2024 restaurant guide pichai

Pichai. Photo by Matthew Perrin

The 2024 Montreal Restaurant Guide is here

A letter from the Food Editor.

2024 restaurant guide Cult MTL magazine

Things are looking up for the restaurant scene in Montreal.

Lately, in my visits to restaurants, I’ve noticed clever solutions to the recurring rising costs of business and staffing shortages — there’s a shift toward shorter menus, smaller dining rooms and a return to old-fashioned hospitality. In all cases, the degree of professionalism and execution appears way higher than it’s been in some time. It’s refreshing to see, frankly. I’ve also found my personal tastes changing, and where I once was looking for innovation, I’m now craving tradition — you know the meme “reject modernity, embrace tradition.” To scratch that itch, I’ve been revisiting some of our city’s most beloved institutions and have been pleasantly reminded of how they earned their reputations. 

Despite being a restaurant critic, I’ve occasionally had difficulty coming up with restaurant recommendations in years past. This year, I had to trim the guide because there are just too many good restaurants in the city right now. I’ve also widened my scope to include the West Island (still working on the East End, North Shore and South Shore) where I was delighted to see that some great food and drink could be found. This year’s edition of the restaurant guide might have fewer discoveries than years past (although, I hope, still a few) but it is heavily researched and I stand by each one of the places on this list. 

With that said, I want to acknowledge that any guide is imbued with some level of subjectivity. Still, I believe that the restaurants on this list are worthy of their spot and, in the right place at the right time, are all capable of delivering a delicious and memorable meal. Take this as an opportunity to check in on a classic spot, finally make that reservation you’ve been holding off on or try a place you haven’t heard of — you’ll be glad you did. ■

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For more on the food and drink scene in Montreal, please visit the Food & Drink section.