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The Best of the Plateau : our suggestions for bars, cafés and restaurants

Update 8 January 2020   |    Published on 8 January 2020
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The Best of the Plateau : our suggestions for bars, cafés and restaurants

The Plateau-Mont-Royal (more commonly known as the Plateau) is one of Montreal’s most lively, colourful and busy neighbourhoods! Many people know it as the most student friendly part of town, but it is actually chalk-full of diversity: families, professionals, students and more. With quaint streets lined with colourful townhouses, small boutiques and galleries of all kinds and beautiful murals around every corner, it is easy to spend an afternoon wandering through the Plateau. Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Rue Saint Denis and Avenue de Mont-Royal are the arteries of the area, and frequently host sidewalk sales, street festivals and more. This neighbourhood comes in as the most densely populate area in all of Canada….  a testament to just how charming it really is!

More than anything, the Plateau is home to a shocking number of good bars, cafés and restaurants (you will never run out of options!). The beauty of the Plateau is its diversity, and that is certainly reflected in the neighbourhood’s gourmet landscape. This list touches on many of the types of establishments that are in the area, and features everything from beautiful wine bars to the best place to grab a sandwich on the go. Of course, the list is not exhaustive, but simply highlights some great options if you’re in search of a place to hang out and grab a bite to eat or a glass of wine in the area.

Are you looking for more recommendations of gourmet addresses in a specific region of Montreal? Check out our map to discover all of the best spots in each neighbourhood! You can also have a look at our lists of the best spots in downtown Montreal, the Quartier des Spectacles, and in Old Montreal.

If you know of any great restaurants in the Plateau that you think are missing from this list, please send us an email at [email protected] We always appreciate getting feedback and recommendations from our readers!

© Photos  Alison Slattery — Instagram

Big in Japan bar

4175 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC, Canada

You wouldn’t know it just by seeing the outside, but this address is one of the most beautiful bars in Montreal, and certainly one worth adding to your list of Plateau explorations! If you’re looking for a venue to spend a romantic evening with a loved one, this bar is for you. When you first walk in, it seems as though the entire space is lit only by candlelight (it is not), giving the room a very intimate and cozy atmosphere. Everything about this address is beautiful and relaxing! The drinks range from selections of whisky, bourbon, cognac, scotch, amaros, beer and saké. The house also offers a wonderful cocktail menu and a small but intentional wine list (bubbles, whites and reds), both put together by co-owner André.

L'Express

3927 Rue Saint-Denis

L’Express is a tried and true pillar of the Montreal restaurant scene – it has been around since 1980! Everything from the decor to the menu is classic at this restaurant, partially explaining why it has been so successful for so long.  The charming interior was designed by the famous Montreal architect Luc Laporte, whose buildings and interior designs are renowned in our city. The menu has hardly changed over the past 40 years, and everything is made in-house (with the exception of the bread). From their pickles that are prepared twice-a-day to their signature sauces garnishing each dish, the L’Express team puts a lot of love and attention into everything they serve . The service is also very genuine and attentive!

Au Pied de Cochon

536 Avenue Duluth Est, Montreal, QC, Canada

Au Pied de Cochon is the restaurant we come to when we want to let loose and indulge in some very delicious comfort food. This restaurant is one of the best in the city, and takes up a spot on our list of quintessential Montreal restaurants! What stands out the most at Au Pied de Cochon is the overall atmosphere, which is very fun and festive. Most of all, it truly reflects the owner’s personality : extreme, intense, generous and enjoyable. In terms of food, you will find some wonderfully creative dishes, all presented in equally as creative ways. The size of the servings are often beyond one’s understanding, but this excess brings with it an unforgettable evening, either because of the enjoyment or because of your protesting liver (jokes).

Maison Publique

4720 Rue Marquette, Montréal, QC, Canada

This place is called Maison Publique (public house) for a reason – it is one of the Plateau’s most popular gourmet hangouts. This address is full pretty much every evening that its open, and it has even been included in the list of Canada’s top 100 restaurants! The interior of Maison Publique is very conducive to socializing. If you sit at the bar that overlooks the open kitchen, you get a sneak peak at all of the action going on inside. The kitchen is lead by chef Derek Dammann, the mastermind behind the delicious dishes that are served here. The English gastro-pub menu revolves primarily around seasonal local products, and features small plates that are meant to be shared. We love Maison Publique as much as the next person, and highly recommend it for a nice evening of wining and dining.

Le Filet

219 Avenue Mont-Royal Ouest

Le Filet is where we come to dine on delicious seafood creations in a beautiful underwater inspired space. The heavy use of metallic materials and dark green woods creates an illusion reminiscent of the glittering ocean, and the numerous water-themed artworks really set the scene for a delicious seafood meal. This address is even included in our list of the most beautiful restaurants of Montreal. As for the menu, chef Okazaki has perfectly amalgamated his Japanese origins with his classical French culinary training – the outcome is amazing. In terms of wine, Le Filet offers a list meticulously selected by sommeliers Gaizka Brassard and Gregory Bock-Morin.

418 Rue Rachel Est, Montréal, QC, Canada

An ideal Sunday morning : strolling through the Plateau with a coffee and a freshly baked croissant from Les Co’Pains d’Abord. This bakery makes some of the best baked goods in the city, and their products are all created according to seasonal availabilities and flavours. The impressive selection of goods is laid out on a display counter next to the cash, making it nearly impossible to only buy a few items. Quality ingredients are first on the owner’s priority list, and the results are as clear as day when you taste the final product. Although the premises are rather small – only about 12 seats – the space is very cozy and inviting. Best of all, you will be hit with an overwhelming scent of baking pastry as soon as you walk through the door!

Hof Kelsten

4524 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC, Canada

Another wonderful bakery to be discovered in the Plateau, Hof Kelsten is home to one of the best croissants in town, the best breads in the city, and definitely some of the best cookies around. The space is relatively small but it does offer some seating. The decor, designed by the renown  Zébulon Perron, is not over the top, but is very charming. Of course, the true star of the show is the baked goods! This amazing address offers a wide variety of products, with everything from sandwiches and soups to pain au chocolats, fresh biscotti and gooey chocolate chip cookies. Hof Kelsten is worth a visit at any time of the day. Please note that they also serve amazing breakfast sandwiches for weekend brunch.

They're open! They're open! Chez Victoire Restaurant Montréal

Chez Victoire

1453 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montréal, QC, Canada

Although their initial goal was to simply become a good neighbourhood restaurant, Chez Victoire’s reputation has expanded beyond the Plateau, and the clientele has become increasingly eclectic as a result. This restaurant’s menu pays homage to the flavours of Quebec with seasonal and primarily local products at the centre of each dish. This also means that the menu changes monthly, so you can try a new dish at every visit! For those who are night owls, Chez Victoire proposes a late evening menu that includes an appetizer, a main and dessert from 10pm until midnight. Beautiful presentations, amazing service and delicious food all add up to make your meal here incredibly pleasant. The wine list features many natural, organic and biodynamic bottles, in addition to some American and Italian classics.  The space meets the perfect balance between sleekness and comfort, creating the ideal setting to enjoy a meal with good company.

Rouge-Gorge

1234 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montréal, QC, Canada

This gourmet wine bar was one of the first of its kind in the neighbourhood. Unlike most other establishments, Rouge-Gorge is a place where you come to discover good wines first and foremost, and round out the experience with something to delicious eat. With nearly 4,000 bottles ready to be discovered, it is needless to say that Rouge-Gorge is the right place to be if you are a true oenophile. As for the menu, they offer a selection of dishes that are crafted specifically to compliment the wine list. Local and organic are the foundations of the menu, which features 12 different dishes each season. The portions may be a bit small if you are hungry, but they are great for sharing and for making sure the wine doesn’t go straight to your head!

Le Royal

1232 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montréal, QC, Canada

Despite the fact that Le Royal is the hidden bar under the Rouge-Gorge name, the two addresses are indeed quite different from one another. If Rouge-Gorge is described as a luminous, uplifting and spacious address,  Le Royal is rather more intimate, mysterious, sexy and underground. The atmosphere at Le Royal is comfortable, warm, and conducive to partying. The decor was designed by none other than the renown Zébulon Perron, and has a chic and elegant feel to it thanks to the luxurious red velvet seats and the glossy black ceiling. The cocktail menu here is amazing, and was created by Alexandre Beaudin and Dimitry Saint Louis, two excellent mixologists. The wine selection offers many different options and also includes some good sparkling wines. Like so many of Montreal’s hidden bars, it is easy to lose track of time at Le Royal, and that is why we love it!

They're open! They're open! schwartz-deli-smoked-meat-montreal-4-1-1024×766

Schwartz's

3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9

If you have ever read anything about iconic things to do in Montreal, you have most likely already heard of Schwartz’s Deli. Schwartz’s is without a doubt a Montreal landmark, where people from around the world come to enjoy smoked meat sandwiches. They’ve been serving these since 1928, and there is a reason that they have been around for so long. A smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s is the final product of a 14 day process, which begins with the 13-day curing of the meat. After the curing, the meat is smoked for 8 to 9 hours in Schwartz’s own brick smokehouse – with its own 90 years of aroma –  then steamed for 3 hours. After this lengthy process, the meat is thinly sliced and ready to eat, preferably in the form of a sandwich. You don’t come here for a particularly lovely decor, but you do come here to feast on one of the most impressive sandwiches available in Montreal.

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