The best Lebanese restaurants: Our suggestions
Internationally recognized, Lebanese cuisine is rich in flavours, colours, fresh products and traditions. The country of Canaan (now Lebanon) is even mentioned in the Bible as having a gastronomy of great finesse and variety thanks to its wonderful Mediterranean climate which allows it to have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Lebanon is very mountainous and above all very sunny with, on average, 300 days of sunshine per year.
To understand the origins of the traditional Lebanese cuisine, we must go back to the origins and consider the geography of Lebanon. At that time (before Christ), it was easy and necessary to cook with the food that was at hand. Moreover, thanks to its ideal climate, fruits and vegetables were the easiest ingredients to find. This is why we still find dishes made of fresh vegetables today. It was only several years later that meat and various seasonings were incorporated into Lebanese cuisine.
It is a very varied cuisine that is essentially composed of products of the land and the sea. Whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fish and seafood, poultry, red meat, garlic, olive oil, lemon – the list of ingredients used in Lebanese cuisine is very long.
Montreal is a city rich in culture and above all, very open to the world. From Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to Verdun, through Little Italy, we have the privilege of discovering products and recipes from all over the world thanks to the endless restaurants scattered across the city. We published an article on the best restaurants in the Middle East and we wanted to write a more specific one on the best Lebanese restaurants. Most of the foods used in Lebanese cuisine are easily found here, making Montreal a city where this cuisine is wonderfully represented. Here are our suggestions for places where Lebanese cuisine is honoured. We also recommend a glass of Lebanese wine to accompany your meal!
Several of the addresses suggested here have, each in their own way, helped Beirut following the events of last August, and we are both very proud of them, and even happier to support them!
If you know of any other addresses where Lebanese cuisine is offered, don’t hesitate to let us know right here.
For traditional Lebanese food, Aux Lilas is the place to stop. The charming restaurant, with its eye-catching lilac façade on Parc Avenue in Mile End, celebrated its 40th anniversary in February 2020. At this address, you will find authentic cuisine, steeped in tradition and history – a family legacy passed down from generation to generation. It is with a warm and unpretentious welcome that the team welcomes us in a friendly decor. Baba ghanouj, falafel, and Bamiah b’zeit (Lebanese ratatouille), are just a few of the many dishes of Aux Lilas that will transport you. Here, you also have the opportunity to drink Lebanese wines at reasonable prices. The music also adds to the atmosphere, and makes you feel like you’re elsewhere!
Omnivore is a healthy fast food restaurant that offers Middle Eastern cuisine with a Lebanese-Montreal flavour. Today, Omnivore has four locations, including one in Le Cathcart, and also offers a catering service. From sandwiches to hummus to Baba ghanouj, this friendly restaurant offers healthy, fast, affordable and tempting food. Several vegetarian options are also available.
Sumac, a Middle Eastern restaurant inspired by several cuisines, including Lebanese, is definitely a staple in Saint-Henri. The menu offers several specialties of the house such as falafels, grilled pitas as well as beautiful salads such as the one with fennel and cauliflower. The charming establishment on Notre-Dame Street West also offers a small list of house cocktails including, among others, the Aperol Crush and the Rum & Fanta, as well as delicious lemonades and a small wine list to accompany your meal.
Daou opened its first establishment in 1975 on Faillon Street in Villeray and its second in 1993 in Ville Saint-Laurent. Daou is a true Lebanese institution in the metropolis that offers a menu with authentic and traditional flavours. The charming family restaurant offers grilled meats, seafood and even the chef’s suggestion option. Fun fact: Daou is the favourite restaurant of none other than Ginette Reno!
Garage Beirut is located in the heart of Montreal, on Mackay Street. The charming little restaurant offers “Lebanese cuisine, as it should be!”, including salads, cold and hot mezzes (small plates to share), and other traditional dishes. Garage Beirut also offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 am and 4 pm.
Kaza Maza is a Middle Eastern restaurant offering Syrian and Lebanese cuisine. The charming address on Parc Avenue in the Mile End specializes in hot and cold mezzes as well as meat dishes. The restaurant, whose name means “jumble” or “a little bit of everything” also offers vegetarian and vegan specialties, as well as a generous brunch on weekends. Kaza Maza also offers a fine selection of Lebanese and natural wines.
In the heart of Marché Centrale, in a decor that is both colourful, ornate and refined, you will find contemporary versions of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. Zyara offers Lebanese delicacies, refined cocktails and a fine selection of Lebanese wines. This restaurant with Lebanese delights offers an à la carte menu, a group menu, a tasting menu (traditional, vegetarian, discovery or royal) and even brunch on weekends.
Café chez Téta is a beautiful address located in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal. Here they offer traditional Lebanese food and third wave coffee – two things the owners love. The word Téta means grandma or granny in Lebanese and the woman on the logo is the grandmother of Antoun, one of the owners. Flat bread (man’ouché), hummus, baba ghanouj, and sweet delicacies are all on offer in this warm and friendly atmosphere.