The Essential Guide To The Best Places in Montreal

Honestly Montreal, you looked and tasted so damn fine last year! I gotta say, 2017 was one of my favorites so far when it comes to the new food scene in the city. From new rare mixes that enriched us, to stunning and impeccable spots that gave us life the past 365 days, it was THE year to eat yum, and to bring all your friends along, like I did.In tribute to all of you, foodies at heart, here’s my guide to the best places and la creme de la creme in Montreal of 2017.
Nota bene: This list includes casual spots mostly, the ones I frequently visit and I love deeply, for their service, food, style and interior design, a very, #heymacaplace.Bon Appetit! 
T O P   M E N T I O N S   2  0  1  7Best Vegan: LOV (both locations)This was simply a no-brainer pick. I stopped counting the times I’ve been to LOV and every single one has been better than the last one.Try your next visit: Their onion rings and avocado toastBest Casual Lunch: Arthur’sYou already know I’m a huge fan of Arthur’s and it’s my number one option for a quick lunch, a late breakfast and some warm challah toast.Try your next visit: Matzah ball soup and eggs & salamiBest for Juices and Acai Bowls: Espace NomadYou also started your resolutions for this upcoming 2018 and one of them is a healthier life, right? Espace Nomad’s juice bar will be your bestie this year then. They offer homemade raw and always delicious juices and acai bowls.Try your next visit: Le Bamako juice, a special stress reliever juice with a boosting mood effect.

B R E A K F A S TBest huge portions brekkie: L’Avenue St-HenriBenedicts? check! exotic juices? check that too! homemade granola yogurt? you betcha. Since the new L’Avenue opened recently in the heart of St-Henri, I take a lot of advantage that I’m ultra close, skipping the crazy weekend lineups and I keep doing only weekly visits. You won’t regret this place, I swear.Try your next visit: Bene Arc-en-Ciel, forever and ever.Best pancakes: Well I cannot believe these pancakes and you won’t believe it either. Well opened in Verdun last summer and I’ve been basically touring all my friends to try this brunch menu, in the prettiest Scandinavian diner.Try your next visit: Ricotta, bacon and maple pancakes. YES!Best Breakfast Tartines: Melisse
This place is one of those little gems you can’t resist to go every single month, even just to have a cup of coffee and do some work. Melisse has a casual breakfast menu and their brekkie tartine is my favorite option since I had it the very first time. 
Try your next visit: Tartine Matin, made with an egg salad, homemade mayo, green onions, tomatoes and a whole grain bread. 
Best Weekend Brunch: Melbourne Cafe
How on earth I didn’t know Aussie food is insanely good? Melbourne Cafe was my first try in Montreal, and guys, oh my dear god. Besides the exquisite presentation, the portions are gigantic and extremely tasty. If you see a lineup just before 10am, just do it. 
Try your next visit: Porridge, served with lavender overnight oats, almond milk, bananas, berries toasted nuts and wildflower honey.
Best Oldie, but real damn goodie: Maison Publique
It’s been here for a while, and honestly, this vintage styled British pub will be in my must-place to visit, eternally. Brunch is served only Saturday and Sunday, take a note.
Try on your next visit: A few actually, pancakes & bacon, their bacon thick cut and Brunch for 2. 

C O F F E E    B R E A KBest Coffee spot: Cafe Pista
It’s been around for a while but Pista exceeded all expectations with its new menu this year without any doubts. This quiet spot serves a splendid coffee along with a scrumptious menu I’m quite addicted. 
Try your next visit: Croissant Dej and an Avocado toast.
Best Coffee spot kids friendly: Cafe Sfouf
Besides their ultra cute instagrammable decor, Cafe Sfouf is my forever fave coffee shop to visit with my kiddos. Their mini sfouf corner is aaaa-dorable and my little cuties love their books and toys selection. Ps. sweetest staff of the city. 
Try your next visit: If you’re in for a coffee, a cappuccino is great with a sweet tartine of goat cheese, honey and pistachios. 
Best Instagrammable Coffee Spot: September Surf cafe 
We shot their chairs, benches, wall decor, bricked wall, ultra white pallet tables and their cute latte art like crazy all year long. September is one of the best things that happened to St-Henri in a while and I freaking adore this place. 
Try your next visit: Granola bowl, FTW.
Best Coffee Spot for productivity: Leaves Cafe
I’m not sure if it’s the perfect music playing every single time or the adorable mini cactus all over but Leaves Cafe is (personally) one of the best spots to make your day a productive one if you work remotely. 
Try your next visit: omg their feuillete spinach (could eat a dozen) and an almond milk latte. 

L U N C H    S P O T S
Best Caribbean Lunch: Lloydie’s 
the new kid on the block, Lloydie’s brings a spicy, crispy and perfectly seasoned jerk chicken to Mile End and a cute retro decor I loved, at first sight. 
Try your next visit: Their plates: Jerk pork, Jerk chicken with lots of plantains. 
Best Healthy Lunch: Mandy’s Old Port 
Sisters Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe created a salad heaven in the city, with the prettiest and tastiest menu that has so many loyal fans like this mama over here. Their recent big opening in Old Montreal was the hit of 2017, so far!
Try your next visit: I adore their Superfood salad and their soup of the month is always a win.
Best Poke: Venice MTLhands down, mics dropped Venice MTL poke bowls are SO freaking good I can’t resist repeating and repeating this place, with absolutely no shame.Try your next visit: Tofu Poke and start with a guac ok?
Best Asian Lunch: Hao! 
I blogged about them earlier this year here and I loved this tiny, minimal and perfectly designed space. This counter style resto has the yummiest pork buns and a simple menu perfect for any casual lunch plan.
Try your next visit: Pork or Veggie buns. 
Best Mexican: Ta Chido!
This was a tough one for me because I simply love every single Mexican spot in the city (at least the ones I keep repeating). Ta chido’s menu is one of the most original where you can have every single option (tortas, tacos, quesadillas, everything!) and honestly, portions are so generous they stole my heart at once. 
Try your next visit: Tostadas de Hongos, Quesadilla Tinga de Pollo.

H I P   D R I N K S / 4 @ 5Best Micheladas: Lupita Nothing compared to Lupita’s and trust me, I’m the Queen of Micheladas over here, lol.Try your next visit: Of course the michelada, and try (please god) their potato flautas.Best New Hip Place for 4@5: Ginkgo Cafe & BarIt’s a coffee shop, a greenhouse in the middle of the city, a bar, a brunch heaven and all of the above, in all seriousness. I’ve been here for drinks, for work, to brunch and supper and each experience has been nothing but great. Ps: best Interior design this year.Try your next visit: A cocktail and their grilled cheese bites. You are so welcome, my friends.Best Bloody Mary/Caesar: Satay BrothersI’ve tried tons (trust me, lots) of bloodys in the city and my conclusion to my intense investigation: Satay Brother’s has the best one! They did a homemade mix that adds up a ridiculously amazing taste to my fave drink of 2017.Try your next visit: okay you are there already, so you better order pork buns, a papaya salad, and a laksa soup.Wowza – Hidden Gem of the Year: Atwater cocktail clubTo get in here, you almost need a secret password and a treasure map which all my friends have loved this so much! Pink leather couches, a romantic and sexy ambiance that it’ll help you score a perfect date, in here.Try your next visit: the smoke show – no explanation needed.

D I N N E R   T I M E

Best Fried Chicken: Bird Bar 

Comfort food is calling your name? Run to Le Bird Bar and try their glorious fried chicken ok? I also blogged my full experience about them here

Try your next visit: obviously the fried chicken, mac & cheese balls and their feta watermelon salad

Best Supper Caribbean Style: Agrikol

Arcade Fire not only does amazing music (and concerts) but a damn good Caribbean menu inspired by Haiti roots. Agrikol has an amazing rhum corner and two different menus (one during summer time and one indoors) with local ingredients, ultra tasty dishes and always a great presentation. Who can say no to plantain?

Try your next visit: Fresh fried fish with an overload of fried plantain aka heaven.

Best Trendy Fast Food: Foiegwa

Confession: I can’t pronounce F o i e g w a, but I can for sure eat their entire menu, with no regrets. Read all the details about it in this old blog post here.

Try your next visit: Double cheeseburger and fries. I’m that serious. 

Best Japanese (fusion): Jatoba

Working late this week and need a perfect spot for some drinks and a great menu in downtown Montreal? Head to Jatoba! They offer dinner and lunch options, and amazing cocktail list to accompany your food and an exquisite decor full of fiddle-leaf fig trees.

Try your next visit: Gyozas and their signature Salmon Tartare

Best Pizza Spot: Moleskine 

Pizzeria or ice cream? or both? Moleskine has it all, in one single (and ultra pretty) place. Their design is absolutely insanely beautiful and please, don’t get me started on the pizza menu, just head there when you can. 

Try your next visit: ANY pizza and ask for their soup of the day. 

Best Hip Casse Croute: Chez Tousignant

Remember those old days of average casse-croutes? Chez Tousignant changed this and came to Montreal with a unique concept, a hip place where you can enjoy that amazing poutine you’re craving late at night, basically another level of fast food. 

Try your next visit: a poutine with a chocolate milkshake, yes!

Happy New Yummy Year!
Want to follow more places this year? just look for #heymacaplaces on Instagram.

1 Comment

  1. Kristeena Saint-Lô
    January 4, 2018 / 1:56 am

    Officially getting my 2018-2019 winter body ready ?This post is LIFE and I need to try all the places I haven’t been to yet! Running ??