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Photograph: Steve Walsh | Commodore

10 best new restaurants in Montreal

It's time to make a reservation at one of Montreal's hottest new tables right now.

Laura Osborne
Written by
Tommy Dion
Contributor
Laura Osborne
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You'll find bold creativity, traditional fare, and everything in between at the hottest new tables 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 50 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 or the best delis for smoked meat in Montreal, but there’s always something new ready to catch your eye. 

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Downtown just got an authentic taste of Spain thanks to Valencian-style paellas, crisp cod fritters and so much more at Montréal’s beloved Spanish tapas tavern, Ibéricos—now open at Time Out Market Montréal. Check out the mouthwatering menu details here.

Where to find the best new restaurants in Montreal

Renowned Montreal chef Antonio Park embarks on a new venture by overseeing all things culinary at the fully renovated 5-star Hotel Vogue in downtown Montreal. While the hotel's restaurant, Yama, offers a chic and refined experience inspired by Chef Park's diverse culinary background (think next-level sushi, sashimi, grilled fish, and epic cuts of meat including Japanese Wagyu A5), the on-site coffee shop Café Bazin serves coffee, pastries, dessert, and some take-away dishes starting in the early hours of the day. Time Out Tip: the sushi tacos are worth it.

Having a cocktail or savoring a sophisticated meal in an elegant space with 360-degree panoramic views of Montreal is now possible. Hiatus, by the A5 Hospitality Group (Jatoba, Nomi, Flyjin, to name a few), is officially Montreal's highest culinary establishment, nestled atop Place Ville-Marie. Relying on an experienced team in the kitchen, behind the bar, and front-pf-house to provide a unique experience, the menu—executed by Chef Yoann Therrer (previously at L’Abattoir in Vancouver, Ile Flottante in Montreal)—is all finesse and freshness that marry Japanese-inspired flavours and French technique. While you can  have lunch or enjoy a drink on the 45th floor, the all-caps experience in the evening takes place on the upper floor. Don't miss cocktails and bites on the RoseOrange terrace located on Place Ville-Marie's roof.

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3. Jaja

Forget Pastaga, it's all about Jaja. The couple behind it, with Francis Duval as the head chef and Geneviève Beaudoin as the pastry chef, bring over 20 years of experience, including stints at Pastaga, Hélicoptère, and Butterblume (him) and Pastaga, Patrice Pâtissier, and Mousso (her). The menu consists of small seasonal dishes that stay true to Duval's culinary heritage: simplicity without sacrificing sophistication; freshness; richness (with sauces in two or three textures); and a strong vegetable presence. Don't miss the natural wines, and definitely save room for at least one dessert.

4. Palomar

Palomar is possibly the most exciting addition to the Rosemont-la-Petite-Patrie neighborhood. Doing quadrouple duty as a fish market, wine bar, ready-to-eat counter, and wine shop, Palomar pays homage to its charming location between Jean-Talon Market and Jean-Talon Street. After transforming the Ikanos restaurant into a seafood steakhouse named Garde-Côte in Old Montreal, the logical next step for Chef Constant Mentzas was to open a fish market—but not just any fish market. Offering a wide variety of dry-aged fish alongside seafood and other seasonal dishes influenced by market-fresh ingredients, the dining menu includes a tuna cheeseburger, a seafood charcuterie platter, a Reuben-style sandwich with smoked trout, and wood-roasted lobster for the lunch crowd. At night, Palomar lights up like a Spanish tapas bar with small sharing plates. Looking for takeaway? Bring home the various cuts of dry-aged fish, sausages, skewers, and lobster or crab-stuffed fresh pasta.

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Just ask Dave Grohl: Smash burgers, cocktails, beers, and highly drinkable wine... All of this in a dive bar (pool table included) where the lack of natural light will make you lose track of time. Chef Danny Smiles (formerly of Willow Inn and Bremner) and his partner Victor Petrenko (Pasta Pooks) combine top notch ingredients with nostalgic beers from major breweries. Beef and vegetables from local farms with a Budweiser? It's a match made in heaven, evidenced by the famous smash burger that everyone (including the Foo Fighters frontman) in Montreal is talking about. Order this: Wash one of the best burgers in town down with a Negroni and side of fries

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6. Bonheur d’occasion

Morning café-viennoiseries, salads for lunch, a sweet treat with iced coffee in the afternoon while waiting for happy hour when carefully crafted small dishes are paired with natural wines and cocktails? This new favourite in Saint-Henri has every occasion covered. The menu, which constantly evolves based on seasonal produce, places a strong emphasis on vegetables, fish, and seafood. Don't miss their neighborhood BBQ's featuring a happy occasion of a hot grill and delicious wine.

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Montreal's most famous steakhouse has risen from the ashes after surprising its customers with a closing announcement in 2020. Montreal is able to enjoy the famous "chopped liver" foie gras, the Monte-Carlo potato, and USDA Prime charcoal-grilled steaks again in part to Jean Bédard of the Grandio Group (La Cage) and the boldness of Lenny Lighter, son of founder Moishe Lighter (in 1938), for working with him to continue the Moishes tradition. The magic is back in a majestic location with a nod to the former space (an old map of The Main; colossal chandeliers; the red chairs and cloth-covered tables). In addition to the signature dishes, expect more vegetarian and seafood options and higher pricing.

8. Kaviar

The name arouses curiosity, the vibe captures attention, the wine list makes you thirsty, and the service is charming. Welcome to Kaviar, located in the Quartier des Spectacles. Dominic Laflamme, an experienced restaurateur, meets the demand of tourists and passing Montrealers. Settle in with a glass of bubbly and a tasting platter of small bites, including the famous patata split with potato, caviar, and sour cream before a show—or any time for that matter. Don't forget to try the caviar bump.

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9. Oorja

If you're in search of new and exotic flavors, Oorja is the spot for you. Chef Charan Vaddadi aims to share the flavors of Hakka cuisine (Indo-Chinese) through contemporary dishes made with high-quality ingredients, all in an electric atmosphere. Prepare to be transported to a world of spices, herbs, and sweet-savory sauces, embodied through stir-frys, steamed dishes, braised and grilled meats, all accompanied by fried rice or Hakka noodles. The journey also continues on the cocktail front (read: originality, daring, and confidence).

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Commodore et Muze Lounge & Terrasse
Photograph: Steve Walsh | Commodore

10. Commodore et Muze Lounge & Terrasse

Located inside the sparkly new Honeyrose Hotel in the Quartier des Spectacles, the Commodore, Commodore Café, and Muze Lounge & Terrace are three new must-see destinations. The Commodore Café transforms into a wine bar in the evening, while the Commodore, open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunches, offers a French brasserie-inspired experience. The menu, overseen by Chef Gregory Faye (a passionate advocate for well-executed French classics, like his famous pâté-croûte that won the World Pâté-Croûte Championship in 2021) shines.  Alongside the pâté-croûte (Time Out Tip: ask for an extra side of mushroom jelly(, expect vegetable dishes (thin tart, zucchini tartare, beet salad, tomato steak, risotto) as well as several French classics with a twist (onion soup, duck confit, steak frites, schnitzel). Up for sipping a drink with small bites? Head up to the 5th floor to the Muze Lounge & Terrace.

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