be shy to inquire about seasonal specials. Stand-out dishes include the famous lobster noodles, clams in black bean sauce or steamed razor clams with vermicelli and fried garlic. (70 de la Gauchetière W.)

24. Snowdon Deli

A perennial mainstay, the definition of an institution and one of the city’s most cherished Jewish eateries, Snowdon Deli has been feeding families in the area since 1946. There’s a lot on the menu here, but you can never go wrong with the Matzo ball soup (as classic as it comes) the club roll (an institution in and of itself), golden latkes or a good ol’ plate of smoked meat. (5265 Décarie)

25. Mange Dans Mon Hood

 While the smash burger may have taken over as the top food trend of 2023, Mange Dans Mon Hood stood head-and-shoulders above the competition as the year’s cheeseburger champion. Unabashedly influenced by in-and-out, chef Michel Lim along with partner Michel Nguyen have been slinging paper-thin and magnificently caramelized all-beef patties (ground in-house) along with crispy shoe-string fries fried in beef fat. While the burgers do the heavy lifting, don’t miss the Ol’ Dirty Fries — an ungodly mess of fries, pickles, cheese sauce and MDMH’s signature burger sauce. Trust me, it’s good. (1380 Jean-Talon E.)


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