The smashing return of Montréal’s downtown food scene

Blair Dohey

Blair Dohey is a Canadian writer and blogger who relentlessly tracks down the coolest things to do and see in Montréal and loves discovering amazing restaurants and bars in the city. When he’s not writing about his travels through Montréal, you’ll probably find him sitting at a bar, chatting with friends and laughing at his own jokes.

The city’s downtown core heats up this summer with these great bars, food halls and restaurants all making a grand comeback.

Summer is in full swing in Montréal and as you make your way downtown, you’ll hear some familiar sounds that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face including the clattering of cutlery and the clinking of glasses which continues to become louder and more joyful than we could ever have imagined. A symphony of laughter and chatter has started rising out of the outdoor terrasses that dot the city streets, even as we fully embrace the construction décor that we’ve become so used to.

Yes gang, life in the city is slowly returning to normal and with the reopening of restaurants, bars and exotic terrasses that make you feel like you’ve landed on a Mediterranean beach. The food and drink we’ve been craving for months are sizzling and fizzing for us once again as the heart of the city begins beating at full strength. Here’s a list of a few of the restaurants, bars and food halls that are already tantalizing our taste buds, with plenty more openings on the way.

Marcus

The Four Seasons Hotel Montréal remains one of the most spectacular hotels in the city and Marcus, the hotel’s restaurant and bar have reopened, pleasing foodies across the city. Located on the hotel’s 4th floor, the sprawling brasserie-inspired restaurant is famous for its seafood dishes, excellent brunch, delicious cocktails and much more. The sun-drenched terrasse, with its swaying palm trees, overlooks downtown Montréal and is perfect for an afternoon cocktail or a stylish 5a7 to kick off your evening. If you close your eyes for just a moment, you can almost feel as if you’ve been whisked away to the tropics. Montréal-born, Chef Jason Morris has joined the team as the new executive chef, promising to add someone hometown flavour to each meal.

Time Out Market

The hype surrounding the opening of Time Out Market Montréal hasn’t diminished over the last couple of months. The market reopened last week with a bash, allowing guests to see the new offerings including Blossom, le Taj (the chicken and spice filled Nan Witch is a must try), Campo and Casa Kaizen. A few old favourites remain, including Normand Laprise’s Burger T, pizza from Moleskin, Italian favourite, Il Miglio, Atelier et Saveurs and much more. Safety precautions are in place, ensuring an enjoyable experience, whether you decide to eat at the Market or take your food out into the summer sun.

Bar Renard

The Gay Village is the place to be during the summer, with the street closed off to vehicles and an island paradise of outdoor terrasses reaching as far as the eye can see. Bar Renard has opened a massive terrasse on the street, serving up one Aperol Spritz after the next, along with great wines and cocktails as well as a selection of food to keep the hunger at bay as we gather to people watch and chat with friends.

Restaurant h3 at Humaniti

A new addition to Montréal’s food scene, h3 is a multi-faceted approach to dining as we explore our connection to the three kingdoms that make up our world.  The animal, botany and mineral kingdoms are the essence of h3, offering locally sourced ingredients in inventive dishes. With a beautiful terrasse overlooking the city, h3 is a great place to enjoy a sunset cocktail as you escape into a world where the best of our terroir, from food to drink, is on display.

Le Cathcart Food Hall at Place Ville Marie

With the reconstruction of the Esplanade at Place Ville Marie now complete, there’s never been a better time to pay a visit to the famous tower and see the gorgeous new grounds. With Le Cathcart Restaurants and Biergarten located underneath the glass pavilion, there’s plenty of choice to enjoy in the lush biergarten or outside on a sunny day.. Open weekdays for the time being, enjoy a tremendous choice of food offerings from restaurants and kiosks featuring local talent. From pizza, tacos, burgers, salads, fried chicken and even some delicious vegetarian and vegan options, there’s something for every taste.

Café Holt 

Relax andunwind in a sublime atmosphere like no other at Café Holt. From delicately prepared dishes and refined cocktails for lunch during the week and brunch on weekends, Café Holt offers a menu of contemporary Canadian cuisine with a focus on responsible and sustainable seafood practices. From fresh burrata and beef tartare to brunch bagels and even a great burger, there’s something for every appetite.

Café Parvis

Featuring a sun-drenched, French brasserie-inspired décor and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a great beer, a fresh cocktail or a cool glass of wine, Café Parvis is a garden oasis in the heart of downtown. Nestled on a quiet street steps from Quartier des spectacles, Parvis is a popular drinking hole among locals that also features excellent and inventive pizzas, delicious salads and a mouthwatering brunch on the weekends.

Le Central

Because Montréalers love food so much, we have room for a third giant food hall downtown, steps from all the action at Quartier des spectacles. Le Central has reopened from Tuesday to Saturday for dinner (5pm to 10pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 5pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday) where you can eat in or take out and enjoy at the quirky Prenez Place yellow strip of tables and chairs that is so very Montréal. If it’s pizza you’re after, Heirloom and Morso Pizzeria and Alimentari are sure to satisfy your hunger or if you’re looking for something a little spicier, Thip Thip is a Thai snackbar that packs a lot of flavour. With dozens of restaurants offering something truly unique to guests (including delicious donuts from Trou de beigne), le Central takes the flavours of Montréal to the next level.

Blair Dohey

Blair Dohey is a Canadian writer and blogger who relentlessly tracks down the coolest things to do and see in Montréal and loves discovering amazing restaurants and bars in the city. When he’s not writing about his travels through Montréal, you’ll probably find him sitting at a bar, chatting with friends and laughing at his own jokes.

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