Great Middle Eastern restaurants in Montréal

Mayssam Samaha

Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger and the founder behind the blog Will Travel for Food. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 30 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city. She is also the founder of the SAISONS intimate dinner series highlighting Québec products and chefs.

This article was updated on May 5, 2022.

I am of Lebanese origin and when I crave a taste of home, I turn to any of these Middle Eastern restaurants for a trip down my culinary memory lane.

Kazamaza

4629 du Parc Avenue | Website

I really can’t pick a favourite dish at this Mile End address. Set in a funky yet simple decor complete with brick wall, Kazamaza is a vibrant restaurant serving traditional mezes as well as mains and grilled meats. Try their cherry kebabs or any of their lamb shank speclaties.

Zyara

1004 Rue du Marché Central | Website

Whether I’m craving some Lebanese home cooking for lunch or an array of mezes for dinner, Zyara has it all. I love their bright and colourful décor accentuated with arabesque motifs. The menu offers all the classics but try the arnabit, a roasted cauliflower with pomegranate, cilantro, and tahini sauce that you don’t often find on restaurant menus. Zyara also has the biggest collection of Lebanese wines in Montréal, which is always a plus.

Café Chez Téta

227 Rachel East | Website

Specializing in the art of the manoucheh, Café Chez Téta has an oven imported from Lebanon for a truly authentic taste. A zaatar manouché is my all time favourite snack and theirs pies are hands down the best in Montréal. Chez Téta also offers dips, salads and desserts, including a delicious chocolate and halva brownie.  Try a cup of the Lebanese coffee cooked in hot sand!

Damas

1201 Van Horne Avenue | Website

Damas has to be one of my favourite spot for Middle Eastern food, specifically Syrian in this case. All the mezza are fresh and delicious but try some of the house specialties like the eggplant fatteh or the moloukhiya.

Sumac

3618 Notre-Dame Street West | Website

Located in Saint-Henri, this bustling spot serves Middle-Eastern inspired dishes such as the best falafels and delicious kaefta made with the freshest ingredients and served with their homemade bread. My favourite dish here has to be their addictive garlic labneh with dukka, fresh mint and paprika oil.

Alep and Le Petit Alep

199 Jean-Talon Street East | Website

I have been a fan of Le Petit Alep for years. I head to this little bistro located across the street from the Jean Talon Market when I am craving a spicy terbialy kabab (filet mignon in a spicy sauce) or their spicy fries. Its big brother Alep serves the same menu in a more upscale atmosphere. If you’re a wine fan, both restaurants have two of the best wine lists in the city.

Shay

1414 Notre-Dame Street West | Website

Griffintown’s Shay’s menu features “traditional flavours reimagined with a modern flare.” Dishes such as octopus balila, shawarma taco and samke (fish) tostada share the spotlight with more traditional dishes. The cuisine is rooted in the Middle East but interpreted with the chef’s uniquely creative twist. Shay also serves Sunday brunch.

Restaurant Ayla

386 Richmond | Website

Concentrating on the cuisines of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Israel, Ayla is a new Griffintown spot from the team behind Ryu. Ayla’s menu is diverse and meant to be shared family-style. The house breads, such as Turkish pide, as well as some of the vegetables are baked in a taboon, a traditional Middle Eastern clay oven.

Rumi

5198 Hutchison Street | Website

Rumi serves food inspired by the Silk Road, happily combining the cuisines of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa for a true culinary trip to exotic faraway lands.

Omnivore

4306 Saint-Laurent Blvd. | Website

Whether you’re an herbivore, an omnivore or a carnivore, Omnivore is a great spot to know. Located on the Main on the Plateau Mont-Royal, the grill specialist uses maple charcoal for all the grilled meats and the freshest ingredients for their many salads and spreads. The Omnivore grocery store and catering business just opened up at 54 Marie-Anne West for all your take-home needs.

Babacool

140 Notre-Dame Street West | Website

Old Montréal’s Babacool’s menu travels from Lebanon and Israel to Morocco and Greece. Fattoush, hummus and falafel share the spotlight with Moroccan cigars shakshouka and olive chicken in a sleek and chic dining room.

Garage Beirut

1238 Rue Mackay | Website

Downtown’s Garage Beirut has been serving great Lebanese food to a loyal clientele for years now. It has a traditional menu with hot and cold mezes, salads and main dishes off their wood-fire grill.

On the go

Crazy Falafel

759 de la Côte-Vertu Blvd. | Website

A bit out of the way, I always head there for the French fries sandwich, which consists of fresh fries topped with garlic sauce and coleslaw, wrapped in pita bread and slightly pressed.
 

Chez Fourna 

977 Sainte-Catherine Street West | Website

Chez Fourna specializes in one of favourite Lebanese street foods, a manouché (a round dough topped with zaatar, a mix of wild thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt).
 

Falafel Yoni

54 St-Viateur West and 4549 Wellington | Website

These are some of the best falafel sandwiches in Montréal. The crispy, flavourful falafel balls are cooked à la minute, placed salads inside a soft pita bread and topped with fresh salads. I also love their sabish sandwich with fried eggplants, hard-boiled eggs, salads and tahini sauce.
 

Lahmajoune Villeray

420 Faillon East | Website

After a devastating fire destroyed Chez Apo, one of its long-time bakers rebuilt it and is continuing the tradition with the help of his family.  Here you’ll find the famous lahmajoune (a paper thin bread with a meat and tomato spread) as well as several other Lebanese, Armenian and Syrian specialties.

Mayssam Samaha

Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger and the founder behind the blog Will Travel for Food. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 30 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city. She is also the founder of the SAISONS intimate dinner series highlighting Québec products and chefs.

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