ChompChomp

formerly "Jeremy & Vinita's Montreal Restaurant Guide"
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For more information about Montreal restaurants, visit www.go-montreal.com/resto_listing.htm.
New: You can now drill down into the map to find restaurants by area of the city. Click the associated link name to read our review!
The following is a list of Montreal restaurants (appearing in each category approximately in the order in which we tried them) we have sampled since arriving in this wonderful city in November '97. Those curious about the (perhaps) disproportionate emphasis on French restaurants should note that this is, after all, Montreal. A favourite story I like to tell is that of the brief CBC radio interview with an unnamed British ex-pat, during our ice storm of January 1998. When asked if he wanted to go back to the UK after experiencing a Canadian winter, the fellow replied, "No, I view this winter as a freak event. But Montreal is an amazing city... I don't know any other place where one can get French food... in American quantities... at Canadian prices!"
Latest reviews: Au Pied du Cochon (French), Renoir (French), Golden Curry House (Indian), Andiamo (Italian), Sushi Yi Mi (Japanese), Graziella (Italian), Masala Palace (Indian), Café Bar Bon Voyage (bistro), Cafe M (bistro), Trois Brasseurs (Pub), Pizzeria Napoletana (Italian), Comptoir de Cathy Estefan (Sandwich), Cash and Curry (Malay), Ruby Rouge (Chinese), Kagopa (Korean), Taj (Indian), O Thym (French)
Guide to symbols
memorablememorable picks in their category
closedclosed their doors, for better or worse
BYObring your own wine
badself-explanatory


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French

Le Paris
4.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
1812, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3H 1M1 (514) 937-4898
good entree, but disappointing salad and soup; reasonably priced
Aux Deux Marie
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
4329 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2J 2K9 (514) 844-7246
Belgian waffles, great smoked turkey sandwich, cool atmosphere
memorableL'entrecote St. Jean
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
2022 Peel Rue Montreal, QC H3A 1W5 (514) 281-6492
a time-honoured tradition, this moderately elegant restaurant has been serving the same set meal for years and it's hard to think of a reason why they should change it -- the formula consists of a vegetable cream soup, Boston lettuce salad with a vinaigrette dressing and walnuts, a tender steak in a light mustard sauce, succulent fries, and decadent profiteroles; the establishment was a haunt of Pierre Trudeau's
Chez Suzette Creperie
3.5 stars from 34 reviews at Yelp
3 rue Saint-Paul E Montreal, QC H2Y 1E9 (514) 874-1984
mediocre at best; probably succeeds largely on tourist appeal
Le Grand Comptoir
4 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
1225 Rue Du Square-Phillips Montreal, QC H3B 3E9 (514) 393-3295
excellent, reasonably priced French cuisine, voted "best affordable French restaurant" in town
Chez Leveque
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1030 Rue Laurier Ouest Montreal, QC H2V 2K8 (514) 279-7355
very good French, although a bit on the pricy side, good atmosphere
Fondue Prince Arthur
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
70 Prince Arthur St E Montreal, QC H2X 1B3 (514) 845-0183
very good table d'hote fondue meals; great service, reasonable $
Toqué
4.5 stars from 43 reviews at Yelp
900 Jean-Paul-Riopelle Pl Montreal, QC H2Z 2B2 (514) 499-2084
raved about but very pricy; the most succinct review we can provide is that this is a restaurant for diners who enjoy looking at their food more than eating it; presentation is absolutely gorgeous but neither the quantities the flavour come close to measuring up; the Riopelle address is a new location with funky decor; in their former location on St. Denis, they started you off with a selection of breads from Fromentier (see below in desserts); the "gourmet menu" includes a selection of six dishes (two very small appetizers, a sorbet, main course, salad and dessert) chosen by the chef; the preparations were mostly quite ordinary (e.g. a trout filet appetizer, sliced magret du canard, salad of mixed greens) with a few interesting exceptions, and while beautifully presented, all with impeccable service, it was exceptionally difficult to justify the $80 price tag; yes, this place is probably overrated and so, we have removed its red asterisk
closedBazou
1310 Boulevard De Maisonneuve E Montreal, QC H2L (514) 526-4940
elegant presentation but disappointing flavour; steak, in particular was most unimpressive; restaurant loses major points for giving us directions to this (second) location, when reservation made for the original which has a BYO license
BYOclosedLuca Bianca
7076 St. Laurent & Jean Talon, Montreal
superb food, in particular the duck, goat cheese salad looks incredible; fantastic fresh bread; but sadly, terribly understaffed, service was pathetic
Jardin Nelson
3.5 stars from 51 reviews at Yelp
407, Place Jacques-Cartier Montreal, QC H2Y 3B1 (514) 861-5731
beautiful tree-decor atmosphere with classical or jazz band playing in the background; the crepes are commendable
closedmemorableBYOLe Parigo
St. Denis & Mont Royal, Montreal
(re-opened as Dali/Matisse -- see below) superb all round, the salmon and escargots appetizers were deligtful, supreme a la vollaile incredibly tender, and the game special was uniquely delicious
Le Persil Fou
St. Denis & Mont Royal, Montreal
great ambiance, wonderful fish but undercooked steak, even for those who asked for medium-well
BYOYoyo
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
4720 Rue Marquette Montreal, QC H2J 3Y6 (514) 524-4187
simple setting, elegant presentation, meat entrees were very nicely done, although the accompanying vegetables were rather plain; salmon dish at the next table appeared far more impressive and the appetizers, which we didn't see, sounded very tempting
Le Vaudeville
361 Bernard W & Parc, Montreal
reasonable, casual bistro, regular mussels and fries specials, cheap house wine, good filet mignon
memorableLe Pistou
1453 Mont-Royal Av E Montreal, QC H2J 1Z1 (514) 528-7242
Wonderfully seasoned steak and liver, great mushroom-stuffed pasta, beautiful presentation, in a friendly, open atmosphere. Excellent value.
Cafe Cherrier
4 stars from 13 reviews at Yelp
3635, rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2X 3L6 (514) 843-4308
pleasant cafe setting; generous serving of steak with a very tangy mustard garlic dressing, with a well seasoned grilled vegetable side, although the fries were decent but somewhat overdone
BYOclosedA la Decouverte
4350 Rue De La Roche Montreal, QC H2J 3J1 (514) 529-8377
(apparently now operating as "La Salamandre" with the same concept) this resto lost its red star following our most recent visit: slow service, uninspired and lukewarm appetizers, over-sauced main dishes, and mediocre dessert; perhaps it was an off-night, but a top-notch place should offer consistency; previous review was much stronger: superb all-round -- duck liver mousse with mustard appetizer, fresh mushroom soup, pasta and game entrees -- were all exceptional; friendly, patient service without attitude; the restaurant recently relocated to their new, more spacious setting, now allowing for the possiblity of reservations
BYOLa Prunelle
327 Duluth E Montreal (514) 849-8403
a relative of Bistro L'Entrepont and Luca Bianca, two other outstanding French restaurants
memorableBYOLe P'tit Plateau
4.5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
330 Marie-Anne Rue E Montreal, QC H2W 1B1 (514) 282-6342
charming, cozy and relaxed setting with outstanding dishes prepared to perfection; the foie gras and pleurottes appetizers were well worth the price and the salmon entre was one of the best we've ever tried -- beautifully seasoned with a rich coating of herbs; the deer was also delicate but we had a hard time distinguishing the flavour of the meat itself from the sauce in which it was served -- perhaps a good sign?
BYOAu 917
917 Rue Rachel E Montreal, QC H2J 2J2 (514) 524-0094
simple and relaxed ambience, boisterous atmosphere with a constant banging of dishes and voices raised above the din; unfortunately, the food doesn't measure up -- all the dishes, from the opening salad to the (watery) escargots and (unseasoned) warm duck salad appetizers and into the main course of veal tongue were bland, uninteresting, and served with scant attention to presentation
Le Caveau
5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
2063 Rue Victoria Montreal, QC H3A 2A3 (514) 844-1624
somewhat upscale in the price range, this resto offers an elegant decor with a number of cozy rooms from which to choose; the lunch dishes are fair overall, although nothing that warrants much excitement; while we were somewhat disappointed to learn that wine cannot be purchased in half-litre quantities, we were frankly appalled to find that the coat check downstairs charges patrons $0.75 per jacket -- how very petty!
BYOLes Deux Oliviers
500 Duluth E & Berri Montreal (514) 848-1716)
a cozy French-Italian hybrid restaurant, specializing in veal dishes; despite a strongly positive review in the MontrealFood.com site, we were very disappointed with the quality of every plate from the cesar salad and avocado shrimp appetizers, through the veal scallopini main course and the chocolate-rasberry mousse dessert; the only modestly interesting dish was the osso bucco, deserving of a decent grade, and while the prices of the table d'hote are slightly below many of the superior French BYOs we've tried, we were far from impressed with the overall experience
memorableBYOLa Colombe
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
554 Duluth Av E Montreal, QC H2L 1A9 (514) 849-8844
A cozy atmosphere with simple decore and pleasant staff; the dishes were generally delightful, including a decadent hors d'oeuvre of vol-au-vent d'escargots, fois gras with a sweet chutney (our only complaint there was that biting into the thin slices of accompanying dry bread produced a crunching noise so loud as to distract one from the taste!), and a main dish of oh-so-tender venison in a rich blueberry sauce, served on a thin bed of green beans; however, the soup and rabbit pate appetizers, both served as components of the table d'hote, were somewhat disappointing; prices here are a bit higher than many French BYO's of this calibre, in particular for the appetizers, although these were of larger quantity than expected
BYODali Matisse
900 Duluth E Montreal (514) 845-6557
the former Parigot has reopened with a new name, new location, new cuisine ("French/Spanish") and alas, need for a new chef; the service was fine but alas, the food came nowhere close to expectations; we suffered through overly pulverized and bland gaspacho, tasteless lamb ragout and an overcooked, dry confit de canard; even the creme caramel and chocolate crepe desserts seemed more befitting of a cafeteria
La Gargote
5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
351 Place D'youville Montreal, QC H2Y 2B7 (514) 844-1428
on occasion, we must differ strongly with the recommendations of our friends at montrealfood.com; in this instance, their suggestion that the restaurant's name ("greasy spoon") "belies... the quality of the cuisine"; on the contrary, greasy spoon dishes may have been preferable to the bland and insufficiently heated lamb and confit de canard we were served -- perhaps they were taken out of the fridge and simply warmed in the microwave; worse still, the dessert included in the table d'hote was an atrocious rasberry mousse, and while the waitress was happy to accommodate requests for a dessert upgrade to the profiteroles as an alternative, we were charged full price for these; pleasant atmosphere yes, but sorry folks, don't come here for the food
BYOBistro Bienville
4650 De Mentana Montreal, QC H2J 3B9 (514) 509-1269
this cozy restaurant, tucked into a quiet corner of the Plateau and decorated with paintings for sale by local artists of modest quality (a somewhat disturbing trend), run by an accommodating and congenial maitre d', came just shy of warranting a red star; we were delighted with the entrees of warm chevre salad, angelfin gratine and a wonderfully wine-rich duck liver mousse; the featured plat principal, a steak farci, was interesting, but less impressive, and presentation was overly simplistic
Restaurant Julien
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
1191 Union Av Montreal, QC H3B 3C3 (514) 871-1581
it is unusual to find a top-notch French restaurant outside of the Plateau area of Montreal, but this one, situated just south of Carre Phillipe is a pleasant surprise; the atmosphere is a bit on the high end of the spectrum, bringing to mind an upscale Parisian resto, but the service here is friendly and the prices reasonable given the quality of the dishes and the great care given to presentation, which was easily the most photo-worthy I have seen in town; the menu contains a nice mix of specials of the week and an interesting list of regular dishes, based largely on local ingredients, we were very impressed with the Arctic char, accompanied by some wonderfully seasoned vegetables and rice while the dessert of marquise fondante au chocolate made no effort to conceal its decedance; update (July 2003) -- unfortunately, I had to remove the red star formerly awarded after a highly disappointing lunch experience; the gigot d'agneau seemed stewed and tasteless while my lunch partner's fillet (ordered medium) arrived bloody and was simply microwaved after additional cooking was requested; I'm still waiting to hear back from the manager
Le Maistre
5700 Av De Monkland Montreal, QC H4A 1E6 (514) 481-2109
this resto, set in a cozy old house in the Monkland village and offering relaxed friendly service, does not, unfortunately, deliver consistency in quality of the dishes; the menu is heavy on the specialties of duck, veal and lamb, but none of these stood out as exceptional; the accompanying soup with the table d'hote was entirely disappointing; the entrees were creative and richly seasoned, in particular the smoked duck salad, although our companions were unimpressed with the shrimp guacacmole; as for main courses, we tried a generous portion of nicely cooked -- although unexceptional -- osso bucco-like lamb knuckle, accompanied by a very modest quantity of yam puree, spinach, and broccoli, and a fairly ordinary confit de canard; in contrast, the marquise de chocolat for dessert was wonderful and not overly sweetened, but the cappucino was an utter disaster
Opus II
1050 Sherbrooke W & Peel Montreal (514) 985-6252
an elegant locale, frequented by the moderately upscale business set, serving generous and beautifully decorated portions; the cauliflower soup was fantastic and the rack of lamb richly seasoned; the "mi-cuit" dessert is a sinful delight for chocolate lovers
BYOPuy du Fou
4354 Christophe Colomb Ave Montreal (514) 596-2205
while light on the atmosphere, this cozy east-Plateau resto offered excellent service, an inventive southern French menu heavy on Quebec meats (rabbit, carribou, quail) and consistently, delightfully seasoned dishes, from the complementary hors d'oeuvres and simple green salad to the tangy sauces and rich desserts
Bistro Gourmet 2
4007 St. Denis Montreal (514) 844-0555
decent value for food and ambience -- this resto offers a Parisian decor reminisicent of L'Express but much friendlier service; the fish dishes were wonderful but the waiting time was somewhat excessive
memorableclosedLa Convivial
4785 Sherbrooke H3Z 1G5 Montreal (514) 933-1000
(what a pity to see this place disappear; one of our favourites, La Convivial brought great food to an otherwise culinaririly dismal area of town; unfortunately, the owners couldn't make a go of it in what may be a cursed resto location -- we'll see how the new breakfast joint opening shortly will fare); what a delight to find top-notch French cuisine in the Westmount area! the chef was previously head chef at Auberge North Hatley, and now serves up a wicked menu with a creative twist, for example (jumping right to the dessert), an unbelievable marquise fondante in a vodka-rasperry sorbet with maple syrup spears; their foie gras appetizer was simply decadent and main dishes of lamb leg and braised venisson shank were both exceptional; as if this weren't enough, the service was equally impeccable and polite; an update following a few more dining experiences -- if you opt to indulge yourself with the menu degustation, you'll be in a for a real treat: a flow of unique dishes, both aesthetically and mouth-wateringly delicious that leaves the pretentious Toqué (see above) far behind in its wake
Bistro Justine
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1268 Van Horne Av Outremont, QC H2V 1K6 Montreal (514) 277-2728
simple ambiance, wonderful service and excellent food combine to give this cozy bistro a strong recommendation; the main dishes are generous in quantity, the leg of lamb beautifully seasoned and cooked to perfection; unfortunately, the salmon and pineapple salsa appetizer was quite ordinary while both the spectacular appetizer of foie gras (prepared on the premises) and the truffle dessert were a tad on the small size; despite reasonable prices, it was hard to justify other reviews that consider Justine "a bargain" but we'd still happily return
Bistro Gourmet
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
2100 Rue Saint-Mathieu Montreal, QC H3H 2J4 (514) 846-1553
a very typically French bistro, with pleasant service and reasonably priced lunch specials; while the atmosphere is somewhat spartan, the food was simple but decent, reminiscent of basic Parisian lunches
L'Express
4.5 stars from 118 reviews at Yelp
3927, rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2W 2M4 (514) 845-5333
we originally dined in this popular St. Denis bistro during our first year in Montreal, enjoying a seafood dinner in the bustling, crowded, and fairly noisy atmosphere; in the daytime, sun streams in through the skylight; fellow restaurant-reviewer Nick Robinson convinced me to make a return trip to try their steak-frites, following a pleasant debate about l'Entrecote St. Jean (see above); having spent a year in France not too long ago, this dish was an amusing reminder of the way it's served in a typical Parisian brasserie, as well as the university cafeteria's hanger steak, a default I'd choose when nothing else seemed worthwhile from the day's menu; the quality and flavour at l'Express were a notch improved over Parisian fare, but at $21 for the plate, I expected considerably better; in fairness, Nick's
Le Margaux
5058 Parc H2V 4G1 Montreal (514) 448-1598
this resto came at the strong recommendation of another Montreal foodie (Amerlita Flores) so we finally got around to trying it for lunch; insofar as the ambiance, service, and inventiveness of the dishes is concerned, Margaux delivers solid value; we were generally impressed with the flavours of the appetizers -- a slightly spicy leek soup and salad with blue cheese appetizers and the duck magret "steak" on a bed of mashed potato and julienne vegetables was divine; the red snapper, served on sweet potato was similarly beautifully prepared, although itself, somewhat lacking flavour while the accompanying lobster sauce a questionable match
memorableBYOBistro L'entrepont
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
4622 Hotel de Ville Montreal, QC H2T 2B1 (514) 845-1369
friendly, small (seats 28) and a bit cramped, but the dinner was excellent; the appetizers, in particular were sensational; the duck liver salad and oyster mushroom in puff pastry entrees topped our list; on a repeat visit many years after our first review, the quality has remained consistent, both in taste and service; the opening soup (a zesty combo with leek and celery) set the tone for the rest of the decicious meal, which, according to our Aussie companion, included difficult-to-get-right kangaroo done to perfection; the desserts were, as expected, equally tantalizing, although after the richness of the previous courses, even a chocaholic was done-in by the marquise
Au cinquième péché
4 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
330 Av Du Mont-Royal E Montreal, QC H2J 2L2 (514) 286-0123
French for the "fifth sin", evidently intended to refer to gluttony, but not according to the ordering supplied by Dante or Pope Gregory (for which fifth would be "wrath", hardly a desirable image for a restaurant), this is a pleasant bistro, with a relaxed ambience that makes you instantly comfortable; food-wise, the lunch menu was sparse, including a guinea fowl, flank steak, monkfish, and, if memory serves, pork, in other words, probably not a great bet for a vegeterian; the meal included a typical choice of soup or salad, the salads looked reasonable but basic and the soup (sweet potato and carrot) was acceptable, but didn't do anything to stir up the taste buds; I'd heard good things about their fowl, so decided to give this a try as the main; the meat arrived as two meagre pieces, reasonably seasoned although a tad overcooked, set on a bed of polenta and accompanied with a wet mound of cabbage; the polenta worked well, but the cabbage was a disaster, both in taste and after-effects (hint: not a great choice if you're on a date); while I was really hoping to come away satisfied, neither the preparation nor quantity left much to be desired; the chocolate-almond-date dessert was ok, but far too fruity for a chocolate purist; the service as well, which started off pleasant and efficient became practically non-existent by the end of the meal, as the restaurant had filled up; evidently, the place is popular for a reason, perhaps a better dinner menu, but lunch did not impress
La Chronique
5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
99 ave Laurier Ouest Montreal, QC H2T 2N6 (514) 271-3095
While it was somewhat disconcerting to find the resto completely empty of patrons on our arrival shortly after noon, the pleasant decor and relaxing jazz, playing somewhat above background levels, soon put us at ease. The lunch menu was a typical one-pager, with a selection of half a dozen starters and mains. I started with the fish soup, a rich, thick broth, with several chunks of fish meat supporting a delightful cheese-covered crostini, decorated with chives; the flavours were well matched, although not up to the level of "Oh, this is amazing" that we'd experienced with a comprarable dish at a cozy resto along the Loire; for the main, I opted for the pasta bolognaise -- probably not a signature dish, but surprisingly, it offered a delicate texture and nice overall consistency, without overpowering the diner in tomato; presentation was gorgeous, but that seemed to be a constant for all of our dishes. To sum up the experience in a nutshell, Chronique offers the beauty of Toqué presentation but with adequate quantities of enjoyable food. For dessert, the choices included some sort of tart or pie, a tiramisu (again, the Italian influence here was obvious), and a fondant. For chocolate lovers, the latter was really the only choice, and at that, it was an excellent one
Le Parchemin
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
1333 Rue University H3A 2A4 Montreal (514) 844-1619
Our first review, based on early samplings, going back more than 10 years, summarized this place as "decent French food, high on snobbery, but with affordable specials that change daily". Given its proximity to the university, this was also a fairly regular choice when needing to find passable French cuisine, along with a classy interior and a bit of attitude, to take visitors for a quick lunch within a relatively short walking distance. However, after the most recent experience, no more. We made reservations for nine people, arrived at 1pm, ordered at 1:15, and learned at 1:35 that the lamb special, chosen by four of our group, was no longer available. We ordered substitutes at 1:40, that is, except for yours truly, as due to waiter incompetence (he was affable, sure, but not quite "together" as someone you'd want as the customer interface if you're trying to ensure repeat business), I wasn't given a chance to make my second choice, although somehow, this was resolved. Sorry, but while running out of a special is understandable, this level of delay and bungling of the orders was completely unacceptable. The mains finally arrived at 2pm, mine being the catch of the day, an entirely listless chunk of bass, most likely taken that day out of the freezer rather than a fisherman's net, sitting in an equally uninspiring sauce. All the more so, given that we weren't ordering the "budget" daily special, but rather, from the full-priced (i.e., overpriced, given the quality of the food) "business menu". Of course, if you're lunching on business, better bring your work with you, as by the time you pay your bill, there go two hours of your day. As an aside, the budget special is only advertised on the chalkboard outside, presumably to draw in passers-by, while no mention of the option is available inside, and certainly not in the menu. Need I go on? Ok, the potato leek soup, normally one of my favourites, was watery and far too light on the leeks, the salad was sugared to the point it should have been left for dessert, one of our creme caramels arrived with a chunk broken off -- at least not including teeth marks. It was still edible, but if that's their target quality of presentation, perhaps they'd be best off serving on paper plates. As a coup de grace, the waiter seemed completely oblivious to the fact he'd spilled water and ice into the plate while refilling my glass. I meant to have a quick chat with the manager on my way out, but he seemed busy in conversation with his buddy, blocking the front door with his back to the inside. I'll send him an email instead. Oh, but to be fair, top marks on the bread rolls, for which we had to remind the waiter to bring a second round while waiting an hour for our lunch.
Bistro on the Avenue
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1362 Greene Ave Westmount, QC H3Z 2B1 Montreal (514) 939-6451
Parisian bistro-inspired atmosphere that doesn't measure up to its look; although the place seems to be doing a booming business, probably in large part to a good location, the service was painfully slow, the (four) slices of baguette were bland and (what's the opposite of "crisp"?); the Seared bison bavette with caramelized French shallots & veal stock reduction, ordered medium, was served well done and tough, while the osso bucco was overpowered by its sauce; we passed on dessert
closedBrasserie Brunoise
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1012 De La Montagne Rue Montreal, QC H3G 1Y7 (514) 933-3885
junior sibling to the acclaimed, but no longer in operation, Plateau-based "Brunoise", this beside-the-hockey-rink (Bell Centre) location is an enjoyable success; although picking up a nod from the Gazette last year, the review from montrealfood.com was not so kind (alas, with Chef Nick overseas, I can no longer debate...) so I went in wary; fortunately, the skate wing was simple, but nicely pan fried with a touch of flour, and offset with spinach, oyster mushrooms and a few capers for a zing, although the absurdly small quantity of fried cauliflower sprigs could have been an accidental leftover from a previous dish had the waiter not specifically mentioned them; on a subsequent visit, the liver on a bed of spinach equally impressed, but in fairness to the true food critics out there, I didn't try the steak frites, so my choice of dishes may have been fortunate; the pannacotta, which confused me on arrival as I distinctly did not order the green soup (it turned out to be hidden under the passion fruit and basil syrup) was a superb combination of flavours, good enough to sway this chocolate purist to consider the merit of non-cacao-derived desserts, but the beignets au chocolate just didn't do it for me; service was prompt and courteous, despite dealing with a nearly full house, and prices were very reasonable; I'll be back
memorableChez L'épicier
4.5 stars from 25 reviews at Yelp
311 Rue Saint-Paul E Montreal, QC H2Y 1H3 (514) 878-2232
l'épicier (the grocer) one escaped our attention for far too long; while we didn't expect to find anything exciting in Old Montreal, in particular right acoss the street from the Marché Bonsecours, this gem stood out; heaven forbid that we'd start judging restaurants by their web sites, but l'épicier's plays Nino Ferrer's "Les Cornichons"; it's French, fun, light-hearted, and food-centric -- what could be more appealing to bring you in? decor was fitting with the location, an interior spruced up with the blasted stone look and getting plenty of light through the large windows; as an added touch of style, the bathrooms include a waterfall sink; service was friendly and attentive without being intrusive, and most importantly, the food was top-notch; starting with a slightly fruity pumpernickel bread and curry butter (how's that for different?), or for the more conventional, baguette and "regular" butter; moving on to appetizers, the ginger-spiced potato soup was a crowd-pleaser, the fried tilapia accompanied by salt cod and leek was beatifully seasoned without overpowering, and the pan-friend foie gras gracefully melted on the tongue (as it should); this was accompanied by miniature side-cups of mushroom mousse and an inventive mixture of aged cheese with diced pineapple, shaped into balls with a thin dough cover and fried, much like an empanada; all were beautifully arranged and served with plate-specific cutlery; desserts included a chocolate moelleux and pannacotta served with a miniature fruit salad of strawberries, orange, and mint; both good, although clearly not the main attraction
Chez Gautier
2 stars from 1 review at Yelp
3487 Du Parc Av Montreal, QC H2X 2H6 (514) 845-2992
elegant setting, a neighbour and affiliate of the Patisserie Belge next door, serving an acceptable equivalent of Parisian bistro lunch fare as well as (sometimes) great desserts; check out the first item on the menu -- assiette de crudité, jokingly (I'm sure) translated as "plate of crudeness"; while the food is "safe", it's definitely unexceptional; the lunch menu (in particular the daily specials) seem catered more to the tastes of middle-age genteel ladies, rather than diners seeking something that stands out; case in point was the the bland "duo of poached salmon and tilapia" on a limp bed of spinach, served with absolutely no starch; unexcited by the description of the fruit tart (which looked miserable on arrival) included with the table d'hote, two of us ordered the profiteroles off the à la carte menu; although the waiter informed us that they were down to the last two tartes in any case, I'll wager we were nevertheless charged full price for the two special desserts
Bistro Détour
2480 Rue Beaubien E H2G 1N4 Montreal (514) 728-3107
this came as a recommendation from an otherwise reputable source, so I was expecting it to measure up, which, sadly, it did not; the decor and service are both pleasant enough, but the quality of the dishes didn't score as well; for appetizers, the fennel and split pea soup was all split pea and bland, while the celery remoulade would have benefited from anything to infuse a touch of zest; I was pleased with the confit de canard served with a peach chutney and accompanied by super-thin-sliced fried potato, although the side greens were lackluster; my companion was dissatisfied with the amount of fat content on his short ribs, although to my tastes, these were deliciously tender and I would have been happy with the plate; perhaps we should have stopped there, but the table d'hote included dessert, and we unwisely ruined whatever pleasant taste was left on our palates with the atrocious sponge-cake-like concoction they called a pastry; quelle horreur; keeping in mind that Dé is a somewhat out-of-the way French bistro for most downtowners, unless you happen to find yourself stuck in this neck of the woods for lunch, it's hard to justify the trip; perhaps the saving grace was the resto's sense of humour in referring to the taxes (on the bill) as "Jean" and "Stephen" rather than QST and GST
Montée de Lait
371 Villeneuve E. & St. Denis Montreal (514) 289-9921
we tried the Montée (which in formal French, translates as "lactation", although in Quebec, the phrase apparently, has a different meaning) for lunch, immediately remarking on the crisp bistro-like decor, heavy on the pine, and unquestionably friendly service -- the waitress even offered to lock my bike to hers when I couldn't find my key; food-wise, after warming up on one of the best baguettes we've tried (surprisingly, from Premier Moisson, as our experience in their bread department has, shall we say, been mixed), we moved on to a thoroughly enjoyable ricotta-stuffed pasta in an asparagus sauce, while one of our companions tried the shitake hangar steak, served semi-blue at room temperature (I regretted not having both!); our mains were split between a black cod with two tempura fried onion leeks (the highlight of the dish) and a very tender cheek of veal, served on a polenta base; both were good, but neither hit a home run; the choice of desserts included a chocolate-centered shortbread with a sour ice cream topping and a pear sorbet on baked pear; regrettably, only one of the former was available, as this was heads above the pear
Les trois petits Bouchons
5 stars from 10 reviews at Yelp
4669, Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2J 2L5 (514) 285-4444
recommended by a friend, I tried this for a lab celebration dinner; this is a cozy, basement-level resto in the popular and competitive Plateau area, so one has to do a decent job to survive here; the winning points at Bouchons were the excellent choice of wines and beautiful presentation of imaginative appetizers, of which the mushroom dish was a personal favourite; in terms of the mains, I sampled the caribou and grilled beef, both were, as per my friend's comment, "good, honest food", although nothing that stood out as exceptional; service started out friendly and most helpful but progressively declined through the evening to the point where we had to call the waiter over for coffee requests around 20 minutes after our dinner dishes were cleared
memorableBistro Cocagne
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
3842 Saint-Denis Rue Montreal, QC H2W 2M2 (514) 286-0700
housed in the former location of Toquée (before Toqée forgot that good food means more than posing), this bistro has a sleek modern look but service that runs a bit leisurely, especially for a not-too-busy Monday night; nevertheless, as you progress into the dining experience, the "no rushing here" atmosphere can be excused, and perhaps even appreciated; this is, after all, not a meal you want to rush; there was some back-and-forth with the menu as the waiter first noted their special of pan-seared foie gras... of which they were out... but a re-supply was imminent... and then sadly, wouldn't be showing up, oh wait... it just did!; we started with a cute amuse-bouche, followed by a mix of appetizers, including a zesty baked okra-something; next came that famous foie gras in an apple purée with shallot chutney; oh, this was Nirvana! I've had my share of force-fed duck livers and enjoyed pretty much every one, but this was something exceptional, not to mention, entirely rewarding a second time around, as our order of mains included one more slice adorning the Macaronade pasta with mushrooms; the pan seared (yes, a recurring theme) venison (in place of beef, of which they'd also run out) bavette with shiitake mushrooms was similarly superb and tender to perfection, although the lacklustre beef cheek (that was brought in as a substitute for the lamb) was, in contrast, rather disappointing; bottom line: it's hard to keep track of what's on the menu at any given moment, but chances are pretty good that you'll walk away with a big smile regardless
Le Cercle
3000 Chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine, RJ.511 Montreal (514) 340-7170
this is an upscale, semi-private dining hall intended for members of the Hautes études Commerciales (HEC); food is well above average for a university-affiliated dining establishment, in particular when compared to the atrocious fare that McGill serves in its Faculty Club; the menu is tantalizing to the taste buds, and the menu we tried deserved considerable praise; a deliciously smoky carpaccio of deer, followed by the most tender and gently seasoned carribou I can recall; on the downside, the included dessert was far less inspirational, the espresso was devoid of crema, and the (red) wine was served at 10 degrees; when we pointed this out to the manager, we were surprised to learn that this is the temperature they normally kept their bottles, and that apparently, nobody had yet commented on this... tsk tsk
Le Jolifou
3.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
1840 Rue Beaubien E Montreal, QC H2G 1L6 (514) 722-2175
this is a friendly French resto with a Mexican twist; rather than starting off with the traditional baguette, you're treated to corn bread with a corn salsa; it's interesting, a touch zesty, but alas, not a preview of what's to come; trusting in the recommendation of an otherwise reliable source, our group opted to go for the gusto and ordered from their "tasting menu" (the red cover); this included a small salmon roll, avocado on a tortilla chip, a glazed beef chunk or sweatbread, seared foie gras, and as a main, most of our group had the hake with mushroom; unfortunately, it all sounded a lot more impressive on paper, in particular the rather disappointing fish (bland) and (dare I say it?) unenjoyable foie gras; even the dessert was unmemorable;
BYOLes Heritiers
4 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
1915 av Mont-Royal E Montreal, QC H2H 1J3 (514) 528-4953
(note: our reviews are based on experiences at their former location on de Lanaudi&egrae;re) our initial review from approximately 2002 suggested that this was the closest we'd come to awarding a double "red asterisk"; we had been wowed by the interesting and delectable flavours of the feuillete d'escargots au brie et aux pleurotes and seafood in a blue cheese sauce for appetizers, a wild mushroom soup and entrees of canard a l'orange and ginger plus a tasting of our companion's rack of lamb and the piece de resistance, a dessert of truffle-like fondant in a beautiful chocolate cream sauce, served with Corinthian grapes; given the great memories from that meal, I was afraid to go back for many years, lest the memory be corrupted; unfortunately (granted, with that setup, coupled with the conspicuous lack of an asterisk beside the resto's name, you just knew this was coming) time elapses, decor changes, and so do the chefs, with the result that assurances from the hostess that "it's just gotten better over time" had me wondering what happened in the interim! overall, the food quality remains above average but service was impossibly slow, with the meal running three hours on a not-busy-Sunday night; appetizers were acceptable but a far cry from the first experience of sheer delight from years back, the soup was disappointingly watery, the evening's special, a veal steak, accompanied by various mushrooms and a pesto was reasonably enjoyable and the first few bites of barbecued bison rib (an oddity for such a venue that piqued my curiosity) fell ever so tenderly off the bone, infused with a rich, zesty seasoning, however, the novelty quickly wore off and I was soon dreaming about Bofinger, where the flavour stays with you through the whole rib; desserts again were good, especially the marquise, but nothing of the glory from before; sniff sniff... the current "heirs" have not inherited the quality of their predecessors
BYOL'Atelier
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5308, boulevard Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2T 1S1 (514) 273-7442
despite the play on its name in terms of decor, including a stack of lumber adorning one wall, this "workshop" presents a highly polished appearance, as befits the higher than average prices, and serves, at least from our lunch sampling, a creative take on confit de canard, with a healthy dose of orange, wrapped in a thin spring roll exterior, and served with a well-matched side of pureed sweet potato (apparently a recuring dish); the opening gazpacho was somewhat bland, but the truffle dessert scored high marks; I've been warned that the ambience can be extremely noisy in the evening, but I'd be tempted to give it a try all the same, to see how well the fare measures up for dinner, although with warning that servings tend to be on the small side
Les deux singes de Montarvie
4.5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
176, rue Saint-Viateur Ouest Montreal, QC H2T 2L3 (514) 278-6854
this oddly named Mile End resto makes minimal effort at decor apart from some sparse artwork of disturbing Chinese "monkey X-rays" (don't ask) but more than compensates with their efforts to provide dishes with interesting flavours; we enjoyed a lively cauliflower soup entree and a curry-seasoned risotto, and gave good marks to the consistency of their chocolate fondant, although this dessert lacked a certain richness, with one of us questioning the chocolate content, and another the sweetness
La Gaudriole
825 Laurier Est H2J 1G2 Montreal (514) 276-1580
hailing itself as "cuisine métissée" (mixed blood), this is a fairly typical for Montreal French restaurant inspired by Quebec ingredients and traditions, hence, fries and mayo on the side of an onglet de boeuf; admittedly, the lunch menu was far less inspiring than the dinner offerings, and given the flavours of the former, I'd be happy to return to try the latter; this was solidly good food, reasonably priced, and served in a comfortable, no-rush atmosphere
memorableLeméac
4 stars from 24 reviews at Yelp
1045, Avenue Laurier Ouest Montreal, QC H2V 2L1 (514) 270-0999
this is a relatively spacious venue, with a crisp bistro atmosphere, offering good service and imaginative fare, at least for the lunch we tried; favourites included the appetizers of crusted goat cheese with apple and walnut salad and a snails with portabella mushrooms; the salmon fillet main, accompanied by a simple but nicely seasoned salad also scored good marks
memorableBeaver Club
4.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
900, Boul Rene-Levesque Ouest Montreal, QC H3B 4A5 (514) 861-3511
(inside the Queen Elizabeth hotel) how's this just for the appetizer? pan-fried foie gras on cranberry, quince and ice cider compete, lightly reduced duckling jus... the Beaver Club, or perhaps more fittingly, its outstanding chef, possesses an exceptional talent in combinations, for which not only the ingredients themselves mingle together to the delight of the patrons, but even from reading the menu, one's salivary glands go into overdrive; for the main, I was fortunate to have gone with the fillet of doe, grand veneur sauce with spiced chocolate, Jerusalem artichokes puree with truffle, and for dessert, a dense chocolate mousse-like on a crispy base with a thin layer of creme brulé; like the appetizer, both were complex exercises in texture and flavour combinations, interwoven in a manner I have not experienced so successfully elsewhere; the doe (ok, so it sounds better as longe de biche) was the biggest surprise; Quebec game is often an outstanding choice, but this cut was exceptionally tender, with each bite bringing forth swoons of delight (and not just from this reviewer) and even with the dessert, there was something magical that went beyond top-notch chocolate; coffee -- the only disappointment of the evening, and these guys should seriously rethink their cappuccino machine -- was accompanied by an assortment of chocolate truffles, and served with a tray containing an assortment of white and brown rock sugar, whipped cream, and shavings of chocolate, providing a collective visual effect that more than compensated for the beverage itself; in any case, my taste buds had by then already demanded a break; although a bit on the high end for a casual evening out, this is definitely a special dining experience not to be missed
La Petite Ardoise
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
222 Av Laurier O Montreal, QC H2T 2N8 (514) 495-4961
pleasant patio atmoshpere and adequate, but uninspiring lunch fare; their supposed signature dish, the bavette à l'échalote was entirely ordinary and alas, even the gazpacho appetizer fell flat
Laloux
4.5 stars from 20 reviews at Yelp
250 Av Des Pins E Montreal, QC H2W 1P3 (514) 287-9127
in our initial review, Laloux earned our approval as one of the best in the semi-affordable French category; the owner-chef was a real character, raised in France where he became a dessert specialist; main dishes were creative and beatifully presented, etc.; unfortunately, subsequent dining experiences through the following years were increasingly disappointing, and the red star initially adorning its name was removed; but now... with a new chef and an entirely different approach to the menu, the star is back; while the "taster menu" was highly intriguing, not everyone at our table was game, so we went a la carte; my pick began with an appetizer of seared foie gras with a tantalizing mix of eggplant puree and raw mushrooms and almonds, continued with a delicate veal loin offset by baby onions, and wrapped up with a delightful layered Madagascar chocolate "Pot-de-crème", with a thin layer of nutty caramel, topped off by a Maldon cream with a distinct touch of salt (oh yes, it worked!); bravo Laloux, we wrote, and welcome back! regrettably, on the most recent sampling, service has become appallingly slow (apparently known by others who've also been here recently) and unattentive, my confit de canard was served tepid and worse, somewhat lacking in flavour... at least they kept the pot-de-crème, but still, the red star had to disappear once again
BYOO Thym
4.5 stars from 10 reviews at Yelp
1112 Boulevard De Maisonneuve Est Montreal, QC H2L 1Z5 (514) 525-3443
one of my fellow foodies put in a good word for O Thym, and judging by the full house on a Wednesday evening, the place seems to have earned its popularity; although food quality is obviously a factor, the location, isolated well south of the traditional cluster of French restos in the plateau, plus the BYO designation, no doubt help; in the important consumables category, the menu sounds amazing and the dishes look gorgeous, but nevertheless leave one slightly wanting; the tuna sushi appetizer proved (for me) the only star dish, at which the meal would (should?) have ended on a high note; out of obligation, I had to sample the pan-fried foie gras as well, normally a piece de resistance that elicits my swoons, but on this occasion, the flavour was lost in the puff pastry and killed by the candied fig that surrounded it... leaving me suspicious as to whether the chef was trying to hide something; similarly, the deer was lost in the cranberries, which, if used judiciously, can enhance an otherwise drab dish (memories of Thanksgiving, you know where I'm going), but in this case, the meat was very good and there was just no need for the overpowering sweetness; other dishes ordered by our group may have fared somewhat better, such as the texture-perfect and more gently seasoned scallops; for the above average price tag, though, one can definitely do better
Renoir
3.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1155 Sherbrooke W Montreal, QC H3A 2N3 (514) 285-9000
upscale French bistro in the Sofitel hotel; high on ambiance and attempting to appear likewise on service, but when the waiter steals your menu before taking your order, only to return more than five minutes later, you have to raise your eyebrows; the food was certainly good although shy of outstanding on the preparation; I enjoyed the crab quesadillas and a bite of the grilled octopus, but was hoping for something a bit more exciting out of the bavette and polenta fries; coffee and tea service are big on aesthetics but dessert was mediocre at best
Au Pied de Cochon
4.5 stars from 249 reviews at Yelp
536 Ave Duluth E Montreal, QC H2L 1A9 (514) 281-1114
I just don't get it; this place, so well-known on Montreal's restaurant scene that there is nothing on their facade to give away the name, and yet, it's imperative to make reservations well in advance; despite the buzz -- and once inside, the acoustics generate far more than a mere "buzz" but almost require shouting to make yourself heard by your dining companions -- most of the dinner fell far short of expectations, particularly atrocious being the final dish, foie gras poutine, pushed by our waitress as "the most popular" on their menu; while the pan-seared foie may have been delicious on its own, its flavours were completely smothered by the appalling gravy, with the fries adding nothing to the experience other than a grimace, thus confirming my earlier adage (with apologies to the die-hards) that poutine simply does not belong on a menu involving good food; the beet with goat cheese salad was similarly drowned by the cheese, the shark was lacklustre and definitely in need of something... anything... as accompaniment, and even the baguette was tough and flavourless; on the plus side, the braised lamb gnocchi (a special that evening) was decent, but the service loses all credibility when it was set on the table almost simultaneously with the seafood platter, the latter being the sole dish that stood out as exceptional, and credit where it's due, in large part thanks to the judiciously light but tasteful seasonings; sigh... if only we'd stopped at that one item

Swiss & Belgian

Petit Moulinsart
3.5 stars from 21 reviews at Yelp
139 rue Saint-Paul Ouest Montreal, QC H2Y 1Z5 (514) 843-7432
Tintin-decor Belgian, tasty and friendly, fairly casual, reasonable $
La Raclette
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1059 Rue Gilford Montreal, QC H2J 1P7 (514) 524-8118
this Swiss resto impressed us with their signature dish (raclette) as an entree and main plates of delightfully seasoned fish, one with an interesting caper and dill sauce; the minced veal, served in a thick, rich cream sauce, was equally enjoyable; both the black cherry torte and decadent chocolate torte desserts were outstanding; the appetizer accompaniment of tangy baby pickles and onions was a nice touch

Italian

closedGiorgio
2201 St Catherine W, Montreal
(now the site of Bombay Palace) Olive Garden-inspired Americana version of institutional family dining
closedFocaccio di carpaccio
2077 University & de Maisonneuve Montreal (514) 284-1115)
decent and slightly upscale lunch bar with reasonable pastas, oversize and dried out burgers, served in a focaccia bun and some interesting specials
Piaezzetta
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
4097 Saint-Denis Rue Montreal, QC H2W 2M7 (514) 847-0184
great thin-crust gourmet pizza
memorableBYOL'academie
3.5 stars from 29 reviews at Yelp
4051 Rue St-Denis Montreal, QC H2W 2M7 (514) 849-2249
(now with a second location at 2100 Crescent) the kitchen manages to churn out consistently superb dishes for a very large clientele, seated in the spacious three-story building, rebuilt after a fire gutted the building in '99 (rumour has it that the management refused to buy cheese from the "right company"); the decor is elegant and one senses that this place should be far more expensive and pretentious than it is -- in fact, it's decidely friendly and very affordable, considering the excellent quality, probably offering one of the best values for your dollar in terms of decent dining; on a recent visit, we witnessed top-notch service as three waiters descended almost instantly on a couple to change the table setting and one of their chairs after a mild "wine accident"; popular dishes include the veal scallopini and tangy pastas, but we've been back many times and have enjoyed many other offerings from the menu; note that the restaurant does not accept reservations but generally manages to seat waiting guests without an inordinate wait
Eduardo's
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
404 Duluth Ave E Montreal, QC H2L 1A3 (514) 843-3330
very popular, similar to L'acadamie in menu, with more atmosphere but less impressive dishes
Euro Deli
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
3619 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2X 2V5 (514) 843-7853
affordable pastas, the El Sole Mio sauce is a delight, outstanding cannoli, especially when very chilled
McGill Pizza
3.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
625 Rue Milton Montreal, QC H2X 1A1 (514) 845-8011
popular McGill ghetto pizza joint stuck inside a condo building, pizzas are decent value
badAmelio's
4 stars from 11 reviews at Yelp
201 Milton Rue Montreal, QC H2X 1V5 (514) 845-8396
friendly atmosphere near McGill but the food is atrocious. I have frequent arguments with die-hard loyalists who swear by their five-cheese pizza, but our experience was that the pizza is sparse on toppings and far too runny while the salad ($7, rather expensive considering that this is largely a student pizza joint) was 90% iceburg lettuce and incredibly bland. Eggplant parmesana sub tasted like it came from a cheap cafeteria.
Modavie
3.5 stars from 47 reviews at Yelp
1 Rue Saint-Paul O Montreal, QC H2Y 1Y6 (514) 287-9582
nouveau Italian, attempting to be chic, but highly disappointing and boring dishes
Wienstein & Gavinos
3.5 stars from 28 reviews at Yelp
1434, Rue Crescent Montreal, QC H3G 2B2 (514) 288-22311
lively ambiance, very popular with the yuppie crowd, features fresh baguettes and pour-your-own wine, the Italian pasta dishes are quite good but the Thai is mediocre at best
Amarone
1657 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2X 3K4 (514) 842-4042
good service, reasonable prices, good pasta
Tutto Pasta
Parc & Prince Arthur, Montreal
overpriced cafeteria pasta; cool ambience and apparently good for their market section, but the in-house food just doesn't cut it
closedMontefiore
McGill College & Kennedy, Montreal
trendy Italian bistro with mediocre pasta and salad playing the all-too typical merengue tunes; waitresses are the main attraction
closedLa Popina
4993 Queen Mary, Montreal
hole-in-the-wall country-style; excellent thick vegetable soup, but the main dishes very amateur
La Cucina
5134 boulevard Saint-Laurent H2T 1R8 Montreal (514) 495-1131
casual but warm ambiance; modestly priced dishes with very good homemade pasta and antipasti; the sauces were decent but nothing inspired; the linguini au pleurottes, while nicely seasoned, was somewhat overpowered by the sundried tomatoes
Monkland Taverne
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5555 Monkland Ave Montreal, QC H4A 1E1 (514) 486-5768
a semi-elegant setting with friendly service; delightfully spiced pasta with an interesting Mediterranean flair; the bowtie pasta with lamb and olives was outstanding
Primadonna
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
3479 Boul Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2X 2T6 (514) 282-6644
tres hip atmosphere in the heart of trendy St. Laurent; the food measures up to expectations and the service was attentive but patrons should be prepared for a confused mix of background music, moving between quiet jazz to loud grunge (which, however, Vinita enjoyed); the waiters' hormones are on full display -- one goes chasing after a group of recently departed young ladies while another two ogle the attempted pick-up through the window, and later, a third gropes a waitress in front of the bar; and all are too preoccupied to close a door left open by newly arriving diners
Ti Amo
Prince Arthur & Coloniale, Montreal
situated along the ever-popular Prince Arthur pedestrian walkway, this is one of the few non-BYO establishments, but the maitre d' was very accommodating (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) of our "bottle-in-hand" situation; while the service was friendly, the food, unfortunately, fell below even the surface standards one expects from the area; calamari appetizers were one decent exception, but the miniscule salad and cafeteria quality pasta (with -- count them -- four prawns) was utterly disappointing; a saving grace was that we warned not to bother with dessert; definitely a place for the atmosphere, not the food
La Capannina
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
2022 Stanley Rue Montreal, QC H3A 1R6 (514) 845-1852
despite all the posturing of a fine establishment including elegant decor, classical background music, and complementary veal meatball appetizers, this restaurant doesn't quite pull it all together; the veal dishes -- heavily emphasized in the menu -- were tender and nicely seasoned although the Ceasar salad was dull, jazzed up only by an overload of parmesan; our waiter, while pleasant, lacked the finesse appropriate for the job and neglected to bring a water refill, despite two requests; however he more than redeemed himself with an unsolicited offering of Cointreau-filled chocolates shells for the whole group at the end of the meal
Via del Parco
3458 Parc & Milton, Montreal (514) 845-0501
a pleasant atmosphere with attentive service during the lunch hour, popular with the local business crowd and offering a wide variety of lunch specials; the salad was fresh and gently seasoned but the penne a la arabiata sauce, while pleasantly zesty, was perhaps a bit heavy on the chilli and in need of some reducing of liquid
Pizza Madona
2.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1487 Sainte-Catherine Rue E Montreal, QC H2L 2H9 (514) 522-1372
fast-food pizza; surprisingly half-decent and certainly good value for a low-cost meal
Carissima
222 Avenue du Mont-Royal E H2T 1P3 Montreal (514) 844-7283
friendly service and decent, although unexceptional pastas; of the veal-stuffed tortellini and the smoked salmon-wrapped scallops on linguini, the arabiata, although the simplest of the dishes, was probably the best choice
Il Cortile
1442 Sherbrooke Rue W Montreal, QC H3G 1K4 (514) 843-8230
housed in one of the classic museum-area buildings on the south of Sherbrooke, this upscale establishment offers diners a choice of a pleasant, albeit somewhat cramped interior or a beautiful courtyard that evokes images of upper-class Europe; the service almost fits the setting -- it's a combination of Italian exhuberance with a touch of Parisian indifference; as for the dishes, the eggplant-zuchini and cheese-filled crepe appetizers were both interesting and unique, while the risotto and wide spinach pappardelle with porcini mushrooms were excellent
Il Piatto della Nonna
176 Saint-Viateur Rue W Montreal, QC H2T 2L3 (514) 278-6066
This is what happens when you put an Italian grandmother who loves to cook in a pleasant, relaxed environment and let her make all the rules, including "what's for dinner tonight?" Serving up wonderful dishes of pasta and meats (the menu changes nightly at the whims of the Nonna); we were delighted with the ministrone soup, veal osso bucco and penne, all made and served without the fuss and pretension that accompany more formal establishments
Pizzedelic
3467 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2X 2T6 (514) 845-0404
(note: various locations around town; the one we tried seems to have moved down the street a block to the address listed here) highly disappointing; but I suppose it's what one should expect from a chain, despite the prices that are definitely not of the fast-food category
Le Petit Italien
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1265, rue Bernard Ouest Outremont, QC H2V 1V8 Montreal (514) 278-0888
a very pleasant setting and friendly staff, offering an interesting assortment of antipasti and some beautifully arranged dishes that tastedq almost as good as their presentation; the veal scallopini with porcini mushroom and nuts was a powerhouse of flavours -- definitely a good choice if you like that sort of thing -- although it overpowered the wines we chose to accompany the dinner; portions were generous and prices seemed quite reasonable
Prato Pizzeria
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
3891 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 285-1616
reasonably good pizza with thin crust, but nothing to get too excited about
closedLa Transition
4785 Sherbrooke H3Z 1G5 Montreal (514) 933-1000
promoting itself as a "Mediteranean fusion" we would suggest that a more apt description is an Italian restaurant trying to incorporate a few basic North American dishes into its repertoire, with rather limited success; while the ambience is friendly and relaxed, the dishes are lacking inspiration and priced comparably with much better French and Italian restos in the Plateau area
BYOPizza Mella
107 Prince Arthur E, Montreal (514) 849-4680
part of the Prince Arthur pedestrian mall strip of mediocre restos, this one, obviously specializing in its namesake, manages a reasonable four-cheese pizza
Pasta Casareccia
3.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
5849 Sherbrooke Rue W Montreal, QC H4A 1X4 (514) 483-1588
a simple, but comfortable pasta supply store with a small restaurant on the side; we gladly followed the waitress's advice and ordered the roasted pepper soup, which was, indeed, delightful, while the riccota and spinach-stuffed pasta in a porcini mushroom and cream sauce was one of the finest such dishes I've enjoyed outside of Italy; other dishes, such as the minestrone soup and vanilla mouse dessert, were, however, only mediocre
closedMess Hall
4858 Sherbrooke O, Montreal (514) 482-2167
I've long believed that a sauce should enhance the dish on which it is served, rather than distract one from the main flavours; unfortunately the Mess Hall chef doesn't seem to agree -- the chestnut risotto with pheasant, while beautifully described in the menu, was simply overpowered by the accompanying sauce, such that the delicate taste (assuming there really was some) of both the meat and rice, were totally lost; sadly, while the decor is upscale, it can't compensate for the mediocre food
Agostini
5545 Upper Lachine & Old Orchard, Montreal (514) 485-0235
it's hard to imagine that a reasonably busy, family-run Italian joint in Montreal would not be delicious, but this place proves the point that you often have to judge a resto by its location; unfortunately for Agostini, they're in the burbs, where the competition is largely fast-food chains; our meals were uniformly disappointing, from the bland chick-pea soup and the lifeless Ceasar salad right through the airplane-food chicken and soggy veal marsala
Buonjorno
2001 McGill College & Sherbrooke, Montreal
a pleasantly set split-level atrium set in an office building, advertising an affordable lunch buffet, which, while including a reasonably aesthetic layout of dishes, significantly fails to match the appearance with quality; dishes were generally edible but uniformly unappealing to the palette; had they at least tried to use decent tomatoes in the salads, this would have been a significant improvement
Trattoria Al Dente
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
5768 Monkland Av Montreal, QC H4A 1E9 (514) 486-4343
despite several recommendations, praising this venerable Monkland street restaurant, we found the dishes mediocre; the Natasha pasta was no better than something we'd throw together as a short-on-time dish at home, the pizza was soggy, and the only flavour to be found in the tomato bocaccini salad was in the vinaigrette poured over the lettuce
Sapori Pronto
4894 Sherbrooke W H3Z 1H1 Montreal (514) 487-9666
solidly well-prepared, reasonably authentic, pleasant ambiance and decore; delicious talapia, great use of polenta
Carmine's Tuscany Grill
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5525 De La Cote-Saint-Luc Ch Montreal, QC H3X 2C6 (514) 484-7525
there don't seem to be a wealth of restos in this part of time, so we were somewhat hesitant, but pleasantly surprised by their modestly priced lunch specials; both the pan-fried sole and the surprisingly tasty breast of chicken in a lemon sauce scored reasonably well, the rice and mashed potato sides were acceptable, although the veggies were most disappointing
Guido Angelina
3 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
2313, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3H 1N2 (514) 228-5225
despite initial appearances and location-motivated concerns, set up in the corner of the old Forum, this place manages a reasonable, although unmemorable preparation of dishes; don't expect authentic cuisine as this is strictly for the downtown crowd, tolerating overpriced faux-Italian and willing to pay too much for it; in fairness, the pasta and salad were fairly decent and service was friendly without being obnoxious
Ros & lina
1177 McGill College, Montreal (514) 842-2530
the McGill College strip is not known for its dining options; despite proximity to the university, we're impoverished when it comes to choices for relatively affordable cuisine that does not cause offence to the palate; this newcomer to the area (apparently, a second location to an original on Gauchetiere) is hopefully the start of a trend; the jury's still out on the mushroom soup, which departed from tradition by skipping the cream, but the salad with goat cheese, pine nuts, and apple scored strong marks and the penne dishes chosen by my colleagues were all rated highly; desserts were imports, not sure from where, but the lemon meringue pies pushed by our server were well received; less so the fondant au chocolate, which attempted to compensate for quality with quantity; only complaints: $8.50 for a Pellegrino -- come on! and how about getting with the program by processing credit cards without needing the patrons to accompany you to the cash register? (Update: a repeat visit a few months later and my comments about overpriced water stand: this time, Evian for $9.25; in protest, I took the amount off the tip and left them a note to that effect; interestingly, my credit card was charged an extra $10 -- the manager claims that it was an honest mistake (yeah, an extra '1' just appeared on my receipt)
Casa Napoli
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
6728 St-Laurent Blvd Montreal, QC H2S 3C7 (514) 274-4351
no question this was decent quality; the primo di casa, with buffala cheese, tomatoes, rich olives, and a smoky beef carpaccio was a highlight, the risotto was the real deal and even the fettucine alfredo (ordered off the slightly lower priced bistro menu) seemed to pack an extra something in flavour; service was relatively attentitve and friendly; if they dish out similar quality for the $10 lunch weekday lunch specials, this would be a real bargain
Pasta & Basta
1 star from 1 reviews at Yelp
896 Sherbrooke O & McGill College H3A 1G3 Montreal (514) 288-7874
basically a university-style cafeteria with a bit more decor; the pastas and salad were acceptable, and the quality is probably appropriate for the cost
Da Emma
4 stars from 10 reviews at Yelp
777 Rue De La Commune O Montreal, QC H3C 1Y1 (514) 392-1568
in brief, I don't like pretensionsness, and Da Emma is full of it; billed as an upscale joint for "authentic" Italian-Roman cuisine, housed in the architecturally stunning interior of a former women's prison in the old city, it may score marks for the setting but throws them all away on overpriced, mediocre dishes and lacklustre service; for starters, the menus, displayed on faux chalkboards at each table, are written exclusively in Italian, which means the waiter spends several minutes reading out the full list to the table in English or French; of course, by the time he's half-way through, you've forgotten pretty much everything; a tip for the management: sometimes, being "different" doesn't mean "better"; food-wise, the salad and soup appeared very plain; the signature pasta, fettuccine with porcini, was reasonably good, but didn't come close to the magic of the dish I've experienced throughout Italy; the lamb was nicely tender, but devoid of flavour, and the outrageously overpriced (at $20) tomato with bufala appetizer was entirely run-of-the-mill; to top it off, the waiter brought a third bottle of mineral water to our table, unsolicited, just as we were finishing our meals, tacking on another $7 to the bill -- a drop in the bucket of the bottom line, but indicative of an attitude that is 90% cash register and 10% kitchen
Trattoria Spano
48 Westminster, Montreal West (514) 488-5525
affordable, cute, family-run cafe/take-out joint with a reasonable selection of pasta, pizzas,an salad;I tried the solidly decent spinach lasagna and great chocolate chip cookies
memorablePizzeria Napoletana
3 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
189 Dante Rue Montreal, QC H2S 1K1 (514) 276-8226
one of the few joints we could find open for lunch on Sunday, Napoletana is fairly large, of simple decore, and seems to cater to a mix of couples and families; after some trepidation due to several disappointments in Little Italy, we were fortunately delighted to find that this place does justice to their pizzas, both in the quality of crust and the combination of flavours (Chef Pizza was heavenly); the farfalle in rose sauce, suggested by the waiter as something to accommodate our constraints with the kids, also proved decent, although eyeing some of the dishes on neighbouring tables, I expect we need to try some of the others on another occasion; service was prompt and friendly, prices are reasonable, and with a BYO license, what's not to love about it?
Graziella
2.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
116 rue McGill Montreal, QC H2Y 2E5 (514) 876-0116
unsurprisingly given its location, this resto has a crisp business-set atmosphere and an oddly arranged downstairs (bathrooms and private meeting rooms), and easily lets you drop several times your food bill on the wine; top marks to a delectable salmon sashimi primo, seasoned to perfection, and a wonderful lamb tagliatelle secondi; sadly, the dessert menu was unmemorable and service ran a bit slow
Andiamo
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1083, Côte du Beaver Hall Montreal, QC H2Z 1S5 (514) 861-2634
billing itself as Mediterranean fare, with a strong fish/seafood menu, this is a business-crowd-oriented but more affordable venue from Jérôme Ferrer (of Europea fame); along with the requisite olive oil for dipping your bread, a small jar of seasoned nuts and garlic-stuffed olives make nice touches; the calamari appetizer was good, although fell short of expectations from other reviews; scallops were excellent and both the salmon tartar and grilled sea bass scored decent marks; for desserts, you can't go wrong with the chocolate panna cotta; service was good albeit it took some time for the dishes, but this is somewhat understandable with a packed house at lunch

Spanish & Portugese

memorableCoco Rico
4 stars from 8 reviews at Yelp
3907, boulevard Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 849-5554
great rotisserie Portugese chicken; it's won over a number of vegeterians to the other side
Chez Doval
4.5 stars from 7 reviews at Yelp
150, Rue Marie-Anne Est Montreal, QC H2W 1A5 (514) 843-3390
excellent Portugese chicken & calamari, known for the singing and spontaneous party atmosphere on Friday nights
Le Canard
Boul St. Laurent & Laurier, Montreal
(not to be confused with Le Canard Libéré, down the street) mediocre family-run Portugese
Jano Grill
4 stars from 7 reviews at Yelp
3883, Boul. Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 849-0646
decent Portugese grill, super hot sauce and sardines, great dessert mousse
memorable Casa Tapas
4 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
266 Rachel Rue E Montreal, QC H2W 1E6 (514) 848-1063
mouth-watering tapas, served in a dimly lit, cozy atmosphere; a wonderful place to spend a few hours sampling some good wine with your pick of marinated vegetables or grilled seafoods and meats seasoned with garlic and olive oil; reservations recommended, especially on weekends
L'Etoile de l'Ocean
3.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
101 Rachel Rue E Montreal, QC H2W 1C8 (514) 844-4588
bland Portugese; very run-of-mill
El Gitano
3507 Du Parc Av Montreal, QC H2X 2H8 (514) 843-8212
pleasant ambiance, good gazpacho, very mediocre paella
Don Miguel
20 Rue Prince-Arthur O Montreal, QC H2X 1S3 (514) 845-7915
affordable, boring tapas, the dishes were acceptable but nothing inspired
La Bodega
Parc & Milton, Montreal
a somewhat upscale, although pleasantly relaxed setting, good service, and decent, although unexceptional dishes; while the lunch specials are perhaps a bit pricey for the area, the quantities are generous
memorableRomados
5 stars from 55 reviews at Yelp
115 Rue Rachel E Montreal, QC H2W 1C8 (514) 849-1803
Montreal has some excellent Portugese grilled chicken offerings, such as those from Coco Rico, Jano Grill, and Chez Doval, but this one tops the list; we're talking about an almost strictly take-out only joint, coupled with a modest bakery section, and we're talking about easily understood line-ups to get at those delicious birds and wonderfully seasoned fries; yes, this is how it's supposed to be done
Cafe Ferreira
4.5 stars from 27 reviews at Yelp
1446, Rue Peel Montreal, QC H3A 1S8 (514) 848-0988
in Montreal, a C-note should go a fair ways toward a decent lunch; at the popular-with-the-suits Ferreira, we dropped that on two lunch specials, a shared glass of wine and a shared dessert, expecting something at least warranting the term "special" rather than "disappointment"; sadly, the appetizer (seared lamb in a mint sauce and ill-matched chick peas) was mediocre, the mahi-mahi, which we expected to come with the scallops, as advertised, but was instead served straight as the "fish of the day" at a higher cost (!), although correctly cooked, was entirely bland, and would most certainly have benefited from a modicum of seasoning; the bouillabaisse was the one tasty dish, although not served with any accompanying bread beside the initial (meagre) portion of two slices per person; to top it off, coffee was not offered, although included in the lunch price; the dessert was the sole exception, beautifully decorated, and almost worth the trip itself; still, we'd have been better off grabbing the main meal elsewhere
Vasco de Gama
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1472 Peel Rue Montreal, QC H3A 1S8 (514) 286-2688
it's surprising how dramatically different two restos under the same ownership can be; de Gama proves the point, as the junior sibling to the disappointing Cafe Ferreira, the upscale sandwiches are well worth the price, and indeed far more salubrious than the dishes next door; although the salads (we tried a goat cheese and tomato, as well as a palm heart salad) were fairly average, both the fresh tuna and the beef and foie gras burgers were exceptional
Pintxo
4 stars from 17 reviews at Yelp
256 rue Roy E Montreal, QC H2W 1M6 (514) 844-0222
Pintxo, the Catalan equivalent of tapas, makes its mark on the Montreal resto scene with a distinctly inventive flair that warrants the praise it has been receiving; the dishes, most smaller than traditional tapas, range from good to superb, with the salmon tartar, duck confit, and a (main dish of) rack of lamb in the latter category, joined by a wonderful chocolate crème brulé for dessert; other strong showings were the ostrich terrine, octopus, mushroom combo, sardines, and duck confit with goat cheese, although the opening strawberry gazpacho didn't really work me though, disappointingly, this was more strawberry juice with a hint of paprika and a far cry from the delightful mix of zesty flavours that are normally associated with this dish; a warning, the ambiance here is on the high side of noisy, so while it's a fun place for an interesting dance of the taste buds, this is clearly more for a group dinner than a quiet date
Spanish Social Club
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
4388 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W 1Z5 (514) 842-6301
the setting is what you'd expect from a large dim sum restaurant, except it's Spanish, and on the Sunday night we visited, the large hall was practically empty apart from a few tables near the windows, a few more on the patio, and the requisite tv screens playing some Spanish soccer (sorry, football) match; the dishes we tried -- sardines, chicken wings, garlic mushrooms, cod nuggets, and paella, were all solidly good, but nothing that leaped into our minds as warranting a "wow!"

Thai

Bato Thai
3 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
1310 Rue Sainte-Catherine E Montreal, QC H2L 2H5 (514) 524-6705
decent
Souvenir de Bangkok
1925 Sainte-Catherine Rue W Montreal, QC H3H 1M3 (514) 938-2235
spicy soup, decent
Thai Express
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
4497 Saint-Denis Rue Montreal, QC H2J 2L2 (514) 285-9494
(part of a chain; we tried the one at 3710 Saint-Laurent) formerly a trough-based Thai fast food without any pretense of quality, we were pleased to see that this joint, with a whole new look, now offers an actual restaurant experience including a passable som tam (papaya salad) and decent fried tofu; unfortunately, the tom yum soup was an insulting, watery mess, but otherwise, this was a major improvement
memorableCuisine Bangkok
4.5 stars from 9 reviews at Yelp
1616 Sainte-Catherine Rue W Montreal, QC H3H 1L7 (514) 935-2178
(in the Faubourg food court) after many return visits, this early entry warranted an update: I'm becoming convinced that there is simply no need to seek elsewhere in town for excellent Thai food (at least if you stick to basics of pad thai and green curry chicken... and yes, "hot" really does mean "hot"!); the prices are an absolute bargain and the long lineups (not to mention numerous "readers choice" awards) are a testamant to Bangkok's excellence; note that for those averse to the food court environment, they've opened a (recently relocated) formal restaurant branch across the street, but be cautioned that the quality may not measure up
Thai Son
7093 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2S 2S5 (514) 948-1930
good spicy lunch soup
Chuch
3.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
4094 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2W 2M5 (514) 843-4194
cafeteria sibling of the more upscale ChuChai (next door), featuring all-vegetarian fare including imitation meat that comes surprisingly close to the real thing, especially the crispy beef; that dish, along with the curries and eggplant stand out as best picks
Thailande
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
88 Bernard Rue W Montreal, QC H2T 2J8 (514) 271-6733
excellent tom yum soup and a reasonable red curry lamb; unfortunately, the som tam (papaya salad) was rather bland, although we have yet to find one properly made outside of Thailand
Access Asia
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
904 Rue Sherbrooke O Montreal, QC H3A 1G3 (514) 842-5381
a recently opened pan-Asian joint with an emphasis on Thai, although the regional flavouring is in need of some refinement; the lunch special was hopefully a mistake, with the spring roll lacking the requisite crispiness and the beef strips too big for a mouthful and far too tough to rip apart; decor was also minimalist, but their location provides a captive audience nearby; on a more recent sampling for dinner, the main dishes seemed to have improved although the cold vegeterian spring rolls were tasteles
Maison Thai
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
3780 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2W 1X6 (514) 843-9001
disappointing take-out, the interesting appearance of many of the dishes is sadly deceptive of its true quality
59 Bangkok
1639 Rue Sainte-Catherine O Montreal, QC H3H 1L8 (514) 846-1003
described elsewhere as a "sit-down resto with take-out prices" this newcomer across from the Faubourg offers some very good dishes in an elegant setting at surprisingly low prices; however, one should be prepared for absurdly slow service -- upwards of 40 minutes for a take-out order; the pad thai was excellent and the beef curry also scored good marks, although a chicken curry was disappointingly bland and consisted primarily of potato
badBYOLa Belle Thailandaise
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
4514 Saint-Denis Rue Montreal, QC H2J 2L3 (514) 843-6269
(BYO -- and you'll probably want a lot to drown the food) it's not so bad when you walk into an obviously low-class restaurant, pay low prices and get fed slop, but when the decor is nice and the prices are in the order of $10/plate, one has the expectation of -- if not good food, then at least -- a modicum of attention to service; the "Belle" here, offers neither; for starters, the red fish curry in eggplant appeared to be made from frozen breaded fish fillets and the eggplant was the large North American variety, the Pad Thai was nothing of the sort -- essentially devoid of flavour and made with thin chow mein noodles (with an almost burned taste); when we complained politely to the waiter concerning the latter dish, he refused to take back the plate ("I'll have to charge you for it"), although a more senior staff member did discuss the seasoning with us and repeatedly offered to add more chilli despite our protestations that the spice level wasn't the problem!
Talay Thai
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
5697 De La Cote-Des-Neiges Ch Montreal, QC H3S 1Y7 (514) 739-2999
a mixed bag in that some of the dishes (green curry chicken with bamboo and long beans, Tom Ka Gai) are superb, while others (pad Thai, red curry chicken, Tom Yum) are disasters
Pad Thai
McGill College & de Maisonneuve, Montreal
(in the former Eaton Centre food court) bleah; despite the popularity as evidenced by the long lines, this place just doesn't measure up to the quality and authenticity of Cuisine Bangkok (see above); the one dish we tried -- their namesake -- was overly sweet with badly overcooked noodles, eggs added far too early in the cooking, and what could well have been tough, boiled chunks of chicken
Bouddha Bouddha
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
3710 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2X 2V4 (514) 287-9957
while the restaurant tries to be a bit pan-Asian, the menu has a bias toward Thai dishes; the atmosphere inside is pleasant, decor is sparse but clean, the kitchen range visible at the far end; as for food, I sampled a lunch with a bland salad appetizer followed by beef pad thai; the seasoning was almost acceptable although far too mild (I had requested hot) but the beef was tough and overcooked, while the tofu was inconsistent in size and texture... sorry, but these are basics and the Bouddha doesn't cut it
Phayathai
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1235 Rue Guy Montreal, QC H3H 2K5 (514) 933-9949
this popular sister restaurant of the larger location on Laurier offers a reasonable compromise between comfort and price while serving nicely seasoned, albeit a tad mild; the soups in particular seem to be favourites, and with good reason, as the tom yum gai we sampled was by far the best of the dishes, and had the rest of the meal kept pace, this would easily have garnered Phayathai a red star; perhaps we were unfortunate in choosing dishes that, by and large, fell short of the requisite spice level expected from authentic Thai

Chinese

Just Noodles
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
2061 Rue Sainte-Catherine O Montreal, QC H3H 1M6 (514) 989-5826
cheap noodles, once half-decent but generally very disappointing
Maison Kam Fung
3.5 stars from 30 reviews at Yelp
1111 Rue Saint-Urbain Montreal, QC H2Z 1Y6 (514) 878-2888
(recently relocated to this new address) large, highly popular dim sum
Zen
1050 rue Sherbrooke Ouest H3A 2R6 Montreal (514) 499-0801
nouveau Chinese-focus; Peking duck and chili shrimp with pecans are superb; however, this restaurant lost its red star after a mediocre Zen-experience ($27) dinner, made especially disappointing by the $2 surcharge for each cup of after-dinner tea. Beware of exceptionally poor serice on Saturday night.
Ming-Do
1050 Rue Clark Montreal, QC H2Z 1K2 (514) 866-1668
great ginger and onion Chinese lobster special during the summer; tung choy veggies are a second great pick
Beijing
3.5 stars from 15 reviews at Yelp
92, Rue De La Gauchetière Ouest Montreal, QC H2Z 1C1 (514) 861-2003
excellent all-round Chinese, wonderful seafood dishes, hot and sour soup, and XO-sauce specials
Lotte Furama
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1115 Clark Rue Montreal, QC H2Z 1K3 (514) 393-3838
(reviewed at their former location on St. Laurent) we once wrote that this was perhaps the best Dim Sum in town but quality is variable; on a good day, great texture and flavour as well as excellent service; it's still good, but not deserving of special acclaim
Zyng
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1748 Saint-Denis Rue Montreal, QC H2X 3K6 (514) 284-2016
trendy noodle house featuring build-your-own tepanyaki; fresh and zesty, the place has a fun, hectic atmosphere
Dobe & Andy
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1111 Saint-Urbain Rue Montreal, QC H2Z 1Y6 (514) 861-9958
incredible value lunch special; BBQ duck is superb
La Maison Chung Mei
Queen Mary & Snowden Metro, Montreal
reasonable westernized-Cantonese; food was fresh but seasoning is bland -- the pitfall of catering to a largely Jewish clientele?
Sun Shing
5255 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3W 1Y3 (514) 484-3046
ordinary bland Cantonese/Szechuan
Nouveau Village Royal
1059 St. Laurent @ Gauchetiere, Montreal
very cheap lobster special but not up to the Ming-Do standard; otherwise mediocre, as evidenced by sparse crowd on a Friday night
closedKam Tong
83 Rue De La Gauchetière O H2X 2W1 Montreal
(reviewed before they moved down the street and were subsequently replaced by yet another resto) $4.50 lunch specials (taxes included) but beware of coming late as the food seemed microwaved; General Tso sauce was as subtle as a bag of bricks
Hot and Spicy
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
7373 Decarie Boul Montreal, QC H4P 2G8 (514) 731-1818
Excellent "taster's experience" dinner where you can sample as many dishes as you wish for $26; the Peking duck, shrimp with cashews, and crispy sesame beef are top picks
memorableLa Baguette d'Ivoire
1242 MacKay Rue Montreal, QC H3G 2H4 (514) 932-7099
By far the best Asian food we've enjoyed in Montreal; although a bit pricy at about $25/head, the quality is worth the cost. The restaurant offers a mix of Cantonese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes and the chef appears to have considerable experience in each of these genres. The Thai soups were excellent as was the chili beef, black pepper prawns and orange duck in hot pot, and mango chicken in bird's nest. The basil beef, the most memorable of the dishes, was marinated to perfection and retained a wonderful tenderness.
Keung Kee
3 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
70 Rue De La Gauchetiere O Montreal, QC H2Z 1K1 (514) 393-1668
Crowded and noisy, but the dishes were enjoyable and the quantities reasonable. The crispy beef in orange sauce and duck with vegetable were both superb.
Le Gourmet D'Orient
3766 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2W 1X6 (514) 286-6668
Modest joint, very popular and crowded during weekday lunch; a reasonable selection of decent lunch special -- don't know about the rest of the menu
L'Orchidee Chine
2017 Peel Rue Montreal, QC H3A 1T6 (514) 287-1878
somewhat upscale in terms of ambience and price; the dishes are delicately prepared and seem fairly light on the oils; Schezuan chicken with crispy spinach and vegetables with shitake mushrooms were both oustanding
Guang Zhou
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
84 Rue De La Gauchetiere O Montreal, QC H2Z 1C1 (514) 397-9410
another of the lobster-fest joints offering somewhat larger and better broken (easily accessible) pieces than many of the other restaurants on the Gauchetiere strip; typical low-end service and boring mixed vegetables but one goes for the lobster...
Soupes et Nouilles
3 stars from 7 reviews at Yelp
1871, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3H 1M2 (514) 933-0531
fighting it out with a slew of other fast-food Chinese restaurants on the block, this place seems to pack in the biggest crowds and it's little wonder; while this is certainly not a gourmet experience, the service is friendly, the dishes are very good and the quantities generous for the price
Chine Toque
4050 Sainte-Catherine Rue W Westmount, QC H3Z 1P2 Montreal (514) 989-5999
somewhat upscale atmosphere serving reasonably cooked and mildly seasoned dishes
Nouille Express
1510 De Maisonneuve Boul W Montreal, QC H3G 1N1 (514) 939-0115
drab fast-food and take-out; the General Tso chicken was passable but the recommended vegetables were Americanized Chinese at its finest and the tom yum soup, ordered for curiousity, contained almost nothing to speak of apart from water and spice, and relied on an overdose of chili to substitute for actual flavour
Jardin Asean
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5828 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H4A 1X3 (514) 487-8868
reasonable quality orange crispy beef and tofu with vegetables although not up to the standards of Keung Kee; somewhat expensive for the quality
Village Szechuan
4242 Decarie Boul Montreal, QC H4A 3K3 (514) 488-0096
horrid crispy beef, with tiny tough-as-leather chunks of beef smothered in batter, the vegetables were not nearly as appaling but the overall experience was a definite write-off
Tao
2 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
374 Victoria Av Westmount, QC H3Z 2N4 Montreal (514) 369-1122
while service for take-out orders borders on apathetic, the food here is well above average; the lo mein struck the right balance between tender and firm while the sesame crispy beef was a pleasant mix of tangy flavours and light breading
Wok Cafe
1845 Rue Sainte-Catherine O Montreal, QC H3H 1M2 (514) 938-1882
fast food Chinese; decent portions and a well-rated (in some Montreal survey) General Tso chicken, although we found that the orange beef had an almost identical sauce
Mr. Ma
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1 Place Ville Marie Montreal, QC H3B 3Y1 (514) 866-8000
while doing a bit of research, I discovered a possible reason why our review site is so popular -- too many other "restaurant guides" are clearly not written by food critics who sampled the dishes, but rather, lifted straight out of the restaurant's own promotional material; in Mr. Ma's case, this is most clear when reading about how the restaurant "promises an authentic Chinese meal at the cutting edge of gastronomy"... please! at $20/head for overcooked, over-sauced and largely westernized lunch specials, this is a place that survives thanks to a trapped clientele of white businessmen who wouldn't recognize authentic cuisine if it hit them on the head with a heavy wok; the giveaway should be the difficulty of finding a pair of chopsticks on any of the tables, but judging from the liberal sprinkling of caramelized onions over the rice, the chefs probably couldn't use a pair either
Nouilles U & Me
1900 Ste-Catherine W. & St Marc, Montreal (514) 931-0081
some of the fast-food Chinese joints in this busy corner, right across from Concordia, serve a passable, if not necessarily impressive set of dishes; Nouilles U & ME does not; their wide noodles came with large clumps stuck together and a most unpleasant sauce, the mixed vegetables consisted of a few pieces of brocoli, carrots, and onion on a mound of rice (horribly overpriced even at $7), and the orange beef -- the only passably edible item of the three -- was easily five-parts breading to one-part beef
Soupebol
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1245 Du Square-Phillips Rue Montreal, QC H3B 3E9 (514) 282-8388 (and other locations)
although probably more oriented to Vietnamese and Thai named dishes, this joint seems to prepare everything from the same "Oriental food for whities" stock, including the requisite General Tao chicken, the Pad Thai that isn't and the spiceless Tom Yum noodle soup; decore is crisp and modern, as befits the location and prices, but the food clearly delivers on quantity over quality; a reader noted a rather unpleasant experience involving a 2" metal wire found in her soup and the manager still charging for her husband's dish... that kind of attitude might earn the restaurant a marginal profit on one customer but it will cost them many more in the long run
Yu Hang
3 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
400 Boul Rene-Levesque O Montreal, QC H2Z 1V5 (514) 866-8788
we first passed up this resto after a disappointing look through their menu, only to learn, several months later, that they have a different, somewhat less westernized, although still predominantly written in English, menu, available to those who ask; we're glad we did, as the dishes we tried were excellent; the crispy noodles with chicken and vegetables were a generic safe bet for the kids, but memorable picks for the grownups included a "homestyle" eggplant and "spicy" beef, heavy on cumin, a rather unusual but interesting approach to the seasoning
memorableNiu Kee
1163 Clark & Rene Levesque H2X 2P8 Montreal (514) 227-0464
those following the evolution of listings on this page will note the long wait for an addition of a red star, but Niu Kee earned it solidly; scanning the message posts on Chowhound, you'll see why -- everyone seems to love the place, and with good reason; from the moment you enter the door, climb the musty carpeted stairs and make your way to the disposable-plastic covered table, surveying the rest of the patrons to realize you're the only white face there, you just know you're in for a good meal; indeed, the dishes we sampled, a spicy beef with cumin and onions, spicy fish with peanuts, and eggplant with peppers were excellent without exception; all were zesty to a certain extent, the fish beautifully sweat-inducing hot (hardly surprising when the dish is swarming with chillies), and the waitress was right on the mark in terms of suggesting which items would be too hot for the kids
Prêt à Manger
4 stars from 9 reviews at Yelp
1809, Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3H 1M2 (514) 931-8889
this joint has the ambiance of the typical budget Chinese, catering in good part to a nearby student crowd, but their menu, which offers "Cantonese, Thai, and Szechuan" should be taken as due warning that you're not in for authentic anything; sticking to the first part of the menu, where their emphasis supposedly lies, my friend suggested the snow pea leaves with garlic -- an excellent choice, and the waitress recommended the fried haddock in XO sauce, which was a lukewarm disaster of flavours and texture that didn't belong together... lesson learned: trust your friends
Restaurant du Bonheur
1441 St. Mathieu & Maisonneuve, Montreal (514) 935-2321
formerly a Mongolian dumpling joint, now offering more typical westernized Chinese fare, this place does a decent job on the mandarin orange beef, less so on the dummplings (which we had to try, given the history of the place), and far less so on the noodles
New Dynasty
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1110 Clark Rue Montreal, QC H2Z 1K2 (514) 871-8778
despite a glowing recommendation from a colleague, we found the dishes mediocre in general; I'd be tempted to fault bad luck in the ordering but most of the dishes were recommended by our waiter
Little Sheep Mongolian
3.5 stars from 20 reviews at Yelp
50, Rue De la Gauchetière Ouest Montreal, QC H2Z 1C1 (514) 393-0888
the pots come as a choice of mild, spicy, or half-and-half; the spicy is authentic, and a wonderful treat for those afraid of a watered down level for western tastes; each table is served a large broth of spicy chillies, Chinese cloves, and various other spices, into which you add (i.e., cook your own) thin slices of beef and lamb, along with vegetables of your choice, available from supermarket-style shelves on one half of the restaurant; it's great fun and a delicious meal with plenty of variety
Sinfully Asian
1001 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC (514) 398-5465
in 2004, McGill University renovated the Bronfman building and installed a bistro location for "Upper Crust", which apparently didn't cut it commercially; recently, they've been replaced with a pan-Asian cafeteria, serving a small menu of spring rolls, General Tao chicken, fried beef, chicken with cashew, laksa, tom yum soup, and a few other offerings, all made relatively fresh; normally, the "pan-Asian" designation is enough to scare away anyone who values their taste buds, but at the recommendation of my students... and to my delight, I gave the laksa (Malaysian) a try; I'm a newcomer to this dish, but the mixture of colours of coconut milk, oils and chili immediately stirred my appetite to life, the aroma wafting up from the bowl hinted at something spectacular, and my taste buds were not disappointed; even the thick noodles delivered a texture and flavour of their own, although the morsels of chicken were obviously generic, flavourless, white meat; more sampling of the dishes is required in the weeks ahead, but at $7 for a "small" serving, which was more than adequate for lunch, this may represent the first decent place to grab a quick meal on a campus that has otherwise been known for its atrocious culinary offerings, and for that alone, it warranted the prized red star; unfortunately, after a sampling of a few of their other dishes, the red star was hastily removed; just as in music, there are the "one-hit wonder" bands, this may be a "one-dish wonder" eatery
Qing Hua
4 stars from 24 reviews at Yelp
1676 Ave Lincoln Montreal, QC H3H 2T5 (438) 288-5366
after a few failed attempts to locate this place (at their previous address), we finally had a chance to try the dumplings that everyone (well ok, just two fellow foodies) had been raving out, and yes, it was worth the wait; these are not the sort of greasy dim-sum style of dumplings, but rather a smaller variety from the south of China with a much more delicate taste; there's a bit of "soup" actually sealed in each dumpling with the meat, so you have to be careful that this doesn't squirt out on your first bite; we tried the beef with spring onion and lamb with coriander; both were superb, and wonderfully complemented by a spicy dipping sauce
Roi du Wonton
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
2125 Saint-Marc Rue Montreal, QC H3H 2P1 (514) 937-5419
decent hole-in-the-wall Taiwanese, filled largely with non-Caucasian clientele (always a good sign); despite a pork-heavy menu, the only choice if you want to eat the wontons, other dishes are certainly worth ordering; the beef dumpling soup was top notch, the hot and sour packed a nice punch, and the zesty mo-pa tofu came with an appropriate warning (it's spicy!) from the friendly matron who runs the show
Ruby Rouge
3.5 stars from 12 reviews at Yelp
1008 Rue Clark Montreal, QC H2Z 1J9 (514) 390-8828
this was the location of Kam Fung, Montreal's most popular dim sum joint before they moved over to Saint Urbain; the place still fills up at lunch hour, and the food seems just as good, although contrary to some reports, the food carts do not seem to be warmed, so you can't count on a hot dish by the time the cart has made a few laps around the tables; on the up-side, grease level, often a problem with dim sum, is palatably low

Korean

Manna
3.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1421 Bishop Rue Montreal, QC H3G 2E4 (514) 288-1703
very good and interesting Korean, very different from the ordinary fare
Korea House
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
4950, Queen Mary Montreal, QC H3X 1J9 (514) 733-7823
Delightful, zesty fare in a relaxed setting; the barbeque beef ribs were wonderfully done and the side vegetables added a nice bite; it was especially refreshing to find quality, authentic Asian fare in this part of town
closedQuatre Saisons
4200 Saint-Jacques H4C 1J3 Montreal (514) 932-3309
while they offer a mix of Asian cuisine including a significant Japanese menu listing, favourable reviews from the local press suggested concentrating on the Korean specialties; the barbeque beef was definitely a good choice although we had trouble settling on an accompanying dish so went for the fried tofu (Japanese) which was a adequate but hardly exciting; the atmosphere is that of a relaxed, open space with Oriental screens separating rows of tables; a number of private booths are also available for large parties
Seoul
5030 Sherbrooke W. & Claremont, Montreal
picking up at the site of two failed restaurants (Mahatma and Ichiban), this new entry on the Korean scene seems to be off to a good start with high quality and reasonable prices; while the barbeque beef was fairly ordinary, the vegetable tempura was simply superb and the fried tofu also gets high marks
Hwang Kum
5908 Sherbrooke W & Royal, Montreal (514) 487-1712
good bulgobi beef; otherwise unexciting
Atti
2077 University & de Maisonneuve, Montreal, (514) 842-2884
as other reviews have noted, this place evidently caters more to mild western tastes than those looking for an authentic experience; kimchi was entirely disappointing, and the other appetizers seemed a stretch from typical Korean flavours; however, the potato noodle dish, ordered spicy, was reasonably zesty and scored marks for flavour; still, Atti is clearly aiming for ambiance over authenticity and in this regard, and while the service didn't measure up, the overall package seems a fair trade for the modest prices (for this neck of the woods, anyway); let's hope Atti sticks around and improves with time
Kagopa
6400B Saint-Jacques and Cavendish, Montreal (514) 482-3490
given the remote-from-downtown location and nearly exclusively Korean clientele, this has the feel of a more authentic place than most; interest soups, although some of the appetizers definitely threw us for a loop and the kimchi was underwhelming

Vietnamese

14 Prince Arthur
14 Prince Arthur O Montreal, QC H2X 1S3 (514) 842-3512
mega portion Vietnamese, excellent duck
Uncancan
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
79 Sainte-Catherine Rue E Montreal, QC H2X 1K5 (514) 844-7817
reasonably good Vietnamese
Dong Que
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1210 Rosemont Boul Montreal, QC H2S 2A5 (514) 490-0770
(reviewed at former location on Rene Levesque) ok Viet but disappointing shrimp sugar cane
Chez Lien
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1999, Avenue Mont-Royal E Montreal, QC H2H 1J4 (514) 528-1999 (and various other locations)
(reviewed at St. Catherine location) decent Vietnamese
Le Petit Vietnam
Union & Sherbrooke, Montreal
(aka Bio Optimum) good, low-price Vietnamese
Chez Tung
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1999, Avenue Mont-Royal E Montreal, QC H2H 1J4 (514) 528-1999
(reviewed at former location on Parc) reasonable quality Vietnamese
Dalat
Bleury & Pres. Kennedy, Montreal
decent food but small portions
Nouveau Saigon
162 Rue Prince-Arthur E Montreal, QC H2X 1B7 (514) 849-3915
Overall mediocre main dishes, althouh asparagus crab soup was quite nice
closedLa Porte d'Asie
2127 Rue de Bleury, Montreal, QC (514) 842-0301
a rather unappealing decor and downright awful vermicilli but the honey-grilled beef was quite decent as was the pleasant after-dinner tea
Dakao
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
360 Rue Jean-Talon E Montreal, QC H2R 1T3 (514) 272-6099
reasonable Tonkanese soup but the papaya salad was tasteless; other dishes such as the grilled chicken combo and the vegetable soup were highly disappointing
Le Gout du Saigon
5658 Parc & St. Viateur, Montreal
good Tonkanese soup; mediocre grilled chicken and beef
Pho Lien
4 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
5703-B chemin de la Cote-des-Neiges Montreal, QC H3S 1V7 (514) 735-6949
with both indoor and outdoor seating packed on a Sunday evening, the locals obviously know a good thing; this very casual "specializing in Tonkanese soup" location did indeed deliver on the promise: this was by far the best we've tried in the city; we chose the soup with rare beef, shank, and brisket, which were all wonderfully tender and served in a delicious broth of rice noodles and scallions; the other dish we tried, a crispy noodle plate with vegetables and prawns was compartively a big disappointment
Escale a Saigon
107 Laurier W. @ St. Urbain, Montreal (514) 272-3456
an upscale spot on trendy Laurier with a pleasant decor; this was, unfortunately, a major disappointment pace a glowing recommendation by the Montreal Food site; as much as we wanted to enjoy our meal, the dishes, apart from the beef soup, were generally boring, the service was poor, and the non-smoking section wasn't
Pho Rang-Dong
Cote St. Catherine & Victoria, Montreal
somewhat of a hole-in-the-wall, this is the sort of place where you walk in to find only three locals sitting in front of a television and you're not sure if anyone really works there; however, the beef soup was good value and reasonably tasty -- nothing exceptional but it's what you'd expect
Souvenirs d'Indochine
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
243 Mont-Royal Av W Montreal, QC H2T 2T2 (514) 848-0336
while the food sampled was prepared off-site by the head chef for a catered event, the dishes were excellent, in particular, a diced pinneaple mixture and salmon chunks stewed in a heavy broth
Le Coin d'Asie
6020 Sherbrooke Rue W Montreal, QC H4A 1X9 (514) 482-4035
after numerous disappointments in the Vietnamese category, this was a surprisingly enjoyable change of pace, even as a delivery meal; we gave high marks to the green papaya salad mixed with thin strips of beef, the slightly spicy coconut curry fish, and a chicken sauteed with lemongrass; unfortunately, they forgot to include the dressing for the papaya salad and the birds nest base for the kids' order, but to their credit, they managed a quick turnaround with the driver once notified of the error
La Saigonnaise
5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
5711 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges Montreal, QC H3S 1Y7 (514) 344-4952
yet another surprisingly delightful offering in the Vietnamese category, we were impressed with a take-out of their dry Saigonese soup and chilli beef with rice; apparently tastes even better fresh

Japanese

Katsura
2170 Rue De La Montagne Montreal, QC H3G 1Z7 (514) 849-1172
I was sure this place was Korean-run given the presentation style on my one and only visit, but a waitress from Isakaya (see below) who used to work there assures us that it's authentic; adequate but unimpressive
Osaka
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
2137 De Bleury Rue Montreal, QC H3A 2K2 (514) 849-3438
so-so
closedSushi Express
1616 Sainte-Catherine Rue W Montreal, QC H3H 1L7
low quality for the price; unworthy of the Faubourg food court reputation
memorableIsakaya
4.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
3469 Ave du Parc Montreal, QC H2X 2H6 (514) 845-8226
finally, a taste of authentic Japanese pub food (the Japanese equivalent of tapas) comes to Montreal, although in a very non-pub atmosphere; the tofu, spicy salmon wrap, and beef tongue skewers were fantastic, reasonably good tempura
badSushi et Boulettes
Boul St. Laurent & Pine, Montreal
(Japanese only in that the name contains "sushi"); the fact that it is under the same management as Just Noodles should have been sufficient warning. While we've only been there once, this was without question the worst meal we have ever suffered in this city. The seaweed was tough and chewy, the wasabi was so dry it wouldn't dissolve in the soy sauce, they used canned(!) tuna in the sushi, and even the rice was off. Please...
Tokiwa
1184 Bishop & St. Catherine, Montreal
excellent sushi with a healthy, sharp bite of wasabi and wonderfully seasoned tempura, both served in generous portions at affordable prices; the miso soup came fresh and piping hot and even the rice was cooked to perfection, although on the downside, our waitress forgot to bring the tempura sauce, which in itself was enough of a mistake to cost them a red star, but the yakinuku was also somewhat dry and the flavour disappointing; cozy setting although perhaps a bit cramped
Sushi Ogura
2025 Av Union Montreal, QC H3A 2C1 (514) 847-9000
solidly authentic sushi in a small, family-run establishment; the tempura gets good marks as well
Waldman's Sushi
76 Roy E. & St. Laurent, Montreal (514) 285-8747
as the offering here is Japanese only in the sense of the main dish being sushi, it's a stretch to fit it into this category; furthermore, despite Waldman's being a well-known fish market in town, all the ingredients arrive pre-packaged straight from Vancouver; the only worthwhile part of the sushi lunch special was the spicy seafood soup, which, somewhat unsurprisngly, was definitely not Japanese
Sho-Dan
3.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
2020 Metcalfe Rue Montreal, QC H3A 1X8 (514) 987-9987
while offering a large and lively modern business-set decor, this restaurant was an unfortunate disappointment; despite strong reviews from several colleagues, it seems that the warning of Luc Devroye (who formerly maintained the definitive guide to Japanese dining in Montreal), "if you aren't greeted by a chorus of 'irrashaimasu!' then beware" was quite a propos; while the miso soup got good marks for its choice of mushrooms, the tempura and sashimi selections were adequate at best -- hardly surprising, once we discovered that the fish sits in the kitchen pre-cut; the rice was decidely non-Japanese and my dining companion pointed out a modest clump of knotted rice in one of his sushi appetizers, something that simply wouldn't have been tolerated by an authentic sushi chef
Sushi and Soba
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
5227 Sherbrooke Rue W Montreal, QC H4A 1T7 (514) 482-6883
nominally a Chinese-run sushi take-out counter, which, at that, is what you'd expect, apart from the extra disappointment of finding the sushi made without a wasabe layer; the featured menu leans more toward the standard food court Chinese fare
closedKaizen Sushi Bar and Treehouse
3527 St. Laurent & Prince Arthur, Montreal (514) 932-4284
(note: re-opened under the same name at a new location) Kaizen opened this location on the popular St. Laurent restaurant strip, where sushi maestro Tri now runs the kitchen; while the upstairs section offers a la carte sushi, the overall menu is far from traditional sushi fare -- a more apt description would be "designer Asian" -- it is spectacularly creative and delicious; our favourite was the spicy tuna lambas, a rice-kernel-free mixture of aromatic greens and spices with diced sushi tuna in a rice-paper wrap, but we were also highly impressed with the tempura kobe beef and green-tea soba on a bed of ice; the ground floor offers 2-for-1 dishes during happy hour (5-7pm), which makes dining here a great value
Kashima
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1232 Greene Av Westmount, QC H3Z 2A3 Montreal (514) 934-0962
moderately high-end, authentic sushi shop; the sushi platter (party tray) is a nice mix of creative "nouveau" designs with the more traditional preparations, freshness factor was good
Tokyo Sushi Bar
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
185 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest Montreal, QC H2Y 1Z5 (514) 844-6695
the trendy "washed in white" look and the location, in the heart of Old Montreal, should have been enough warning; this place is apparently aiming for a cool feel but can't be bothered to deliver any quality in the dishes; the lunch menu was conspicuously lacking sashimi, but the waiter offered to substitute this for the sushi combo -- the problem was that the chef seemingly did nothing more than remove the cuts of fish (intended for a sushi preparation, but far from the freshest) and served them without the rice... wrong! worse yet, we had to order the green tea separately
Tampopo
3 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
4449 Rue De Mentana Montreal, QC H2J 3B4 (514) 526-0001
outside, a big green Budha bodes welcome to the young crowd of diners; the very limited mat-seating space leaves most crowded around the counter in the style of a Japanese bar or fast-food sushi shop; the name is decidely Japanese but the menu is more a mix of pan-Asian noodles, spanning Malay, Thai, Indonesian, Cantonese, as well as the requisite soba and udon; prices are very attractive, with mains topping out around $10 (with tax, included in the prices); while the mini-appetizer of vermicelli vinaigrette was a delightful way to start, the main dishes were unfortunately quite mundane; bottom line, this is a fun place to hang out for an hour and enjoy a cheap eat, but sadly, not one to savour
Kaizen Sushi Bar and Restaurant
3.5 stars from 9 reviews at Yelp
4075, Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3Z 3J8 (514) 932-5654
the attitude deserved a full web page
Takara
1 star from 1 review at Yelp
1455 Rue Peel Montreal, QC H3A 1T5 (514) 849-9796
located in a quiet corner of the 4th floor of a shopping mall, with both western and semi-traditional tatami dining, this resto offers reasonable value and quality of preparation; the tempura was a bit inconsistent and the tofu agadashi somewhat heavy on the bonito, but the Takara sushi/sashimi plate was excellent and the staff were indulgent of our two little ones
Mikasa
4 stars from 12 reviews at Yelp
2049, Rue Peel Montreal, QC H3A 1T6 (514) 907-8282
this was a mixed bag; the salad and miso soup were standard fare, although with a stronger dose of dashi than we're used to; the epynomous sushi platter included two tangy diced salmon tempura rolls -- definitely the highlight of the meal; however, the other sushi items all lacked the requisite layer of wasabi between rice and fish (tsk, tsk, inexcusable) and the Chinese broth-flavoured udon soup was an unmitigated disaster in any form of Asian cuisine
Akiko Sushi
5701 Cote-des-Neiges & Cote-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal (514) 739-0888
a solid miso soup and decent mixed sushi plate but the noodle dish was far too heavy on the chicken and vegetables and light on the actual noodles
Odaki
1836 Sainte-Catherine Street West Montreal, QC H3H 1M1 (514) 846-1268
(not to be confused with the resto by the same name on Saint Laurent) Odaki opened recently at the site of the former Tavola Grande (never tried it); we didn't expect much from "buffet approach", all-you-can-eat sushi (conveyer belt sushi-boat), especially one that also features Chinese dishes, ordered separately, but included in the buffet price; surprisingly, most dishes were decent or better; the sushi and sashimi was fresh, variety was reasonable, and yes, I confess, we even enjoyed some of the Chinese dishes; the setting is atypically upscale for the area, service was flawless, and if they keep up the quality, this place is likely to become popular
Kashin Sushi
5147A Cote-des-Neiges H3T 1X9 Montreal (514) 735-9091
reasonable sushi plates, with some decent mixes (dynamite, kamikaze, and spicy salmon) and adequate nigiri, but the smoked salmon didn't cut it
Nagoya Sushi
4435 Sainte-Catherine Rue O Montreal, QC H3Z 1R7 (514) 933-2575
(note: entirely different restaurant from the one on Crescent with the same name) average, uninspired sushi, and reasonably affordable; it is amusing to see a local paper tout Nagoya as "Westmount's best sushi"; well, it's fair to say that there aren't a lot of options in the area!
Wasabi Sushi
5410 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3X 1V3 (514) 488-8882
if you can recall taking a bite of some atrociously textured ingredient, possibly tasting remotely familiar, but suggestive of having "gone off", then you have a reasonable impression of the surprisingly unaffordable sushi platter from wasabi; the truth in their name is their generosity with the quantity of the horseradish, but in terms of culinary experience, this ranks right down there with Rahamim (listed above); every piece of nigiri and maki we tried delivered similar anguish to our palates; it's been a long time since I've had food this bad in Montreal... Wasabi is, simply put, a disgrace to the sushi industry
Yakata Sushi Bar
5412 De La Cote-Des-Neiges Ch Montreal, QC H3T 1Y5 (514) 733-9101
apparently a sister location to the original on St. Laurent, this is a bit on the pricey side but the sushi spread was very good; certainly above average for Montreal sushi and most notably for the non-traditional combinations, i.e., the kamikaze and the like
Sakura
3.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
2170 De La Montagne Rue Montreal, QC H3G 1Z7 (514) 288-9122
years back, we reviewed this simply as very good sashimi, authentic ambience, affordable; with the passage of time, Sakura has made some changes to their decore and moved decidely upscale; the quality is still there, as to expected with a true Japanese-run restaurant, and the portions generous, but prices have climbed considerably
Kazu
4 stars from 22 reviews at Yelp
1862, Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3H 1M1 (514) 937-2333
our first review was effusive and awarded Kazu a red star; unfortunately, it's gone after an atrocious lunch, in which most of the interesting dishes were removed from the menu, and the only appealing one left, the tuna and salmon bowl, was destroyed by the addition of eggplant; the remaining items also fell short. Original review: There's more to Japanese culinary offerings than sushi and in this city, where most "Japanese" restos don't know their "irasshaimase" from a spoon of wasabe, Kazu is a delightful reminder of the real deal, evoking an izakaya atmosphere (fortunately, without the choking cigarette smoke) and serving up a simple menu with a consistently rewarding collection of flavours; the popular tuna and salmon bowl combines small sashimi chunks with rice, cucumber, and crispies, and while I'm rarely a fan, the home-made tofu scored a triumphant "must have more"; yakitori skewers were tender and tangy, and even the basic vegetable onigiri was memorable; diners beware: seating is very limited and filled up instantly at 5:30 on a Sunday; Montrealers usually know how to spot a winner and with Kazu, it didn't take long
memorableSushi Yu Mi
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
5124-A Sherbrooke St W Montreal, QC H4A 1T1 (514) 227-5300
I was nervous about trying another resto in this area, especially a sushi joint, given that the local competition is Sushi and Soba (see above); however, to our delight, Yi Mi delivered a mix of both decent conventional sushi morsels and consistently delicious, inspired preparations, of which the highlight may have been the tempura crabmeat on sweet potato; I just wish my kids weren't such fans as I would have enjoyed more

Malay, Indonesian, Philippine

Nantha's Kitchen
9 Duluth E. & St. Laurent Montreal (514) 845-4717
sadly closed following a long-standing dispute with the landlord; one of the city's most colorful characters, Nantha Kumar, with a real panache for lively, inexpensive food, put together a zesty Malaysian menu blended with some Indian, Chinese, and Thai; update: Nantha opened a new restaurant, "Cash and Curry", not far from the original location; although it's getting mixed reviews, this remains on our "to try list" if only he'd keep stable hours
Nonya
4.5 stars from 8 reviews at Yelp
151, rue Bernard Ouest Montreal, QC H2T 2K3 (514) 875-9998
(this resto moved twice since we reviewed it at its original location on St. Laurent and St. Catherine; we have not tried it since but note from other reviews sharp increase in prices; hopefully this is a testament to enduring quality, even if less accessible to budget-conscious diners) we were delighted to add an Indonesian entry to this list, as we haven't come across many authentic restos of this genre here; this new arrival in the downtown scene, located, unfortuitously between a strip club and a number of fast-food greasy spoons, is a welcome breath of fresh air to the area; while the decor is a work in progress (after all, they had just opened a few weeks ago when we visited), the service was delightful, the prices affordable, and the menu offered a few interesting dishes in addition to the standard fare of gado-gado, mei or nasi goreng
Sarling Atin
5940 Victoria Av Montreal, QC H3W 2R8 (514) 731-0638
in the most basic of settings with absolutely no frills, and catering almost exclusively to a local crowd; simple Philippine dishes, including some interesting fish
memorableBYOCash and Curry
68 Duluth E. & Coloniale Montreal (514) 284-5696
he's back, and what a delight! it took far too long before I had a chance to try Nantha's latest resto venture, but it was worth the wait; the man knows how to cook, and the entertainment factor of his after-dinner chatting with the clientele is itself worth the trip; who else would put up Kill Bill movies (fortunately with the sound muted) as appropriate background to one's meal and then exit the kitchen wearing a neoprene set of breasts over his apron? ok, but back to the food: if you arrive with a certain number of guests, you get a set menu that Nantha adapts to the dietary restrictions of your group; we started with delightful baby samosas, moved on to veggie dumplings, both superb, and neither greasy, but the highlight was the next dish, a tom kha gai that had me swooning; the remaining dishes, a simple but solid pad thai, a decent coconut chicken curry, and an interesting Malaysian chicken, although less exciting to the taste buds, may well have been the stars in lesser kitchens; don't expect much in the way of decor, unless you count the unusual "artist gallery" collection of indistinct patterns hanging on the otherwise stark walls

South and Central Asian

Tandoori Village
27 Rue Prince-Arthur O Montreal, QC H2X 1S4 (514) 842-8044
tasty curries and nan, ok price
Maharaja
2.5 stars from 14 reviews at Yelp
1481 Rene-Levesque Boul W Montreal, QC H3G 1T8 (514) 934-0655
huge Indian $10 buffet; fairly tasty
Lune Indienne
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
2018 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K7 (514) 844-2712
one of the better downtown Indian restaurants; also offers a decent catering service
Khyber Pass
4 stars from 10 reviews at Yelp
506 Av Duluth E Montreal, QC H2L 1A7 (514) 844-7131
good, tasty Afghan; Tibet-India cross (relocated from their St. Denis & Rachel location)
Chez Gatse
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
317 Ontario Rue E Montreal, QC H2X 1H7 (514) 985-2494
mediocre Tibetan, bad ketchup sauce
closedGenuine
5487 Victoria, Montreal (514) 738-3881
yummy S. Indian/Sri Lankan hole-in-wall, serving zesty kutu roti, an interesting blend of meat, egg, onion, and a bread-like filler (now taken over by new owners under a different name)
Allo Inde
3 stars from 7 reviews at Yelp
1422, Rue Stanley Montreal, QC H3A 1P7 (514) 288-7878
while the lamb korma and onion bajis were excellent, the rest of the dishes were rather disappointing and came in small portions given the price
Maison de Cari
201-1236, rue MacKay Montreal, QC H3G 2H4 (514) 845-0326
(reviewed at former location on Bishop St.)decent, but somewhat mildly spiced Indian; portions were reasonably sized, parathas were very good
Punjab Palace
4.5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
920, Rue Jean-Talon Ouest Montreal, QC H3N 1S6 (514) 495-4075
inexpensive and delicious, the meat thali with ginger chicken and lamb was superb as were the fresh nan; the idlis were also very good but the accompanying sambar was too watery
Sitar
4961 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3W 1X4 (514) 735-9801
moderate Indian with a delightfully tangy lamb kourma; the naan and stuffed paratha however were very disappointing
Raga
3333 Queen Mary & Cote des Neiges, Montreal (514) 344-2217
good service but an astoundingly disappointing buffet; dishes were uncompromisingly bland, even the butter chicken and lamb curry (two dishes almost universally rich in flavours) were write-offs and the so-called "spicy pickles" were an embarassment to the name; perhaps this is Indian cuisine prepared for those who've never seen a chili pepper in their lives; the one half-decent item was the naan... sigh
Mahli
80 Jarry Ouest Montreal, H3N 1G9 (514) 273-0407
probably the best take-out Indian we've tried; superb butter chicken in a thick cream sauce with just the right amount of piquant flavouring; the paneer was also excellent, and wasn't too heavy on the cheese, as some recipes tend to be
Pushap
4.5 stars from 8 reviews at Yelp
5195 Pare Rue Montreal, QC H4P 1P4 (514) 737-4527
while this hole-in-the-wall specializes in desserts -- reputedly excellent, according to those who enjoy the taste -- the eat-in menu is great value, in particular the very filling thali accompanied by a zesty raitha; however, what makes this place so memorable is the ever-friendly proprieter, who shows such genuine kindness to his customers that it's a pleasure to dine there
Asha
3490 du Parc & Milton, Montreal (514) 844-3178
the quantities served here for the lunch specials are fairly generous for the price and the food is moderately good but way too mild (at least when "medium" was requested)
Jolee
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5495 ave Victoria Montreal, QC (514) 733-6362
offering a similar kutu rotti to Genuine, above, but with a range of other dishes, including chicken thali and lamb hoppers (rice noodles), served in large quantities and much sufficient spice to cause even chili-holics to break a sweat, even when ordered "mild"; pleasant but simple decor
Malhi
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
880 Jarry Rue W Montreal, QC H3N 1G9 (514) 273-0407
wonderful for take-out, with great butter chicken and naan
Dev
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
5987 Victoria Av Montreal, QC H3W 2R9 (514) 733-5353
good naan, a fine thali dish and reasonable chicken biryani in a modest, friendly setting; good value
Shaheen
758 Beaubien E & St. Hubert, Montreal (514) 904-0156
decent Pakistani with take-out service; we tried the saag gosth (chicken spinach), which came with lentil soup, rice and a small dessert; watch out for the spice level -- medium was quite hot
Taj Mahal
3.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
5026 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H4A 3V4 (514) 482-0076
modest portions and bland seasoning make this a good bet for those who aren't fans of authentic Indian cuisine
Bombay Palace
2 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
2201 Sainte-Catherine Rue W Montreal, QC H3H 1M9 (514) 932-7141
yet another overpriced, uninspired Indian buffet; sad to say that Maharaja does it better
Bombay Mahal
4 stars from 12 reviews at Yelp
1001 Jean-Talon Rue W Montreal, QC H2R 1V6 (514) 273-3331
this restaurant was surprisingly crowded with a small line of waiting patrons at 6pm on a Saturday! the Thali dishes were "well spiced and reasonably priced" but somewhat lacklustre in variety of ingredients; service was understandably quite slow
memorable Halal 786
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
768 Rue Jean-Talon-Ouest Montreal, QC H3N 1S2 (514) 270-0786
sometimes, just from the aromas wafting out of the kitchen, you know the meal is going to be memorable; this was such a case and delightfuly so! we found ourselves fighting with our two-year old over the Lahore fish (we were lucky he left us any) and can't recall tasting better nans anywhere in the city; the mutton kadhai, channa, and biryani rice were also wonderful; thanks to GB for recommending this one
memorable Mysore
4.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
4216 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2W 1Z3 (514) 844-4733
joy! thanks to the exhortations of a fellow food critic who suggested an evening here, I'm pleased to report that there is, in fact, a memorable Indian resto reasonably accessible to those downtown; prices are only slightly higher than what is found in far less appealing Jean Talon locations, whose quality doesn't come close to Mysore; we had a wonerfully rich chicken Jalfreizi that perfectly accompanied a beautiful pulau with a touch of crispy onion, along with a Bangalore beef dish, authentically spicy (beware), but to a degree where the more subtle flavours still made themselves pronounced; this was a hard dish to stop eating; the nan bread would also give Halal 768 (above) a run for the money; however, the samosas were, while somewhat unique in their preparation, hard to recommend
Bombay Choupati
4.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
5011 Boul Des Sources Pierrefonds, QC H8Y 3E3 Montreal (514) 421-3130
this cozy resto, situated in a strip mall far from the downtown core, bustles with activity during the dinner hour, and quickly packs in a mixed clientele; the remarkably calm hostess manages to do everything (apart from cook the food) although service can, as would be expected, slow down somewhat during the peak; dishes were uniformly very good, although perhaps not quite adequate in quantity and certainly a tad shy in the spice department for those who expect their vindaloos to taste the part
Thali
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1409 St Marc Montreal, QC H3H (514) 989-9048
chili chicken curry, lamb curry, and channa were very good, but some of the other thali dishes, in particular the veggies, were average at best
Porte de l'Inde
5195 Boul Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2T 1R9 (514) 277-1515
sitting kitty-corner to another Indian restaurant, I figured this one with the nicer decor, more appealing entranceway, and several reviews hanging in the window would be a better bet for a decent lunch; I ordered the lamb curry lunch special, which came with an insipid lentil soup, a decent bowl of rice, seasoned with caramelized onions and an unusually bright red tint (was the saffron real or artificial?) but alas, disappointing lamb, both in quantity -- drowned in potato and various vegetables, and flavour; the meat clearly needed more time to marinate; perhaps next time I'll opt for the hole in the wall across the street
Devi
3 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
1450 Crescent Rue Montreal, QC H3G 2B6 (514) 286-0303
I overheard some students talking about this place and had to give it a try, especially given the paucity of good food within easy walking distance from the McGill campus; fortunately, Devi delivers, at least a solid lunch combination, and makes no attempt to water down the spice level for those of us with white skin; the lentil soup appetizer was adequate but the mains were delicious, rich curries, accompanied by a generous helping of nan that also earns top marks; this is a place that warrants a repeat visit for dinner to see if a red star is warranted
Indian Curry House
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
996 Jean-Talon Rue W Montreal, QC H3N 1S8 (514) 273-0004
our kids were happy with the thali and masala dosa, both of which were decent, but the chicken jalfreizi, one of the highlights at Mysore (above), just didn't cut it here; naan was passable, but definitely not of the melt-in-your-mouth variety
Sana
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
655 Jarry Rue W Montreal, QC H3N 1G3 (514) 274-2220
the original review, below, was more favourable, but unfortunately, our repeat visit for take-out was far less commendable; naan was dry and tough, butter chicken seemed to consist mostly of scraps, the recommended fried fish was entirely bland, and we were shortchanged on the spinach, which evidently ended up in someone else's order; too bad... as we had high hopes. Original review: ambiance and unkempt decore are typical of what you'd expect for a no-frills but honest, good ethnic cuisine dining experience; despite warnings by students not to expect much in the way of service, we were pleasantly surprised by the staff's helpfulness in rushing out our order (to help us placate the tempers of our two hungry young children); the food itself was excellent, wonderfully spiced, although not piquante, which was a surprise for traditionally hot dishes like the vindaloo and chicken tika; perhaps this is the default for Pakistani seasoning, but regardless, we had no complaints
Le Taj
4 stars from 21 reviews at Yelp
2077 Rue Stanley Montreal, QC H3A 1R7 (514) 845-9015
on-again, off-again, but a popular go-to for the McGill crowd, the Taj occasionally offers above average quality lunch buffet, although the selection of dishes is fairly restricted and sometimes downright disappointing; the naan, at least is generally consistent; once modestly priced, the damage has been climbing faster than comparable places, especially when the platters are somewhat on the cool side, and that's at the start of the lunch hour
Masala Palace
4961-D Queen Mary by Snowdon metro, Montreal (514) 731-5277
although the resto advertises, regarding hotness, that "each dish is prepared to your preference", we weren't asked, and what we got might be summed up as Indian food for unadventurous white people; despite a positive review from the Gazette and a warning that they'd be very busy that evening (they weren't), I was utterly disappointed, not just by the dialed-down-to-zero chili level, but by a general sense that something else was off in the preparation; the "biryani" more closely resembled a beef-fried pulau with an accompanying vegetable sauce, rather than the distinctive layered effect one expects from the dish, the naan were doughy and far too soft in texture, perhaps undercooked, and even the tandoori chicken was lacking on the marination
Maison de Cari Golden
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
5210, boulevard Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2T 1S1 (514) 270-2561
we went in with some trepidation, but left very satisfied; portions were perhaps a bit small, but tasty beyond expectations and the dishes more than delivered their promised punch, especially the Bangalore Phal; lamb and cauliflower dishes also met with satisfaction and the kids were happy with the kebabs and lassi

Greek

Arahova
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
256 Saint-Viateur Rue W Montreal, QC H2V 1X9 (514) 274-7828 and other locations
good Greek appetizer spread, otherwise mediocre but affordable
Casa Grecque
2.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
200 Prince-Arthur Rue E Montreal, QC H2X 1B9 (514) 842-6098
standard Prince Arthur fare; big portions at modest quality
Jardin de Panos
3.5 stars from 9 reviews at Yelp
521 Duluth Av E Montreal, QC H2L 1A8 (514) 521-4206
very good Greek, flavourful
La Cabane Greque
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
105 Rue Prince-Arthur E Montreal, QC H2X 1B6 (514) 844-5114
slightly better than mediocre
Le Prince Arthur
3.5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
54 Rue Prince-Arthur E Montreal, QC H2X 1B3 (514) 849-2454
not bad, but not terribly exciting; quantities for the table d'hote makes a good meal for two
Hercules Souvlaki
Monkland & Oxford, Montreal
cozy, friendly neighorhood stop for quick, mediocre eats
Sabayon
Sherbrooke & University, Montreal
nice setting, typically very empty, with reasonable, although not great dishes; moussaka was very plain
Rodos Brochetterie
5015 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3W 1X4 (514) 738-0864
mediocre mezes and boring moussaka
Diogenis
925 Decarie Boul Saint-Laurent, QC H4L 3M3 Montreal (514) 747-7251
basic decore, mediocre food, and quick
Philinos
Parc & Villeneuve, Montreal
a noisy, party atmosphere prevails in this friendly, relaxed setting; the food is wonderful, in particular, the lamb chops, although the place is apparently best known for its octopus dish
Marathon Souvlaki
3.5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
5365 Des Jockeys Rue Montreal, QC H4P 2T8 (514) 731-6455
despite this locale getting top marks for souvlaki from a survey of Gazette readers, you get what you expect from this mall-restaurant setting -- quantity over quality in a big way; the Greek salad contained a measly piece of fetta and two olives and used vegetable oil; enough said
Ouzeri
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
4690 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2J 2L3 (514) 845-1336
heavy on the yuppie atmosphere with copious light pine finish and an energetic, rushed feel, we were only modestly impressed with the dishes, which ranged from decent pikilias to good -- but unexceptional lamb brochette; perhaps the frenetic and noisy ambience interfered with our digestion but for great food in the Greek category, my money is still on Phillinos, above
Villa du Souvlaki
4 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
5347, Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H4A 1V2 (514) 489-2039
a popular, busy eaterie with minimal decor and affordable prices; the pikilia was a decent mix as was the quality of the chicken souvlaki; this is not fine dining but it delivers as far as the atmosphere indicates
Nostos
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
9530 De L'acadie Boul Montreal, QC H4N 1L8 (514) 388-1981
located in a small shopping center, this popular eatery makes an excellent grilled chicken, as well as a highly recommended spanikopita, feta salad, and a decent plate of pikilias, with a taramsalata that will appeal to those (like me) who enjoy the dish but often find it too salty; we tried this as a take-out dinner -- most of the dishes held up well apart from the fries; modest prices
Milos
5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
5357, Avenue Du Parc Montreal, QC H2V 4G9 (514) 272-3522
alas, the red star is gone, as a more recent experience was disappointing, largely due to an inability to deliver a tasting menu ("we don't have all the ingredients") and to generally unimpressive service, which, for a place of this calibre (and prices) is reasonable to demand; the quality of dishes was still good, although perhaps having been spoiled by other equally impressive Greek fare, e.g., Philinos, above, for a fraction of the price, Milos no longer stands out as exceptional. original review: this is the sort of place the Michelin guide gushes over... impeccably attentive service and a spotlessly clean and crisp atmosphere, along with prices that qualify for a triple-dollar-sign designation (mains run around $35 a head, unless you head down the crustacean path, in which case you might want to double that); for those who care more about the quality of the food, you won't be disappointed either as the dishes are generally superb; we savoured the thinly sliced, fried breaded eggplant and zuchini appetizer as well as the perfectly grilled grouper that served our table of 5; chocaholics must try the sole chocolate item on the desert menu (whose name, sadly, escapes me) as both its texture and flavour were exceptional; the only two criticisms were a lacklustre Greek salad and a (no doubt deliberate) acoustic din that severely challenges the intelligibility of conversation with your dinner companions

Middle Eastern

Amir's
Boul St. Laurent & des Pins, Montreal
chain of fast food Lebanese chain; you get what you pay for
Basha
3.5 stars from 16 reviews at Yelp
666 Sherbrooke W & University, Montreal (514) 807-7097
yet another fast food Lebanese chain; portions are reasonable for the price, and no surprises, on the verge of possibly edible, but as expected, most of the items are served from the trough
Soleil Mediterranneen
St. Denis & Roy, Montreal
(Tunisian) excellent couscous + salad/dessert bar
Au Tarot
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
500 Rue Marie-Anne E Montreal, QC H2J 2A3 (514) 849-6860
couscous, nothing special
Au Vieul Istanbul
Bleury & St. Catherine, Montreal
adequate Turkish; heavy on meat, service ranges from indifferent to poor
Menara
256 Rue Saint-Paul E Montreal, QC H2Y 1G9 (514) 861-1989
pricy Moroccan - decent appetizers but main meal was mediocre; best part was belly dancer
Tehran
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
5065 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest Montreal, QC H4A (514) 488-0400
reasonable Iranian; standard fare heavy on meat, with laid back atmosphere
La Sirene de la Mer
4.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
114 Dresden Av Mont-Royal, QC H3P 2B6 Montreal (514) 345-0345 (second location on Sauve)
excellent Lebanese; fillet of sole was simple but nicely done, stuffed vine leaves were outstanding; friendly family atmosphere
memorableByblos Le Petit Cafe
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1499 Ave Laurier E Montreal, QC H2J 1H8 (514) 523-9396
a wonderful Iranian restaurant with charming decor and exceptional dishes; the olive, pomegranate and walnut appetizer was a delight and the traditional "Dizy" dinner special was a real experience. Service was friendly albeit a bit too relaxed.
Monsier Falafel
415 Av Du Mont-Royal E Montreal, QC H2J 1W2 (514) 499-0010
(reviewed at former location on Saint Laurent and des Pins) moderately priced, reasonable quality fast food Lebanese
Le Soleil Marrakech
5131 Decarie @ Queen Mary, Montreal
very large and very empty (at least on a Thursday night) -- that should tell you something; the food was mediocre apart from the excellent appetizers, but the service was abysmally slow
El Morocco
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
3450 rue Drummond Montreal, QC H3G 1Y1 (514) 844-6888
update: while the restaurant itself seems to be overpriced and serve disappointing Jewish-Moroccan -- bland merguez, boring and uninspired couscous, their catering is extraordinary and apparently the true raison d'etre for the resto; for those looking for a real culinary experience in this style but not doing catering, would have been well advised to dine at Boujadi's in Toronto, alas, now closed as well
Aux Lilas
5570 Du Parc Av Montreal, QC H2V 4H1 (514) 271-1453
upscale Lebanese offering excellent mezes and a wide variety of entrees; the proprieter is a very friendly individual who delights in telling stories and is obliging in showmanship when it comes to pouring water from the traditional Middle Eastern jug
Daou
4 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
519 Faillon Rue E Montreal, QC H2R 1L6 (514) 276-8310
Reputed to be one of the best Lebanese restaurants in town and a favourite of Rene Angelil (Celine Dion's husband) although I'm not sure what all the fuss is about; the ambiance is casual and the food was good -- hummus with ground meat and stuffed vine leaves were both enjoyable and the kafta kabab was delicately seasoned, but none of the dishes rose above modest expectations, while service was conspicously lacking.
Chase
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5672 De Monkland Av Montreal, QC H4A 1E4 (514) 482-2256
a smaller than medium-sized, plainly decorated setting, but the dishes are plentiful and tasty, particular favourites were the kafta kebob and fried pita; service is prompt and friendly
closedKhaima
5211 Sherbrooke W & Gray, Montreal (514) 369-3555
this is very much home-style Moroccan cuisine, with most of the dishes served from buffet trays behind the cashier counter; the flavour and quantity is decent and offers very good value, but don't look for the gourmet dining experience
Quartier Perse
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
4241 Decarie Boul Montreal, QC H4A 3K4 (514) 488-6367
while the dishes were adequately interesting, they did not reach the standards of Byblos (see above), a point made obvious by the lackluster pomegranate-olive appetizer as well as the flavourless vegetarian grilled skewer; other dishes were adequate but nothing to warrant an enthusiastic return visit
closedQuartier Perse
5899 Sherbrooke H4A 1X7 Montreal (514) 482-0009
sharing the same name as the resto listed above, but apparently completely distinct, this one is more of a take-out shop with a modest eat-in space for those so inclined; prices are reasonable and several of the dishes, in particular the various chicken preparations, are reasonably sized and great value in terms of flavour
Torino's
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
977 rue Ste-Catherine O Montreal, QC H3B 4W3 (514) 285-2626
(inside the former Eaton's food court) for food court cuisine, this place offers more-than-decent quality and quantity; the grilled chicken with generous accompanying side dishes was fresh and well seasoned
Brochetterie Persepolis
5700 Sherbrooke W & Wilson, Montreal (514) 807-8747
overpriced and typical heavy-meat Iranian cuisine although both the scented rice and lentil soup appetizer were memorable
BYOToucheh
351 Prince Albert Av Westmount, QC H3Z 2N9 Montreal (514) 369-6868
it's hard to classify this as Iranian, as the menu is a blend of Persian with Italian, French, and general Mediterranean fare, but as the twin brother owners emphasize the former cuisine, this is where it ends up; Toucheh is a popular Westmount restaurant with modestly affordable prices and a relaxed, family-friendly attitude that complements its reputation for excellent dishes with a taste of home cooking; we were most impressed with the chicken penne in a rosé sauce but the steak in a tangy tomato sauce was also an enjoyable dish, albeit somewhat overcooked
memorableLe Petit Alep
4.5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
191 Rue Jean-Talon E Montreal, QC H2R 1S8 (514) 270-9361
this is a fun, laid-back place to enjoy a mix of zesty Syrian appetizers and some interesting main dishes; we were fortunate to come with friends, and so, able to try a decent variety of plates, in particular the appetizers which were generally more interesting than the mains; don't miss out on the mint-mango shake or the wonderful desserts; our only disappointment were the store-bought pitas, served in the original bag; it would have been a nice touch to warm them in the oven first
memorableRumi Grill
4 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
4403, Boul. Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2W 1Z8 (514) 670-6770
it's a real thrill to be discovering innovative and high-quality middle eastern fare in Montreal, after shuddering for years at the ubiquity of nondescript fast-food Lebanese fare (Basha and Amir); Rumi is one of those places that exudes a love of food, attention to seasoning, and an oh-so-pleasing flare for mixing ingredients to create mouth-watering results; I've been enjoying humus with ground lamb since my first exposure to the dish almost 20 years ago, but don't think I've ever seen it prepared with such finesse; the lamb, gently cooked, mixed with a healthy portion of olive oil and toasted pine nuts, sitting ever so happily (for me, anyway) on the perfect bed of humus -- exactly the right texture, and with a strong does of lime that wasn't overpowering... and this was just one of the appetizers; for mains, top marks for the marinated salmon in a zesty Aleppian sauce, as well as the yogurt-lemon marinated chicken in a garlic sauce; it's so easy to ruin a grilled dish, either by letting it dry out or overpowering the main flavours with the wrong sauce, but here, there were smiles all around; the resto also prepares a house ginger juice, definitely worth a try for something out of the ordinary; the only low mark came for the imported brownie from a nearby bakery; as the cardamom aroma fits with the Middle Eastern ambiance, but the result was unfortunately not up to par with the rest of the meal; perhaps they should stick to the traditional dessert fare, even if it leaves us chocoholics out in the cold
Marché d'Alimentation le Méditerranéen
5785 De La Cote-Des-Neiges Ch Montreal, QC H3S 1Y8 (514) 341-1042
while it's really more of a Halal butcher shop, this place also runs a small take-out and sit-down corner where customers can order a hot lunch; specialties include a delectable tagine and the trio of grilled meat, served accompanied by a fiery harrisa; be warned that despite appearances, this is not fast food... most of the dishes are apparently made fresh, right down to hand-forming the kababs, so serving times are similar to an average restaurant
Su
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
5145 rue Wellington Verdun, QC H4G 1Y2 Montreal (514) 362-1818
authentic Turkish food is nirvana, wishes dishes that delight meat eaters and vegetarians alike; Fisun Ercan, the chef/owner of Su, takes authentic Turkish cuisine and infuses a certain Quebec-French flair with excellent results; our tasting menu was a superb combination of flavours, ranging from the traditional beef-yogurt soup, shakshuka, grilled calamari with a (heavy on the) garlic tzatziki, a tangy red pepper spread which could have benefited from a bit more zing, and a scrumptious trio of lamb (kebab, chops, and shoulder on a skewer) to the more nouveau cuisine servings of seared salmon fillet, rubbed with a pepper spice mixture, artichoke heart with peas, and a wonderful celery root; true, I would have preferred to sample more of the traditional dishes to relive memories of some amazing meals from travels of many years back, but given the dearth of decent Turkish offerings in the city, I was happy to settle for the chef's choice; my only serious complaint was the slow pace of the service; even a tasting menu shouldn't take 2.5 hours for lunch
Arouch
1600 Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal H3H 1J5 (450) 686-1092
Arouch is a small chain of Armenian pizzarias, which are really more pizza dough with a thin layer of toppings, but deliciously so; choices include an exceptionally tasty zahtar (made so by the combination of lemon and sesame seeds), cheese, lahmajoun (minced lamb or beef), cheese, or cheese and spinach; we tried the zahtar and meat, and even if these were the only decent items on the menu, would easily explain the popularity of this place
memorableKaza Maza
4.5 stars from 10 reviews at Yelp
4629, avenue du Parc Montreal, QC H2V 4E4 (514) 844-6292
how delightful to award another red star in this category; we had been promised a delightful meal and we were rewarded for trusting the recommendation; pre-appetizers, we were treated to picked parsnips and real Middle Eastern olives, and I don't mean the kind you find at Akhavan, but the real deal, sour, a bit on the chewy side, making you wish you had ordered that that beer to accompany each bite; moving on to the cold appetizers, a delightful lemony roasted beet mix with tahini and olive oil, one of the most enjoyable moussaka dishes I've encountered, an interesting fattouch, although unusual with the emphasis on radish, and let's not forget the zesty fries (well, potato slices), which warranted a taste-bud salute that would give the Belgians a run for their money; for mains, we sampled some decent Armenian sausages, a superb half-roasted lemon chicken and man, am although I was skeptical from the description, man am I glad I went with the waiter's choice of the tahini sauce lamb shank; the folks were visiting from out of town and after filling up on the appetizers, fully expected us to return home with a large doggy bag... nope, we polished it off; only two downsides: it would be nice to have spoons, or anything else suitable for serving the dishes for that matter, without having to chase down the waiter, and it would be nice if it weren't necessary to hunt for the waiter every time we needed those spoons, water, napkins, etc.
Antep Kabab
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1626 Boulevard de Maisonneuve W Montreal, QC H3H 2N4 (514) 903-7979
somewhat better than the run of the mill in terms of grilled kebabs, served either in platters with bulgar or in a sandwich based on a thick, flavourful, sesame-crusted Turkish bread; certainly decent for a quick take-out, but of course, Turkish cuisine is so much more

African

Nil Blue
3 stars from 12 reviews at Yelp
3706 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2X 3L7 (514) 285-4628
expensive and unimpressive Ethiopian
closedSabouyouma
4539 St. Laurent & Mont Royal, Montreal (514) 288-8063
zesty Senegalese with interesting ginger juice, apparently now closed
Au Messob d'or
5690 Monkland, Montreal (514) 488-8620
while we'd heard good things about this Ethiopian restaurant and were looking forward to finding an alternative to the unsatisfying Blue Nile (see above), to quote one of the Limeliters (60's folk band) pre-song audience interaction, "not quite what I expected... I'm a little disappointed, really"; major complaints were a very confused waiting staff who couldn't advise us in ordering suitable quantities and a lack of spicing so severe that we wondered whether the chili crop had gone off this year; perhaps they're catering to a non-ethnic crowd who can't handle the heat, but alas, it seems that if you want to enjoy good Ethiopian in these parts, you'll have to make the trip west to Toronto
memorableBYOLe Piton de la Fournaise
5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
835 Av Duluth E Montreal, QC H2L 1B2 (514) 526-3936
an absolutely delightful dining experience, this resto features cuisine from Reunion Island, decor from Bali, and friendly, efficient service; the appetizers were interesting, but paled in comparison to the main courses of seafood we tried -- an unbelievably delicate and tender shark and perhaps the most delicious salmon fillet we've tasted, served in a thick, wine-enhanced cream sauce; both dishes were accompanied by an ample quantity of mildly seasoned vegetables
Top Tropical
133 Jean-Talon Rue W Montreal, QC H2R 2W9 (514) 807-6958
Top Tropical is largely a take-out hole-in-the-wall joint, with a decidedly ethnic clientele in colourful attire, crowded around the two or three small tables and having a fun time chatting with the cook; the atmosphere evokes the imagination of zesty, memorable eating experiences, but alas, falls far short; the chicken was barely adequate while other dishes (lamb, or was it goat?) and fries were downright atrocious

Carribean, Latin and South American

Chilenita
3 stars from 1 review at Yelp
64 Marie-Anne Rue W Montreal, QC H2W 1B8 (514) 982-9212
charming authentic Chilean empanadas and light sandwiches; a homemade zesty salsa rounded out the appetizers
Mexicala Rosa
Bishop & St. Catherine, Montreal
while I'm no fan of Tex-Mex in general, this one was quite decent; impressive fajitas and a nice salsa appetizer
Bayou Brasil
4552 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2J 2L3 (514) 847-0088
the restaurant offers a richly coloured decor with beautiful, old wooden tables and large tropical plants in the front; the fare is an interesting mix of Brazilian and Cajun dishes, I particularly enjoyed the blackened shrimps and seafood gumbo, although the Brazilian main dishes were hearty and tasty as well
BYOLele da Cuca
70 Marie-Anne E, Montreal (514) 849-6649
a delightful cozy and relaxed setting with colourful decorations and a friendly staff; the Brazilian combination plate was a zesty mix of chili-seasoned mango, fried minced giblets, coconut, black beans, and a gently seasoned palm heart salad although the fried shrimp dish was drowned in a heavy sauce; the restaurant apparently boasts a loyal following and filled most of the tables on a Sunday evening; a talented mariachi performer added a nice touch
Carlos & Pepes
2.5 stars from 11 reviews at Yelp
1420 Rue Peel Montreal, QC H3A 1S8 (514) 288-3090
generic American tex-mex chain, cheerful service and adequate food, although somewhat pricey given the quality, best item may be the complementary nacho appetizers
El Zaziummm
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
4581, avenue du Parc Montreal, QC H2V 4E4 (514) 499-3675
(second location on Laurier) a mariachi performs both inside (and outside in good weather), an oversize wooden wagon holds a table for about 10 while the bathroom doors are labelled with slightly artistic and anatomically correct designs; the atmosphere inside is lively and fun, but fortunately, it's a far cry from kitchy Americana aiming to appeal to a Tex-Mex kid-clientele; the food is slightly non-Mexican -- some of the dishes listed on the menu hint at a Tex-Mex origin, e.g. the potato skins with guacamole, while others may have a touch of French fusion influence, for example, a zesty spinach salad with chicken livers; most quantities are generous and the food is certainly good value
Los Altos
124 Prince Arthur E. & St. Laurent, Montreal (514) 848-0249
a pleasant stop along the Prince Arthur pedestrian mall, offering food of modest quality and some interesting fare including a light cactus salad in a crispy tostada shell
Jardin Tropical
5136 Av Du Parc, Montreal (514) 273-5977
Haitian; simple but fresh food, affordable
closedChef Mitch's Jamaica Way
Queen Mary & Snowden subway, Montreal
tasty, authentic Jamaican; saltfish and jerk chicken were delicious, reasonably priced -- $12 for a very large serving
Sosua
6548 St. Laurent & Beaubien, Montreal (514) 271-6622
a relaxed, friendly bar atmosphere greets lunchtime patrons in this ostensibly Dominican restaurant, the sandwiches are fresh and reasonably tasty and the fried plantain earned top marks
Lola Rosa
4 stars from 13 reviews at Yelp
545 Rue Milton Montreal, QC H2X 1W5 (514) 287-9337
after almost a decade, I tried a repeat visit; this little resto, tucked into the student ghetto beside McGill but with prices a bit higher than would be expected for the student crowd, has been doing an aparently good business by turning out imaginative and very tasty dishes of the veggie variety; trust the waiter's suggestions -- our's steered me toward a delightfully zesty tomato-olive dish
Chez Rendez Vous
4993 Queen Mary Montreal H3W 2A1 (514) 340-1155
a self-described cornucopia "specialized in sea food, pasta, cajun, Canadian, and selections of menu catering for parties;" yes, it's quite a mix, but the food has surprisingly interesting flair and offers great value given the quality; the new proprieter has set up shop at a location known for revolving door ownership but if the quality continues, we hope he finds a comfortable niche
Madre
2931 Masson Rue Montreal, QC H1Y 1X5 (514) 315-7932
a sister restaurant to the acclaimed Raza, Madre offers a "new Latin" fusion, with celery root soup with a splash of balsamic vinegar, a wonderful beet salad with a mate dressing, a tender lamb shank braised in beer and coriander served with black beans, salmon in a chorizo bullion (or substituted, in our case, with salsa verde) served on quinoa with accompanying green beans, and a dessert of lemony coriander yogurt ice cream offset with a maple mousse and sprinkled with crushed caramelized almonds; the limited lunch offerings represent a small subset of the more extensive dinner menu

Eastern European

Mazurka
4.5 stars from 7 reviews at Yelp
64, Rue Prince-Arthur, coin St-Dominique Montreal, QC H2X 1B3 (514) 844-3539
Polish perogies/blintzes, reasonable
closedLa Metropole
1409 Rue Saint-Marc, Montreal, Quebec, H3H 2G4 (514) 932-3403
impressive Russian; a great deal for the quality
Ermitage
5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
5001 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3W 1X4 (514) 735-3886
interesting, reasonably priced Russian
Fireside
4759 Van Horne & Plamondon metro, Montreal (514) 737-5576
we visited for lunch during Rosh Hashana, with the result that we were the only patrons in this normally bustling place; true to Nick's review at montrealfood.com, the menu, decor and friendly service give the impression that they cater to Snowbird patrons; as for our impressions of the meal, Nick seemed to have better luck with the dishes than we did

Bistro and Contemporary

closedBistro 2000
2000 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2X 3K7 (514) 843-2000
mediocre bistro food
Bagel Expressions
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1045 Du Beaver Hall Cote Montreal, QC H2Z 1S5 (514) 866-8412
(reviewed at former location on Saint Laurent) mediocre Italian sandwiches
Premier Moisson
4 stars from 16 reviews at Yelp
1490, Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H3G 1L3 (514) 931-6540
nice bistro with snobby Parisian attitude; reasonably inventive sandwiches and wonderful baked salmon pie; a nice place for a Sunday brunch; see below for Croissants and Dessert
Cafe Republique
3.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
1429 Crescent Rue Montreal, QC H3G 2B2 (514) 845-5999 and various other locations
reviewed at nice outdoor patio to people-watch and enjoy good pannini and pasta
memorableLa Louisiane
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
5850 Sherbrooke Rue W Montreal, QC H4A 1X5 (514) 369-3073
offering a lively, festive atmosphere and excellent, tangy cajun dishes, this restaurant has a lot going for it; we sampled the "not really corn" corn bread appetizer, prime rib -- one of the house favourites -- a wonderful blackened catfish, and an angel-hair seafood pasta, all worth a repeat visit
Vieux Port Steakhouse
3.5 stars from 12 reviews at Yelp
39, Saint-Paul Est Old Montreal H2Y 1G2 (514) 866-3175
offering the typical Old City charm in a classic stone building with elegant interior, with decent, although unexceptional food; as for the actual dishes, we sampled this restaurant as part of a set menu experience and found the salmon steak far superior to the filet mignon
Commensal
3.5 stars from 18 reviews at Yelp
1204 Ave McGill College Montreal, QC H3B 4J8 (514) 871-1480
veggie buffet by the gram; decent dessert, but rather expensive for what you get
Movenpick Marche
Cathcart & University, Montreal
it's the usual marche experience: decent, fairly healthy food, cooked fresh in front of you at various booths, at modest prices; don't expect anything surprising or exceptional
Bistro Duluth
121 Duluth Av E Montreal, QC H2W 1H2 (514) 287-9096
lacklustre grilled dishes, blandly seasoned, and moderately incompetent service
Le Cap Vert
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1200 McGill College Av Montreal, QC H3B 4G7 (514) 866-0662
run-of-the-mill downtown bistro, popular with the Ville-Marie business crowd; sandwiches and salads are popular
Casey's
1031 l'Acadie & Hwy 40, Montreal (514) 382-1234
it's the typical big suburbian-mall dining experience, including a long, generic menu, but the food is above average for its genre and the service was prompt and friendly
Boccacinos
2.5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1251 McGill College Ave Montreal, QC H3B 2Y4 (514) 861-5742
pretty much what you expect from the genre of American-chain-style family joints with the 10-page+ menus; bland, boring, and may cause stomach upset
Sheraton 4 Points
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
475 Sherbrooke Rue W Montreal, QC H3A 2L9 (514) 842-3961
a reasonably pleasant hotel restaurant near McGill University; however, their trout pave was overseasoned and left this diner with a bad case of stomach upset; perhaps the fish was not quite as fresh as advertised
Shed Cafe
3.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
3515 Boul St. Laurent Montreal, QC H2X 2T6 (514) 842-0220
In contrast to most Montreal restos that follow the French interpretation of "medium" to mean somewhat rare, these folks managed to turn out a "well done" hamburger steak... which wouldn't have been so bad had the meat not (I suspect) have gone off, thus causing some stomach upset an hour later. Tsk tsk. The accompanying salad was drab and seemed to use a generic store-bought vinaigrette. The frites, in contrast, were respectably fried, although served with both mayo and ketchup; either an indication of indecisiveness on the part of the chef or a lack of respect for the clientele's palette. My lunch companion tried the pasta and was unimpressed, although apparently with no ill effects. Her espresso, however, suffered from an unfortunate sour taste.
Java U (New Bistro)
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
4914 Sherbrooke Rue W Westmount, QC H3Z 1H3 Montreal (514) 482-7077
around 6 pm, the coffee joint transforms into an upscale bistro, serving a limited menu of meat, seafood, and pasta as well as some kid-friendly burgers for the little ones; the pasta of the day and grilled veal chop both deserve high marks for care in preparation and seasoning, service on the sidewalk patio was attentive, but casual and friendly, as one would hope for in such a setting
Meat Market
3.5 stars from 71 reviews at Yelp
4415 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2W 1Z8 (514) 223-2292
this relative newcomer to St. Laurent is an amusingly named, sandwich-heavy resto that tries hard; despite prices that are kept very reasonable, the owners have managed to convey a sense that they care about their customers; this comes through in making a reservation, reading the menu and the little touches of decore, despite my lack of affinity for the modern art on display; the food itself was generally quite good, although the salad accompanying the table d'hote was a disappointment, both in flavour and preparation, in particular since the regular plates all include a similar arrangement of greens; my dining companions went most for the beautifully arranged sandwiches, while I was happily tempted to try a cerf de boileau (venison) burger, perfectly cooked and served with a wonderfully interesting sauce; all dishes were served with an enjoyable mix of regular and sweet potato fries with mayonnaise-based dip
La Croissanterie Figaro
4.5 stars from 26 reviews at Yelp
5200 rue Hutchison Outremont, QC H2V 4B3 Montreal (514) 278-6567
(shared location with La Croissanterie) pleasant service and a bustling atmosphere; the lunch special included a choice of salad or a gazpacho -- I chose the latter and was relatively pleased; the fish (a talipia filet) was modestly flavoured although disappointingly miniscule and the veal option appeared to be a similarly sub-standard portion
MBCo (Montreal Bread Company)
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
150 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H5B 1E4
(reviewed at airport location) although the experience would no doubt be different at other locations, this is a most welcome addition (and improvement) to the culinary offerings at Montreal's main airport; the menu is reasonably diverse and the food is actually enjoyable, especially at 30,000 feet when one considers the available alternatives in economy class; I was impressed with the smoked salmon salad although the chicken village salad did not measure up and the chocolate cake looked far more enticing than it tasted; service is what one expects for an airport joint -- I saw one passenger almost reaching an argument with the staff just to get a sandwich with a bagel that was not falling apart -- a perfectly reasonable expectation at $7.99
Chez Nick
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1377 Greene Av Westmount, QC H3Z 2A5 Montreal (514) 935-0946
relaxed family-friendly joint, serving a decent pita burger and fried sole, but the regular burger (chosen for the kids) was atrocious
Le Jardin du Ritz
1228 Sherbrooke W & Drummond, Montreal (514) 842-4212
(Ritz Carlton Hotel) high on decore and style, modest in food quality, Le Jardin features pleasant atttentive service in a beautiful outdoor patio (in the summer), with tables arranged around a large pool housing a family of ducks, this is a luxurious setting in which to enjoy Sunday brunch; the buffet is substantial in variety and generally enjoyable, although largely unexceptional; dishes span the requisite salads, smoked salmon, and roast beef, but also include quail, rack of lamb (both, unfortunately, left cold), a modest Chinese section (including a horrific General Tao), and a wonderful selection of cheeses and desserts; at a price tag of $55 a head, this is a place for special occasions, but not likely for savouring the food
Chandelier
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
1180 De Masonneuve Quest Montreal, QC H3A 1N5 (514) 845-0101
nice atmosphere and reasonably elegant, weekend lunch was respectable and modestly interesting, although short of memorable; soup and salad both earned good marks, the veal hamburger somewhat less so; service was notably lacking, in particular given the small number of patrons on a Saturday; apparently they do more business at Sunday brunch
Mangia Mangia
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1101, Boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest Montreal, QC H3A 1N4 (514) 848-7001
this is an upscale, largely deli-to-go place, with an emphasis on Italian, located just beside the Peel metro; the dishes we sampled were all enjoyable, from the artichoke/palm hearts salad, cheese ravioli, a zesty penne (a winner with the kids), to fish cake, and a decent honey-mustard chicken; however, the upscale qualifier is by way of explaining their prices... by the gram and at just enough for a family of light eaters, $50 was a bit of an eye-bulger
McCord Café
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
690 Rue Sherbrooke W Montreal, QC H3A 1E9 (514) 398-7100
(first the initial review from a few years back) just to the left of the main entrance, the museum offers a pleasant stop for lunch with a reasonable selection of hot and cold entrees; the cold poached salmon fillet with hollandaise was run-of-the-mill, but provided a dose of entertainment when we pointed out to the waitress that the poaching plastic had been left on top of the fish before the sauce was added -- her reaction was a very French "Oh mon dieu!"; a more recent return proved to be a major disappointment on the service end, although the food itself was still reasonably good; we didn't have reservations so had no problem standing in line, but the maitre d' neither responded to our queries regarding the expected wait time, nor gave us an opportunity to place our orders while awaiting the table (which we also requested); once we were finally seated, the wait staff were pathetically inattentive, and had to be prodded for each stage of the meal, all the way from taking our orders and bringing bread with the appetizers to delivering the bill at the end; in summary, we arrived at 1, were seated at 1:45, and left at 3; sorry, but not everyone can afford two hours for lunch! on a most recent visit, when the joint was only one quarter full, service was still disappointing, although at least not as bad as before
Reservoir
4 stars from 19 reviews at Yelp
9, avenue Duluth Est Montreal, QC H2T 3L4 (514) 849-7779
for a bistro known for its seafood and from reading a number of positive reviews, I was expecting significantly better; unfortunately, the dishes we tried, one of mackerel and another an eggplant-chevre ravioli, while reasonably interesting, did little to pique the taste buds, and the cherry beer, which seemed intriguing on the menu proved to be a major disappointment; only the chocolate-mint mousse dessert was modestly rewarding; service was abysmal -- one of the very few times I couldn't bring myself to leave a tip
Java U
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
626, Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H3A (514) 286-1991
this chain serves upscale coffee and a decent array of Italian-themed paninis, wraps, and salads
Cafe Art Java
4 stars from 15 reviews at Yelp
645, Avenue Du President-Kennedy Montreal, QC H3A 1K1 (514) 350-5282
known for their decorative latte, which earns them the name, they also serve up a nice Louisiana chicken panini; a (possibly) wider menu is available from their Mont Royal East location
Wellhouse
4858 Sherbrooke W. & Victoria, Montreal (514) 482-2167
two former employees have taken over the location of the Mess Hall, changed the menu for the better, and turned the place into a reasonably decent, upscale bistro
Beaver Hall
3.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
1073 Cote De Beaver Hall Montreal, QC H2Z 1S5 (514) 866-1331
the interior is crisp and business-set, with an apparently deliberately high noise level, well-suited to the hordes of suits along that stretch of Rene Levesque; Beaver Hall is one of those "members of a family" of restos spun-off by a successful chef-owner; one of these members (Europea) has garnered rave reviews but alas, remains on my "still need to try it" list; Beaver Hall was adequate, as far as bistros go, but there were several disappointments along the way, starting from the abysmally slow service, the thin and timid gazpacho, the near-flavourless sole fillet, recommended by our waiter as the fish of the day, served with what should be considered an affront to potatoes in any self-respecting kitchen, and salvaged only by the accompanying rouille on a crispy baguette slice; a sampling of a colleague's "duo of venison" fared no better; one of the two was an overly dry roast and the second was a hamburger hash, apparently topped with turnip, and likely the more interesting of the pair; for dessert, I tried the creme brulé, recommended by a few other reviews, was also adequate, but evidently escaped its brush with the blowtorch, as the caramel didn't get a chance to harden
Decca 77
1077 rue Drummond Montreal, QC H3B 4X4 (514) 934-1077
3.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
Deca occupies a cool, stylish, glass-and-metal multi-level space in the IBM building, carving out a respectable niche in the "good food that doesn't break the wallet" category; they're clearly catering to an upscale crowd, but the prices are not out of control: $25 for our three-course lunch ($35 for dinner), although the waiter accidentally charged us the latter... subsequently corrected); wine by the glass added another $14, but this was a worthwhile pick that nicely complemented the meal; I started with a chunk of hamachi tuna (well ok, it's not really tuna) sitting on some lightly cooked veggies in a zesty red pepper sauce, while enviously eyeing one of my colleague's equally mouth-watering gazpacho, which appeared to have just that perfect half-way consistency between soup and ratatouille; alas,I wasn't offered a taste; for the main, the pan-fried veal liver was wonderful on top, but far underdone on the bottom; I was reluctant to have it sent back for fear of overcooking but in retrospect, I probably should have done so to see if they can correct their mistakes in the kitchen as effectively as the cash register; the salmon orders registered approval, although no "oohs and ahs"; dessert of a pistachio chocolate roll with a spoonful of sorbet was pleasant, but too light to round out the liver; unfortunately, nothing richer seemed to be on the list; bottom line? certainly no red star, but no doubt worth a second try
Sans Menu
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
3714 Notre-Dame Rue W Montreal, QC H4C 1P7 (514) 933-4782
Verdun has seen a growing list of moderately upscale restos catering to good tastes, and despite the Saint Henri location, we were expecting a pleasant surprise from this place, whose name supposedly reflects its constantly changing menu; while the atmosphere was reminiscent of those good value "Bib Gourmand" gems found in the Michelin guide, often located in small villages, neither the warm ambiance nor the pleasant service made up for the lacklustre food itself; the vichyssoise and warm chevre salad with chicken liver appetizers were adequate, although the latter somewhat meagre of a portion; for mains, almost everything that night was lobster and shrimp; we went with the tough, overcooked lamb shank with onions in port, and the entirely plain dorade; regrettably, Sans Menu will need to be "sans retour" for us
Le Local
3.5 stars from 23 reviews at Yelp
740 rue William Montreal, QC H3C 1P1 (514) 397-7737
exemplifying the chic of Vieux Montreal, the atmosphere here is upscale hip, with high ceilings, exposed bricks, a prominent wine tower as you walk in to the eating area, and big windows front and back, ensuring decent light during the lunch hour; the patrons are, for the most part, similarly cool, not just the vanilla business look; food is decent, with attention to presentation; the asparagus risotto was pleasant, although unexceptional, and I spent the better part of lunch gazing enviously at my colleague's halibut; alas, the dessert menu was a bit light for my tastes, with nothing of the chocolate variety, so my sampling of the fare was confined to the one dish, which didn't impress me sufficiently to warrant a repeat visit anytime soon
Café Bar Bon Voyage
Domestic departures wing, Trudeau airport, Dorval (514) 633-9972
if eggs benedict smoked salmon means that the first half is lukewarm and hard boiled, then they've got it right; to his credit, the waiter did a quick job in (apparently) chewing out the chef and returned with a fresh batch, which was actually decent brunch grub

Sandwich

closedGrano
3647 St. Laurent & Prince Arthur, Montreal
can't go wrong with their Italian sandwiches and great fries, also wonderful value in the 2-for-1 desserts; you can play board games at the tables or just people-watch
Santropol
4 stars from 45 reviews at Yelp
3990, Rue Saint-Urbain Montreal, QC H2W 1T7 (514) 842-3110
specializing in custom sandwiches and big with the Mt. Royal hippie crowd, the food is creative and healthy, served on very fresh and tasty breads; milkshakes and juice-based drinks are also popular and well prepared; great atmosphere in the garden patio
Olio
Sherbrooke & Peel, Montreal
popular Mediteranean-inspired cafe with excellent grilled sandwiches and salad selection; reasonable prices for the largely student crowd
Cafe L'Etranger
4 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
680 Sainte-Catherine Rue W Montreal, QC H3B 1C2 (514) 392-9016
a casual, spacious basement joint popular with the student crowd offers an entirely eclectic menu, spanning creative sandwiches and wraps to Thai-inspired and SoCal recipes, plus a beer special of the day; the daily lunch specials come with a decent soup and slice of "is-it-bread-or-sundried-fruit?" plus a colorful, although fairly tasteless, salad; the main dish I tried, a grilled lime chicken breast with mini-guacamole, was surprisingly well prepared and tasty -- definitely a good choice for an affordable (at $12 with tax and tip) downtown lunch
Le Comptoir de Cathy Estefan
1446 St. Catherine W. & MacKay, Montreal (514) 564-9171
formerly a Cafe Vienne location, this cafe/sandwich shop apparently received a recent makeover and a new name; disappointingly however, they would have been better off focusing their attention on the quality of food; of the limited selection available, I tried an absurdly bland potato leek soup and a tuna artichoke panini, evidently made with the most minimal of effort and similar consideration of seasoning
M Cafe
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1458, Rue de La Montagne Montreal, QC H3G 1P1 (514) 842-8825
(formerly Finnegan & Bacchus Bar) this little bistro serves some decent panini sandwiches, soups, and salads; the cheese was decent, and the tuna bagna, apparently from fresh tuna, although I'm not sure whether to believe it, mixed with fresh herbs and some olive tapenade, scored big points, and the kids were happy with the roast beef

Burger, Steak & Grill

badIndiana's
2001 Rue University Montreal, QC H3A 2A6 (514) 845-2002
very poor quality grill; if you should brave the establishment, check to see if the kitchen staff still smoke in the non-smoking section. Last visit involved an altercation with waitress who promised a speedy meal but took 45 minutes to bring out the first appetizer -- a tepid soup.
Alouette Steak House
St. Catherine & Peel, Montreal
good meat, little atmosphere
Mister Steerburger
St. Catherine & Peel, Montreal
cheap fast food
closedMondo Fritz
5 stars from 1 review at Yelp
3899 Saint-Laurent Boul, Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 281-6521
decent burger, yummy fries and beer
L'Anecdote
2.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
801 Rue Rachel E Montreal, QC H2J 2H7 (514) 526-7967
great burgers, poor fries
memorableLa Paryse
4 stars from 19 reviews at Yelp
302 Rue Ontario E Montreal, QC H2X 1H6 (514) 842-2040
deservedly rated as the best burgers in town; crayons and white paper-tablecloths at the tables to doodle while you wait for your meal; their milkshakes also receive a bonus mark for quality at a very affordable price
closedFrites Alors
3.5 stars from 16 reviews at Yelp
3497, Boul. Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2X 2T6 (514) 840-9000
(reviewed at location at 433 Rachel Est) great fries and dipping sauces but really terrible burgers; they should be ashamed... good beer selection
Patati Patata
4 stars from 43 reviews at Yelp
4177, Boul. Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2W 1Y7 (514) 844-0216
hole-in-the-wall joint serving excellent fries, small but reasonably tasty burgers; great value for the price
Bofinger Barbeque Smokehouse
3.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
5667 Rue Sherbrooke O Montreal, QC H4A 1W6 (514) 315-5056
the barbeque smokehouse part of the name defines the menu, but unlike other rib restos we've seen around town, this place, with a simple crisp interior decor, plenty of outdoor seating, and a buzz of happy patrons, even early on a Sunday evening, gives you a sense that the owners and staff take some pride in their establishment and care about serving up honest, good food; we order two sets of beef ribs, asking the girl at cash to give us whatever sauces are the most popular, along with a side of fries, one of coleslaw, some cicken a and mac n' cheese for the kids; the dishes arrive quickly, almost too fast in fact, and we're a bit nervous, but the ribs are delicious and moist (Kinik at the Mirror must have had bad luck); the Texas sauce has a nice zing to it, not too hot to overpower the meat, but enough that we keep it away from the little ones; South Carolina was mellower and probably not the right fit for beef; unfortunately, nothing else came close to measuring up and I'd suggest that the colelsaw be struck from the menu post-haste; also, don't try to make sense of the pricing -- 3 ribs for $8, 6 for $17 (the girl at cash warned me not to ask)
Copoli
5181 De Maisonneuve Boul W Montreal, QC H4A 1Z3 (514) 483-0000
ever so foolishly, we were swayed by a number of posts on various food groups where readers professed their love of the burgers here; all I can say is that they must also be fans of McDonalds; the burger is a squashed Big Mac on a quasi-focacia bun; it may have a large surface area, but the patty is ridiculously thin and tastes like cheap picnic; the fries were re-deep broiled (perhaps several times) to the point of carbonization; and the plates sat at the counter for a good five minutes before being served, not that this would have affected the flavour in any measurable way
Firegrill
3.5 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
1490 Stanley Rue Montreal, QC H3A 1P7 (514) 842-0020
a somewhat upscale grill resto, this offered an adequate cream of carrot soup and a surprisingly tender prime rib au jus, with wonderful garlic-mashed potatoes (although you may be advised to stay clear of your loved ones for a few days thereafter); seems to cater largely to the business set at lunch, haven't seen the dinner crowd yet
closedBiftheque
998 Blvd de Maisonneuve Ouest Montreal, QC H3A 3K1 (514) 658-5880
why is it that suits end up dining consistenly in overpriced but mediocre-at-best steak joints? Biftheque offers up the canonical "make it look classy" ambience that appeals to the business set, but can't bother to put in the slightest effort in their kitchen; starting from a watery lentil-cumin soup -- usually a sure hit, but this time, I left the bowl after a few spoons, with my dining companion choosing what appeared to be a listless salad; the meat itself was decent enough, but the overpowering sauces (both on the steak-frites and the pepper steak I sampled) hid any possibility of enjoying the flavour, while the accompanying low-end diner fries (served with either mayo or ketchup -- you just know that's a bad sign), destroyed whatever was left of my appetite
Gourmet Burger
3.5 stars from 10 reviews at Yelp
1433B, Rue Bishop Montreal, QC H3G 2E4 (514) 435-3535
following in the footsteps of Chef Nic, who wrote up a mouth-watering review of this affordable burger joint, catering to the tastes of a Montreal audience, I decided to give it a try with a group from the lab; in brief, the positive recommendation was borne out by our experience, the highlight though, probably being the buns rather than patties, which were decent, but not up to memories of La Paryse (above); the fries were adequate, with the sweet potato interestingly battered; a cautionary note that the cooking grill is small, much like the restaurant itself, with its rather limited seating capacity, and service can therefore take a while
O'Burger
2.5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
1777 McGill College Ave Montreal, QC H3A 1Z4 (514) 285-0005
situated in the former location of Roselina (see above) and despite my previous "adventures" there, I regret that they didn't stick around; the basic premise of a decent hamburger is that one must start with a lovingly prepared fresh meat patty, not a box of frozen slabs of mass-produced ground grade B leftovers; anything added thereafter cannot, by definition, repair the damage, so when our waiter tells us that the house speciality sauce is absolutely wonderful, he might want to qualify that with "on its own"; sorry, but the pickings on McGill College for decent grub remain slim, or perhaps non-existent

Bars, Pubs & Nouveau Cuisine

Ginger
4.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
16 Av Des Pins E Montreal, QC H2W 1N3 (514) 844-2121
lousy noveau cuisine with lots of cleavage
closedBaba-Reeba Cafe
3612 Bould St. Laurent & Prince Arthur, Montreal (514) 281-0103
Imaginative and tasty tapas, great service, at least for an early Friday night
bad Bal St. Louis (Grill/Pub)
82 Prince Arthur & Coloniale, Montreal
atrocious veal parmesan served cold and poor service to boot
McLeans Pub
1 star from 1 review at Yelp
1210 Peel Rue Montreal, QC H3B 2T6 (514) 392-7770
big-scale pub with friendly service, good selection of brews and decent pub grub at average prices; the burgers were boring by Montreal standards and rather overcooked but the pizzas, highly recommended by others, appeared to be a good choice
Le Claremont
2 stars from 1 review at Yelp
5032 Rue Sherbrooke W Montreal, QC H4A 1S7 (514) 483-1557
after a highly disappointing gigot d'agneau (leg of lamb) at Julien's (see above in French), I was delighted by the contrast in quality at this trendy Westmount resto; while the burgers (evidently one of the more popular dishes) was mediocre, the specials of the day included, for a reasonable $19, an exceptional grilled blue marlin appetizer with a light teriyaki sauce, along with a main course of curry rice, grilled vegetables, and a fair sized portion of lamb chops in a delicious thick Dijon sauce; service was friendly and professional, to the point of keeping us informed of a problem with one of the beer taps (which was corrected by the time our main course arrived) and politely asking an adjacent table to move outside with their cigarettes (as they were on the edge of a non-smoking section)
Dundee's
106 Rue Sainte-Anne Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue, QC H9X 1M1 Montreal (514) 457-4272
apparently a sibling of the downtown location, this family-friendly place with a great view on the water of Saint-Anne's serves a decent fish and chips and chicken fingers that were a hit with the little ones
Trois Brasseurs
3 stars from 35 reviews at Yelp
732 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3B 1B9 (514) 788-6333
a popular chain of French breweries, with a natural focus on beer, but offering various pub-food menu items including the "flammequeche", a thin pizza-like Alsatian dish, available, much like pizza, with a variety of different cheeses and other ingredients, but definitely with its distinct characteristics; the particular location we visited was enormous, with an atmosphere somewhere between sports bar and restaurant
badMoe's Deli & Bar
975 Boulevard Romeo Vachon Nord H4Y 1H1 Montreal
those who say that airport restaurants have captive audiences are right; this place should be sued by the city for advertising "Le Montrealais" in their burger category; this slab of tasteless cardboard-meat, accompanied by insipid, undercooked fries, is a disgrace to the fine culinary offerings of Montreal; in contrast, a number of decent take-away sandwich joints have sprung up in the pre-security area of the airport, which, in contrast, offer something actually palatable

Deli, Diners & Breakfast Joints

memorableSchwartz's
4 stars from 259 reviews at Yelp
3895 St-Laurent Blvd Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 842-4813
pretty well world-famous; this is *the* place to go for smoked meat, lineups day and night, and well worth it
Mamma's Pizzeria
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
75 Avenue Des Pins O Montreal, QC H2W (514) 288-1128
a run-down "institution" reputedly serving (by the claims of local students) the best poutine in town, although this is far from a claim to haute cuisine; open late at night
closedBen's
990 de Maisonneuve Boul W H3A 1M5 Montreal (514) 844-1000
old-style deli, smoked meat is the main fare but you can get decent, although expensive blintzes along with a full diner-style menu
memorableBeauty's
4 stars from 13 reviews at Yelp
93 Avenue du Mont-Royal Ouest Montreal, QC H2T 2S5 (514) 849-8883
historic diner with character
Dusty's
3 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
4510, Avenue Du Parc Montreal, QC H2V 4E3 (514) 276-8525
lousy breakfast
Great Eggspections
3.5 stars from 38 reviews at Yelp
1313 Boul De Maisonneuve O Montreal, QC H3G 2R9 (514) 842-3447 (and various locations)
trendy brunch, very good food but it's too noisy for a conversation and the lineups tend to be nasty
Chez Cora
3.5 stars from 11 reviews at Yelp
1425 Rue Stanley Montreal, QC H3A 1P4 (514) 286-6171 (and various locations)
reasonable breakfast place
Place Milton
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
220 Milton Rue Montreal, QC H2X 1V6 (514) 285-0011
good value, popular student hangout, serves decent crepes
Cafeteria
4 stars from 11 reviews at Yelp
3581 boulevard Saint-Laurent Montreal, QC H2X 2T6 (514) 849-3855
trendy but relaxed atmosphere; good portions at a decent price; great place for a weekend brunch
El Dorado
3 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
921, Avenue du Mont-Royal Est Montreal, QC H2J 1X3 (514) 598-8282
Good breakfast crepes and elegant fruit plate, warm decor, friendly service, weekend lunch menu (heavily Mediterannean with some fusion and tex-mex fare) doesn't start until 3pm
Tutti Frutti
various locations, Montreal
a local chain offering mega-portions of mediocre quality of various breakfast fare, ranging from chocolate-chip crepes with fruit and whipped cream, waffles, eggs and sausage, etc.; popular with the student crowd, downscale atmosphere, almost diner-like in character, with the added drawback of dirty bathrooms
Chalet Bar-B-Q
5 stars from 8 reviews at Yelp
5456 rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H4A 1V9 (514) 489-7235
rumoured (at least according to Gazette readers) to be the best rotisserie chicken in town, we found this old-style institution offers a decent, moist bird, accompanied by a reasonable barbeque sauce for an extra nominal charge -- however, this is not on par with Coco Rico (see under Portugese), which still takes top marks; the fries were delicious and the coleslaw, while simple, also deserves praise
Reubens
4 stars from 32 reviews at Yelp
1116, Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3B 1H4 (514) 866-1029
only tried them for breakfast but the service was friendly, the prices reasonable, and the portions generous; the only fault was in somewhat cool, but still enjoyable French toast (perhaps waiting out too long); the waiter offered not only to reheat them but to have a new batch made (we thanked him but declined the kind offer)
IKEA Cafeteria
9191 Cavendish Blvd & Autoroute 40, Montreal (514) 738-2167
mega-store cafeterias are not renowned for quality food at decent prices, but one has to hand it to IKEA for delivering on both counts; one does not come here for haute cuisine, but the dishes are surprisingly well prepared and certainly affordable; the salmon plate is passable and fish and chips surprisingly good; where else can one get a decent chocolate mousse and capuccino for $2?
Cote St. Luc Bar-B-Q
5403 Cote-Saint Luc & Earnscliffe, Montreal (514) 488-4011
I've never understood the appeal of Swiss Chalet and its cousins but evidently, the genre has its followers; the venerable Cote St. Luc BBQ draws the praise of numerous web postings as "perfect" rotisserie chicken, but to put it simply, this ain't for me; again, talk to the Portugese, who know how to do this right
New System Bar-B-Q
3419 Notre Dame W., Montreal (514) 932-1484
I'm not sure about the name, but as far as non-ethnic (specifically Portugese, as the ones who seem to have a monopoly on the best recipes) rotisseries go, this was one of the better flavoured birds we've tried, despite being a bit overcooked and heavy on the salt

Croissants and Dessert

closedCafe Linda - La Croissanterie
4.5 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1909, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, QC H3H 1M3 (514) 932-2604
tucked into the sprawl of shops on St. Catherine W. across from the Faubourg is this little neighbourhood cafe, which makes its own croissants - a standard mix of butter, almond, and chocolatines; generally good almond, priced very reasonably, although the plain butter were very plain...
Patisserie Belge
4 stars from 6 reviews at Yelp
3485, avenue du Parc Montreal, QC H2X 2H6 (514) 845-1245
the butter are generally very good, although on at least one occasion, they were downright unpleasant;the chocolatines often lack any more than a drop of chocolate; they used to have excellent chocolate-almond, but alas, these are almost never available any more
closedAu Bon Pain
St. Mathieu & Lincoln, Montreal
reasonable butter and chocolate, somewhat disappointing almond
Pain Doré
3 stars from 3 reviews at Yelp
1415 rue Peel Montreal, QC H3A 1S4 (514) 843-3151
on first review, we called this a chain of overpriced and decidely below average croissants; however, after enjoying their frozen, thaw-overnight-then-bake-in-the-morning croissants and chocolatines for several years, we apologize profusely for the earlier slight; having these piping hot croissants in the morning is by far the best way to enjoy them... even beating out Paris
Pagnelli's
1616 St. Catherine & Guy (Faubourg ground level) (934-1512) Montreal
very rich almond and chocolate almond, certainly their best offering; the chocolatine is reasonable but the butter leaves a bit to be desired; beware, however, of their associated breakfast/lunch grill on the side, which dishes out insipidly bland servings after inexcusable delays
closedFougasse & Quignon
St. Catherine & St. Urbain, Montreal (514) 847-8393
located at the edge of the Complexe Desjardins food court, this little boulangerie offers some of the best chocolate almond croissants to be found, but you have to arrive early on weekdays as they sell out quickly; their butter and chocolate croissants are also some of the city's best; another location exists at the Rockland commercial centre
Duc de Lorraine
5 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
5002, Chemin de la Côte-des-neiges Montreal, QC H3V 1G6 (514) 731-4128
reportedly the best croissants in town; great coffee, but we found the croissant-based sandwiches to be only reasonably good; full deli available at a limited number of tables
Premier Moisson
4 stars from 16 reviews at Yelp
1490, Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal, QC H3G 1L3 (514) 931-6540
excellent butter croissants, which is where their real strength lies; the chocolatines are also good but their almond only rates an average grade; in the dessert category, top marks on a killer chocolate mousse
Aux Plaisirs du Palais
4977 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3W 1X4 (514) 343-0333
a modest selection of varieties are available, although the patisserie offers a wide range of other delectable sweets
Au Kouigan Amann
3447A Mt. Royal & Henri Julien, Montreal
offering, in addition to the usual selection, a rasberry chocolate, but unfortunately, the quality didn't measure up to the novelty -- all their croissants suffered from poor "flakiness" and more resembled buns
memorablePatisserie de Gascogne
5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
4825, rue Sherbrooke Ouest Westmount, QC H3Z 1G6 Montreal (514) 932-3511
popular and bustling pastry shop with a nice gourmet food section, pleasant service, and the best hot chocolate ("chocolat chaud a l'ancienne") we've found in town; in terms of croissants, their creme d'amande currently tops the list as by far the best we've tried, standing tall above its competitors; the consistency of the dough as well as the rich but not overpowering almond filling were an absolute delight
memorableRockaberry's
3.5 stars from 11 reviews at Yelp
4275 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal, QC H2J 2K9 (514) 844-9479
incredibly decedant truffle, mouth-watering pies
Kilo
5206 Saint-Laurent Boul Montreal, QC H2T 1S1 (514) 277-5039
very good desserts; retro-candy sales
closedL'Amandier
1479 Laurier E & Fabre, Montreal (514) 523-1501
average croissants in the filled almond, plain, and chocolate variety
Le Glacier Bilboquet
4 stars from 8 reviews at Yelp
1311, rue Bernard Ouest Outremont, QC H2V 1W1 Montreal (514) 276-0414
superb ice creams and sherberts with an interesting variety of flavours and generous servings; on a hot summer weekend afternoon, there's always a line in front of this fixture of the Outremont scene
Pagliacci's
4 stars from 1 review at Yelp
125 Rue Prince-Arthur E Montreal, QC H2X 1B6 (514) 289-0904
near the east end of the Prince Arthur pedestrian walkway sits a popular gelateria, featuring mouth-watering flavours including black currant and a scrumptious mango; rated as one of the city's finest, this stuff rivals the best from Italy
Fromentier
5 stars from 5 reviews at Yelp
1375 Avenue Laurier Est Montreal, QC H2J 1H6 (514) 527-3327
with a different "bread menu" every day of the week, you know you're onto something special when you step foot inside this basement bakery in the trendy Plateau area; while we've only tried the breads, including our favourite "chocolate explosion" (featuring a mixture of chocolate and cranberries), we recently discovered a wide selection of croissants, which, alas, don't compare to the quality of their breads
Calories
4114 Sainte Catherine St W Westmount, QC H3Z 3C9 Montreal (514) 933-8186
reputed for its desserts, but the lunch pannini specials are a serious disappointment
Patisserie de Nâncy
5655 Monkland Av Montreal, QC H4A 1E5 (514) 482-3030
although reasonably moist, the croissants are far too crispy and devoid of flavour
Les Co'Pains d'abord
4.5 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp
1965 Av Du Mont-Royal E Montreal, QC H2H 1J5 (514) 522-1994
croissants have an interesting high-crispness factor, possibly resulting from application of a thin layer of butter pre-baking, but unlike the clever name of this boulangerie, the output of the oven is otherwise fairly ordinary
Au Kouign Amann
322 Mont Royal E. & Drolet, Montreal (514) 845-8813
croissants have an even higher high-crispness level than those from Les Co'Pains (above) but just the right softness in the interior; the namesake pastry, however, is what stands out, the Koign Amann, aptly, the "high calorie version of a croissant" is, as the folks at
Real Bagels
4160 Saint Catherine W & Green, Montreal (514) 846-3733
Real Bagels scores top marks, not surprisingly, for their bagels, possibly even deserving of greater praise than Montreal's venerable Fairmont and St. Viateur bakeries; traditionalists will take great pleasure in their sesame and poppy seed offerings, and for something a bit different, the chocolate banana is an absolute treat; although their counter includes a tempting assortment of other baked goods, it was evidently a mistake to sample the chocolate almond croissant, which was an unmitigated abomination to the name -- disguised on the outside by a sprinkling of chocolate sauce and coating of slivered almonds, but inside, a flavourless, plain croissant, apart from an even worse wet growth injection of something not quite resembling chocolate

Kosher

Chez Benny
5071 Queen-Mary Ch Montreal, QC H3W 1X4 (514) 842-3447
kosher fast food; good mixed salads plate
A Propos
5375 Queen Mary & DeCarie, Montreal
attempting-to-be-upscale decor Kosher Italian; the food is nothing exceptional but definitely overpriced
badclosedRahamim
5136 DeCarie & Queen Mary, Montreal
a Kosher Japanese restaurant and it's vile, vile, vile; now we know why sushi never made it big among religious Jewish circles; everything was off, all the way from the fish and soy sauce to the ginger and even the texture of the rice; and adding insult to injury, it's expensive (now closed, and deservedly so!)
Ernie's & Ellie's Place
6900 Decarie & Vezina, Montreal
popular with the kosher crowd, this resto features adquately tasty and generous servings of typical favourites such as chopped liver and chicken soup, but mixes their offerings with a large kosher Chinese menu
badFoxy's
Victoria & Plamondon, Montreal
not quite awful, but somewhat evocative of what kosher food would taste like if it were made by McDonald's; enough said

Fast Food

badLa Belle Provence
4 stars from 2 reviews at Yelp
705, Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC H3B 4G5 (514) 845-4113
horrid fast food