Whether you need something to battle a hangover brought on by nightlife in Montreal at one of its many, many bars, or you just enjoy a sumptuous start to the weekend by dining in the city’s best restaurants, brunch is essential to the process. There’s a wide range of delectable bites both traditional and innovative to enjoy here, from new-yorkaise Eggs Benedict and North African shakshuka to Chinese dim sum and cross-cultural experimentations. Whatever your preference, there’s something for every tastebud, oftentimes with hair of the dog to ease the pain. Fuel up and finish off your week right by visiting the following curated choices.
Best brunch in Montreal
One of the hottest tickets in town right now, this restaurant in Saint-Henri from Raegan Steinberg and Alex Cohen has a small but serious brunch menu on weekends. Their menu’s a delicious salvo of Middle Eastern and Eastern European flavours running through breakfast platters. That, plus their regular menu with homeruns like the McArthurs (chicken schnitzel with iceberg slaw, mayo and pickles on challah), means this is the place to nosh on the regular.
An Old Montreal restaurant doing breakfast and lunch incalculable justice throughout the week, this one got popular like a bat out of hell. Be it the regular menu or its weekend brunch, Dyan Solomon’s offerings might seem run-of-the-mill at first glance, but everything here is immaculately tasty enough to draw long lines. Just be sure not to pass up the baked goods for a post-brunch snack.
Jeffrey Finklestein is no ordinary Montreal-bred name; his bakery, inspired by the Jewish bakeries of his childhood, supplies some of the best restaurants in town with their bread while serving up seriously awesome sandwiches and pastries in house. Blink and you might miss their weekend brunch services, delivering a tiny but mightily tasty menu: Shakshuka, schnitzel, salmon croquettes, smoked fish specials, vegan platters, French toast. That’s it, and that’s all it needs.
One of the few restaurants in town whose brunch menu tosses and turns at the chef’s whims (so some of the dishes mentioned later on may change), wildcard Maksim Morin is doing stupendous work at his restaurant. He’ll concede a diner (excellent) steak and eggs or brioche French toast, but this is the brunch service that takes amazing chances with amazing results: All-you-can-drink mimosas for $20. Pork belly donairs. Ostrich egg breakfast platters fit to feed 8 people. This is what brunching is all about: Filling, boozy and bombastic.
Every day of the week, Café Régine—and its Verdun counterpart Janine Café—continues to uphold its reputation as one of the finest brunch-focused restaurants in the city. It serves dishes from across the mealtime’s sweet-savory spectrum, along with the prerequisite Caesars, mimosas, liquid chocolate and coffee you’d care to guzzle. All of this is served in surroundings reminiscent of British high tea with impeccable service, so popular that the line-ups run long at this one.
Among the most inventive brunches in town, if not the most inventive, is chef Chanthy Yen’s weekend brunch service. Mexican, Cambodian, Spanish, and contemporary Canadian influences come together and build an astounding cross-cultural menu that wows in a simple and natural way, free of the billowing fog of liquid nitrogen or tableside pan flashes. Our recommendation is to go with a group, order a variety plus an extra plate, and fence with your forks.
Sure, there are breakfasts and lunches both healthful and luxuriant to be had at Nadine Boudreau, Julie Romano and chef Jens Ruoff’s establishment, but all of that coalesces and congeals nicely in their brunches running from Fridays to Sundays. A glance at their dishes, from mains to sides, draws exclamations of inspiration. We’d tell you about we love to eat here, but then it’d be just us reading off the whole damn menu.
This keep-it-simple neighbourhood restaurant puts Little Italy on the map with its two-page menu full of brunching goodness: Two-egg breakfast platters (vegan option available), French toast, burgers, cocktails and a sturdy selection of Eggs Benedict keep folks coming back throughout the week. Built to support the working class and starving artists, no one can argue with its items that never break the $15 mark.
Jessica Bégault’s café ownership savvy, combined with the work with of chef Norah Paré, makes for a delicious combination indeed. Sure, there’s good grub to grab at breakfast and lunch during the week, but the brunch on weekends? Grand slams, a vegetarian croque monsieur and some of the best French toast in town for its use of milk-based bread in a heavy cream bath. It’s all excellent, just like momma used to make.
Hats off to anyone who reappropriates an old, disused space like a cheap diner and revivifies it with an elegant touch. That’s Foiegwa—having taken an old casse-croûte and given it the old tablecloths-and-crystal touch—but the brunch is still a modestly-priced affair that hits all the right spots. Imagine your favourite breakfast items infused with truffles, plus fluffy ricotta pancakes, milkshakes, Bennies and chia bowls. Oh, and you can add foie gras to anything for the princely sum of $10.
The Gay Village is generally more popular for a night out than it is a day after, but a smattering of superb restaurants turn that notion on its head. Le Passé Composé is one such place. Chef Arnaud Glay’s menu has a high level of quality to it, full stop. A variety of poached egg plates take up a fair share of a page here, but don’t pass up the sweeter side if you can with panko-encrusted French toast and apple doughnuts. Oh man. Those apple doughnuts.
Hear us out: A pub—wait for it—with food. You’d stop us because, yeah, you’ve heard that one before. What you haven’t heard is that Réservoir’s chef and bartenders are among the best in town at it. Chef Marc-Alexandre Mercier wasn’t a talent to be wasted when the beloved local joint Hôtel Herman was no more and was scooped up to produce amazing menus with heretofore unseen combos. Dishes like cockerels with cream and sherry blood sausage with celery root are nicely rounded out with beer mimosas, and that’s a win in our books.
Were you looking for a hole in the wall-style greasy spoon in which where you can weep regrets about last night into a cup of dishwater coffee, you’ve come to the wrong place. Perles et Paddock’s elegantly constructed space is brimming with natural light, and is serving a little bit of everything for the hungry masses with twists and turns: Breakfast sausage is now boudin, avo toast is an avo tartine, steak and eggs are now covered with chimichurri. Just familiar enough while still being dressed to the nines.
The chef, butcher and co-owner of Lawrence Marc Cohen nearly gave us a heart attack when Lawrence was briefly closed and retooled, but the result was worth the wait. While a new dinner and lunch menu wowed, the brunch menu thankfully didn’t change. Doughnuts, bubble and squeak, kedgeree and devilled kidneys on toast are but a few excellent British delights available here. One dish yields a desire for another, and it’ll pain you once you realize that generally only one fits in your stomach.
Beautiful, bright, airy and known for its brunches. Mélisse has all the look and feel of a Californian café, but earns that glamorous veneer through service and style. Sure, you’ve got your artisanal drinks and kombucha for sale, but the choice cocktails, open sandwiches and breakfast casseroles will cement this place in your mind as a worthwhile endeavor. Just maybe don’t show up in your sweatpants and expecting to chug pitchers of mimosas here.
The taste of wood-fired food is irreplicable, and so’s the skill that chef Marc-André Jetté brings to his brunch services. In a menu that leans towards proteins, the team pumps out both surf and turf in a delicious and artsy fashion. The drinks are cheap, the coffee’s great, and the execution of the food leaves you gloriously satiated. Our particular favourites include the croquettes, hangar steak or anything with a poached egg.
The heritage building of Le Mount Stephen hotel carries itself grandly with vaulted ceilings, dangling chandeliers and plush seating. That forms a beautiful setting for a proper British brekkie and brunch, dishing out as many full English plates as they do poached eggs atop avo toasts—scones and duct fat potatoes on the side, of course. Given your surroundings, it won’t be long before being tempted by luxury add-ons like a make-your-own mimosa or Aperol spritz packages either.
Aptly named, this little nook in Montreal’s most artsy (read: hipster) milieu spins classic brunch fare on its head. Someone had the—ahem—brilliant idea to dangle light bulbs from the ceiling, a feat of decor that contributes all the more to its pseudo-intellectual-beatnik vibe. Buzz foods like quinoa and tofu dot the menu, but make no mistake: You’ll leave as stuffed as a breakfast burrito. Cod elevates the humble Eggs Benedict while duck confit makes poutine the perfect hair of the dog.
There are a lot of great Chinese restaurants for dim sum in Montreal, but Kim Fung is the one doing it right. Centrally located, it serves a proper brunch service to a constant stream of hungry patrons by the cartload. As the tea flows, a choice of any of their fried or steamed goods is a sure bet, from dumplings to sticky rice, eggplant stuffed with shrimp to spring rolls. While not for everyone, we can attest to their chicken feet and beef stomach stew as well: It’s all awesome.
If the once-restaurant-now-take-out spot Crudessence made being vegan sheik, chef Stéphanie Audet (who once cooked for them) made it cool. No other restaurant is like it, filled with hygge-inspired surroundings while nearly every menu item stamped as vegan and gluten-free. They do a mean dinner, and they do a great could-have-fooled-me brunch. Praise is due to their pancakes, waffles, chia bowls, and Eggs Benedicts—their optional poached organic eggs being the only non-vegan thing they’ve cooked to date.
While its new chef Carter Bourassa takes his time to construct a new identity for the restaurant’s dinner menu, we can safely say that brunch at Hopkins is a more-than-pleasing experience. There are your usual repasts available here, but our hearts go out to the build-your approach most of all: Avocados, foie gras shavings and fried chicken are just as available as eggs and bacon. With a menu like that and a plush ‘n’ posh décor that says Hamptons-meets-New-York, it’s all that and a bag of chips.
Chef Kimberly Lallouz spent months experimenting with chicken-frying techniques before opening this temple to the fried bird, and the results don’t disappoint: Their technique’s akin to a country-fry via pressure cooking, which maintains juicy meat with a crispy skin. Even better, it forms one half of an awesome chicken and waffles dish for weekend brunch services. There’s also shakshuka, breakfast burritos, Eggs Benedict and frittatas, but come on. Chicken and waffles makes for finger-licking goodness.
Brunch is sometimes suspect, an excuse for restaurants to pawn off aging inventory as new dishes. The French brasserie Holder does no such thing, delivering the same level of quality to its brunch service as it does the rest of the week. It’s versatile too, with menus available as à la carte or for groups as large as 20 and up, plus an uncommon kids menu. Dine on French toast with a caramel-rum sauce, goat cheese omelets with roasted fingerlings and cheese platters to your heart’s delight, washed down with a bubbling mimosa.
It boasts rock & roll/hip hop concert vibes thanks to the graffitied walls, a motorcycle dangling from the ceiling and restrooms that are straight up glow-in-the-dark-trippy. If you can bare the hour-long wait outside at one of its three locations, you’ll fall in love with the invigorating atmosphere. The portions are also downright massive. Have your leftovers for both breakfast and lunch the next day, if only to savor the genius blend of pancakes and cheddar cheese one last time.
Derek Dammann’s restaurant already steals many-a show for his top quality cooking at night here and at McKiernan Luncheonette, but the brunch here’s equally deserving of credit. It’s not a gastropub at Maison Publique—however much it may look like one—but the brunches here are where the menu’s most akin to a pub’s offerings. English breakfasts for two with bone marrow, popped yokes oozing out of breakfast sandwiches and pancakes with bacon may all sound plainspoken, but a bite will immediately prove otherwise. Oh, and the booze here is great too.
With all the cases to be made for wild takes on classic brunch dishes or healthy living options, where are all our straightforward bistros offering calming services, low volumes, and delicious eats? Leméac fulfills that need, the kind of place you can drag your hungover shell of a former self to and gestate at the menu with a wilting finger without taking off your shades. Then, the food comes, whatever hearty or sweet or sable thing your heart desired, and it’s so good. Classy and classic, it’s both endearingly basic while setting a high baseline with its French jouissance.
Set in its reclaimed Saint-Henri heritage building, H4C’s brunch service from chef Dany Bolduc is second only to Maison Boulud in its high-class delivery. Far from static, the kitchen serves up a lot of classics with artful tweaks and touches; doughnuts with homemade jams for example, or shiitake omelettes and tuna tartare with sea urchin. Couple that with a wine cellar full to bursting with reds, whites and rosés and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an impeccable brunch.
It’s not unheard of to plan your entire travel itinerary around Michelin star recipient Daniel Boulud’s masterful creations, and his brunch is no exception. Housed in the Ritz-Carlton hotel, Maison Boulud is a cultural touchstone wrapped into one perfect phyllo dough pastry. Dining al fresco in the renovated garden overlooking a pond of ducks provides even more of an incentive to pay the establishment a daytime visit (and half your salary for some well-worth-it snow crab on brioche and a juicy DB Burger topped with pork belly and Oka cheese).
While not a brunch spot in name or by definition, Bertrand Bazin’s café and bistro is delivering all the necessary elements and makings of an excellent brunch restaurant. The menu here ranges from the ease of snacking on pastries—and pastries are an absolute must here—alongside hot espresso to savoury French classics like quiche and Niçoise salad. That said, options here feel like they’re strictly intended for breakfast or lunch, but together? You do the math.