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La Cabane d’à côté
Photograph: La Cabane d’à côté / aupieddecochon.ca

The best farm-to-table restaurants near Montreal

Dine on the season's freshest produce at the orchards, greenhouses and farmlands of the best farm-to-table restaurants near Montreal

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
&
Tommy Dion
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Few other places to dine out keep it as fresh, local and novel as the best farm-to-table restaurants near Montreal. We're talking about tables being set up among the trees of orchards, below the glass of greenhouses, right up alongside farmland and even at luxurious resorts with serious seasonal produce hookups. It's one thing to get the freshest food from a Montreal farmers market and cook it up yourself, or go feasting at a sugar shack near Montreal once winter's on its last legs. If you want to experience Quebec terroir at the height of its freshness from accomplished chefs however, you need to go straight to the source.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

Where to find the best farm-to-table restaurants near Montreal

Following the closure of her restaurant Su in Verdun after 15 years of feeding the city within the city, chef Fisun Ecran decided to skip town and start up a new operation. Welcoming guests onto her farm located in Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu, select groups of guests are invited to live a unique farm-to-table experience with Mediterranean influences. Only 18 lucky people can sit there during evening services from Thursday to Saturday, but there are Sunday brunches as well.

From Thursday to Sunday, noon to 8pm, Montrealers—heck, people from across the province, it's worth the trip—can take advantage of the orchard dining available from the latest project of the Au Pied de Cochon restaurant family. Chef Vincent Dion-Lavallée and his team are changing the picnic menu every month, focusing on the freshest vegetables and locally-sourced (see: raised by the restaurant) chickens and pigs in addition to other food coming straight from the area. If it's not being produced on-site, you can be sure it's coming from somewhere very, very close by.

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If you find yourself wanting to head in the direction of Mont-Tremblant, there are several addresses worth stopping at for a meal, but among them? L’Épicurieux reigns supreme. Focusing on doing some daring feats of regional cuisine that changes every week, the only thing you can't anticipate when dropping in are the long wine lists full to burst with sake, oranges and other innovative curations. Go with an open mind and an insatiable appetite.

If you want to go to a restaurant whose treatment of farm-to-table cuisine is remniscient of Paris' famed Arpège and its vegetarian menus, then this is your best bet. Pamper yourself with the refined French cuisine of this destination and the Breton Rouyé family as your guests. Plates that come out of the kitchen here are more akin to small paintings of local flavours than they are simple repasts of the countryside, and be ready to post on that 'gram.

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Is it a bakery? Yes and no. Owners Albert and Johanne are more self-taught geniuses in their craft than they are coming from some studied culinary school background, and the passion shows in their work, pushing the boundaries of the traditional bakery. From delicious loaves made from Quebec grains to midday menus that appeal to diners both curious and gluttunous, they're currently offering picnic tables—so long as it's warm enough outside—with an all-new passion: Mouthwatering pizza baked in a wood oven.

Located on the edge of Lac des Sables in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Stonehaven le Manoir offers a breathtaking views of the nearby lake and the stunted mountains of Quebec in the distance alongside some seriously good food. Chef Éric Gonzalez—known most recently for his work at the Montreal Casino's L'Atelier Joël Robuchon, among other bigwig spots—is doing dishes that will blow your socks off, made all the better in a lush and splendiferous setting and the local farms they're sourcing ingredients from.

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In Sainte-Dorothée, this restaurant's self-taught chef Richard Bastien has been romancing Laval residents and Montrealers alike for more than 35 years. The kitchen here has never faltered once in its work promoting Quebec's terroir, whether it's meat, fish, vegetables or fruit from the province's  producers and curators of good product. One trip and taste and you'll hardly think a trip here is a detour, but a destination.

Undoubtedly a gorgeous locations that will pull out every stop imaginable for its guests, it's all sporting a supremely skilled kitchen focused on sourcing from farms to boot. Located in the Eastern Townships, the entire site offers a breathtaking views of Lake Massawippi as you sit on its Tap Room terrasse with a cocktail and a vitello tonnato—veal from a neighboring farm of course—from the kitchen of chef Alexandre Vachon. If you want your trip to be more than just dinner, we highly recommend making a romantic trip for two out of it.

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Montreal and Quebec City may have a lot reputation for the close-cornered nieghbourhood spots where good vibes and good food come in equal measure, but this place single-handedly puts Trois-Rivières among the best places to go. Chef Simon Lemire will first impress you with tidy, farm-fuelled dishes created from consistently inspiring flavors. In the evenings, we can't recommend the tasting menu enough, one that will open your eyes to what Quebec is capable to creating from its own backyards.

Located in the Ripplecove hotel, Le Riverain restaurant offers two trips in one: The first is an awesome natural getaway into the countryside, and the other is made through its kitchen's use of the province's farms. Chef Rondeau swears by ingredients from the farms and artisans that surround him, and does fantastic work in creating many fine dining classics from them. It's a must on your dining bucket list.

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Two restaurants with the same vision and same guidelines about them, both locations under this bistro's name in Repentigny and L'Assomption offer farm-to-table sourcing with classic French treatment with equivalent quality to one another, but are seldom matched elsewhere. The food is great, the atmosphere is even better, and—as the owners put it—it's a well thought-out "meeting place for lovers of unpretentious, upscaled cuisine."

This one's definitely more of a trip from the city, but it's one that's easily worth it. Before sitting down for a promising little feast consisting of pizzas and vegetable dishes from neighbouring farms, there's nothing quite like breathing the fresh air that surrounds this place and taking in the view of the nearby Montagne du Diable. Open Thursday to Saturday, 11:30am to 8pm while the summer lasts, be sure to pick up some fresh honey that features in the menu for the kitchen back home.

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