Now that the dust from all of the past summer's openings has settled, let's take stock of all the best new restaurants in Montreal.
The city's dining scene has hit a serious stride and is now either resting on its laurels or just getting started with something to prove, from fine dining to casual buvettes and hidden pizza gems.
As we continue to take stock of what’s new and worth eating and drinking in the city—under the radar or over the top—use this list to stay up to date on who’s bringing something new to Montreal’s collective table.
1900 Centre Street
Pointe-Saint-Charles seems to have all the luck these days: Located inside the true heart of the neighbourhood at a nexus point where a lot of new names have opened in recent memory (read on for another!), June Buvette is a true-to-form buvette focuses on gathering around good wine with snacks. The term ‘snacks’ doesn’t do this place from Thomas Engasser and Kevyn Houpert of La Traversée and Thomas Vernis and Patrick Marion from the Tomahawk Group justice, though: Scallop pogos, fried halibut sandwiches on potato buns, rigatoni with a PEI beef ragu, and other plates leaning decadent are light and reasonably priced for the inflationary times we’re in right now. But don’t skip drinks at this MRDK-designed spot, with cocktails like coffee-infused negronis and a lot of glou-glou ‘n’ funky wines with Italian and French focuses.
350 Rue de Castelnau East
Back when we got in touch with the chef running the show of this new spot in Villeray, Charles-Tristan Prévost, we were told that while Casavant is a proper French brasserie, it’s very much meant to be the kind of place you could roll through in shorts in the summer. That means this place from vinvinvin alumni and other industry vets is making a point of keeping things fun and casual while upholding quality. In a slicky designed place by MRDK, the kitchen churns out classics like tartare, tartes Provençale, chanterelle risotto, and more thatès carefully with wines from owner Matisse Deslauriersès wine import agency, À Boire Debout, which pulls in bottles from Italy and France with a bit of the States, Spain and Germany as well.
Forno Pizza Frankie's
1105 Rue Provost
Here’s the deal: If you ordered in advance, you’ll show up at a back door ‘round the corner of a paint shop in Lachine, where a paper plate’s stuck to an apartment door reading one thing: ‘Pizza’. Get buzzed in, take the stairs up to the second floor, and you’ll find a former butchery space just shy of 200 square feet decorated with Expos and Ascoli Calcio 1898 F.C. pennants and scarves. That’s Forno Pizza Frankie’s, a smaller-than-small pizza operation where two Italo-Montrealer brothers are pushing a spiral mixer and custom-made Italian deck oven with steam injection to the limit, producing some of the best pizza in the city to date: ‘Limited edition’ pies that come filled with cheese, spinach and Marchigiani’s fatty slices of porchettone, light and airy Roman-style pies topped classically with potato or as a Margherita, or an 18-inch thin-crust Neo-New York style that Montrealers will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Read more about what makes it so great right here.
Annette bar à vin
4051 Molson Street
The standalone wood-fired restaurant Hoogan & Beaufort has already made Angus Technopole a destination in Montreal, but with Annette, there’s a cherry on top when heading out east. It’s a plant-filled, wine-forward spot with live entertainment and a finessed menu where chef Marc-André Jetté can really shine, full of comparably smaller plates fed by the chef’s own butcher shop. That means you can expect dishes like boudin croquettes, beef tartare, sweetbreads, and lamb chops alongside lighter vegetarian dishes to round it all out.
2194 Centre Street
Chef Patrice Demers and sommelier Marie-Josée Beaudoin have made a spectacular return to Montreal’s dining scene with Sabayon, a project which refocuses their passions for dining experiences alongside tea time services and cooking classes—all in one intimate yet multifaceted space in Pointe-Saint-Charles. The space has two halves to it: When you enter, the first room to the left is a large bar seating 12 guests, with a kitchen behind it; that’s where classes take place for savoury dishes, an appetizer–main course–dessert formula where everything is cooked in real time for people to watch and learn, as well as wine classes by Marie-Josée. In addition to those classes and tea times, a dining room which seats 14 people focuses on small tasting menus that top out at about six per service, three nights a week on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays—and it gets booked up like crazy.
1243 Metcalfe Street
Restarted by chefs Pablo Rojas and Hakim Rahal of Provisions Bar à Vin and Andrew Whibley of the Cloakroom cocktail bar, Bar Dominion's less of a reinvention of the old Dominion Square Tavern and more of a revisit to its formula, drawing inspiration from both its last form and the one from when it first opened in 1927 as a hotel restaurant. The menu's now toned down from the ploughman's lunches and Sunday roasts of yore and now focused on more drinks and snackable food, with Rojas and Rahal opting for a leaner but refined offering of seafood and fish, like a full raw bar brimming with oysters, crab, caviar and lobster. As for drinks, in addition to wine there are 25 cocktails in all on a menu broken down into martinis, negronis (boulevardiers, white negronis, and so forth), a whiskey-forward cocktail section, a selection of 75s and spritzes, and a section for highballs and fizzes.
155 Jean-Talon Street East
Now that Little Italy’s Ratafia has made a point of transitioning away from being solely about wine and desserts, its original concept’s been revived at NaNaNa mere blocks away—just with less sitting down. At this takeout counter, classic cake recipes are back, like the Crunchy du Ratafia with honey, saffron, labneh, orange blossom, and tamarind, or the Medovik (a layered Soviet honey cake). They’ve also ventured into the world of ice cream with seasonal flavours, so all told, it’s all not a sit-down spot per se but it’s a great dessert stop that doubles as a go-to place to order a whole cake.
131 Rue De la Commune Street Ouest
Hayat is the latest project helmed by chef Joseph Awad of Griffintown’s SHAY, a new spot in the Old Port with a menu billed as a series of inspirations culled from the Lebanese sea and Syrian mountains alongside fine dining adaptations from Awad A few dishes pull from those geographies like shrimp in an arak-tomato sauce or a Mediterranean halibut with a potato galette and sauce vierge, and in addition to classic mezze and traditional dishes like richly spiced soujouk sausage and shish taouk plates, you’ll get choices like lamb shawarma tacos, baklawa pancakes, roasted vegetable tarts. The swish interior design by Montreal’s own Ivy Studio helps elevate the night out, particularly though a central fabric chandelier evoking the mountain ranges of Lebanon.
1 Place Ville-Marie (Floors 43 to 46)
A multi-tiered hospitality concept taking over the upper floors of Place VIlle-Marie, Hiatus has truly set itself up to do it all: An outdoor terrasse with Mediterranean raw bar dining on the 44th floor, a bar with snacks on the 45th, and a full-fledged restaurant on the floor above that (the 46th and highest in the building) cooks up Japanese and French plates with technique interplay between the two cuisines. That translates to things like ramen or nori tacos as well as foie gras tartelettes and arctic char. With ambitious interior redesigns by Sid Lee Architecture, Hiatus has among the highest and most highly-prized tables in the city when it comes to lavish dining.
4715 Sainte-Catherine Street East
Chef David Ollu of Hélicoptère and Hélico’s gone and done it again with Aube, a Hochelaga bakery run with pastry chef Stephanie Gagnon-Laberge and baker-chef Adrien Allard. Bright and beautiful, it’s a place where the best baked goods for Ollu’s operations can be made and amplified through a baking lab of sorts, serving seasonally-inspired viennoiseries, breads and pastries. The menu’s full of daytime-forward offerings like a croissandwich and muffaletta alongside fresh breads and Hélico classics like croissants and kouign-amann.
2621 Notre-Dame Street West
Heni, a Little Burgundy restaurant focused on the SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) region of the world—a decolonial term for what’s commonly referred to as the Middle East—is a place of many new pathways for Montreal. Its kitchen is producing new kinds of flavours that blend its regional focus with Quebecois ingredients—think marinated olives with sea buckthorn berry instead of orange zest, kibbeh can be made with PEI beef or duck hearts, fatteh and couscous with wild mushrooms, lobster tails spiced with ras-el-hanout on a bed of corn, ice cream sandwiches of sfouf and wild blueberries that are dipped in dark chocolate—as well as wines taken from its in-house wine importation agency Sienna which highlights new-generation winemakers from Lebanon. It’ll have even more aces up its sleeves once the whole operation is fully up and running—stay tuned and subscribed to us for when the full story about this place goes out.
2 Sainte-Catherine Street East
It’s no coincidence that this fifth floor lounge’s name is the same as the late night softcore movie that’d broadcast late at night in Quebec: Designed by Zebulon Perron, Emmanuelle is full of plush velours, buxom leather couches, and smooth, rounded edges, but there are sultry qualities to explore in the menu, too. Think tartare made with wagyu and coated in caviar, or striploin with pomme soufflée and a bordelaise sauce. Pair all that with superb cocktail work by Dimitry Saint-Louis in their four-season terrasse, and this one’s a winner for a night out.
686 Notre-Dame Street West
One of the new concepts to come about in the city this past summer, Hang was created to deliver a previously unexplored concept of ‘haute-Vietnamese cuisine’. Served up in spot reimagined by the nightlife group Jegantic, there’s a supper club element to this place to vivify Friday and Saturday nights here, but the main focus of its menu is available throughout the week: Tran Cantine owner Marylyn Tran (and daughter of Lilianne Tran of Pho Tay Ho) spins traditional recipes into dishes like Hai Hau city -inspired ribs, French-Vietnamese salmon tartare, and more decadent options like pho with A5 wagyu, bone marrow, truffle oil infusion, and 24k gold flakes.
1844 Rue Atateken
Laissez les bons temps rouler: A new spot from the owners of the Montreal bars Midway and Marion inside the once-infamous restaurant Agrikol, Moqueur invites elements of Louisiana and New Orleans into the city through inspired interior design, food, and drinks: Below the mezzanines dressed up like the French Colonial buildings you’d find on Bourbon Street, you can nosh on more traditional plates like seafood boils, New Orleans-style beignets, baked oysters and a range of po' boy sandwiches to more Montreal options like gumbo with cheese curds. The bar plays on this touch of Montreal element as well, serving a "dirty trinity" martini that uses the Louisianan flavours of celery, peppers, and onion and milk punch-style Corpse Reviver No. 2 (called Le Grand Nécromancien No. 2) alongside classics like Sazeracs, iced Irish coffee, and Ramos Gin Fizzes.
200 Rue Jean-Talon Est
Situated within Jean-Talon Market, Palomar's fishmonger-restaurant hybrid from chef Constant Mentzas (who recently opened Garde Côte in Old Montreal) is a completely fish and seafood-forward concept combining fresh fish to go, a shop for takeaway goods, and an eatery cooking day and night. With a unique dry-cured fish technique that’s the result of tests during the pandemic to preserve fish for longer, it’s a meticulous operation here: By morning, they’re making quicker bites like breakfast sandwiches with swordfish bacon, bagels with lox, and shrimp pancakes followed by lunchtime sandwiches including Reubens with smoked trout and tuna cheeseburgers. By night, it’s more about wine to go with fish charcuterie, seafood platters, and wood oven-roasted lobsters.