© Two Food Photographers
Kindness of the tastiest kind
1259 Sainte-Catherine Street East (and other locations) | Website
This little gem on Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village is the perfect place for an elegant yet no-frills meal. Bistro Tendresse has a menu that will tempt you with dumplings, a butternut burger, risotto, sautéed mushrooms and much more, always beautifully presented. The place itself is mad stylish, with yellow, pink and burgundy banquettes and a cool angled ceiling. The cocktail and wine list also amazing. Tendresse is open seven days a week, for supper on weekdays, and with a decadent weekend brunch on weekends.
Fast food done right!
This fast-food chain is spreading like wildfire, which is a great thing when you want an alternative to the golden arches. Although the food is fast at Copper Branch, it’s all got a healthier twist. Dive guilt-free into the poutine made with oven-roasted fries, vegan cheese and a rich mushroom gravy – or choose from a whole whack of healthy rice bowls, and an impressive selection of burgers. The shiitake teriyaki is a fave. Finish with a fair trade drink, dessert, coffee or tea.
Lunches made healthy
The two locations of the Toronto-based chain Kupfert & Kim in Montréal’s downtown core satisfy hungry professionals with goodness-packed salads and gluten-free blondies. Their meatless and wheatless philosophy is drawing lots of fans. Try it and you’ll be sold!
2115 Saint-Denis Street | Website
Get the full plant-based experience at this mock-meat palace on Saint-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles. The General Tao at OPLANTE is honestly tastier than the chicken version, while the crispy sesame beef will have you wondering if you’re being punked and this is really meat. (You’re not.) The sushi is also a favourite. Recreate the experience at home thanks to the vast selection of mock meats in the store section near the exit.
A brasserie & lounge in the heart of the action
276 Sainte-Catherine Street West | Website
Lola Rosa is a 100% vegan restaurant that showcases a diverse international menu (think lasagna, nachos, chili, curry, poutine, burgers, etc.) in a relaxed and cozy setting in the heart of the Place des Festivals. Shout out to the super attentive staff who take great care to provide options for those with food intolerances and allergies. It also boasts a private room for parties and get-togethers with an impressive view of the “Grande Place”.
Over 200 delicious dishes
1720 Saint-Denis Street | Website
Resto Végo has been delighting Montréal diners for 40 years. Located on a lively street in the Quartier latin in a century-old house, Resto Végo offers 3 types of dining options: A generous buffet to sample several dishes and desserts. A takeout counter / café with ready-to-eat foods such as salads, sandwiches and pastries. A co-working space to hold meetings or savour a meal in a relaxed setting.
© Two Food Photographers (Alison Slattery)
Vegan sushi blossoms in Old Montréal
368 Saint-Paul Street West | Website
Bloom Sushi is as fetching for Instagram photos as it is for its plant-based makis, conceived with care by the chef behind the stellar Sushi Momo. The décor in white-painted-brick and ancient grey stone with pale blossoms and low-hanging lamps everywhere is a feast for the eyes that goes nicely with plum-wine cocktails. The perfect place to celebrate an anniversary or for a romantic tête-à-tête.
Pamper your palate
The oh-so-elegant LOV (Local, Organic, Vegan) is known for its amazing creativity and the loving attention paid to every detail, not only in the food they serve but in the excellent service and beautiful decor. This is a place to take someone you want to impress, regardless of their dietary preferences. The list of cocktails and natural wines completes the experience.
© Susan Moss
Montréal’s vegan OG
Montréal’s original 100% plant-based success story serves tasty rice bowls, hearty sandwiches and a killer brunch from its a sprawling spot on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. Reboot on the sunny terrasse with one of the famous Aux Vivres smoothies (the Creamsicle is decadently delish) or a slice of berry-topped “faux-mage” cheesecake – you’ll swear you’re eating the real thing. Stop by the takeout shop on your way out for a snack to go.
Montréal’s first vegan pub
3723 Saint-Laurent Boulevard | Website
For great food and a laid-back vibe, head over to Bowhead Pub on the Main, the city’s very first all-plant-based pub. With a menu full of comfort food, including fully loaded waffle fries topped with yummy-crispy-savoury Beyond Meat hamburger bits, chick’n and “beef” burgers (on pretzel buns, yum) and tacos-in-a-bag, this is decadence at its kindest. The cocktails are tasty, the wines are vegan (most wines are not) and it’s a great place to catch a game on a big screen.
Purrfect for cat lovers
Café Chat L'Heureux - 172 Duluth Street East | Website
Café Chato - 4822 De Verdun Street | Website
What could be better than chillin’ with a few furry friends? Montréal has not one, but two great places for cat lovers: Café Chat L’Heureux (which translates as the ‘Happy Cat Café’) on Duluth in the heart of the Plateau, and Café Chato near the Verdun metro station. Grab a table or kick back on a couch for a coffee, salad, chili or soup and enjoy the company of adorable felines that are up for adoption.
Sweet Plateau café
370 Marie-Anne Street East | Website
Just inches from Saint-Denis Street, Café Tuyo is a charming, warm café and lunch counter that serves vegan and vegetarian sandwiches on homemade bread, soups and salads. Saddle up to the counter and order a vegan latte with the silky home mixture of almond and soy milk. Or in the summer, how about some lavender lemonade after a Plateau shopping day? The food here is homey, healthy, mostly organic and made with love.
Latin American gourmet flare
Casa Kaizen - 16 des Pins Avenue | Site Internet
Nopalito - 3723A Saint-Laurent Blvd. | Site Internet
If you’re looking for a great spot for veggie Mexican food, these sisters have you covered! Casa Kaizen, an elegant tapas restaurant with impeccable service and an intimate atmosphere, serves dishes bursting with flavour in a decor that skilfully combines minimalism with the Latin theme of its cuisine. A few steps away is Nopalito, a Mexican vegan tortas and tortilla counter, where you order and grab great eats to go.
Authentic (meat-free) Thai
4088 Saint-Denis Street | Website
Close your eyes and you’ll swear you’re eating actual crispy duck at this all-vegan Thai mainstay. ChuChai has graced the Plateau with its sophisticated cruelty-free cuisine since before Linda McCartney made vegan matter (or thereabouts). It keeps the menu updated with dishes that are ever more delicious, including fan favourites like rich peanut dumplings, chewy pad Thai and decadent eggplant “beef” with basil.
No waste, all taste
2250 du Mont-Royal Avenue | Website
From the moment it opened, Épicerie Muscade made a place for itself, thanks to its talented pastry chef, Éline Bonin. In addition to the shelves of zero waste (ZW) products, the coffee section has a great variety of cookies, tarts, cakes and brioches that taste divine. The cinnamon rolls are particularly worth the detour. Some of their signature products, including soy and cashew yogurt, are already sold across the city.
The top vegan desserts
3770, boul. Saint-Laurent | Website
For several years now, Sophie Sucrée has been treating people of the Plateau with delectable desserts. When you drop by the store on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, you’ll find a world of cupcakes topped with creamy icing, chewy brownies, crispy berry pies, and fresh croissants and chocolatines. After you’ve tried a few things on the spot, pick a half-dozen cupcakes for your friends in the self-serve fridge – they’ll love you forever.
The big fish of vegan sushi
Sushi Momo - 3609 Saint-Denis Street | Site Internet
Komomo - 3603 Saint-Denis Street | Site Internet
Even lovers of fish dishes agree some of Montréal’s very best, most creative sushi is served at this chic vegan enclave on the Plateau. Order Sushi Momo’s tasting menu for your size of group (it’s offered for parties of 2, 4 and 6) for the full experience: from the crispy centred Dynamite roll to the spicy jackfruit sushi (its answer to spicy tuna), it’ll all leave your taste buds amazed. Reservations are necessary at this hot spot, but you can order take-out at Komomo, next door.
I scream for veganscream
230 Rachel Street East | Website
Welcome to Swirl, a little ice cream shop on the Plateau’s Rachel Street that’s entirely vegan. Saddle up to the takeout window and order yourself some homemade oh-so-creamy dairy-free coconut-based soft serve – and delicious cookies too, all made from scratch. Expect unusual flavours, far beyond the classic vanilla and chocolate. Sweeeeeet.
Chip shack food with urban vibes
30 Prince Arthur Street West | Website
Maynard offers vegan fast-food favourites in a simple, Instagram-worthy setting. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere while sampling nostalgic comfort classic made with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.
The art of pastry at its finest
4522 Saint-Denis Street | Website
Stepping into Patisserie Zébulon, feast your eyes on all the colourful pastries that look almost too beautiful to eat. Then, taste perfectly balanced flavours and textures that go above and beyond. A delight for the senses not to be missed!
© Two Food Photographers (Alison Slattery)
The best burger
5149 Du Parc Avenue | Website
Saddle up to the very cute counter at Mimi & Jones for a feast fit for Archie and Jughead: burgers, fries, nuggets and milkshakes! The place has a true American deli vibe, with a long bar that runs nearly the length of the black-and-white themed space. The success of their burgers surely lies in their homemade veggie patties. There are also a few lighter choices like a Caesar salad and mouth-watering ravioli.
Veritable balls of energy
Crunchy falafels, veggie kebabs and sweet potato fries: just a few of the yummy choices at local chain La Panthère verte (The Green Panther). With a 100% vegan menu, their sandwiches are served on fluffy pitas, in either half or full size. Their sweet potato fries are crispy and mouth-watering tasty! And don’t forget to try the sweets! Some of the city’s most delicious vegan cookies live at Panthère Verte (the cherry-studded Cachewy is a knockout).
OLYMPIC DISTRICT, HOMA & ROSEMONT
Top notch nosh, day and night
3459 Ontario Street East | Website
A fun spot for a saucy date or a lazy brunch (all week, any time of the day) in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Antidote offers exciting veganized comfort foods and a top-notch organic wine list. Dig in deep with menu stars like fried chicken and waffles, three-cheese mac and cheese, crunchy crusted seitan, pulled “pork” poutine and the vegan Big Mac – hey, we never said it was healthy.
A pretty little Italian-style café and pastry shop
1360 Rosemont Boulevard | Website
Thanks to its homemade savory and sweet delicacies, this little gem quickly has become a local go-to spot in the Rosemont neighbourhood. The compact counter display will tempt you with donuts and tarts next to focaccias and gourmet sandwiches. Every time you go to Café Dei Campi, you’ll always find a few surprises, since their menu changes every week according to the seasons. Their coffee and melt-in-your-mouth brioches are customer favourites. But whatever you choose, it’s going to be delish!
Soft serve with a heart
2225 Bennet Street | Website
Cold treat lovers will celebrate the summer months with majestic cones of soft serve vegan ice cream at Hoche Glacé, in Hochelaga. In addition to the regular fare, this ice cream offers a selection of nut-milk treats ranging from sorbets and smoothies to vegan milkshakes and soft serve cones covered in vegan Belgian chocolate. If you’re craving a classic, treat yourself to a creamy swirl – the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is absolutely amazing!
The three-in-one stopover
6701 Papineau Avenue | Website
Véganation moved to Rosemont in 2018 as a grocery store-restaurant-caterer offering ready-to-eat meals with a zero waste approach, plus a lunch subscription to make your middays easier and delicious. It's simple to set up and everything we tasted totalled exceeded our expectations. Their mouth-watering recipes are made with organic ingredients and range from Mexican bowls, raw pad thai, butter tofu and lasagna. A veritable world of flavours!
CÔTE-DES-NEIGES, OUTREMONT & WESTMOUNT
Salads and burgers in NDG (and Saint-Henri!)
There are two locations in Montréal of this Toronto chain specializing in delicious and healthy comfort food. Try Hello123’s brunch, or head over for a night out with friends. The colorful decor, a relaxed atmosphere and great music will make you a regular. The bar is impressive, the servings generous and the staff attentive.
The prettiest sweets of all
Gluten-free soy-intolerant nut-allergic vegans, you’ve died and gone to heaven at this chic Outremont bakery. Nestled on Bernard Avenue, the ultra-pretty white-and-pastel Petit Lapin makes glorious cakes, cake-pops, cream puffs, cookies, madeleines and more without a trace of common allergens. The cakes are true statement pieces (hello, blue ombré triple-decker chocolate!), so expect oohs and ahhs at the next birthday party you pick up for.
QUARTIERS DU CANAL AND PÔLE DES RAPIDES
© Susan Moss
This takes the cake!
3910 Wellington Street | Website
The delicious gluten- and soy-free vegan pastries at Audacieuse Vanille have been delighting residents of Verdun since 2018. Everything is prepared with natural, organic and fair trade ingredients, with dashes of maple syrup and lots of love. Their take on classics like decadent chocolate brownies and banana bread will have you under their spell. The Bundt cakes (especially the rosewater-infused flavour) go perfectly with a latté, which you can savour as you relax by the sunny window of this little neighbourhood gem. Paulina also takes special orders for your celebrations!
Killer vegan shish taouk
345 Saint-Jacques Street | Website
With two locations in Lachine, Falafel St. Jacques serves up mouth-watering Middle Eastern fare that tastes so authentic you’ll think you’ve stepped into a Tel Aviv snack bar. Almost everything on the menu is vegan. Hearty and served in a homemade pita, the vegan shish taouk is heavenly (like all of their vegan meat sandwiches, it’s made with mushrooms). The chef’s salad bar and falafel are real show-stoppers, too.
Two tools to find the best vegetarian and vegan spots in Montréal
- The Association végétarienne de Montréal has a 100% VG application with an interactive map. Download it from the App Store or Google Play. When you become a member, you get 10% to 15% discounts at 75 local businesses (note: content is in French).
- Go to happycow.net for a list of businesses that offer great choices for vegetarians and vegans. You’ll find healthy grocery stores, omnivore restaurants with vegetarian/vegan options and lots more.