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Photograph: Hans Laurendeau/Shoot Studio

Michelin star-caliber restaurants in Montreal

If Montreal had the Michelin Guide, which restaurants would earn a spot on the list and what would their star rating be?

Written by
Time Out contributors
Tommy Dion
Translated by
Laura Osborne

UPDATE, spring 2023: Despite all of the international attention it receives on the culinary stage, Montreal has yet to receive ratings from the Michelin Guide. Until it arrives—and our guess is that it’s only a matter of time until it does—the following are what we think would be Michelin star restaurants in Montreal. They’re the city’s top-notch institutions and groundbreakers, from our most romantic restaurants to quintessential downtown eateries, that form the best of the best and make Montreal stand out as a cultural powerhouse.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

Michelin star-worthy restaurants in Montreal

Maison Boulud
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Maison Boulud

1. Maison Boulud

1 star

It must be said that Riccardo Bertolino's departure from the helm of the grand Maison Boulud left many skeptical about the next step. After a year juggling the new challenges while getting comfortable behind the stoves, chef Romain Cagnat is possibly the best thing that could have happened to this chic table at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal - as well as its owner-chef, Daniel Boulud. Timid in the kitchen but extremely bold with his plates, Romain executes flawless cuisine, where techniques are as masterful as the flavours. From the soothing environment to the quality of the service, Maison Boulud is without a doubt one of the best tables in Montreal.

Joe Beef
Photograph: Courtesy Joe Beef

2. Joe Beef

1 star

Joe Beef is a flagship restaurant that greatly helped propel Montreal's gastronomic scene to international level. Since 2005, locals and tourists from around the world have clamoured for tables to experience the unique experience offered by Fred Morin and his dedicated team. The widely acclaimed international reputation of Joe Beef was forged from the early years, notably thanks to generous plates - to say the least decadent - revealing accomplished research, mastered techniques, and a unique eloquence, always derived from Quebec or Canadian terroir. The festive atmosphere and very friendly service has played a major role in democratizing so-called high-end gastronomic experiences in Quebec.

Photograph: Hans Laurendeau/Shoot Studio

3. Toqué!

1 star

Chef-owner Normand Laprise is credited with introducing fresh, local ingredients to the gastronomic scene, thanks to the central place they occupy in his menu since the opening of his restaurant in 1993. The concept of a farm-to-table menu was literally inspired by Toqué's first menus, thus paying tribute to the rhythms of the seasons, their colours and flavours. Expect service that follows all the rules, a calm and discreet atmosphere, as well as plates demonstrating next-level creativity. At Toqué, we know we are in excellent hands.

4. Chez Sophie

1 star

Sophie Tabet is a quiet force. A chef who flourishes more by working her pots and pans than her phone, which is probably why this restaurant too often flies under the radar - especially in the heart of a neighborhood where restaurants make as much noise on social media as construction in Montreal. Studying in France at the Paul Bocuse Institute, before accumulating several years of experience including at L'Astrance in Paris (3 Michelin stars) and at Del Pescatore in Italy (3 Michelin stars) she decided, with her husband, to open her own spot that is know to be a haven of peace of Griffintown. The menu proudly honors her Lebanese experiences and roots, where execution, flavours, and presentations are king. Her crispy shrimp, her perfectly breaded egg, her mouthwatering black cod, and her epic sweetbreads that change with the seasons could never leave the menu, while leaving room for other creations that put the noblest Quebec products on a pedestal.


Montréal Plaza
Photograph: Dominique Lafond

5. Montréal Plaza

1 star

The work of chefs Charles-Antoine Crête and Cheryl Johnson is both marginal and essential when trying to read the Montreal culinary landscape. The food, service, and atmosphere, from conception to execution, are unique thanks to the chefs' skill in navigating between playfulness and rigor. The most common dish names are just a facade for the delicious madness that is actually served. Think beef bourguignon served as a marrow, crispy-soft pudding, exceptional lobster bisque, and the famous bourgot-miso - a must-have without which your visit would not be complete. If the food is not enough to convince you, just basking in the intoxicating, dreamlike atmosphere of the place should close the deal.


Le Vin Papillon
Photograph: Le Vin Papillon

6. Le Vin Papillon

1 star

The second sibling in the Joe Beef family of restaurants, this restaurant is renowned for its killer wine bar and accomplished cuisine. Through the combined efforts of the team in the dining room and kitchen, dishes featuring vegetables, artisanal charcuterie, local cheeses, and seafood harmonize with wine to turn an unpretentious meal into a complete and complex culinary experience. After all, what would the neighbourhood be without its Burgundy ham and legendary carrot eclair?

Vin Mon Lapin
Photograph: Two Food Photographers

7. Vin Mon Lapin

1 star

The term "market cuisine" risks overuse, but luckily this restaurant in Little Italy is considered the one that breathed new life into it. Two kitchen prodigies - Jessica Noël and Marc-Olivier Frappier by their first names - reinvent seasonal ingredients in a dazzling way, while Vanya Filipovic and Alex Landry keep your glass filled with stellar privately imported wines. Smoked Kamouraska eel carbonara spaghetti, a trick-of-the-eye gnudi and rabiole with wild mushrooms in a rich sauce reminiscent of cacio e pepe, the croque-pétoncle... And what about the first crisp spring radishes dipped halfway into creamy foie gras mousse? It's a waltz of small plates that you never want to end.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Val L.

8. Monarque

1 star

With a French brasserie on one side, and an upsclate white-tablecloth bistro dining room on the other, father-son duo Bastien wanted to create their dream restaurant - paying homage to their favorite New York restaurant, Gramercy Tavern - and have done just that. Each space has its own vibe, design, and menu... Bone marrow and whelks, beef tartare, bouillabaisse, and beef short-rib sandwiches are featured on the brasserie side, while in the dining room the four-course menu is more refined, French-inspired, but with a personal touch (and sometimes with a Japanese twist). But to be clear, no matter what side you choose to be on, there are no bad decisions here.


Photograph: Park

9. Park

1 star

Antonio Park is a seismic force in the city. While the chef's mastery of the art of sushi is one of the restaurant's main attractions - offering countless incredibly fresh fish and seafood - all of the other dishes at the restaurant are also worth the trip. The chef's Korean-Argentinian background make his restaurant a true journey - sushi or no sushi. His speed and methods are unmatched, and the experience here is as masterful as his technique: perfection.


Photograph: Vesia Photography

10. Damas

1 star

To say that chef and owner Fuad Alneirabeie has elevated Syrian cuisine with mezzes and main dishes - fruits and vegetables, nuts and honey, grains and legumes, lamb and poultry, herbs and oil - is a colossal understatement. At Damas, the food is incredibly fresh, vibrant, and colourful, and the decor will instantly charm anyone who walks through the door. Prepare to be transported.


Le Club Chasse et Pêche
Photograph: Nicolas Ruel

11. Le Club Chasse et Pêche

1 star

No one in Montreal can deny the high quality of this restaurant by Chef Claude Pelletier and maitre d'Hôtel Helen Karagiannakis. Located in an old stone manse in the heart of Old Montreal, this restaurant is a combination of a dark and contemplative space and the Jardin du Gouverneur that's open in the summer. And no matter which space you dine in, it is going to be very chic. Pelletier is known to be a calm and reserved, keeping his energy for the kitchen where the magic happens, while Joris Gutierrez Garcia suggests the perfect wine with his great knowledge of pairings.

Au Pied de Cochon
Photograph: André-Olivier Lyra

12. Au Pied de Cochon

1 star

Even though they are welcomed with open arms by everyone in the province, poutine and pouding chômeur are not exactly a staple on the international scene. Under the skillful hand of Martin Picard, who chose to make them the centrepieces of his cuisine instead of the traditional European cuisine, these dishes have been improved and deepened, resulting in a restaurant where chaotically luxurious food is business as usual. You'll find foie gras served by the shovel and maple syrup practically pouring from the ceiling. No one could better represent Quebec and its classics with an untamed, well-received treatment than Martin Picard.


La Chronique
Photograph: Courtesy La Chronique

13. La Chronique

1 star

If you're looking for a restaurant that excels in the great French classics you are in safe hands with chef-owners Marc de Canck and Olivier de Montigny. Cue rich and flavourful sauces, emulsions and mousses that flow freely accompanied by perfectly cooked, succulent proteins. Here, the wine takes centre stage thanks to the expert flair of sommelier Jonathan Sitaras. While the cathedral ceiling and eggshell walls contribute to the restaurant's appeal, the team is responsible for making this address a restaurant that you absolutely must add to your list.


Hoogan et Beaufort
Photograph: Hoogan et Beaufort

14. Hoogan et Beaufort

1 star

Chef Marc-André Jetté and sommelier / partner in crime William Saulnier were the first to recreate a quintessential Canadian experience: drinking around a campfire. With a menu focused around the latter - including the most welcoming cocktails - evenings and nights in this former factory are both relaxing and addictive. Whether you choose to taste the land or the sea, everything is grilled and prepared with the utmost care and presented with unmatched attention to detail. Burnt focaccia, fresh pasta, fish or meat from the wood-fired oven... At Hoogan et Beaufort, only good choices await.


Okeya Kyujiro
Photograph: Courtesy Okeya Kyujiro

15. Okeya Kyujiro

2 stars

Okeya Kyujiro is without a doubt one of the best Japanese restaurants in the province. The resturant is the only one to offer a theatrical omakase experience as if you were in Japan. This multisensory journey is also an invitation to discover a part of Japanese culture with authentic dishes, utensils, accessories, and decor. You will also experience some traditional ceremonies: rice preparation at the beginning of service, presentation of the fish, and the tea service at the very end. A unique experience that should be on your bucket list.


Le Mousso
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Antonin M.

16. Le Mousso

2 stars

Le Mousso, helmed by chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard, doesn't offer a white tablecloth service where the choice of dishes is only reserved for customers. He has always been able to break the rules by gently taking customers out of their comfort zone, surprising them with dishes that are sometimes simple at first glance, but hide a surprising amount of work and exceptional know-how. Expect a sequence of ten courses in the most beautiful harmony, punctuated with astonishment and wonder. The chef's audacity goes as far as offering only one service per evening at the same pace for all customers, with waiterstaff replaced by multifunctional cooks supported by a very solid small team of sommeliers.


Île Flottante
Photograph: Courtesy Île Flottante

17. Île Flottante

2 stars

Nada Abou Younes and chef Sean Murray Smith made a name for themselves at the restaurant Les deux Singes de Montarvie, one of the top restaurants in town. Rather than resting on their laurels, they wiped the slate clean and rebuilt their professional identity, resulting in a restaurant where the service is excellent and vegetables reign supreme. Leeks are transformed into terrines, beans into dumplings, and parsnips into the ultimate mille-feuille. The wine selection pairs perfectly with their multi-course meal, making this small gem exceptional.


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