I wanted to celebrate my return to blogging after a few years with a bang! This foodie loves the culinary delicacies that Montreal offers and I wanted to share with you my go-to restaurants for food. I prefer to use the word “favourite” rather than “best”. I have no issues sending people to these places to have a good meal. This first entry focuses on the restaurants according to ethnic type or specialty. So here you have it!
FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS IN MONTREALRonny Pangia
Favourite Spanish: Meson.
I will make a bold statement in saying that Meson might just be my favourite restaurant in the city. From the staff that is professional yet incredibly friendly to chef Marie-Fleur St-Pierre’s inspired menu, I really do feel at home here. Cocas, paella, fish and seafood dishes are all solid choices. The Villeray food scene has never been the same ever since Meson and its sister restaurant Tapeo hit Villeray street many years ago.
Favourite Italian : Primo & Secondo.
Don’t let its rather discrete exterior facade fool you. This restaurant right by the Jean-Talon market in Little Italy gets it right by delivering honest Italian food just the way it was meant to be done. Chef Roberto Stabile makes Italian food shine with dishes focusing on fresh ingredients purchased from the market. You come here for your risotto, osso buco, pasta, and other staples that have made Italian food so popular. When you need to impress, Primo & Secondo’s intimate setting with its white tablecloths might just be the place for you.
If you are looking for something less formal, Barcola Bistro on avenue du Parc has been serving up some fine fare for over eight years. I had a very memorable birthday party there many years ago, and owners Danielle and Fabrizio have always greeted me with open arms. Small menu at friendly prices is what can be found here.
Favourite Indian: Malhi Sweets. I have been coming to this no frills place for my curries, tandoori, and other Indian specialties for over twenty years, and I have rarely been disappointed. During the pandemic, the restaurant sadly only offers take-out service. Still worth it though.
Favourite Greek: Rotisserie Panama. Yet another place where I have been bringing my family for lunch for years. You have to try the fried calamari! All their meats and fish are also fresh. I love the fact that the kitchen is out front in the open and incredibly clean. I have only been to the Montreal location but do hear mixed reactions about their other locations…
Honorable mention: Marven’s. The fried calamari are worth the trek alone… that is if you don’t mind a rather cramped-up space and a moose head as decor.
Favourite Syrian / Lebanese: Alep. Little Italy does not only have great Italian food but also some fine Syrian and Lebanese fare at this restaurant. Whether you go to the formal restaurant or their Petit Alep bistro, you cannot go wrong with their mixed grills and their amazing vegetarian sample platter. Their muhammara is still the best that I have had in the city.
Favourite Bring Your Own Bottle: État Major. I only visited the restaurant once a few months ago but I instantly fell in love with the place. It offers such classics as tartares and foie gras but also has more contemporary dishes keeping it fresh. The menu changes quite often throughout the seasons. It has become one of my favourite restaurants on les Promenades Ontario where I have been spending lots of time this past year.
Favourite Cajun / Creole: Bistro Nolah. I am rarely in the western part of the city but this place makes an excellent excuse to make it out to Dollard-des-Ormeaux. New Orleans is one of my favourite cities in the world, and I remember having instant flashbacks of what I had in NOLA when I ate there. Crab cakes, jambalaya, gumbo, and beignets. It’s all here folks.
Favourite Thai: Une Nuit à Bangkok. Tucked away in a residential area on Bellechasse street not too far from the Maisonneuve park, owner Noemie and her staff serve up some fine Thai food in a small strip mall. I absolutely love their curries. It’s authentic and affordable… just the way that I like my food!
Favourite North American: Joe Beef. Believe the hype. Meat and fish lovers will love their dishes that are written on a huge blackboard. They also have quite the wine selection, and helped reinvigorate the now-vibrant Little Burgundy food scene. Their lobster spaghetti dish is now legendary, and they have two great cookbooks that are worth checking out.
Reservations essential but you can always walk into their wine bar for their incredible Vin Papillon close by. Smaller tapas-like plates that are spectacular.
Favourite brunch: Régine Café. Montrealers flock to this popular café to get their fix of incredible sweet and savoury dishes in a very pretty setting. The menu caters to many dietary restrictions and has something for everyone. Be warned: Get ready to wait in line unless you reserve weeks in advance!
It’s only the beginning folks! Get ready to read more about my favourite places in the near future!