Discover Montreal's gastronomy through 5 neighbourhoods

Jeff Frenette

Best known as @DezJeff on Instagram with more than 56,000 followers, Jeff Frenette is a Montréal-based photographer, videographer, blogger and social media influencer whose images take fans on a wealth of local and overseas adventures.

For over a decade, I have been sharing my passion for travel and my many culinary discoveries on the web. Whether it's on my blog Jeff On The Road or on my Instagram account @dezjeff, when you see my photos or read my texts, your mouth is sure to water. 

Whether I'm at home or elsewhere in the world, I make sure to let myself be guided by food to discover. With this in mind, in this article, I'll take you on a tour of five Montreal neighbourhoods where you'll find excellent restaurants, cozy cafés and even must-visit grocery shops. This is the perfect opportunity to rediscover your city if you live in Montreal or to discover our beautiful island for the first time and be charmed by its culinary offerings. 

There are 77 neighbourhoods spread over 19 boroughs in Montreal. It was therefore imperative to make a selection among all the neighbourhoods. So I chose a few that are easy to visit during a stay in the city. You can easily walk to Downtown and Old Montreal. The Plateau Mont-Royal requires a bit more walking, but between April and November, you can get there quickly by BIXI. As for the South West and Verdun, I suggest combining your visit to both areas, as they are adjacent. 

 

DOWNTOWN

Downtown Montreal is one of the most vibrant places in the city. No matter how you get there, you're bound to pass through the downtown area during your stay. It is one of the main areas for short-term accommodation in the city. If you stay in this area, you will need to eat. Of course, as in all major cities, you will have all the chain restaurants you would expect. But, in my opinion, the real fun begins when you venture off the beaten track a bit and discover unique places. 

 

Restaurant Tbsp & Terrasse W Montréal @ Hôtel W Montréal 

Be it for a full meal, lunch or cocktails, you will be served by the gastronomic offer of the W Montreal. I particularly loved their cocktail menu inspired by other W hotels around the world. 

Restaurant Kamúy 

Chef Paul Toussaint's cuisine is simply bursting with flavour. Let yourself be transported by the delectable flavours of the Caribbean. Special mention to the griot, it's the best I've ever eaten in my life! 

Café Parvis 

The perfect place to meet your friends in the city centre. You can have a coffee or a bite to eat in a very warm atmosphere. 

Labo culinaire 

I love this place for their local cuisine and their beautiful terrace in summer. 

La Finca café et marché local 

The place to come for a good specialty coffee in the city centre. You will also find a range of fine products to enhance your picnic under the sun or a happy hour in your hotel room! 

 

OLD MONTRÉAL

After your downtown adventures, it's time to head to Old Montreal. A historic and very touristy neighbourhood known mainly for its very European appearance, "le Vieux" as the locals call it, is full of good spots. A stroll through this area is a perfect combination of history, culture and gastronomy. 

 

Jellyfish

If you like fish and seafood, this is a restaurant you must visit. 

Structure Coffee Roasters 

Structure is a local roaster right in the centre of Old Montreal. It's the perfect place to grab a specialty coffee as you stroll through Old Montreal. 

Restaurant Hà 

If you're craving Vietnamese food and you find yourself in Old Montreal, this is the place for you. 

Crew Collective & Café 

Are you visiting Montreal and want to settle down for the day? Look no further, the Crew is both a coworking space and a café. As a bonus, the architecture of the place is mind-blowing. 

49th Parallel 

This coffee shop originally from Vancouver, British Columbia has just opened its first Quebec location in Old Montreal. Sure, the coffee is excellent, but I personally go there for their donuts which are so delicious. 

 

PLATEAU-MONT-ROYAL

You've probably already heard of the famous Plateau Mont-Royal. It's known for its many crowded bike paths and its very human scale — it's very easy to walk everywhere and you don't need a car. The neighbourhood is still very large and you may need to take the 55 bus or a bike to get to the ends of it. Although it is a residential area, you will notice that there are several commercial arteries. There is also a phenomenal amount of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, etc. Every Montrealer has their own favourite addresses, but here are mine. 

Café Olimpico 

A true institution of Italian coffee in Montreal, Olimpico's reputation is well established. No matter what time of the week it is, make sure you allow time for it, as there is a queue most of the time. I always have a double shot with a little sugar and in the summer I'm always tempted by the caffe freddo. 

Restaurant Noren 

Find yourself in the heart of Japan during a meal at Noren. I highly recommend the okonomiyaki which is a classic on their menu. 

Noble Café 

If you're more into third wave coffee, I highly recommend a visit to Noble Café. I especially love going there in the summer for their cold brew ice cream float. 

Yokato Yokabai 

This is my go-to place when I want ramen. The homemade broth is so tasty and the karaage (Japanese fried chicken) is some of the best I've had. 

Le Butterblume 

Chef Jens Ruoff's unique cuisine alone is worth the trip to the north of the Plateau. Their menu changes frequently depending on the season, but freshness and creativity are always the order of the day. 

 

SOUTH-WEST

I have a small bias for this borough. First, because it's where I've lived for the past several years. Secondly, a vast majority of the area is crossed by the Lachine Canal. I find that walking along the canal to a gourmet destination is extremely charming and romantic. Once again, there are many good addresses in the area, but I went with my real favourites. 

 

Atwater Market

When you go to the Sud Ouest, it is unthinkable to miss the Atwater Market. This mythical place along the Lachine Canal allows you to meet local market producers, do your shopping and during the summer enjoy a meal at the gourmet fair. 

Patrice Pâtissier 

After your visit to the Atwater Market, you must visit Patrice Pâtissier. These are the best desserts you will find in Montreal, bottom line. Special mention should be made of the cream puff and the kouign-amann, which you absolutely must try. 

Café Dreamy 

This coffee shop located inside the Canadian Roasting Society has quickly become a favourite. Open only on weekends, you'll find several local roasters selling their coffee. The real star of the place is their biscuits. These pastries are frequently found in the southern United States so it's a real treat to have access to them in Montreal. Don't forget to get the jam for your biscuit! 

Messorem Bracitorium 

On my first visit, I fell in love with the place immediately. Whether you want to have a beer on the spot or take your favourite cans of beer home with you, you'll find something to suit you. If you come in the summer, you must try their slush smoothie. 

Yo & Co Espresso Bar 

This neighbourhood coffee shop is very charming. On the menu, you will find all the classics of a third wave café. All the pastries are local and on the premises you will find several Quebec roasters who deserve to be known. Over the past year, they have even added a boutique area to the café to showcase local products. Recently, they started selling local beers and wines, which is very much appreciated by the residents of the neighbourhood. 

 

VERDUN

This area is served by three metro stations and is very easy to get to. For me, Verdun has become a real highlight when I introduce my adopted city to friends and family. On Wellington, the main street, there is a wide variety of shops. During the summer, the street becomes almost entirely pedestrianised and you can wander freely and visit the terraces. Interesting fact: until 2012, it was not allowed to obtain a liquor license for a bar or pub in the area. Since the last decade, we have seen a real revival thanks to the elimination of this law. It was the Benelux microbrewery that succeeded in putting an end to this long period of prohibition. While you are in the area, you absolutely must visit the magnificent park along the St. Lawrence River. 

 

BOSSA Prêt-à-manger 

Sandwich lovers, this is THE place to go in Verdun. Both a sandwich shop and an Italian grocery store, this place will make your mouth water with its culinary offerings. On a hot summer day, stop by BOSSA for their fabulous crema di caffe. 

Les Street Monkeys 

This Cambodian restaurant is one of my favorites in Montreal. Their menu changes from time to time, but two staples of the place for me remain the fried papaya and the wasabi shrimp ceviche.  

Fromagerie Copette & Compagnie 

Planning a picnic at the waterfront park? This is the place to go to stock up on good food. You'll find a great selection of Quebec cheeses, bread and cold cuts. I usually leave with 3-4 cheeses, white ham and a good sourdough baguette. 

Comon 

Korean food heaven is in Verdun. To get there, you'll have to venture a bit into the residential streets of Verdun, but it's totally worth the trip. Whether it's for their fried chicken, tteokbokki or ramyun, I love going back again and again. 

Le Verdun Beach Bar À Vin 

If you are a lover of good wine and good food, I highly recommend a little trip to Verdun Beach. Both a restaurant and a wine importer, this place always seduces me with its excellent wines and dishes to share. 

I hope I've made your mouth water with all these gourmet places and enjoy your discovery!  

Jeff Frenette

Best known as @DezJeff on Instagram with more than 56,000 followers, Jeff Frenette is a Montréal-based photographer, videographer, blogger and social media influencer whose images take fans on a wealth of local and overseas adventures.

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