Montréal’s best buvettes

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.

The official definition of a buvette is a small café or simple counter where drinks and light meals are served. Most of Montréal’s buvettes are neighbourhood gems that serve their own interpretation of Montréal cuisine and an excellent list of curated natural and biodynamic wines in a causal and unpretentious ambiance that is conducive to gathering and conversing for hours on end. Below is a list of some of our favourite buvettes.

Lundis au soleil

801 Jarry Street East | Website

This sun-drenched Villeray spot opened its doors at the beginning of the pandemic and has managed to gather a loyal following despite everything. Lundis au soleil has a winning formula of great plates to share, an amazing wine list that includes a lot of local Québec wines and an adorable staff that makes everyone feels right at home.

vinvinvin

1290 Beaubien Street East | Website

Rosemont’s vinvinvin is a popular choice in the neighbourhood and beyond. This “Nordic wine bar” serves a handful of season-centric dishes that include its homemade sourdough bread. The natural wine card is a curated list of eclectic and affordable bottles that are a pleasure to share.

Le Elsdale

2381 Beaubien Street East | Website

Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Le Elsdale is an unpretentious neighbourhood buvette. The evening menu offers snacks such as a charcuterie platter or accras as well as more generous dishes such as pastas and burgers.

Taverne Atlantic

6512 Parc Avenue | Website

Taverne Atlantic legendary rooftop terrasse makes waves all summer long. This popular Park Ex “tavern” is open every day from 4pm on. The food menu includes their now-famous pizza pies and some favourite “casse-croûte” fare such as hot dogs and shrimp rolls. The drink menu is a fully loaded affair with wine, cocktails, ciders, and beers.

Bar Cicchetti

6703 Parc Avenue | Website

A Venetian specialty, cicchetti are small snacks or plates served with a glass of wine or a cocktail before dinnertime. They’re the inspiration behind the Mile Ex’ Bar Cicchetti, a lovely spot that welcomes diners to their sunny terrasse in the summer or their gorgeous dining room in the winter.

Café Denise

386 Beaumont | Website

Tiny Park Ex’ Café Denise is the perfect definition of a buvette. Serving seasonally focused small plates to share and a beautiful array of natural wines, the 20-seat dining room is basically one big bar counter for people to gather around and chat.

Bar Mamie

328 Beaubien Street East | Website

Bar Mamie’s Beaubien Street terrasse was buzzing with crowds of happy patrons all summer long. This Montréal neighbourhood bar specializes in generous charcuterie and cheese boards as well as comforting, Mamie (or grandma) style dishes to share.

NELLi Café + Vin Nature

104 Saint-Paul Street West | Website

NELLi is open all day long. It starts as a coffee shop that transforms into a wine bar come nighttime. Their wine list is elaborate and has something to offer everyone. It specializes in private imports and natural, low intervention bottles.

Brouillon

6580-A St-Hubert Street | Website

Recently opened on Plaza St-Hubert, Brouillon is in business from early morning to late night, as a coffee and lunch spot that turns into a buvette in the evening. They serve seasonal and local fare and a beautiful list of local beers and ciders as well as great bottles of natural wine.

Buvette Pastek

209 Saint-Paul Street West | Website

At Old Montréal’s Buvette Pastek, you can snack on specialties such as imported seafood conservas and charcuterie platters as well as feast on more elaborate dishes such as beef tartare, seared scallops or hanger steak. It’s open from early morning until late night as well as for weekend brunch.

Buvette chez Simone

4869 Parc Avenue | Website

Certainly one of the city’s most famous buvette, Buvette Chez Simone has been beloved for years. Small dishes, charcuterie and cheese platters, their famous roast chicken and a well-curated wine list are on the menu in a relaxed and unpretentious ambiance.

Bar à Flot

4857 Parc Avenue | Website

The team behind Buvette chez Simone is also behind this new spot located right next door. Cocktails, excellent bottles and a few plates to share are on the menu. Bar à Flot (“afloat Bar” or “Flo’s Bar”) is a play on words on sommelière Florence Pelland-Goyer’s name, since she’s taking the lead on this project.

Bar Verdun Beach

4816 Wellington Street | Website

With a list of 100 or so natural wine bottles, Bar Verdun Beach is a great place to gather and celebrate. In addition to the wines, the menu of beautiful small plates and the charming space (and terrasse in summer) contribute in creating a great dining experience.

Here are some other notable Montréal buvettes:

Rouge Gorge : 1234 Mont-Royal Avenue East | Website

Monopole Café & Buvette : 782 Wellington Street | Website

Café Cerise : 234 Fleury Street West | Website

Parlement : 351 Place d’Youville | Website

ETNA : 244 Jarry Street East | Website

PULLMAN bar à vin : 3424 du Parc Avenue | Website

Cafécoquetel : 426 Faillon Street East | Website

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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