The best French Toast in Montreal : Tastet’s picks

Published on 21 January 2020
meilleurs pain doré montreal

The best French Toast in Montreal : Tastet’s picks

French toast has been, and hopefully always will be, one of the most classic and delicious brunch foods out there. Could there be a better way to repurpose stale bread than by soaking it in egg, milk and sugar before frying it in butter? The answer is “no”. 

Most commonly in France, this breakfast treat is known as “pain perdu”, which translates to “lost bread”. The name refers to the fact that this dish is usually prepared using the stale bread in our cupboards that would otherwise go to waste, and therefore was “lost” or “gone”. While this is the name given to the dish in France, its title can vary from region to region, but most of the names tend to be rather comical or clever. Alsatians, for example, call the dish “Pain Crotté”; in Quebec, as you probably already know, it is known as “Pain Doré”. In the United States and English Canada, “French Toast” is the name, and in Germany, it’s called “Armer Ritter” (poor knight), because the dish is notoriously cheap to make!

So, next time you want to use up some of your pantry staples and avoid wasting any leftovers, we suggest trying out your own take on French toast! In our books, there is no better way to start your day. 

We now know about how the appellation has evolved over time and across cultures, but you may still be wondering…”does each region prepare this dish the same way?” Again, the answer is “no”. Throughout Europe, this souped-up toast is served with a simple dusting of powdered sugar overtop. In North America, the dish is most commonly presented with a healthy dousing of maple syrup and often some fresh berries and cream. 

At Tastet, our ideal French toast is soft and moist on the inside and crispy on the outside, drizzled with maple syrup and a pad of melting butter. The addition of fruit always adds a kick of freshness (as well as a bit of #health). However, regardless of how you top it, it’s hard to go wrong with bread, sugar, butter and eggs – this dish is a globally beloved classic for a reason! 

In a gourmet city like Montreal, it should come as no surprise that many restaurants have tackled the feat of creating their version of the perfect French toast. To help you find your own ideal French toast, we have created this list of the best places in the city to enjoy this dish!

If you know of an address that deserves a spot on this list, send us an email at [email protected] so that we can check it out! Happy brunching! 

If French toast isn’t really your thing, you may want to have a look at our list of the best brunches in Montreal for a more diverse selection. 

© Photo Alison Slattery — Instagram

They're open! They're open! La Fabrique

La Fabrique

Located right on rue Saint-Denis, La Fabrique offers delicious and generous dishes in their warm and welcoming atmosphere. Here, Chef Jean-Baptiste prepares predominantly Quebecois, French and Chinese inspired dishes. Some of the house’s specialties are the beef tartare (on our list of Montreal’s best tartares), the foie gras, and of course, their amazing homemade caramel French toast! This address serves an excellent  brunch menu from Thursday to Sunday.  © Photos Alison Slattery — Instagram
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They're open! They're open! Leméac

Leméac

Restaurant Leméac is a true institution of the Montreal restaurant scene. The chic French brasserie has been open since 2001, and it’s kitchen as seen several of the city’s top chefs over the years. Patrice Demers (Patrice Pâtissier) is the one responsible for the address’ dessert recipes, and to this day, 80% of the desserts are still his originals.  Here, you can enjoy perfectly executed French brasserie dishes. They offer a special late night menu (after 10pm) in addition to their table d’hôte, lunch and dinner menus. On the weekends, you’ll find a selection of amazing brunch dishes, including some very tasty French toasts! We love the chocolate cream and banana French toast, but they also serve an impressive French toast with maple caramel and ice cream.  © photo Jimmy Hamelin
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They're open! They're open! Bête à Pain Laval

Bête à Pain Laval

Home to some of the city’s best bread, most decadent pastries and a wonderful à la carte menu, La Bête à Pain Laval is a must-try if you’re in the Laval area.  This address divides their menu into three sections : fresh breads and viennoiserie; pastries and; Marc-André Royal’s delicious breakfast and lunch menu. If you’re here for brunch, you will have a selection of two different iterations of French toast: one with ricotta, pear jam and caramelized apples; another with ricotta, mascarpone and blackcurrant and cherry jam. You can also find these at the other locations of La Bête à Pain (Griffintown and  Ahuntsic).  © Photos Alison Slattery — Instagram
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They're open! They're open! Foiegwa

Foiegwa

Restaurant Foiegwa, right on the corner of Atwater and Notre-Dame, offers a very decadent and comforting cuisine until the wee hours of the morning.  On the menu, expect French classics that have been revamped (frogs legs, terrines, bone marrow, etc..), all at affordable prices. The brunch menu is available from Friday to Sunday, and it features some of the best pancakes in town, as well as an excellent French toast that is served with whipped maple butter and homemade whipped cream.  © Photo Roberto Barroco – Foiegwa Instagram
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They're open! They're open! Lawrence

Lawrence

Lawrence welcomes its guests into a truly beautiful setting and offers some of the best market cuisine in the city! In fact, this restaurant is on our list of the best English restaurants in Montreal! In its colourful and charming dining  room, Lawrence offers a brunch menu every weekend. The menu features morning classics with a spin, each one a representation of the unique “Lawrence personality”. Here, the French toast is served with fresh cream and berries. So good! © Photos bar Matthew Perrin
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They're open! They're open! Olive et Gourmando

Olive et Gourmando

Olive and Gourmando is one of the city’s most beloved cafés, located right in the heart of Old Montreal. If you’re on the hunt for a good coffee or pastry to go, look no further, because Olive and Gourmando is the place for you. They’re also known for the funky and super delicious lunchtime sandwiches, as well as their awesome brunch menu. Here, the French toast is typically accompanied by fresh fruit and cream, and everything is of the highest quality! 
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Excited for their return Excited for their return Le Bloomfield

Le Bloomfield

Le Bloomfield, located on Van Horne Avenue, is the restaurant of Caroline Dumas (founder of the beloved SoupSoup Restaurants) and offers a delicious and affordable weekend brunch menu. On the menu, you’ll find a variety of healthy and delicious dishes, all prepared with the utmost care. Their take on French toast uses brioche from Hof Kelsten (one of our favourite bakeries), served with berries, halva, tahini, date syrup and maple syrup. If you’d like, you can also add on an egg or a serving of bacon for a few extra dollars!
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