The Top 25 Restaurants in Montreal 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 Little Italy restaurant remains, month after month, the top restaurant in Montreal. Having nabbed the #1 spot on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants two years running, 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.)

2. Beba

Owned by brothers Ari and Pablo Schor, Beba is a restaurant that changed the dining landscape in Montreal and has firmly entrenched itself in the ranks of the city’s best restaurants. Constantly in evolution, Ari’s vision is technique- and ingredient-driven, meaning he never hesitates to break with conventions or expectations to deliver a truly exceptional plate of food. Free from unnecessary embellishment and chef-centric ego, the menu oscillates from exceptional fish from Japan to premium caviar, perfectly prepared offal to boiled meats. 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. Since taking the decision to run the kitchen solo, chef/owner Marc Cohen has breathed new life into Lawrence, re-establishing it as one of the most exciting restaurants in the city. 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. Sommelier Keaton Richie’s wine list is also one of the deepest and best curated in Montreal and features everything from accessible discoveries to sought-after back vintages. (9 Fairmount E.)


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.)

5. Bar St-Denis

Though BSD might have started as a watering hole with elevated bar food, Emily Homsy and David Gauthier’s eatery has clearly evolved to become one of Montreal’s best and most innovative restaurants. Having recently made its way onto Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list, this regular haunt for industry folk and Little Italy locals has built its reputation on its easy-going atmosphere, genuine hospitality and undeniably excellent food. Inventive, iconoclastic and invariably delicious, a meal at Bar St. Denis is always guaranteed to surprise and delight. (6966 St-Denis)

6. Bistro la Franquette

Though it still feels like the new kid on the block, it’s hard to remember the Westmount dining scene without Bistro la Franquette. From his days running the kitchens at Pastel and Fantôme to his string of wildly successful “Baby Duck” pops-ups, chef Louis Deligianis is known around town as one of the city’s most talented cooks. At Franquette, he deftly lays his hand on bistro classics. Vegetables and proteins are cooked with masterful precision, sauces are rich when they ought to be and delicate when not. The menu is dynamic, moving from springy and briny house-made halloumi to a beef tartare “club sandwich” to guinea fowl, sweetbreads or a perfect steak frites. Co-owner and general manager Renée Deschenes, for her part, oversees a solid front-of-house team while providing an exceedingly warm and welcoming brand of hospitality and keeping a very well-stocked wine cellar. (374 Victoria)

7. 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? Formerly owned by serial chef-restaurateur Dyan Solomon (Olive + Gourmando, Un Po Di Piu), Foxy has recently been sold to Véronique Dalle, the restaurant’s managing director. As one of Montreal’s most celebrated wine professionals, Dalle has been shaping wine lists across the city for decades in addition to training many of Montreal’s best sommeliers as an ITHQ instructor. While her vision for Foxy remains to be seen, it’s certain that the restaurant’s sterling reputation, exceptional sense of hospitality and excellent cooking will remain intact. 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.) 

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. Pichai

A Thai go-to 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)

10. Bottega

Having first opened its doors back in 2006, Bottega has spent the last 18 years building its reputation for having the best Neapolitan pizza in Montreal. Run by the Covones (a stalwart family of Little Italy responsible for Il Mulino, Hostaria and San Gennaro), Bottega is an institution and the restaurant credited with setting a new standard for wood-fired pizzas in Montreal. Expect professional yet warm service, white tablecloths and perfectly blistered pizzas topped with the very best ingredients. The Sfizi (small sides) deserve a special mention, as does the wine list, which blends Italian classics with a well-chosen collection of natural wines. (65 St-Zotique E.)

11. Marcus

Among Montreal’s most beautiful restaurants, Marcus (named after celebrity chef/owner Marcus Samuelsson) is all about the finer things. Located inside the lavish Four Seasons Hotel and designed by Zébulon Perron, the restaurant has a swank and distinctly coastal feel. Executive chef Jason Morris (ex-Fantôme and Pastel) runs one of the city’s tightest brigades, and his menu concentrates on exceptionally high-quality fish and seafood prepared with finesse and intention. The cocktail program deserves a special mention (it’s spectacular), as does the terrasse, which is easily one of the best in town. A place to see and be seen. (1440 de la Montagne)

12. Marci

Yes, another pizza and natural wine spot — but a great one, I promise! Recently opened on the St-Hubert Plaza, Marci is an ode to 1960s Italian sports bars, vintage Americana and New Jersey. Bringing together a bunch of serial restaurateurs (including David Schmidt and ​​Hideyuki Imaizumi), it’s the fist restaurant for chef Alex Geoffrion, who has spent the last few years honing his pizza chops in Montreal and stateside. The menu is short and sweet and features dishes like clams casino, a punchy, anchovy-laden caesar salad and exceptionally crispy Jersey-style pizzas. In addition to the food, there’s a solid wine list and a bangin’ sound system. (6600 St-Hubert)

13. Salle Climatisée

Credited (at least in part) for reigniting the love for new-wave French fare over three years ago, Montreal’s coolest restaurant named after air conditioning remains one of the city’s best tables. Despite the departure of co-founder and executive chef Harrison Shewchuk in March, chef-de-cuisine Dmetro Sinclair continues to run the kitchen with the same level of precision cooking and casual refinement that has come to define the Beaubien bistro. The intimate room, overseen by Brendan Lavery, is always lively with a contagious convivial buzz as content diners linger over a great bottle of wine and clever dishes that are consistently greater than the sum of their parts. (6448 St-Laurent)

14. Daou

Lauded by many as serving the best Lebanese food in Montreal, this Ville Saint-Laurent institution has been feeding the community excellent and uncompromising meals since 1975. While the storefront on Marcel-Laurin (which is in front of a cheap motel and opposite a car mechanic) doesn’t necessarily inspire, the sensationally good food, warm and professional service and even the charmingly elegant interior (which screams 1975 but in the best way) make up for it. All the Lebanese classics are on display here and they’re all good, but the artfully cross-hatched kibbe nayyeh, hand-rolled yabrak (stuffed vine leaves) and kefta are the standouts. (2373 Marcel-Laurin)

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. Café Ohayo

A recently opened café and lunch spot by Hiroshi Kitano. The fast-casual counterpart to Kitano Shokudo (next door) has a menu that’s short and simple, featuring dishes like Keema curry (somewhere between Japanese curry and chili con carne), a fried Ebi (shrimp) burger that rivals the best fried fish sandos anywhere and a crimson-red Tantan ramen that happens to be vegan and might well be the best bowl of ramen in the city. Paired with an elite coffee program and reasonable prices, Café Ohayo is a welcome addition to Montreal’s lunch scene revival. 145 Mont-Royal E.

17. Fu Chun

By now, it’s no secret that the Guy-Concordia neighbourhood is home to some of the city’s best fast-casual Chinese eateries. Among the many noodle spots, Korean BBQ joints and Boba shops that dominate the area is the first Canadian location of the Shanghainese chain Fu Chun. Home to Montreal’s very best Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) and wontons, the menu at Fu Chun also includes other staples like scallion noodles and fried pork cutlets. Though there are plenty of good soup dumplings in town, what sets Fu Chun apart is the delicate yet toothsome wrapping and abundant, beautifully fragrant filling. 1978 de Maisonneuve W.

18. Mala Express

While the West Island’s restaurant scene continues to move beyond steakhouses, Irish pubs and major chains, no one would have expected it to be the home of one of the island’s best Sichuan restaurants. The phonetic characters Ma La in Chinese directly translate to numb hot — a reference to the numbing Sichuan peppercorns and potent chillis used in Sichuanese cooking. the compact 20-seat restaurant, located in a Kirkland strip mall, specializes in spicy noodle soups, wontons bathed in crimson chilli oil and an excellent Koushouiji (aka mouthwatering chicken). Note: the dishes tend to be very spicy but spice levels can be adjusted upon request. (3630 St-Charles, Kirkland)

19. Parapluie

Serving inventive French fare from a trio of first-time restaurateurs, Parapluie recently ranked among Canada’s 10 Best New Restaurants. Occupying a nondescript white-bricked storefront on the corner of Beaubien and Clark, the restaurant’s classically elegant dining room is a delightfully unexpected addition to the neighbourhood. Chef Robin Filteau Boucher (ex-Chez Victoire) prepares sophisticated dishes like oeuf mayo au homard, beef tartare with artichauts bariougle and braised lamb saddle with peppery rocket in the central open kitchen, while co-owner Karelle Voyer (ex-Théophile) graciously greets regulars, works the room and pulls excellent bottles of wine from the carefully curated cellar.(44 Beaubien W.)

20. McKiernan

The second iteration of the Joe Beef Luncheonette. Run as a partnership between the Joe Beef group and Derek Dammann (formerly of Maison Publique, now culinary director at Île-de-France in le 9e), what began as a catering and events venture quickly evolved into one of the Sud-Ouest’s best restaurants. Though dinner is great here, lunch is definitely the play. Playful and easy-going, the menu might include a roast chicken in velvety sauce Alexandre, a hearty and artfully layered muffuletta sandwich, a couple of classic pastas and, undoubtedly, a great seasonal special or two. Don’t miss the donuts, which are among the best you can find anywhere. 5524 St-Patrick, #200

21. Gibeau Orange Julep

Everybody knows the Julep. The giant orange orb is as visible from the highway as it is from an airplane and it’s easily one of the city’s most iconic and beloved institutions. It’s also the home of some of the best casse-croûte fare on the island. The toasties are buttered and beautifully browned, slathered with baseball mustard and relish and piled high with a vinegary and crispy slaw. The poutine is one of my favourites, known for its squeaky curds and unctuous dark-brown gravy. The creamy orange Julep remains a polarizing drink but has held its own since the 1930s. 7700 Decarie

22. Keung Kee

Keung Kee’s relatively unmarked second-floor location, on the busy part of de la Gauchetière 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.)

23. 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)

24. Mange Dans Mon Hood

 While the smash burger may have been 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-N-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.)

25. Opiano

Hidden in the basement of a high-end condo tower, this fast-casual Korean joint is one of Montreal’s best-kept secrets. Best known for its hangover soup — a crimson-red concoction of kimchi, aromatics and slow-simmered pork neck — Opiano also serves up delicious renditions of bibimbap, galbi (braised ribs), bulgogi and a good number of other potent soups and stews. With the vast majority of the menu coming in at under $15, it’s also one of the best deals in town. (1115 Sherbrooke W.)

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