Get us in your inbox

Moccione Pizza
Photograph: Juliette Busch / @juliette.busch / Instagram

The 31 best new restaurants in Montreal: December 2021

The best new restaurants in Montreal include a steak-frites tribute, a Chinese snack bar, a swanky hotel spot, and more.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
Advertising

UPDATE, December 2021: When you look at all the best new restaurants in Montreal to reserve spots at for holiday parties and rendezvous with friends, it's starting to really feel a lot like Christmas around here. 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, Place Carmin, Projet Pilote, Bazart, Laurier BBQ, Names On The Way, 49th Parallel Café, and Bodega MTL 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

  • Restaurants
  • price 2 of 4

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

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

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.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Eating

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

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.

Advertising

Softly opened inside the Marriott Chateau Champlain—Montreal's third largest hotel—back in the summer of 2021, Lloyd has waited until November this year to unveil its full menus from executive chef Kevin Mougin, who combines his Oceanic cooking experiences with pastry chef Sylvain Vivier to create some lucious dining experiences. Now that its operations are fully under way—save for a grand opening they promise in 2022—the menus are changing every season, approximately every 3 months. Be sure to pair them with the seriously meticulous cocktail menu that covers all the bases and flavour profiles you could want.

 

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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. 

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.

Advertising

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.

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.

Advertising

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?).

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

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.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising