The Required: Montreal

The Required: Montreal

A definitive guide to Montreal's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

November 18, 2020
The Required: Montreal

The Required: Montreal

A definitive guide to Montreal's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

November 18, 2020

 

Hello, Montreal. Welcome to The Required club.

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Let's Go

Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen
A Montreal staple for over 90 years and one of Canada's oldest delis, Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen is world-famous for a reason. Known for their smoked meat, you can't visit Montreal without trying it. Our experts agree that you can't miss the hefty smoked meat sandwich. 

Le Filet
Le Filet is a must-visit if you're looking for brilliantly composed dishes served in a glamorous space. The menu features creative seafood dishes, but you'll also find Quebec standards like foie gras, duck, and more. The au gratin baked oysters with white miso, the velvety Risotto au Crabe, and the Cavatelli Avec Joue De Veau - braised veal cheek cavatelli with foie gras torchon shaved on top- keep our experts coming back for more. 

Au Pied de Cochon
Chef Martin Picard's Au Pied de Cochon is a cult and expert favorite. Serving up hearty Québécois fare in a lively atmosphere, the stars of the show are foie gras and pork. Go all out with the namesake stuffed pig's trotter: enormous, filled with cubed foie gras, and served atop a bed of mashed potatoes - you’ll have to roll away from the table. Known for the foie gras poutine and duck in a can, our experts also love the Tarte de Boudin - puff pastry with foie gras, mushrooms, and blood sausage. 

Jun I
Jun I showcases Chef Junichi Ikematsu's background combining the flavors of his native Kyoto and his French training. The fusion is sophisticated; think modern sauces on the maki rolls, like soya caramel on the Cajun soft shell roll, while the sushi and sashimi remain traditional. Our experts say you can't go wrong with opting for the omakase and ordering a bottle of sake. 

L'Express
A Montreal Institution, L'Express, with its timeless brasserie decor, has served up classic French food for over 30 years. The menu hasn't changed much, but the restaurant is a Montreal staple due to the consistently well-made dishes, the reasonable markup on the wine list, and the fantastic staff, including legendary bartender Claude Masson. Expert favorites include the steak frites, croque-monsieur, and the ravioli maison.

Bottega Pizzeria
Bottega Pizzeria serves up handcrafted Neapolitan-style pizzas from their Vesuvian rock wood-burning oven. Our experts recommend starting with the bacio - little individual pizza buns that are stuffed with prosciutto cotto, mushrooms, mozzarella, and ricotta. You can't go wrong with the classic margherita pizza. End the night on a sweet note with cannolis or the killer chocolate and hazelnut torte. 

Cabane à Sucre Au Pied De Cochon
Chef Martin Picard's 2nd entry on this list is only open during the sugaring season (mid-February to mid-May), with each season bringing a new menu. Believing that maple syrup is the greatest of all Canadian culinary treasures, Chef Picard taps the surrounding maples to make his own syrup then serves up creative dishes that you have to experience for yourself. Expect huge portions and an unforgettable meal. 

Le Vin Papillon
This cozy, rustic-chic wine bar is known for serving eclectic, farm-fresh fare that puts vegetables front and center. It's not a vegetarian restaurant, so excellent fresh seafood and select meats are showcased along with the produce-centric dishes. The wood-roasted cauliflower with crispy chicken skin is a definite favorite, along with the house-cured jambon blanc with beurre noisette and shavings of P.E.I. cheddar.

Montréal Plaza
At first glance, Montréal Plaza, with its joyous atmosphere and contemporary design, might be what you’d expect from a spot serving up elevated French bistro fare. Look a little closer, and you'll find something unexpected: Elmo sitting at the table next to you, plastic dinosaurs marching along the pass - which are used to serve the sashimi de pétoncles, the waiter dressed up as a T-Rex. Needless to say, a trip to Montréal Plaza is unique, full of seasonal dishes, and downright eccentric.

Satay Brothers
Evolving from a seasonal stall at Atwater Market in the summer, Satay Brothers is now a bustling restaurant on the Notre-Dame strip. It's one of the few places you can find Malaysian or Singaporean food in Montreal. Our experts can't resist ordering a pork belly steamed bun or two every time they visit. Other favorites include the spicy prawn and chicken laksa, and green papaya salad, which is sweet, sour, and full of toasted salted peanuts and chilies.

Olive et Gourmando
Locals and experts alike return to Olive et Gourmando over and over again because they make some seriously fantastic sandwiches - you might have to cut yourself off from going multiple times a week. Our experts recommend the Gustavo featuring grilled chicken breast, sautéed red onions, and portobello mushrooms deglazed with balsamic vinegar and melted Cheddar cheese. You also can't go wrong with the Cubano.

Nora Gray
With an intimate and welcoming atmosphere and beautifully-executed seasonal Southern-Italian food, it’s not hard to see why our experts keep coming back to Nora Gray. Don't miss the pasta! There are only three seasonal selections each night, think: handmade handmade pappardelle in a rich rabbit Bolognese in the winter, and ravioli filled with housemade ricotta and fresh peas with beurre blanc and white caviar in the spring.

Le Filet
Spot
Montréal
$$$$, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, Seafood, Tapas
5 Recommendations
Jun i
Spot
Mile End, Montréal
$$, Sushi, Japanese, Reservations, Full Bar
4 Recommendations
L'Express
Spot
Montréal
$$$, Café, French
4 Recommendations
Le Vin Papillon
Spot
Little Burgundy, Montréal
$$$, Outdoor Seating, Wine Bar, Modern, Full Bar
3 Recommendations
Montréal Plaza
Spot
La Petite Patrie, Montréal
$$, Reservations, Full Bar, Restaurant
3 Recommendations
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