Last Updated on 15th June 2020 by Sophie Nadeau
With a distinctively European flavour and boasting the most restaurants per resident in North America, if you’re in search of a culinary destination in Canada, then you need to look no further than the beautiful city of Montreal. Situated in the French-Canadian province of Quebec and easily explored over the course of a long weekend, here’s your ultimate foodie guide to Montreal and where to eat in Montreal.
Introducing Montreal, the Canadian city in Quebec with a European flavour
If you’re on the lookout for a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of busy modern-day life on the East Coast of North America, then I can’t recommend a visit to Montreal highly enough. Filled with plenty of things to do; there’s everything from a plethora of historical museums to plenty of hidden gems.
Best seen in the late Spring, Summer, or early Fall when the weather is at its best and the entirety of the city can be seen in all its glory without the crowds to match, before visiting I had little idea as to what to expect in terms of food offerings. However, I soon found Montreal to be a foodie city full of gastronomic delights, Michelin Star restaurants, and incredible food experiences!
Although you can always explore the city on your own, if you’re looking to get to know the city from a local’s perspective or you simply want some insider advice on where to find the best of authentic Montreal cuisine, then you might consider booking a food tour like this one (which even includes 6 tastings!).
LOV, 464 McGill St, Montreal, QC H2Y 2H2, Canada
Visit for: Reasonably priced dishes, delicious vegan food, yummy cocktails, and a pretty ‘Instragrammable’ interior.
During our visit to Montreal, hands down one of our favourite places to eat was that of LOV. Now a chain with several locations dotted across the city, this Quebec restaurant serves a variety of meat-free fare at fair prices. Think melt in your mouth risottos, scrumptious salads, and cheese-free mac ‘n cheese. I also particularly recommend tasting at least one of the house cocktails as they were among some of the best we enjoyed while in Montréal!
Café Vasco Da Gama, 1472 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3A 1S8, Canada
Visit for: A European-inspired café interior, a wide salad and sandwich selection, outdoor seating close to McGill University, well-priced lunch options, delicious coffee.
For an unusual café close to McGill where lunch is a variety of options and the coffee is perfectly drinkable and delicious, I recommend heading to the Portuguese café of Café Vasco Da Gama. All tiled interior and Mediterranean-inspired foodstuffs, choose your tiny table and head to the counter to order your ideal lunch! The café also serves some of the best Pastel de nata pastries in Montréal!
l’Avenue Resto, 922 Mont-Royal Ave E, Montreal, QC H2J 1X1, Canada
Visit for: Unlimited coffee refills, hearty brunches, delicious platters, weekday brunches in Montreal!
One of the best places to enjoy brunches mid-week in Montreal is l’Avenue, a cute and vibrant brunch destination in Plateau Mont-Royal, a Montreal district featuring a plethora of quirky bookshops and vintage shopping experiences.
Easily one of our favourite places to eat in Montreal during our stay, the brunch destination has eggs done every way possible, as well as scrumptious pancakes, waffles, and traditional cooked breakfasts. You should know before you go that the queue is often down the street (even mid-week) and so you might have to wait to secure a table, particularly if you’re visiting as part of a larger group. Otherwise, the decor is fun and quirky, even in the toilets!
Discover the Bagel bars of St- Viateur, 263 Rue Saint Viateur O, Montréal, QC H2V 1Y1, Canada & Fairmount Bagel, 74 Avenue Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2, Canada
Visit for: The best bagels in Montreal! Purchase one bagel from each store and discover for yourself which you prefer…
Though you’ll undoubtedly know that there’s a little bit of rivalry when it comes to whether bakers in Montréal or New York City create the best bagels, what you may not know is that there’s a little bit of competition in the Quebec city itself!
After all, two bagel shops are constantly vying for the title of the ‘best bagel in Montreal’. Located just a couple of blocks from one another and in operation for decades, the traditional bagel to purchase from both shops is a sesame bagel still piping hot from the oven. Top your bagel with cream cheese for the most delicious experience!
Drogheria Fine, 68 Avenue Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2, Canada
Visit for: A unique foodie Montreal experience, inexpensive lunch option, and of course, fresh pasta to-go!
Delicious and authentic gnocchi is served straight out of a certain window along Avenue Fairmount. Drogheria Fine has been in operation for around a decade, and what makes this foodie venue so unique is that there’s only one item on the menu, meaning that choosing what to eat is never a problem!
Traditional potato gnocchi served in a rich tomato sauce is on offer for just $5 per takeaway box. Well-reviewed and oh-so-tasty, just know before you head to the takeout shop on Avenue Fairmount that the place is popular and you can often be waiting a fair while before being served- especially on weekends! If you’re looking for the ultimate self-guided Montreal food out, why not purchase the pasta and then head to Kem CoBa after enjoying your savoury dish?
Kem CoBa ice cream, 60 Avenue Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2, Canada
Visit for: Quirky flavours, delicious sweets, and some of the best ice cream in Montreal!
For the most delicious ice cream in town, you simply must head to Kem CoBa, a bright and vibrant ice cream shop in the Mile End district serving a selection of soft serve and sorbets. Each week, a brand new flavour is on offer; a blend of sorbet and soft-serve ice cream sold in either a cup or a cone (as you so desire). Take your sweet to go and head to the nearby benches, or alternatively seek out some of the best street art in the city along the streets surrounding Rue Saint-Laurent.
Poutineville, 5145 Park Ave, Montreal, QC H2V 4G3, Canada
Visit for: The chance to sample some Poutine, design your own dinner, affordable dishes at varying price points.
Of course, you can’t visit Montreal and miss out on the chance to sample one of the most famous (and deliciously unhealthy) dishes to have emerged from Quebec: that of Poutine. The dish is basically chips or french fries topped in cheese curds and smothered in gravy!
Though it may sound less than appetising, I recommend not knocking it until you’ve tried it. Indeed, growing up we would visit my Grandma in the North of Canada every couple of years, and one of the highlights was always heading to the local ‘cantine’ to purchase our own portion of Poutine.
Poutineville is a restaurant chain set across several locations around Montreal. But what makes Poutinevilles so different is that it will take your Poutine food experience to a whole new level. While there are set menu items, indeed the most fun part of this dining experience is filling out the little form (in French or English) and designing your very own foodie experience.
From what types of cheese to choose from to extra toppings, and even speciality sauces, head here and you won’t be disappointed. Please note that although the sauces aren’t vegetarian or vegan, you can still go and order fries without cheese/ sauce and extra toppings instead!
Lola Rosa Café, 545 Milton St, Montreal, QC H2X 1W5, Canada
Visit for: Cosy and relaxed casual dining, plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, the chance to sample vegan Poutine, gluten-free options, well-located close to many of the top tourist attractions.
Of course, even if you’re veggie, you don’t have to miss out on the chance to try Poutine during any trip to Montreal! Luckily, it’s perfectly possible to buy vegan Poutine in Montreal at several different restaurants. However, our favourite (considering that they also serve some delicious cocktails) was the Lola Rosa Café. The Vegan Poutine here is chips served with vegan cheese and mushroom gravy, though there are also plenty of other veggie options on the menu!
Visit for: Best Montreal public market, local produce, quality foodstuffs, excellent prices!
Located in the Little Italy district and around a twenty-minute metro ride from downtown Montreal, the Jean-Talon Market is easily the best place to find fresh produce and locally sourced foodie finds in the city. Featuring many fruit stalls, takeaway dishes, and food from across the world, the market is open on a daily basis from 7 AM to 6 PM.