An Editor's Favourite Restaurants in Montreal
You know that friend you go for walks with who has to stop every 5 minutes to show you a new coffee shop or restaurant you “absolutely have to try”? Well, I am that person. I always have a list on my iPhone of places I need to go to, from this taco place that just opened in my neighbourhood and promises to deliver authentic flavours to that new bar where you can sit on big comfy beds while people take your martini(s) order (ok it doesn’t exist yet, except on TV, but it would definitely be awesome and I would always hang out there).
Since I can’t take a walk around town with each and every single one of you, I laid down here my picks to eat like a real foodie in Montreal.
What to order: Roasted cauliflower tacos with fresh ricotta, avocado and salsa verde or “Guédille” with spicy shrimps, daikon, carrots and kale.
The restaurant is quite small and it’s better if you reserve before coming, otherwise, prepare yourself for the wait. It is still a small sacrifice to make when you know you are about to eat the best tacos of your life. Nothing less.
Where: La Tamalera
What to order: Molletes (open sandwich with black beans and melted cheese served with pico de gallo) or Tortas Ahogadas (pork and black beans sandwich with spicy sauce and avocado).
You go there for authentic Mexican food and you forget everything your thought you learned about it from eating bad Tex-Mex food.
What to order: Degustation board with, among other things, nuts and dried fruits, homemade jams and warm bread or Baked potato with beef sausage, veggies, kasseri and poached eggs.
Not your traditional brunch per se, the one offered at Su will make you travel to Turkey with its tasty dishes. Or it will simply satisfy your infinite brunch craving, which is basically all you are asking for after all.
Where: Arts Café
What to order: Shakshuka (cumin cardamom sauce, quinoa, baked eggs, potato toast choice of merguez or polenta) or Homemade yogourt with rhubarb compote, chocolate and nut clusters, sugared celery.
You go there to eat in the most Pinterest-looking atmosphere and you end up eating an amazing meal. You might even shed some tears of happiness over the most perfect french toast with caramelized apples #truestory.
Where: Satay Brothers
What you order: Kimchi fried rice or the spicy Green Papaya Salad
Now that that their booth at Atwater Market is closed for the cold season, you can still go to their restaurant to eat their famous papaya salad in a cozy ambiance. It’s so good that I have frequent dreams about eating it.
Where: Red Tiger
What to order: Gỏi cuốn chay (vegetarian spring rolls) or Gà chiên nước mắm (fried chicken wings with Nuoc Mam sauce).
You go there if you want to eat authentic street thai food but don’t have the budget to book a ticket to Thailand. Don’t hesitate to ask them all the questions you have regarding their menu. I’ve already tested their patience many times and they always give the best advice.
What to order: Moujaddara (braised lentils with bulgor and caramelized onions, tomato salsa) or Fattet Makdous (Eggplant stuffed with lamb layered with tomato sauce and nuts served with a yogourt sauce).
When their first restaurant burned to the ground last year, I thought I would never have the chance to eat again the most perfect roasted eggplant I’ve ever tasted in my life. Since their reopening, it is still my go-to place to savour mezzes full of flavours in an exotic decor.
What to order: Choice of three starters among Labné (thick yogourt spread) and Baba Ghannouj (grilled eggplant purée with tahini, garlic and lemon) or Fattet Makdous (layers of fried eggplant, minced lamb, served with pita and yogourt tahini sauce).
This place is way too close to work for my own good, since I can’t help but crave their perfect baba ghannouj served with warm pitas.
Where: N0. 900
What to order: Margherita Bianca pizza (olive oil, cherry tomatoes, oregano, mozzarella di Bufala, basil, parmesan) or Spicy Pancetta with figs pizza (olive oil, goat cheese, rucola salad and balsamic vinegar).
I am not the kind of girl who wakes up at night thinking about pizza, but the one served at pizza No. 900 definitely creates some kind of addiction. The quality of the fresh ingredients they use mixed with their perfect crust would make anyone melt from the inside.
What to order: Menina pizza (spinach, capers, olives, pecorino, onions Quebec mozzarella di bufala) or 1889 pizza (tomato sauce, Quebec mozzarella di bufala, basil).
Even if traditional is not the first word that pops into your mind when you think about the pizza served at Gemma – hello to the Mexican one with sour cream and pulled pork – you still reach pizza nirvana after your first bite. If you are more traditional, you will be more than happy to know that they also serve classic options like a Margherita one.
Where: Punjab Palace
What to order: Baigan Bharta (spicy roasted & mashed eggplant with onions and tomatoes) or Chana Masala (chickpeas in Indian spices).
I could seriously eat Indian food every day for a week without getting sick of it. So take me seriously when I declare this restaurant the best one in town. You don’t go there for the decor or the ambiance, but only with the goal of filling your stomach with tasty and spicy bites of happiness.
Where: Bombay Mahal
What to order: Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower sautéed with an assortment of Indian spices) or Lamb Tikka (spicy marinated lamb pieces roasted in a traditional Indian clay oven, rice served with salad).
This place is the runner-up on my list of places I want to eat at before passing out from the most marvellous food coma. Their plates are on the spicy side but I swear they are worth it!
Where: Lola Rosa
What to order: Lola Nachos made with mozzarella, salsa, black bean, corn, roasted pepper, green onion, sour cream and guacamole or Tunisian Stew with vegetables, chickpeas, raisin, spices, marinated feta with homemade preserved lemon and roasted almonds.
This restaurant proudly declares itself the favorite vegetarian place of the non-vegetarians of this world. Many times, their nachos made the list of the best ones in town, which is something you totally get once you bite into the mountain of awesomeness on your plate.
Where: Sushi Momo
What to order: Sushis 911 with tofu, crispy scallion and spicy vegan mayo or Sushi Momo with sweet tofu, cucumber, avocado, mango, tempura, Japanese oba leaf and curry sauce.
You don’t even have to embrace the vegan life to fully appreciate your experience there. Every option on the menu is so full of flavours that you might feel a little bit overwhelmed upon your first visit. It’s ok, take it as an excuse to go back there as many times as you want.