23+ New & best restaurants to eat in Montreal 2018
By Mia Pearson on March 28th, 2018
Whether it’s your first Montreal visit or your twentieth, trying a restaurant for the first time is always a bit risky, especially if it’s new. That’s why we’ve pre-screened the new kids on the block for you, selecting only the best new eateries in the city.
Mile End – Montreal’s #1 Food Tour Neighbourhood
23+ New & Best Montreal Restaurants for this Spring and Summer 2018
In no particular order, here is a list of amazing new places to eat in Montreal this summer. They’ve recently opened-up and are already getting rave reviews. Everything you could possibly crave is in this list: from tacos to pho, from French fine cuisine to delectable vegan, and from Haitian fares to Spanish tapas. If you’re ever trying to decide where to spend a great evening in the company of delicious food, this list can help you make the best decision. Take a look below for some hints on where to eat, where to drink, and even some suggestions on what to do while you’re in the area.
Mon Lapin is a much anticipated new wine bar in Little Italy. Opened by the team behind Joe Beef – a famed Montreal establishment – the cozy corner spot doesn’t have any of the ego that can come with a star studded team. It seats only 35 customers at a time and serves 15 constantly rotating dishes made of local farm fresh ingredients that strive to please the mouth instead of the eyes. Most importantly, it features a tasteful selection of natural wines, which take centre stage in the room. Mon Lapin doesn’t take reservations so stop by soon to see what the buzz is about!
Located between Griffintown and Old Montreal, Mélisse serves up simple goodness day round. With its roots in brunch, the restaurant is now open for dinner too. At Mélisse, you can count on food that is light, fresh and thought out, just like the airy decor. Whether you’re having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, sitting inside or on the spacious terrace – stop by soon. The restaurant is a peaceful oasis that serves fresh local food and a moment of rest in the heart of Montreal.
A bustling joint in Old Montreal, Tiradito has introduced Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Peruvian ingredients and Japanese preparation methods, to the Montreal restaurant scene. For its innovative dishes that combine flavours and textures in unique ways, its stand-out customer service, where chefs double as hosts from behind the kitchen counter, trendy decor, and lively atmosphere, Tiradito was awarded Eater Best Restaurant of the Year in 2017. The kitchen is placed in the middle of the room, so come by, watch the chefs create masterpieces, dine, and celebrate at Tiradito this summer.
Ibérica is a Spanish restaurant in the heart of downtown. After opening just this winter, it’s already making a splash on the scene with its wide selection of fish and seafood, tapas, and other traditional dishes – all with the chef’s modern spin. The restaurant uses many ingredients directly imported from Spain in its commitment to authenticity. With its luxurious decor, expansive menu, and delicious wines Ibérica elegantly combines the old with the new. Make sure to try their Ibérica Ceasar made with anchovy and piquillo peppers.
Moleskine is never really one thing. With an upper level dedicated to refined Italian dining, and a lower level that serves wood-oven pizza (for here or to go), as well as ice-cream, Moleskine is a restaurant with a split personality that offers something for everyone. Both upstairs and down you’ll find innovation that packs a punch: hearty and memorable dishes above, simple and well-made bites below. Its name, even, is a nod to the charming stationary store next door. Nominated by EnRoute for its list of best Canadian restaurants in 2017, Moleskine is worth paying a visit – or two.
True to its Saint Laurent location, Majestique is a bar, but one that does food exceptionally well. Amid the festivities of the boulevard, Majestique has managed to combine fine dining with a casual, exciting atmosphere, and an oyster bar. Their menu of small plates was created by Charles-Antoine Crète, the former chef at Toqué!, and stars a footlong hot dog. Both the meat and bun are made in house, and are topped off with a coleslaw made of red cabbage, apple and fried leek. Eat and be merry at Majestique, and try out their selection of cocktails, beers and affordable wines.
Located at the heart of downtown, Jatobais a great date night option for anyone looking to experience Montreal’s modern food scene. It may have been called out as “formulaic” because of its amalgamation of trendy decor, snappy drinks and refined Asian fusion tapas, but who says there’s something wrong with combining the best? Walking into Jatoba has a breathtaking effect, leading to the realization that these guys have thought of everything: the space was even recently redone to improve its acoustics.
Manitoba is well worth the trip past the Mile-End into the Mile-Ex area. That’s because this eatery serves local ingredients and is dedicated to connecting people to what they call “fresh and wild products.” Manitoba’s ambiance is as down-to-earth as its attitude towards food, allowing for easy conversation as you experience Quebec’s quality ingredients. With dishes like deer liver and pork belly with butternut squash ketchup for brunch, and guinea fowl with Canadian dwarf cornel berries for dinner, this one is sure to give you a gastronomic tale to bring back home.
Make your way to the heart of Chinatown for some exceptional Mexican food! This family-run Taqueria serves authentic Mexican street food inside their cozy, unpretentious restaurant. The dishes are rich in flavour and never boring–their pork marinade is made with pineapple and orange mixed with a myriad of spices. The place usually fills up fast for lunch and dinner and is open until 2am on weekends. Stock-up on tacos, refried beans, homemade salsa and Mexican Jicama salad during your next visit to Chinatown!
Another wine bar member of the Joe Beef family, Le Vin Papillon is currently ranked at number 4 in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants. Not quite as new as Mon Lapin, but just as witty and fresh, it specializes in vegetable dishes, however, cooked in butter or duck fat, they are not quite vegetarian. Their decadent ham is also turning heads. Paired with the roasted caramel flavours of their innovative comfort foods is a wide selection natural wines – all in a cozy Little Burgundy location. In the summer, you can hope to get a seat on the amazing patio, but come early as they do not take reservations.
Escondite is the city’s funky new Mexican restaurant. Located on Union street, this taqueria is a party-in-your-mouth stop for all those staying in or passing through downtown Montreal. If you’re looking for a little help in the conversation-starter department, Escondite is your friend. Their décor consists of as many twists as their dishes: images of Mexican wrestlers and neon lights line the walls, and everything from pork and pineapple tacos to smoked meat poutine assemble on plates. Escondite translates to “hideout,” which makes sense because hiding out here is an experience you won’t want to miss. If you’re still unconvinced, that’s okay: they also offer signature drinks that you can enjoy on their terrace in the summer, making it one of the best places to eat in Montreal.
Experience vegetarian and vegan dining at its finest–LOV (Local, Organic, Vegetarian) is a fine dining experience without the meat. Located in Old Montreal, LOV is a bright, airy restaurant that feels like you’ve stepped into a botanical garden. The design is as cozy as it is sleek: wicker chairs hang from the ceiling and terrariums adorn each table. They only use the freshest ingredients in their dishes, which pair greatly with their beautifully-presented, zesty cocktails. They also offer a list of organic wine and beer. LOV is sure to please all customers with any diet, so bring your family, friends, date or anyone else you lov.
Maneki Comptoir Asiat‘ just opened up in Montreal’s East end, and this casual comptoir serves up comfort food in the form of East Asian fares. Classic Asian via North America dishes like General Tao, pineapple chicken, and crispy sesame beef are perfect for sit-down or takeout. The space is modern and unique with zany posters plastered on the walls. The staff is always extremely friendly and the food is getting rave reviews; why not make this a stop for a hearty lunch?
The coolest restaurant in Montreal may have just opened up. Agrikol, a Haitian restaurant, is a young and trendy new hangout in the Gay Village. The restaurant is co-owned by Arcade Fire’s Régine Chassagne and Win Butler, as well as Jen Agg and artist Roland Jean who own restaurants in Toronto. All four owners traveled to Haiti, collecting artwork that you can now view on the restaurant walls. The dining room is beautifully decorated, reflecting a tropical, Caribbean vibe. Owner Jean can be seen mixing live Haitian music most nights. Moreover, Talking Heads’ frontman, David Byrne, went there during his recent visit to Montreal! The restaurant doesn’t take reservations and there’s usually a lineup–but it’s worth the wait!
The new kid in St-Henri is Magdalena. Connected to the cocktail bar with a delicious gourmet menu, Ludger, Magdalena is a wine bar that offers vegetarian tapas. Francis Arkinson is the sommelier who oversees the wine menu at M.Me in the Plateau which boasts a whopping 700 different wines! Magdalena is also home to classic Italian liqueurs, including many types of amaro which is rare for restaurants to have. The theme touches on tropical while also evoking an elegant, French feel as well. Take your date to Magdalena: gaze into each other’s eyes in the candlelight and try a variety carefully selected wines and Italian liqueur.
To dine at the Le Mousso is less of a dining experience and more of an artistic experience. Antonin Mousseau-Rivard formerly worked as the head chef at Contemporain, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art’s restaurant. Mousso comes from a long line of artists: two of his grandfather’s sketches hang at the back of the restaurant, and the chef’s father was the singer of the famous Quebec band, Beau Dommage. Mousseau-Rivard’s artistic background is exhibited in his food. In this up-and-coming area of the Gay Village, just off of Amherst, each dish at Le Mousso has been carefully created. Each dish in the 13 course tasting menu is a work of culinary art: the food presentation is beautifully put together to say the least, each meal is served in a handmade bowl or plate, and comes with a predetermined wine pairing. Experience food like you never have before at Le Mousso in their brand new location.
Experience Quebexican food like you never have before at the Plateau’s Taqueria Arturo. Chef Matty Mckean came-up with the term because of the unique menu that draws from Mexican and Quebec influences. Their selection of ingredients in their tacos and burritos–kimchi, gochjujang, peking duck, and crispy Atlantic cod for fish tacos–give their classic Mexican fares a kick you can’t find anywhere else. Most of their ingredients are homemade, including their salsa and zesty guacamole. Prices are extremely decent as well: tacos start at 2.50$ each and burritos start at 9$. If you’re walking on the bustling Prince-Arthur street, be sure to stop in at Taqueria Arturo for a cocktail, tequila, or a remarkable taco.
In the heart of St-Henri, we begin with a bit of humour at this French-with-hints-of-American restaurant, Foiegwa. The name was inspired by how anglophones pronounce foie gras–without the ‘Rrr’–which is one of the many French words Americans and Canadians butcher. Speaking of butcher, Foiegwa serves-up a delectable selection of meat: dishes like their boeuf bourguignon, their poached black cod, and their locally-sourced, organic fried chicken. Foiegwa is a fine-dining experience without the pretentiousness: it’s located in a venue that formerly housed the Quebec fast-food joint, La Belle Province. Its decor is simple: white tiles line the walls and ceiling and dozens of sketches of famous Quebec figures are mounted on the walls. You’ll find American-style cocktails to pair with your meal here at Foie Gras–oops–Foiegwa.
Brasserie Harricana is one of the latest additions to Montreal’s craft beer scene. Located in Villeray, a neighbourhood not too far from the Mile-End, this spot is great for beer and food enthusiasts alike. In a chic tavern setting with white tile floors and pastel-pink chairs, Harricana offers a refined selection of crafts beer and ciders, imported bottles of beer, rum and whiskey. Harricana brews anywhere from 10-20 unique beers on sight and serves-up some delicious hearty meals to pair your drink with: think a variety of meats, burgers, and delicious snacks to tickle your tastebuds.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, let us help you out: Montreal’s got huge crush on craft beer right now. Isle de Garde tacks itself to the Rosemont brewery lineup with a well-deserved spot. The new microbrewery carries 22 local brews, 24 rotating selections on tap, 1 cider, whiskeys, and more. Their menu, which excludes the mediocre and maintains the excellent (grilled mac & cheese, beef tartar), is separated in two: dishes served until 11pm, and dishes served at all times– making it one of the must-have of Montreal’s late night eats.
Set in Montreal’s vibrant Gay Village, Le Red Tiger is a shiny option for those wanting to grab a bite while exploring the city’s more alternative nightlife. Serving up Vietnamese street food and draught beer on pumps shaped like cobra heads, Le Red Tiger restaurant might just maintain the party vibe while you eat.
If you’ve ever eaten fried chicken and thought something was missing, there was, and that missing thing was champagne. This Griffintown restaurant offers a list of champagne and wine to pair with your fried chicken. However, this isn’t just any fried chicken. Kimberly Lallouz of renowned Montreal restaurants, Prêt-à-Manger and Monsieur, went through the process of testing out different fryers, oils, and breadcrumbs to create the tastiest and healthiest of fried chicken. Their quality, free range chicken comes from the Quebec farm, Voltigeurs, and a vegan imitation is also available. There’re also 13 sauces to dip your fried chicken into. If you like to eat your fried chicken in a chic and cool decor, then spread your wings and soar to Le Bird Bar.
Japanese pubIchi Go Ichi E makes its way onto our list by way of the owner’s first and locally adored restaurant, Imadake. This second venture is set in the Plateau on Rachel street, not far from Lafontaine Park. Ichi Go Ichi E will be your post-park spot for a unique Japanese pub experience, with delicious ramen, in the heart of the city’s colourful Plateau neighbourhood.