Yes, we’re a blog based in Seattle. But we love to travel. And while we do plenty of research before we head to a new city or country, we also love exploring. We wander neighborhoods. We talk to locals. And we find out from them where to eat, drink, and play. We recently returned home from our vacation, and this is where to eat in Montreal according to locals.
Where to Eat in Montreal
When we first arrived in Montreal, we strolled to one of the bars we researched: The Coldroom. We were warmly welcomed by a bartender there; a local Montrealer who lives in the Plateau (THE neighborhood in Montreal). He made us fantastic cocktails and after sparking conversation with him, offered up his suggestions of where to eat in Montreal.
Note: some of these suggestions come from other locals we talked to along the way as well to offer a diverse point of view.
French Food in Montreal
Monarque has a fancy dining room and a not-as-fancy brewery (or brasserie in French). There are traditional French items on the menu, like foie gras, duck confit, and steak tartare. But they also serve hummus, ravioli, and other items that don’t fall into traditional French cuisine.
L’Express is a local favorite in Montreal. It has served the city since 1980 and offers up “an updated repertory of the classics of French bistro cuisine.” As they do in French cuisine, L’Express takes great care in everything they do. And they have a cellar with more than 11,000 bottles of wine.
Italian Food in Montreal
Mano Cornuto is a casual Italian restaurant that serves a day and night menu. Both feature traditional Italian items like antipastis, insalates, pastas, and mains. And if you’re looking for a spritz, this place serves several different styles.
It’s full name is actually Antonietta Osteria Italiana. The restaurant doesn’t have a very extensive website but you can see some of their beautiful dishes on Instagram, including risottos, pizzas, and pastas.
Moccione is not just a local favorite. It’s just simply a favorite. The Italian restaurant has a 4.9 on Google with nearly 600 reviews. That’s an incredible mark. The homemade pasta menu changes seasonally. And it has an impressive wine list as well.
Other Food in Montreal
Beba is inspired by Italian and Spanish cultures and anchored in old world cooking techniques. The current menu includes ribeye, rabbit, and bone marrow. But as many great restaurants do, they change the menu seasonally. Cocktails and wine are also a thing here.
Verdun Beach is in fact a beach in Montreal. But Verdun Beach is also a bar/restaurant blocks down from the beach in Montreal. The food here is fantastic and so is the service. We had some of the tastiest fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life here. Don’t get me wrong, this place is laid back but elevated.
I first read about Alma on our flight to Montreal. It was mentioned in the Air Canada city guide. Never in my life did I think that I’d learn about a great restaurant like that. But, it was backed up by the locals. Alma is the perfect mix of Catalonia and the Mediterranean. You can also visit the smaller tapas bar Tinc Set.
You can’t visit Montreal without trying some of these regional specialties. I’m sure locals roll their eyes when tourists talk about them but — as we were told by locals — they do in fact frequent these locations as well.
St. Viature Bagels
We tried several different bagel shops in Montreal but St. Viature Bagel stands out above the rest. Not only do they serve the best bagel in the city (as was backed up by locals we talked to) but it also feels like the most real bagel shop. Expect to stand in line at lunchtime.
Schwartz’s Deli is a favorite of locals and tourists. The place is so popular it was recently purchased by global superstar Celine Dion. Here’s a little secret if there is a long line: slip into the takeout counter. They serve the popular smoked meats sandwich and there is seating in the back. An alternative to Schwartz’s Deli (as mentioned by locals) is Reuben’s Deli.
La Banquise is the most popular snack bar (casse-croute) in Montreal, but it doesn’t feel very local. And there can be quite a line. That said, it serves a darn tasty poutine. If you’re looking for someplace more local, it sounds like Chez Claudette is a favorite. As one local told us, “You don’t have to wait for an hour to eat fries.”
Here are a few other places that were recommended by locals on where to eat in Montreal: Lattuca (BBQ), Lanzhou (noodle soup), Marven’s (Greek), and Boustan (Lebanese). Not mentioned by locals but found by us: incredible ramen at Yokato Yokabai. And not to be missed is Haitain food. For that, try Casse-Croute Sissi & Paul.
Montreal is vibrant, diverse, and truly amazing city. It’s gritty. It’s different. We loved it there. And we loved the food we ate there, and we have to give thanks to the local suggestions on where to eat in Montreal. We’ll definitely visit again soon.
Do you have any suggestions on where to eat in Montreal? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to explore around the Emerald City, Canada, and around the world.