French cuisine olala! Montreal is fortunate to have a large number of restaurants dedicated to this specialty, which is nevertheless a UNESCO World Heritage! Great gourmet restaurants, Parisian brasseries, pastries or creperies, here is what you need to give a little taste of Europe to your next outings!
For all lovers of French cuisine and atmosphere, l'Express is a must-see bistro on St-Denis Street. A menu composed of timeless classics: pâté, foie gras, bouillabaisse (fish soup) with croutons au gratin with gruyère, steak tartare, tab and chips... Open 7 days a week from 8am or 10 am on week-end, you can also go there for a good croissant for breakfast.
Read also: Best Tartare in Montreal
True to the traditions of the great brasseries, this McGill district institution offers the classics of French family and comforting cuisine: coq au vin, veal blanquette, beef tartar, candied duck are all specialties including their delicious oysters and incredible seafood platters. Whether for brunch, dinner, lunch or a late snack (open until 11 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday), le Pois Penché and its bistro-chic atmosphere bring together regulars, businessmen and tourists who are not disappointed!
Bouillon Bilk is one of Montreal's most refined experiences on Boulevard Saint-Laurent, behind the Quartier des spectacles district. In a chic and bright space, you can enjoy an inventive and delicate international cuisine of French inspiration. Under its minimalist appearance, Bouillon Bilk is full of surprises: cucumber and raspberries, salmon trout and peach or duck and strawberry are some of the combinations that will delight your taste buds.
Located a few blocks north of Jean-Talon Market, Tandem is a neighbourhood restaurant where you can bring your own wine with an intimate and warm setting. The chef offers you a fine gourmet table d'hôte menu inspired by French and Québec cuisine that varies according to the seasons and market trends. To prepare your visit, food and wine pairing suggestions are also available on the restaurant's website.
It is impossible not to mention a Breton creperie in this list, because the crepe is the French pancake! With fresh products straight from the nearby Atwater market, Spanel offers you sweet or savoury versions typical of this beautiful region of Brittany from 8 a. m. in the morning. Parisian, Spanish, banana split, kinder, gluten-free, and even one in the name of each Montreal neighbourhood. Yes, the choice will be difficult.
This bistro Bring your own wine in the North Shore offers you an unpretentious top-of-the-range cuisine. Carrot tartar, foie gras cream, pork ears or homemade blood sausage are some of the French-inspired delicacies you will find on the menu. A second restaurant has even opened in l'Assomption, transforming Le Coup Monté in a gourmet and trendy reference in the Lanaudière region.
Maison Boulud, one of Montreal's most exclusive restaurants, is located in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel downtown. This elegant restaurant offers a gourmet menu featuring the renowned French chef Daniel Boulud. He succeeded in combining the French tradition with the various influences of the European or American countries he has crossed during his career. And we don't even talk to you about the wine selection! It's very extensive!
Rendez-vous at Lulu bistro in Boucherville for a typical French holiday meal: good mussels and chips! Freshness and simplicity for this modern neighbourhood bistro with its welcoming terrace. With more than 30 à la carte variants, you will find something that suits you. Or you can also succumb to the no less emblematic confit of duck, lamb or cassoulet.
Tartars, mussels (all-you-can-eat on Wednesday evenings) and of course steak-fries, a must in France. Beautiful quality beef - whether in tartar, bavette, filet or counter-fillets - homemade steak sauce, fried according to tradition, Steak frites Saint Paul and its 7 branches on the north and south shores have something to satisfy you. And don't forget to bring your own wine!
Located in the Hochelaga district, Le Valois offers a bistro cuisine with the great classics of French brewing as well as original creations from the land and history of France: foie gras, spicy tartar, smoked fish... With an Art-deco decor and the terrace located on the pedestrian square in front of the restaurant, you will have the impression to have been tele-transported to Paris!
The South West is one of the most gourmet regions in France: foie gras in different forms, cassoulet, duck breast, Espelette pepper... With chips cooked in duck fat which gives them an inimitable taste! You can enjoy all that at Maison du magret in Old Montreal district. And to accompany these flavours, there is nothing better than a beautiful list of wines from the same region!
Lola 45 is THE gourmet place of Saint-Sauveur, located in the heart of the city in front of a church. A rustic decoration, a friendly atmosphere, and dishes as tasty as they are appetizing. You can succumb to the classic oysters, or tartars, but also enjoy tapas versions according to the inspirations of the moment. All this is accompanied by a fine selection of accessible wines. And nothing beats the charming terrace for sunny days!
Located in the Ahunstic district, this restaurant takes its name from the famous Parisian Café de Flore. It offers a bistro cuisine that combines classic French cuisine (tartar, sandwiches, salads) and Montreal classics (bagel, poutine). You can also opt for the lunch menu or the table d'hôte in the evening, which offers more gastronomic dishes inspired by the region (snails, rabbit, kidneys...), all in a modern brasserie atmosphere. Welcome to Paris!
Chez Lévêque is the French bistro by definition, whether in terms of atmosphere, decoration or cuisine. Located for half a century in the Outremont district on Laurier Avenue, you can enjoy lobster bisque, fish soup, bouillabaisse, blood sausage, terrine, salmon and smoked trout, offal, seafood platter, oysters... And for the summer, a large terrace awaits you!
It is impossible not to mention this bakery, pastry shop and tea room, so full of French-style delicacies! At Mamie Clafoutis, everything is handmade, following simple and authentic recipes and with fresh products: strawberry tartlet, tropeziennes, brioches, cannelés... And of course the famous croissant, in sweet or salty version. With eight shops spread across the island, you're bound to find one on your way!
To conclude these suggestions, what could be better than one of the most beautiful restaurants on the island! Located in Old Montreal district, the Monarque and its large windows and mirrors offer great perspectives! Two experiences are on offer: a delicious brasserie-style menu (including fish and seafood bouillabaisse, Cornish chicken, Burgundy snails, lamb ravioli, etc.), and a 4-courses dining room menu in the evening. A carefully selected wine and cocktail list, impeccable service, the Monarque is a must!