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Photograph: Kevin Mackinnon

Restaurants serving up the best breakfast in Montreal right now

Whether it’s starting the day off right or repairing last night’s damage, dig into the best breakfast restaurants in Montreal

Written by
JP Karwacki
Kaitlyn McInnis
Isa Tousignant
Laura Osborne

UPDATE spring, 2023: Don't be fooled: While brunch in Montreal may take up the spotlight for early (early-ish?) meals, breakfast is the most important meal of the day in Montreal. After all, what’s not to love about endless drip coffee and decadent sweet-and-salty fare (and the best bagels)? It should come as no surprise that Montreal does breakfast well, thanks to its rich tradition of diners, French flair and kick-ass bakeries. This city’s got what you need, whether it’s for bacon and eggs or more refined fare like Belgian waffles coated with whipped cream—the most Instagrammable café in the province included.

Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal
Best brunch spots in Montreal
Where to find the best coffee in Montreal
Best bagels in Montreal, ranked

The biggest brunch in Montreal

Best breakfast in Montreal

Arthurs Nosh Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Yutong Y.

1. Arthurs Nosh Bar

Provided you can nab yourself a table at this Saint-Henri Jewish diner, you won’t be disappointed with dining at this restaurant serving up diner fare that’s been upscaled through the deft touch of a chef’s hand. Available all day from the morning ‘til late afternoon, healthy options like their quinoa bowls are just as valuable as the classics coming hot off the flattop, whether it’s eggs and salami or the McArthur, a chicken schnitzel sandwich with shredded iceberg slaw, mayo and pickles on toasted challah.

Reason to get out of bed: Syrniki cottage cheese pancakes, the McArthur or the latke smorgasbord

Beautys Luncheonette
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Alexander M.

2. Beautys Luncheonette

Locals will be the first to tell you: This breakfast and lunch landmark is a Mile End institution. Open since 1942, if the T-shirts of its storied owners or the kitsch on the walls don’t give it away, you’ll quickly discover the charm of this diner through its own well-loved classics: Mish-Mash omelettes with chopped sausage and salami or a Beautys breakfast melt.

Reason to get out of bed: Beautys special, Mish-Mash or a SuperBeautys 2 Platter

Photograph: Kevin Mackinnon

3. Millmans

This "fancy" snack bar with old school diner vibes on Wellington Street in Verdun is serving up breakfast and lunch, and covering all the morning classics. Expect fluffy stacks of pancakes, perfectly roasted home fries, gravlax, homemade granola and more. There's also an early bird special for keeners.

Photograph: Foiegwa

4. Foiegwa

It’s nice to see this lady of the evening in the morning! Foiegwa is a favourite evening-into-night spot for comfort foods like truffled steak tartare and pulled-duck gnocchi, but you may not know she’s a morning person, too. Her sultry vibes turn into sunshiny ones full of brunch offerings that say, simply, life is good. From ricotta pancakes to pain perdu, you’ll love it.

Reason to get out of bed: The croissant stuffed with ham à l’os, poached egg, scrumptious Avonlea cheddar and truffle hollandaise

Olive + Gourmando
Photograph: Laure Illian

5. Olive + Gourmando

Wandering through Old Montréal in the morning is worth it for the sights but mainly for O+G’s breakfast. You’ll be greeted by a pastry counter at the front but stock up on your way out—for now just head to the back, sit at a table, and order yourself something simple like toast, jam and sharp cheddar, or a scrumptious bowl of sweet spiced ricotta with orange zest and brioche to spread it on.

Reason to get out of bed: The sconewich, stuffed with ham, cheddar and peach preserves

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Larrys

6. Larrys

The little brother to the lunch-brunch-and-dinner restaurant Lawrence, this wine bar, café and bistro rolled into one does its breakfast particularly well. Apart from the perk of serving their morning repasts both day and night, it’s a charming and unpretentious place for locals to enjoy an English-influenced spot with Welsh rarebit toast, fried mushrooms, bubble and squeak and crumpets alongside an amazingly good breakfast sandwich.

Reason to get out of bed: That breakfast sandwich, no jokes


7. Dandy


Everyday from 10 am to 4 pm you can treat yourself to brunch at this beautiful apricot-leather clad emporium of deliciousness. The arch-heavy modernist décor and high ceilings equal instant relaxation, but lean into the chill vibes by ordering a morning drinkipoo. The Bloody Caesar hits the perfect salty note as an accompaniment to the Endless Summer avocado toast with fried egg and sourdough.  

Reason to get out of bed: The tall stack of ricotta pancakes with lemon cream

Maison Boulud
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Adele Z.

8. Maison Boulud

Located inside the gilded Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sherbrooke Street, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant delivers high-class offerings of classics. Familiar dishes are given upscaled touches, like Belgian waffles topped with whipped Chantilly cream, classic eggs getting paired up with the likes of Toulouse sausage or smoked Gaspor Farm ham. All this is served in a cozy atmosphere, albeit it’s about as ‘cozy’ as an elegant dining space can get.

Reason to get out of bed: The breakfast buffet

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Katie Z.

9. Cosmo's

This essential greasy spoon—its founder was given the moniker of ‘Man of Grease’ by a documentarian—is easily one of the busiest spots in NDG come breakfast time for good reason. Boasting a mere 11 seats, it’s a no-frills neighbourhood restaurant offers hefty dishes like a mish-mash omelette with chopped sausage and salami or breakfast sandwiches, all served with superb breakfast potatoes that are part tater, part onion, part magarine. Artery-clogging goodness.

Reason to get out of bed: The Creation breakfast sandwich or mish-mash trio

Café Joe
Photograph: Courtesy Café Joe

10. Café Joe

Diners will spend hours tucked into the nooks of this vegetarian-friendly breakfast joint located at the edge of Saint-Henri. It’s got all the carnivorous fixings you might be looking for in spades, but its cozy and unpretentious vibes are also complemented by offerings like vegetarian sausage with tofu scramble, as well as classic breakfast sandwiches on house bread. If you’re looking for a place with a nice bohemian-friendly feel to it, you come here.

Reason to get out of bed: Two-egg breakfast platter with grilled cheese

Bistro Tôt ou Tard
Photograph: Courtesy Bistro Tôt ou Tard

11. Bistro Tôt ou Tard

Blink and you might miss this neighbourhood bistro, quietly tucked into an unassuming apartment complex in the Plateau. Frequented for its early morning specials and creative breakfast cocktails, it’s good for both breakfasts and brunches with its Eggs Benedict, crêpes and French toast plates. Its light-filled dining space fills up quickly on weekend mornings. Get there early or make a reservation.

Reason to get out of bed: Petit déjeuner du pêcheur, two poached eggs on bagels with lox, provolone and hollandaise

Photograph: Thierry Baril Laliberté

12. Hélicoptère

19. Hélicoptère

Turn your brunch experience into a tasting party with Hélicoptère’s small plates, perfect for sharing and ordering in spurts to match your appetite as you laze away the day swapping tales. Pick the tasting menu for a fully rounded sense of their flavours, or stay low-key and go to Café Hélico instead—their casual sidekick serves up a mean coffee and has a short but supremely satisfying brunch menu.

Reason to get out of bed: The breakfast sandwich featuring fennel sausage and BBQ sauce

Spanel Crêpes & Gourmets
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Clea C.

13. Spanel Crêpes & Gourmets

Among the usual pancake lovers, gluten-free folk will also appreciate this specialty crêpe restaurant. With a seemingly endless list of possibilities—think caramelized bananas with rum or smoked salmon with arugula and fresh cream—this bustling breakfast spot just down the street from Joe Beef and Vin Papillon comes alive on the weekend, especially in the summertime when the back of the restaurant opens into a charming, tree-lined terrace.

Reason to get out of bed: Crêpes both savoury and sweet, or a slice of crêpe cake

Perles et Paddock
Photograph: Sylvie Li

14. Perles et Paddock

This favourite Little Burgundy hangout in a converted garage will seduce you with pinkies-up tartines and incredible Benedicts. Pair whatever delight you choose with a morning cocktail—why not? The P&P coffee will get you buzzed with amaretto, rye, curaçao and cream. 

Reason to get out of bed: The tartine topped with poached egg, ricotta, kale, celery root and rutabaga

St-Viateur Bagel & Café
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Katrina G.

15. St-Viateur Bagel & Café

The West Island’s location of this bagels-and-more restaurant serves as a very welcome institution in what’s otherwise a food desert. Expect all the classics here plus to-go items like jams, cream cheese, and packaged coffee beans in a light-flooded, distinctly industrial-feeling space. Few can go wrong with getting fresh bagels with your breakfast either. Don’t forget the location on Mont-Royal either if you’re Plateau-bound.

Reason to get out of bed: Freshly-baked bagels with your breakfast

Le Cartet
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amanda L.

16. Le Cartet

This refined bistro in Old Montreal serves up elevated takes on breakfast classics like poached eggs with smoked salmon and goat cheese, potatoes in duck fat and French toast with honey, hazelnut and apple butter. Locals and tourists alike prefer this address for its terrace in the summertime for just the right ratio of sunlight-to-people-watching in a more relaxed part of its tourist-heavy borough.

Reason to get out of bed: Avo toasts, egg platters and extras galore

Dame Tartine
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Céline D.

17. Dame Tartine

Oftentimes there’s a place you find that you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about, lest it gets overrun and congested. Consider this our gift to locals and tourists looking for new spots to check out: On the edge of the Gay Village, this Montreal outpost of a popular Quebecois breakfast-focused franchise does generous breakfast platters right, if not worth it for an amazing home fries recipe, poutines and their tartines (open-faced sandwiches, a Quebecois smørrebrød).

Reason to get out of bed: Anything off the tartine section of the menu

Vieux Vélo
Photograph: Courtesy Le Vieux Vélo

18. Vieux Vélo

Running from the early morning until the late afternoon, this restaurant does a service to its neighbourhood by offering more than breakfast options on its menu, but it’s really the breakfasts that you want when you come here. Eggs Benedict comes in several different varieties.

Reason to get out of bed: All the Eggs Benedict options for cheap you can dream of

Bagel Etc
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Joy S.

19. Bagel Etc

If you’re looking for a unique spot for a quick bite, look no further than this quirky joint on St-Laurent. Victorian-style furniture, red leather booths and elevated window seating await, alongside greasy spoon classics and of course, bagels. Also a popular spot among those tracing the footsteps of Leonard Cohen, who was known to frequent this spot regularly when in town.

Reason to get out of bed: Classic and reliable American breakfasts

Chez Jacquie et France
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amber H.

20. Chez Jacquie et France

Few neighbourhood breakfast joints can claim as much reliability as this restaurant themed after Îles-de-la-Madeleine with nautical fixture. Open every day of the week at a stone’s throw away from the Verdun metro stop, this breakfast joint makes it equal parts fast and fresh for all the classic American options, in addition to crêpes, French toasts and Eggs Benedict. Word to the wise: Order up an extra cup of cretons to spread over your toast.

Reason to get out of bed: Lobster Eggs Benedict or simple egg platters

Snowdon Deli
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jack D.

21. Snowdon Deli

A breakfast restaurant with history, this institution has been feeding locals since its inception in 1946. Locals come to its humble diner for two things: Smoked meat sandwiches—some say its quality bests the likes of the popular Schwartz’s—and solid greasy spoon breakfast fare.

Reason to get out of bed: Two-egg breakfast with smoked meat on the side

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Mathieu L.

22. L'Express

This iconic Parisian-style bistro is best known for its evening and late-night services, but its breakfast fare is just as good. Offering a completely different vibe at 8 a.m. thanks to its light-flooded bay window, L’Express dishes out a superb petit déjeuner that’s plain and simple. Expect early morning classics like French toast, assorted pastries and freshly squeezed orange juice alongside quickening cups of espresso.

Reason to get out of bed: Croque-monsieur, egg platters and mimosas

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Fouad B.

23. Greenspot

Retro era lovers love this old school diner that’s been hoisting fry baskets and flipping sizzling patties since 1947. From the vintage signs and leather booths that come equipped with vintage jukebox machines (that no longer function) to their timeless and tasty diner fare, this beloved greasy spoon is an undeniable landmark of Saint-Henri.

Reason to get out of bed: All-day breakfasts

Orange Café
Photograph: Courtesy Orange Café

24. Orange Café

Folks who find themselves in NDG with a hankering for breakfast might content themselves with waiting in line at restaurants along Sherbrooke, but this classic not far off the thoroughfare’s just as good—if not better—for the classic breakfast platters brimming with your order plus fresh fruit and every condiment under the sun. There’s something to be said for a place willing to do one thing (breakfast) and do it well.

Reason to get out of bed: Anything on the menu, reader’s choice

Photograph: Patricia Brochu

25. Marcus

Marcus is a mortgage-your-house type of venue for an evening meal, but brunch-time takes it down a few notches in both sophistication and price tag, making it more accessible. It’s a beautiful site to enjoy a meal in the daylight—the marble floor and shining surfaces drip with classic bistro vibes and the terrasse provides both fresh air and a primo view on the Leonard Cohen mural. Inhale, then chow down on simple fare like the Marcus Scramble or waffles topped with berries and whipped-cream. 

Reason to get out of bed: The lobster omelette with crab, leek and Gruyère sauce

Bar George
Photograph: Cindy La

26. Bar George

Need to impress over breakfast? Bar George in the Mount Stephen hotel serves a mean weekend brunch in a heritage wood-panelled dining room, in one of the Golden Square MIle’s most beautiful buildings. Start your morning with oysters, go straight for caviar and blinis or tuck into the hearty duck confit hash. 

Reason to get out of bed: George’s Full English comes complete with black pudding and fried mushrooms

Photograph: Evelyne Pellerin

27. Leméac

This Outremont institution is a go-to for classic French brasserie fare, and it’s a festive place at brunch when the usual din of French conversation is interspersed with sips of mimosa. They serve brunch on weekends only, but you can reserve. If you come with a gang try to get a spot on the terrasse in the warmer months, but this is also a fantastic place to sit solo at the bar so you can really commune with your perfect omelette.

Reason to get out of bed: The pain doré with chocolate cream and banana

Santa Barbara
Photograph: Restaurant Santa Barbara / @restaurantsantabarbara

28. Santa Barbara

When half your party’s veggie and half is omnivorous, this is the place to please everyone. They serve brunch on weekends but also on Fridays, if you want to beat the rush. The USP of Santa Barbara is veggie-forward inventive homey food, and their brunch options are right on point: their various egg dishes come with tasty veggie sides and their home sourdough toast, but you can also go off-piste with their morning banh mi with grilled pork.

Reason to get out of bed: The Bruncher serves a soft-boiled egg with kimchi, cheddar and roasted sweet potato. Need we say more?

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