The Best French Brasseries in Montreal

Restaurant L'Express montreal

Oh, French brasseries! What’s not to love about these places? Their traditional menu and European feel always transport us to France for an evening. The dishes are often meaty and always delicious. And as luck would have it, there are several wonderful French brasseries in Montreal! Although the term “brasserie” (meaning brewery in English) originally referred to a place where beer was brewed, this is no longer necessarily the case today. So it’s important not to confuse French brasseries with microbreweries!

Many people wonder what the difference is between a restaurant and a brasserie (apart from the beer portion, of course). In fact, a restaurant offers a more refined menu that may change with the seasons, depending on the chef’s inspiration. A brasserie, on the other hand, offers a classic and traditional menu, which changes much less frequently, but is oh so tasty and comforting, available all day long and often until late at night. We love these brasseries for their lively, festive atmosphere in the evenings. It’s the kind of place that’s perfect for a romantic date, a good time with friends, or even a celebration!

While French cuisine is well-established throughout the city, these are some of our favourite brasserie-style addresses. And so, here’s our list of the best French brasseries in Montreal. Bon appétit!

We also invite you to check out our list of the best French restaurants in Montreal, for more suggestions.

Leméac

Leméac is a Montreal institution. The menu hasn’t changed much in the last ten years, but why change a winning formula? A great menu, built up over the years, with something for everyone. The menu features superbly executed French brasserie dishes: steak frites (some of the best), mussels, tartare, escargots and more.

1045 Avenue Laurier Ouest
Montréal

L’Express

Another well-known institution! L’Express is a must in Montreal. This address is a classic with impressively consistent cuisine. If you come here, you must try the marrow bone, chicken liver mousse, tartare, veal liver, veal kidneys, ravioli or hanger steak.

3927 Rue Saint-Denis
Montréal

Monarque

Monarque is on our list of the most beautiful restaurants in Montreal, and with good reason! The space boasts two fully windowed façades, offering customers a breathtaking perspective. The brasserie’s menu features utterly succulent dishes: fish and seafood bouillabaisse, Cornish chicken, sweetbreads, taleggio veal meatballs and house-aged beef from Prince Edward Island.  

406 Rue Saint-Jacques
Montréal

Brasserie Bernard

Brasserie Bernard is an unpretentious place that lends itself perfectly to evenings spent over a good plate of comfort food. The menu takes advantage of the great classics while adding an original touch. Delicious dishes include mussels marinière, a satisfying salmon or beef tartare, and excellent fish & chips, to name but a few. Alongside the classics, the Brasserie also prepares ingredients such as calf’s liver and duck.

1249 Avenue Bernard
Montréal

Holder

Holder is a Montreal institution that seems to have been around forever. People come here for the festive side of the establishment, but also for its tasty cuisine. The menu rarely changes, but the dishes are well executed and well mastered. You’ll find good cuts of meat like veal flank steak or braised beef cheek, as well as fish dishes, seafood, mussels and a few pastas – we’re in love with their lobster ravioli!  

407 Rue McGill
Montréal

Chez Lévêque

Chez Lévêque is a classic French brasserie that offers authentic cuisine in a lively, festive atmosphere. On the menu, you’ll find classic dishes that are really tasty: mussels, tartares, lamb shank, sweetbreads and more. A very French cuisine with Québécois accents that we love.  

1030 Avenue Laurier Ouest
Montréal

Le Molière par Mousso

We come to Molière for a return to our roots. The menu features all the great French brasserie classics: chicken liver mousse, Provençal tomatoes, artichoke vinaigrette, lobster thermidor, beef tartare, rabbit kidneys vol-au-vent, Vichy vegetables, pea salad with lettuce and much more. Everything is tasty, and the wine list is structured around these classics. The decor is elegant and warm. We love this place!  

1560 Rue Saint-Denis
Montréal
See on map

Photography by Alison Slattery



From the magazine

Caron & Frères Knowlton

Visit Café Caron & Frères Knowlton to explore two coffee enthusiasts who have successfully integrated their expertise into Knowlton