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Terrasse Carla
Photograph: Image MotionTerrasse Carla

The 17 best new restaurants in Montreal

From a secret swanky rooftop, to a Filipino favourite, to an unbeatable wine bar and the best sandwiches in town, this is your essential guide to Montreal's new restaurants.

Written by
JP Karwacki
,
Tommy Dion
&
Laura Osborne
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UPDATE, May 2022: Montreal's restaurant scene is on fire. From Filipino eats served tapas-style (with a speakeasy downstairs), to our favourite new bistro on Wellington Street, to a hidden terrasse with views to die for, it feels like restaurants are opening by the day across the city. Whether you're looking for a killer sandwich, the best pho in town, or a date night spot to impress, this list has it all.

You'll find bold creativity, traditional eats, and everything in between with the best new restaurants in Montreal. These new players are dishing out some serious quality, each with concepts and executions that are primed to join our list of the best restaurants in Montreal. Locals know (and tourists want to know) all the classic spots for iconic Montreal food like the best poutine, the best bagels, the best Portuguese chicken or the best delis for smoked meat in Montreal, but there’s always some new face looking to catch your eye. Here's what's new on the scene right now.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

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Paul Toussaint strikes again, and this time, while the grill is hot: The menu here is a continental journey through the barbecue techniques of two hemispheres, combining North, Central, and South America. It's a route that starts up north with spit-roasted méchoui and classic Montréal smoked meat, goes swimming through the melting pot of regional traditions and fixings of the United States, and finally touches down with specialties and delicacies like Caribbean jerk, Argentinian asado, and Brazilian churrasco. It's an ambitious project unlike any the city's seen before, and it's time to dig in.

Where to find the best new restaurants in Montreal

Everything you love about French gastronomy but with zero pretension? That’s Paname (as in the pet name for Paris), a bright, gleaming space that serves up refined, inventive and often vegetable-forward dishes. The idea for the spot (picture sparkling tiles and mosaic floors) was dreamed up in France and came to life in the buzzing neighbourhood of Verdun, where the team has strong neighbourhood roots. 


Expect beautifully plated French bistro classics reinterpreted by chef Raphael Leclerc Gileau — formerly of Bouillon Bilk — using local ingredients (beef tartare spiked with coffee-flavoured mayonnaise) and eco-responsible products (linguini mingled with naturally-grown Blanc de Gris mushrooms, dashi butter and hazelnuts). Playful house cocktails and a thoughtful wine list (from bubbles to biodynamic) bring the experience home.

From the team behind Le Petit Vibe, the Filipino street food spot  that just moved into Le Central, wants to share a new side of Filipino cuisine with global influences. 

Chef Ryan Oabel and his partner Eric Lazaro are serving up nostalgic, tapas-style dishes that draw from the flavors of their childhoods. The plates (designed for sharing) and colourful cocktails are the ideal way to kick off a festive evening, especially when it ends to the sounds of the DJ in the basement speakeasy.

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Buvette Chez Simone's little sister, Bar à Flot, was fueled by the successful wine bar before sommelier Florence Pelland-Goyer and Chef Simon Deslauriers took the reins. It's a thirst-inducing spot thanks to a niche wine list from small producers, local beers, and refreshing seasonal cocktails to be enjoyed on the intimate terrace. Hungry? Enjoy small, snackable dishes that honour local and seasonal products.

This beloved Vietnamese cantine in Saint-Henri is sharing the family's expertise (and their famous all-chicken pho, one of the best in town) with the Mile-Ex neighbourhood. Marylyn Tran and her husband Alain Nguyen haven't changed any of the traditional recipes, but do have a ready-made grocery section to grab-and-go. Broths, pickled vegetables, sauces, as well as several prepared dishes are available (plus as assortment of products imported from Vietnam). The Vietnamese iced coffee is a right of passage.

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Mitch Deli is famous for its fried chicken sandwich and other innovative creations, but nothing would be possible without the joie de vivre (and hyperactivity) of Maxime Gagné (chef and teacher at École de la Métier de la Restauration et du Tourisme de Montréal). We remember the winter "pop up" on the corner of De Lorimier Avenue in winter, the colorful picnic tables during warmer months, and the always cheerful, lively atmosphere.

Head to Mitch Deli's new location on Beaubien East for a taste of that and more. They're still making the best-sandwiches-in-town you know and love, but now you can enjoy them (and a glass of natural wine) in a new dining room.

Tucked away on the 6th floor of the new Hampton Inn near Chinatown, Terrace Carla comes to life every day at noon. The menu is the work of Chef Chanthy Yen (Parliament Pub & Parlour, Time Out Market Montréal, and Tiramisu on the first floor of the same hotel). Tiramisu holds it own when it comes to classic Italian dishes with a Japanese twist, and the chef asserts his confidence again with Carla's a French-Vietnamese menu: Salmon tartar, sesame and ginger with taro chips; mussels and fries with a white wine and coconut broth; beef burger with Saigon sauce, pâté and cheese, and a banh mi with shrimp reminiscent of a guédille. And we haven't even mentioned the decor and jaw-dropping views of the Old Port.

 

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This Italian trattoria has some of the Boot's most famous cocktails on tap (think: spritzes, negronis and espresso martinis), so you may never have to wait for a drink ever again.  Recently opened in the former Parliament Pub & Parlour space in Old Montreal, Bella (Bello Delis little sister, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year) is inspired by Bello family classics: fresh pastas, lemon veal, meat polpette, pizzas, and a robust antipasti selection.


When it comes to booze, the team is far from stopping at cocktails on tap. Co-owner and mixologist Kevin Demers (Coldroom, El Pequeño) has a tight Italian-inspired menu, as does the wine list by his sommelier partner Jon Cercone.

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The new Hampton Inn at the southern gate of Montreal's Chinatown now sports a new attractive option for dining out: Tiramisu, an Italo-Japanese restaurant from the Montreal-based hospitality group Lucky Belly Group.

Inside the 3,000 square foot space with a 1960s Italy design of marble, chrome, terrazzo, and velvet by MRDK (Menard Dworkind Architecture & Design), Tiramisu's first focus is a menu that specializes in Italian cuisine—pizza, pasta, and antipasti—twisted and tweaked with Japanese influences by Chanthy Yen. The chef's name should ring bells for anyone who enjoyed his Cambodian street food project Touk  that ran through the last two summers at Old Montreal's Parliament Pub & Parlour.

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The good news for chef Luca Cianciulli, his wife Maxime Landry and his small team is that Moccione has garnered the reputation of being one of the better places to eat Italian in Montreal right now. The better news? Their new spot, Moccione Pizza, is likely to grow to have a similar reputation in the coming months.

Located where Moccione was previously found—the new pasta location will be open as of January 2022 in a spot much larger than the original just one block away—the pizza place is by all accounts set to make Villeray a destination not only for fresh pasta, but a destination for Neapolitan-style pies as well.

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A new project of the Tomahawk Group (Santos, Pastek, Uniburger), Mignon Steak was created in honor of the now-defunct L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean—the former favorite restaurant of restaurateur Thomas Vernis—that was an early victim of the pandemic's drastic effects on restaurants. Located in the Little Burgundy neighborhood, Mignon Steak offers a single three-course table d'hôte menu for the fixed price of $39, plus 2 to 4 à la carte entrees and desserts that will change according to what's available at the market.

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When chef Anita Feng started making her red oil—a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine that's not too spicy, but intensely flavoured—in the comfort of her home to stay active during the pandemic, she never dreamed that it would lead her to open her own Chinese grocer and snack bar. Here we are: Located at the site of the now defunct Monsieur Crémeux, it's a grocery store and snack bar rolled into one new project by the former chef of Café Denise. There's only has 4 seats at the bar: "I might do one or two hot dishes a day... Something very simple, like noodles in an aromatic broth," says the chef.

Calabrian eats appear to be all the rage this year, and Pollino's no exception. A new arrival that's located inside the former Café Via Dante in Little Italy, the menu changes weekly and has so far included (according to Eater Montreal) long spiral busiate pasta with a lamb ragu, parsley cavatelli with clams and pepperoncini peppers, and a savoury cannoli filled with shrimp, calamari, and scallops. Mangia indeed.

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Opening this month, the latest project from chef Mathieu Masson-Duceppe and his partners Francis Rodrigue, Charles Mary and Roberto Pesut is more than promising. The 'little brother' to Jellyfish Crudo + Charbon in Old Montreal will dish out some intriguing options like an oyster cooked with marrow, miso and yuzu; an avocado section that will be "fancy" and "artsy"; vegetables from the biointensive farm Jardin St-Laurent prepared in a gourmet and eccentric way; and pizzas done Roman al taglio style, but with toppings like wagyu bacon or caviar.

A project two years in the making, Stellina is a promising project of private imports and pasta from the Novantuno group (the folks behind places like Fiorellino, Porchetta, and Jellyfish Crudo + Charbon) where fresh pasta, antipasti and vegetables will be taking center stage. The wines served here will come exclusively from Grande Botte, some private import agencies, with a focus on mostly organic and/or natural bottles. They'll start slow as of the first week of November, gradually leaning into longer hours as staffing and bandwidth allow.

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It's not a bar, it's not a café, it's not a restaurant, it's not a deli, it's not a bakery, it's not a pastry shop; but at the same time, it's all of those things at the Nita Tout Garni sandwich shop.

This team behind Nita includes wine importers Gabriel Monnin and Marc Bungarten of Dutty Wine and Bar Henrietta, as well as Nicolas Despeyroux of Vins Nomad, Étienne Sirois of Bar Henrietta, former Voro and Café Crew chef Jesse MacDonald, François Letendre-Joachim of Shaughnessy Café, and Charles Bouchard. In addition to their offer of gourmet sandwiches, one will be able to leave with a few bottles of privately imported wine, as well as a cup of good coffee created especially for the address by the micro roasters at Anchored Coffee.

Anthony Le Para and Marcus Ford's new ice cream and sandwich spot in Villeray turned a lot of heads when it first opened, but not just because the interior is full of colour and flowers: Head of the kitchen Sarah Maude Huard's ice-making, Italian sandwiches, and feminist work environment was part of why this made headlines. They're all casual bites here, but the vibes are great, making this a great stop if you're looking to explore some of the city's coolest neighbourhood this year.

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Mokili is a newcomer in Villeray that's brimming with dishes from across the African continent, including the likes of Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, the Congo and Mali in its menu that's a welcome addition to a neighbourhood that's got more Eurocentric leanings. Aromatic plates of maafe peanut stew, Congolese grilled goat, and sorrel juice to wash it down? And it's fuelled in part by the 10-acre specialty farm AgriTropiQ out in Île-Perrot? Owners Baka Serkoukou and Epepe Tukala Vuvu have opened a brilliant introduction to demystifying an often-homogenized part of the world, and it celebrates Africa's grand diversity through food.

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