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

Last update on June 03, 2021
Bar Furco montreal quartier des spectacles

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

The downtown core of Montreal is typically associated with high-rise office towers, busy streets, big crowds and endless shopping. Although all of that may be true, we at Tastet prefer to associate the neighbourhood with some of our favourite restaurants in the city!

There are endless things to be done in downtown Montreal. Busy students from McGill and Concordia are often hustling through the neighbourhood on their way to class. Professionals of all kinds spend their days in the countless small businesses and high-rise buildings that make up the majority of the neighbourhood. And of course, attractions like the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the beautiful Dorchester Square and the always-busy Eaton Centre lure tourists and locals alike into the neighbourhood all year round.

With such high traffic, it comes as no surprise that the area is littered with a ton of amazing cafés, bars and restaurants. Taking the time to visit some of the wonderful gourmet addresses featured on this list can be the perfect cherry-on-top of a busy day downtown. This list features the addresses that we like best in the neighbourhood. Not only are these spots great stepping stones into the world of Montreal gastronomy, some of them are also featured on our lists of the most beautiful restaurants in Montreal and the most beautiful bars in the city.

Café Parvis 

Café Parvis is the type of place that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, and for any occasion. This stunning restaurant was designed by the renown Zébulon Perron. Unfinished walls, rustic wooden tables, dripping wax candles and a huge amount of hanging greenery all help create an incredibly natural and inviting atmosphere. The space truly stands out from any other restaurant in the city! The large wooden bar is perfect for enjoying a coffee or a cocktail, depending on the time of day.  If you’re in the mood for food, Café Parvis offers a menu of very creative seasonal salads and homemade pizzas that changes every single week.  Please note that they also have a delicious brunch menu on the weekends!
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Bar Furco

Located directly beside Café Parvis, Bar Furco is owned by the same team as its neighbour. The beautiful interior of this bar was designed by Zébulon Perron. We like it so much that Furco is even featured on our list of the most beautiful bars in Montreal! With a slightly more modern flare than Parvis, high ceilings and big windows, Furco is very reminiscent of the style of bars that you’d find in Berlin. But it’s much more than just a pretty face. We come to Furco to soak in their infectious atmosphere, take advantage of their constantly changing wine list and snack on delicious food.  The menu, concocted by chef Joëlle Trottier, changes every week and offers dishes with generous portions that are fresh and easy to share. This address is a true gem in the Montreal bar scene!
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Henri Brasserie française

Everything about this restaurant is a showstopper, from the absolutely stunning architecture of the building right down to the smiling and attentive service. When they opened in November of 2018, this restaurant quickly became known as one of the top restaurants in the neighbourhood. The interior, designed by Zébulon Perron, sets the scene for a truly enchanting evening – this address is in our list of the most beautiful restaurants in Montreal. The restaurant is comprised of a 130 seat dining room, a 30 seat bar, a lounge and two private rooms, each one more beautiful than the next. In terms of food, you can expect a classic French brasserie style menu, executed with finesse and precision. This is the perfect place for an important business lunch, or a celebratory evening meal!
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Taverne Square Dominion

Taverne Square Dominion is, once again, an address that is included in our list of the most beautiful restaurants in Montreal! The original tavern that inhabited the space opened its doors in 1927 during Montreal’s Roaring Twenties, and it even survived the Great Depression. It has been a tavern ever since, and more specifically, Taverne Square Dominion since the year 2009. Inspired by archival photos, the decor of Taverne Square Dominion resembles the taverns of the 1920-30s. Especially for out-of-town visitors, coming here is a great way to experience some of Montreal’s rich history first hand! In terms of food, the menu offers a wide selection of appetizers, sharing plates and entree dishes, all inspired by classic English and French-Canadian flavours. The service is always charming and the food is always delicious – we highly recommend visiting this address!
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Maison Boulud

There is no question about it – Maison Boulud is a cornerstone of Montreal’s restaurant landscape. This spot is located inside the famous Ritz Carleton Hotel, and named after the globally renown chef, Daniel Boulud, who opened the restaurant in 2012. When you come for a meal at Maison Boulud, you instantly feel taken care of by the charming staff and comfortable atmosphere. David Goirand manages the wine list, curated from his index of over 600 references from wine regions all over the world.  From the kitchen, you’re greeted with a menu of French, English, Italian and New York inspired dishes.  Maison Boulud is a sure shot at a wonderful evening out – we recommend it to any culinary enthusiast, as well as any visitors looking to experience Montreal at its best!
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Marcus Restaurant + Terrasse

Marcus is the restaurant inside of the new Four Seasons Hotel on rue De La Montagne, and one of our favourite gourmet spots in the neighbourhood! Another creation by the talented Zébulon Perron, restaurant Marcus takes shape inside an elegant and contemporary space with a brasserie style atmosphere. Best of all, the dining room offers up a beautiful view of the busy streets of downtown! As for the menu, we find a “bistronomy” cuisine that showcases many different products from Quebec and Canada. The dishes are primarily based around seafood and are all designed to help diners discover new and exciting flavours from all over the world. In terms of beverages, Marcus offers a wine list mainly comprised of private imports.
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Located on Parc Avenue, Pullman Wine Bar was one of the very first wine bars to open in Montreal, and to this day, they are still one our favourites! First and foremost, the wine list at Pullman is absolutely exceptional. It’s comprised of over 300 labels, 98% of which are private imports – we are definitely impressed. The address is equipped with a team of connoisseurs that help curate the lengthy wine list and ensure that the selection has something for all palettes and budgets. In addition, you can enjoy a menu of very tasty dishes – just what you need to make sure the wine doesn’t go to your head. The menu includes classics like grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders, all of which are delicious.
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Ferreira Café

Ferreira Café is one of (if not the) best Portuguese restaurants in Montreal, and definitely one of our favourite spots in the downtown neighbourhood! Ferreira has been open for almost 25 years now, and there is a reason that it is just as popular today as it was back then : the trifecta of extremely good service, a beautiful decor and an amazing menu. We come to Ferreira to enjoy their Portuguese inspired fish-focused menu. The wine list is certainly biased towards Portuguese labels, making it a great opportunity to discover a new favourite! To make the offer even better, bottles of wine are half price on Tuesdays whenever there is a hockey game on. The Ferreira team completed another update to their interior just last year, and the space is even more chic and inviting than before.
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