A version of this article was first written for Tourisme Montréal.
It may seem like it’s hard to keep up with Montreal’s ever growing restaurant scene but this roundup of 12+ new Montreal restaurants to discover will help you decide which ones to visit first.
Chef Marcel Larrea is at the helm of this new restaurant specializing in Nikkei, the Peruvian Japanese fusion cuisine that’s popular in Peru. No need to ask for a seat at the bar since the entire restaurant is basically a bar behind which chefs and bartenders work their magic. Start with a Pisco Sour, Peru’s most famous cocktail, and don’t skip on the ceviche, the chaufa or the butifarra. Read my full review of Tiradito here.
Patrice Pâtissier alumn Nick Kemball has branched out on his own with Libertine Bakehouse, a new pastry shop with an edge. Libertine’s logo is a stylized mash-up of a skull head and a cupcake and an aqua green skeleton is the mascot of the cute boutique. The pastries on display change often but you’ll be able to taste such delights as a the brioche feuilletée, the apple and lingonberry tart, the miso Paris-Brest or the pistachio cake with citrus, sour cream and olive oil.
A new underground bar has recently opened its doors in St Henri. Located in the basement of Le Birdbar, Henden comes to us from the same owner and restaurateur Kimberly Lallouz. The bar has a plush, seventies look that’s a cross between a Playboy mansion and a Maroccan living room complete with crushed orange velvet couch and black and gold accents. Henden serves a reduced version of Birdbar’s menu and a complete bar.
From the people behind Ludger comes this new wine bar (and Ludger neighbour). In a lush décor rich in greenery, Magdalena offers small, vegetable-centric plates and a balanced wine list that includes classics as well as natural and bopdynamic wines.
Little Italy / Villeray:
Marconi was the most anticipated restaurant opening of the past few months. Former Au Pied de Cochon chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly is back in Montreal after a 5-year stint in New York City. The Zébulon Perron-designed restaurant has conserved some of the old space’s elements giving the dining room a laid back vintage look. The food at Marconi is market driven and includes snacks, small plates and more substantial mains. Don’t skip dessert!
From caldo verde to bacalhau fritters to pasteis de nata, Aldea, a recently opened restaurant on the Plateau, serves Portuguese traditional dishes in a classic ambiance.
The exotic flavours of Sub-Saharan food now have a home in the heart of the Plateau. Revisited traditional recipes with a Quebec twist–plantain and cassava poutine, anyone?–are on the menu at Le Virunga, in a décor filled with dark woods and rich textures.
Located on the pedestrian part of Prince Arthur Street, Arturo serves up tacos, burritos and some appetizers a an affordable price. The menu here is not a stickler for tradition but that’s besides the point when you have fun menu items such as the delicious falafel and tzatziki taco or the gochjujang ribeye with grilled kimchee.
Bánh Mì Bánh Yiu
A new fun lunch counter in the heart of the Mile End, Bánh Mì Bánh Yiu serves Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches ranging from vegetarian to pork to tofu and avocado. The sandwiches are garnished with pickles, housemade sauces and fresh herbs. The long and narrow space consists of a long bar behind which the sandwich assembly happens. The menu also offers a daily soup option as well as salads.
This new bistro from Mile-Ex chef owner Gregory Paul and co-owner Gabriel Rizzotti has recently opened its doors on the Main. In a timeless décor that’s reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, Elda serves some Mile Ex classics for lunch and dinner such as the cod accras or the delicious beef tartare as well as other dishes created by chef Valentin Wajda. The wines are exclusively by private import company Beau-vin which belongs to Rizzotti’s father and which allows him to offer wine at a great price.
This new Mile End Café is the natural extension of the Ballet Hop! dance studio. Fresh juices, salads, bowls, tartines, sweet delicacies and, of course, coffee and tea can be found for lunch or brunch in this light-filled space.
Maneki Comptoir Asiat’
A new Asian restaurant has opened its doors in Hochelaga. Unpretentious, fun and casual, Maneki’s mission is to make good simple and enjoyable food in a very cool décor with a unique brand identity. Maneki doesn’t declare itself as one particular Asian cuisine but rather all of them. They serve Asian classics favourites from all cuisines and from the looks of it, are managing to do right by all.
Existing restaurants, new meals:
This Mile End café inspired by Australia’s café culture has recently partnered up with chef Saad Bahbahani to serve a creative brunch that’s become the talk of the town. The dishes are named after Australian celebrities and we highly recommend the Elle MacPherson or the Nicole Kidman. Read my full review of Café Melbourne’s brunch here.
The Japanese bistro is now open for weekend brunch. The Asian-inspired brunch includes Thazard’s famous ramen bowls as well many other dishes such as chicken and waffles and burgers but always thought out with an Asian twist.
The Laurier Avenue Mediterranean mezes restaurant has garnered a loyal brunch and dinner following since it opened three years ago. Barbounya is now serving lunch from Wednesdays to Fridays as well as a Sunday family-style dinner that starts right after brunch, at 4:30pm.