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Perché
Photograph: Perché Bar + Terrasse

17 Best rooftop restaurants in Montreal for food with epic views

From casual bars with superb snacks to high-class dining institutions, Montreal’s rooftops are top-tier.

Written by
Laura Osborne
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Look up: it’s a next-level restaurant! With Montreal’s celebration of al fresco experiences (from picnics to local beach hangouts to hiking spots to explore in any season), it’s only natural that we have an impressive crop of rooftop restaurants. They’re the perfect place to go when you want to feel the retreat and repose of an outdoor setting, but you also want to feel a little bit like God. Because there’s something innately grand about peering down from above! So cheers, let’s raise a glass to the best high fallutin’ rooftop terrasses, cafés, bars and restaurants to get food—and a bird’s eye view—in Montreal.

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Foodlab

Sitting atop the impressive SAT, which you should check out for the Satosphere (a giant sphere where projected sound-and-light experiences are truly immersive), Foodlab is an experimental restaurant where themes, special ingredients and events dictate chef Émilie Bégin’s menu. The terrasse, with views on downtown, is vast but most often packed—people reserve well in advance for a meal here. Try the seafood tower (it comes with fried bread).

Perché

It translates as “perched,” which makes sense. You’ll feel like you’re teetering onto the pretty Old Port streets on this 4th floor terrasse at Hotel William Gray, where the small tables mix with lawn chairs and sofas. Come with a date or a whole party and enjoy fresh foods inspired by California, meaning poke bowls, fish tacos and mahi-mahi over risotto. Highly recommend taking your hang-out up a notch with a round of spicy cucumber shots.

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Bivouac

This restaurant downtown looks out onto Place des Festivals, the epicentre of cultural happenings and festivals. It’s the place to be all through the year, first to taste terroir food conceived by French-trained chef Xavier Dahan to show off traditional Quebec ingredients in untraditional ways, but second to look down onto culture, free music, acrobatics—you name it—throughout the seasons. In winter, Bivouac sets up clear igloos so you can still enjoy al fresco dining in the snow while staying warm.

Poincarré

Overlooking Chinatown (and the Old Port, and the St. Lawrence River, and Jacques-Cartier Bridge) is this aesthetic restaurant and bar. The outdoor space, decorated in wood and white-and-red metal beams, is twinkly with lights and despite being on a busy stretch of St-Laurent, feels like a real retreat from the bustle. On the menu: sharing plates that venerate the vegetable, alongside meaty offerings like beef bites, Nordic shrimp and Albacore tuna tataki. Try the specialty: house fermentations, which include fermented French fries!

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Terrasse Nelligan

The scene here after the work day is hopping and bopping, and has been since it opened in 2007. Part of it is location, location, location: this restaurant terrasse sits on the roof of Nelligan hotel on St-Paul, in Old Montréal. But most seats on this terrasse don’t actually give onto the Old Port view, so the buzz is really about the great service, yummy eats, great drinks and positive vibes. Try the bubbly sangria; it’s a favourite for weekend brunches.

Marcus

Gaze out from the narrow four-season terrasse at this top-notch downtown restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel and you’ll get a stellar view of the Leonard Cohen mural by Gene Pendon and El Mac. It’s a great side to a plate of delicate Bluefin tuna tartare conceived by internationally famous chef Marcus Samuelsson.

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Cartier Arms

Get an alternate view on the Old Port from its easternmost reaches at the Hotel Hyatt Centric Ville Marie rooftop terrasse and restaurant, which gives onto the islands of Parc Jean-Drapeau, as well as the Clock Tower Beach, Jacques-Cartier Bridge and even downtown and Mount Royal, on the other side. Share a bottle and pick from a menu of smash burgers, grilled lobster with bearnaise or steak-for-two thought up by the foodies behind Little Burgundy’s Burgundy Lion.

Terrasse Place d’Armes

Fried chicken sandwich? Yes. Stuffed with foie gras? Yes! On a roof?! Hoooo yeah. The Place d’Armes Hotel knows how to put on a show, and that extends to the menu of this fun rooftop hangout. The cocktails are a draw too for the after-work and weekend crowd, with favourites including the juicy Cherry Pop (vodka with Campari, grapefruit juice and cherry bitters) and the aptly named Summertime: all minty, elderflowery freshness.

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Enfants Terribles Place Ville-Marie

Whether you’re indoors or outdoors on the 60-seater terrasse, you’ll feel like you’re outside at this all-glass restaurant at the top of the iconic Place Ville-Marie. It’s a great way to experience this architectural landmark designed by I.M. Pei from within, and to get a unique 360-degree view of the city from the 44th floor. The food is fine at Enfants Terribles, a popular chain around town—good for bistro basics like steak or seared salmon. You’re here for the view.

Terrasse Carla

Located at the gates of Chinatown on the 6th floor of the Hampton Inn by Hilton, Terrace Carla was launched by the group behind Red Tiger and Blossom, which gives its menu instant cred. The Vietnameses influenced Saigon burger is an ultra satisfying bite, best accompanied by a melon salad to celebrate the season. For drinks, lean more cocktail that wine so you don’t miss out on the creativity courtesy of the masterminds behind Coldroom.

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Taverne Atlantic

You don’t need to be high to get the most out of a rooftop, as evidenced by this Parc Ex bar and restaurant whose terrasse on the second-floor roof is an effective escape from anything going on down below. The wooden decking, potted plants and string lighting give a comfy home-deck vibe that’ll instantly melt stress away—all the more if you order a pitcher and some of the yummy food from the inhouse restaurant, worth a trip in itself for its mushroom pizza and homemade pogos.

Snowbird Tiki Bar

Hawaii? I’m fine, thanks for asking! Doing better and better with every passing moment on this rooftop in Rosemont, where the tiny terrasse is worth coming early for, with its tropical vibe that perfectly matches the drinks. While you sip one of the addictive fruity “potions” out of a cup shaped like a parakeet or a cobra, peruse the food menu: it’s got three (count em—three) choices, but they’re all you need! Dumplings, grilled cheese or Cubano, all done well.

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Reservoir

Overlooking the hot corner of Duluth and St-Laurent on the Plateau, Reservoir has been a go-to hangout for decades. The whole space is imbued with years of celebratory feels, and in the summer that reaches out onto the U-shaped 2nd-floor terrasse, where the people watching is gooood. Order from their microbrewery menu and pair your choice with tasty shareable plates of shaved ham with asparagus and anchovy-beurre-blanc or crisped pork belly with clams and tomatoes.

Nacarat

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth’s 4th floor Nacarat bar terrasse gets a view on its neighbour Place Ville-Marie, so you can’t get more central. Take a seat in one of the comfy padded deck chairs for an after-work drink and nibble (charcuterie platters, antipasti, grilled shrimp) or come later when the party is hopping, the music is loud and it’s standing-room only.

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Terrasse H3

From the 9th floor of the cool Hotel Humaniti, just feet away from the colourful Palais des Congrès, you get a view of the surrounding downtown that’s pretty unique. Either evenings or at brunch time on the weekends, this is a great place for a catch-up under a parasol over a high-stacked Canadian-beef burger or a fancy poutine studded with duck confit and slathered in foie gras gravy.

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Terrasse sur l’Auberge

Party on the front, um, other party at the back? That’s how this Old Montréal terrasse rolls, with its pretty darn jaw-dropping views, to the south onto the St. Lawrence, Marché Bonsecours, Grande Roue and harbour, and to the north, onto the downtown towers and lush Mount Royal. The bistro tables make for perfect little islands of conversation amid the happening crowd, enjoying oysters from the raw bar and pitchers of sangria.

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Air

The rooftop terrasse at The Renaissance hotel downtown is extra special for the ambiance, the stainless steel plunge pool and the view of downtown and the river and its beautiful bridges. It’s only open during the warmer months, so take advantage of its chill vibe for a downtown business meeting over sandwiches or salads, with a cocktail or two.

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