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The 31 best new restaurants in Montreal: November 2021

The best new restaurants in Montreal have a fine French brasserie, Hungarian chimney cakes, Wagyu bacon pizza, and more.

JP Karwacki
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JP Karwacki
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UPDATE, November 2021: With Halloween behind us, we're that much closer to winter, so let's take a look at some of the best new restaurants in Montreal to begin some hibernation sessions with. Projects continue to launch left, right, and centre and we're covering it all here, as well as openings as per our Love Local initiative, keeping the selection fresh with nothing older than six months. As a result, Osmo x Marusan, Chef Lee, 1583, Sep Lai, and Sobremesa must go but they all continue to be sure-fire bets for dining out.

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 and worth a bite right now.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

Where to find the best new restaurants in Montreal

The Bouillon Bilk family is growing, and this one is carrying the restaurant group’s traditions nicely while switching up their modus operandi of modern cuisine: Mélanie Blanchette and chef François Nadon have a brighter and airier spot here, and it’s doing brasserie dishes with delicious exactitude. Ris de veau, Arctic char in grenobloise sauce, papardelle? Sweet potato schnitzel? Nothing here is unrecognizable, but it’s delivered with expertise that merits at least one visit this year.

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.

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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.

Built as a tribute to the 1990s, Hang Time isn't just turning heads because its owner and chef Jordan Bikerkraut is good at making puns; the pies are just that good. First winning over the city with fluffy, airy Detroit-style pies with crispy, cheesy edges from his Fungool Pizza pop-up, he's taking that concept and combining it with a New York style that's a little thicker and more gourmet than the others of its kind in Montreal. More toppings, more cheese, more chew, with a soft dough in the center and a crispy crust. 

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Vandale is a project that has been hovering in the air for several years from the team behind the not-so-secret underground operations of Le Speakeasy. "We removed all the walls and invited about fifteen artists to come and vandalize the place," owner Nicolas Delrieu told Time Out Montreal. The result is graffiti and tags adorning the walls with an aim to impress with eloquence—bringing out the essence of the place without being intimidating and vulgar.

The vandalized theme extends to the plates and cocktails: Chef Alexandre Payon has created a colourful menu featuring Quebec products, while mixologist Jake Cristofaro has created a cocktail menu in honor of the artists who came to "vandalize" the place.

First reported by Eater Montreal, Ol' Sweet Pastry's kürtőskalács—chimney cakes, coiled Hungarian pastry from Romania’s central Transylvania region—started with food fests like Les Premiers Vendredis and Christmas markets back in 2018. Now, David Sebestyen's street food desserts have found a home in the heart of the Plateau on Rachel Street. They're soft and fluffy on the inside, and either eaten plain or sweetened with fillings like ice cream or toppings like sugar, crushed nuts, or chocolate.

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A third-wave café by day with natural wines by night and small snacking plates that are equal parts inviting and without pretension between, Brouillon is the greatest of the latest arrivals along La Petite-Patrie's stretch of Plaza Saint-Hubert. As it stands since its launch, we're thinking Brouillon will become a go-to for locals who want to settle down for a decadent banana toast, ham grilled cheese or granola yogurt in the morning, have lunch with a sandwich-salad-wine trio, or start the evening with a very nice vegetable-based menu.

The Hilton Garden Inn on Décarie got a super fancy injection with this one: Named after the Montreal artist Carmelo Blandino, this new place focuses on Italian classics in a brasserie format with dishes like grilled meats and seafood, gnocchi and spaghetti, and classic insulate for dinner while dishes like panettone French toast and some amazing ricotta pancakes appear on a thoughtful breakfast menu. Don’t even get us started on how beautiful the interior from Zebulon Perron is (seriously, is everything that guy does beautiful or is it just us?).

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A distillery, brewery, restaurant, and bar—all in one place. While owner and distiller Guillaume Drapeau works the towering copper stills on a mezzanine looking out over the space, brewmaster Martin Allaire is working on fresh pints that shift with the seasons and his whims, and chef Léon Buser-Rivet takes ingredients from the building’s rooftop garden and makes magic tricks out of them on plates. It’s a project that’s been six years in the making, and you’d be remiss to skip going at least once.

Marco Benatar of Flyjin and Jatoba and Charles Manceau from the Groupe Venice—known for creating spots like Venice MTL and bars like Boho—have come together to build out this place that puts Greek, Lebanese, Israeli and Moroccan cuisines together in one spot. The result is a selection of mezze that seldom break the $10 mark, coupled with a relaxed yet sleek space that's one part bright colors and the other dark. There's also a selection of Greek, Lebanese and Israeli natural wines worth knocking back here.

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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.

Named after the blue-green algae dietary supplement—rich in a range of vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining a healthy immune system like vitamins E, C, and B6—Spirulina is a new Westmount location for anyone looking to detox and stock up on all kinds of holistic goods. Created by Montreal naturopath Jessica Power, it's a casual spots for healthy drinks and café goods, as well as toasts that go from avo to smoked salmon and some fall-friendly offerings like pumpkin energy balls and apple crumble.

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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.

It’s a wine bar waiting to get its paperwork in order to actually, well, serve wine. In the meantime though? They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch and they’re knocking it out of the park. Chef Devon Skeaff’s tenures at spots like Garde Manger and Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal as well as opening Buca and working in a litany of other restaurants in Toronto results in simple yet incredibly delicious plates: Ricotta gnocchi, charcuterie, oysters and daily crudos for lunch and some serious brunch action with breakfast sammies and tartines for breakfast—just wait for when the dinner services start.

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A Portuguese rotisserie with a few other Mediterranean specialties, keeping things affordable and family-friendly, using as many local products as possible, but also a place to both catch a Habs game or grab a sandwich to take with you on a walk along the piers: That's all part of the package at the Old Port's newest restaurant Chapado. Everything on offer here says it'll appeal as much to tourists walking down the rue de la Commune looking for a family place with a terrasse to stop and refresh themselves as it will with locals just wanting to take a break in the summer or warm up during winters with some good Portuguese grilled goods.

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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This Taiwanese croissant shop chain's new location in Chinatown West out by Concordia University's downtown campus has taken its neighbourhood by storm—and not just because they held their grand opening during the city's first-ever Shoni Market for pan-Asian street food. The bakery takes an artisanal Japanese approach to the classic French pastry, with a 72-hour process resulting in a 64-layer honeycomb pattern and sometimes filling them with flavours like caramel pudding and raspberry panna cotta on the sweet side, and salted egg yolk, truffle crab, and cod roe on the other, more savory side of the spectrum.

This new South Asian ice cream and chai tea shop in Park-Ex may be starting small, but they’re packing flavor in ways we’ll gladly travel for any time of the week: Starting with a menu packed with Indian flavours like mango rasmali, fried milk cake gulab jamun, pistachio-cardamom, and chai are all on offer before they start to dip (scoop?) into Bangladeshi and Pakistani offerings. This is everything we wanted to shake up our city’s existing ice cream that much more.

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Sauvage is the new Joverse; Montreal owner and entrepreneur Matt Guerguerian has decided to not only rename his business, but what was once an upscale bar is now a completely revamped upscaled restaurant-bar with Mediterranean influences in Old Montreal. There are customizable mezze boards and some solid Greek classics being served here, and the cocktails are surprisingly lip smacking, and—while it does carry on the clubbing vibes—it’s a far more calmed down place when compared to its predecessor (unless you count when, yes, bottles start getting popped in the evening).

Street food continues its rise in Montreal, and things get turned up a notch with this Romanian street food spot in the Plateau. They’re serving sliders filled with mici—juicy grilled sausages—sauerkraut, fried onions and mustard for only $7 apiece. They’re also cooking up poutine that can be made with truffle-salted fries, 4-ounce sausage lollipops, and a creamy sauerkraut salads. All that makes this new project from owners and operators Radu Iosif and David Ponce a welcome addition to Montreal.

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Over on the South Shore, Jean-Noel Quilatan and Phil Peñalosa's new spot Café Kuya is a destination worthy of travel of Montrealers and essential for anyone in its neck of the woods: With coffee made with Montreal roasters Binocle and 94 Celsius and the Vancouve-based brand Kapé, but the real deal is found in the roasted lechón pork sandwiches and Filipino-inspired pies from Dre Mejia, whose work was previously found at places like Junior, Dinette Triple Crown, and Elena.

Whether you lived around Jean-Talon Market or you were on your way to it from the metro, you likely once saw Pho Dakao;that spot is now under new ownership with (arguably) even better pho than before. Dubbed Pho Jean-Talon, the soups are great and the vermicelli bowls are just as scrumptious and—as is pointed out by Eater—Montrealers have been quick to go crazy for their dishes. We can confirm: The hype is real, and it's justified.

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A lobster bar in Old Montreal: If you’re rolling your eyes reading that, hear us out. Pincette surprised us; it’s no cash grab of a place, and with sources on trap lines from Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, they’re doing a great job as a new seafood restaurant. Standing out with a lobster Mac and cheese or a lobster poutine with a bisque sauce is one way of getting foot traffic, but they balance it out with skilled sommeliers, a fast hand with the oyster shucker, and more straightforward plates of grilled lobster and seafood towers topped with both fresh and fried bites.

Newly opened in Old Montreal, Chez Potier comes from pastry chef Olivier Potier, and it’s a revival of what some Montrealers may know and love from his time on Sherbrooke downtown back in 2012. Here, he’s in full force with a huge pastry selection—all kinds of classics plus a famous lemon tart—as well as a fine grocery component and some deli offerings; think Sammies of in-house smoked salmon made with fresh focaccia or small farm cuts of meat.

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Montreal-born sushi restaurant Ryu has expanded into Griffintown with a swank new spot that puts its focus on sushi, sake and cocktails. Unlike the other locations, this one features a hot kitchen and will serve signature plates like wagyu sliders, dumplings, and miso black cod. They're also cooking up some firsts for the expanding brand, like seafood towers, lobster lettuce cups and seafood tacos for those looking for more celebratory reasons to visit.

The big news of the past month has been about Bazart, a massive Mediterranean bar, restaurant and NFT gallery that opened inside the space which once housed New City Gas. It's not a nightclub though—not even a supper club—but more of a multidisciplinary space that happens to house some serious local talent: The bar's outdoor terrasse comes with cocktails, wine and other drinks curated by sommelier Maxime Laliberté (Maison Boulud) and mixologist Laurence Picard (Nectar & Co.) while the space’s mezze-forward restaurant focused on small sharing plates and charcoal-grilled food comes from Massimo Piedimonte (previously of Le Mousso) as a consulting chef, acting chef Athiraj Pharsavath (Mercuri), and Guillaume Daly (Soubois).

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The time-honored Laurier BBQ rides again, and while it's been revived by new and fresh faces on the scene in Montreal, it's no less of the rotisserie that Montrealers know and love. That's right: With this re-re-reopening (remember that Gordon Ramsey attempt that failed?), the owners are committed to serving up the same recipes for rotisserie chicken, house gravy, and fan favourite desserts like carrot cake and moka cake. It's staying informal too; no need to make reservations, just pop in and chow down!

Located inside the space that once housed a spot named Gypsy Kitchen + Bar in the Plateau, this new supper club is perfect for swanky date nights. Coming from players behind A5 Hospitality and Saintwoods including Peter Mant and Phil Allard—the folks who brought together spots like Suwu, Apt. 200, Kampai and Ecole Privée—it's a place for chef Robin Filteau Boucher to strut his stuff in the kitchen, putting together some bistro-style offerings that highlight seasonal vegetables, some seafood (think oysters), rillettes, pâté—the works.

 

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You'd better believe that when 49th Parallel opened up its first-ever café outside of British Columbia in Old Montreal, people were lining up—especially because they were handing old free donuts on day one. That's all because of Lucky's Donuts, a bakery for donuts attached to the spot, and they're doing options like Pouding Chomeur, Lac St-Jean Blueberry, Quebec Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, and a Punch aux fruit IPA doughnut thanks to a partnership with Microbrasserie Vox Populi. Simple, sumptuous, delicious.

Don't go getting fooled over the name. This new café may be named after bodegas from New York, but it's more of an homage. Coffee is worth a visit, but most of all, we're featuring it because its sandwiches—designed by Jellyfish chef Mathieu Masson Duceppe—are all worth a shot. Who wouldn't want to get a taste of an ever-so-slightly upscaled bacon, egg, and cheese? Dive into their pile of candy and nostalgic treats while you're there too.

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Opening somewhat quietly in Saint-Henri, this charcoal grilling spot is small but mighty with its menu that leans Portuguese in its offerings of sandwiches, poutines, and natas. Some of our favourite spots in town won't say much beyond "come try it" without any flash and pomp on social media and meticulously crafted websites, opting to let the product speak for itself. One bite is the thing that speaks volumes here.

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