The best of Old Montreal: our suggestions for bars, cafés and restaurants

Published on December 03, 2019
Crew Collective Cafe Old Montreal

The best of Old Montreal: our suggestions for bars, cafés and restaurants

Old Montreal is probably the most iconic of the many neighbourhoods in this city, and there are a few reasons why. With such an incredible history, beautiful architecture, vibrant energy and abundance of attractions and activities, Old Montreal feels a bit like a bottomless treasure chest of things to discover.

This area of the city is the oldest urban district in all of Canada. As you walk through the neighbourhood, you will be surrounded by historical monuments, 300 hundred year old buildings and lots of cobblestone streets. At the same time, you will notice people of all kinds, countless boutiques and specialty shops and so many fun activities to partake in. Whether it is a spin on La Grande Roue de Montréal, a visit to the amazing Notre Dame Cathedral or a stroll along the waterfront, you will never get bored!

It should come as no surprise that our favourite thing about this neighbourhood is the number of amazing gourmet addresses that it is home to. With everything from beautiful cafés and hidden bars to some of the most luxurious restaurants in the city, there is something here for everyone, at any time of day. Of course, this list does not exhaust all good addresses in the area. It is however a compilation of our own favourite cafés, bars and restaurants in Old Montreal.

Crew Collective & Café 

If you’re looking for somewhere that screams “Old Montreal”, Crew Café is the right place for you. This stunning café is certainly among the most beautiful in Montreal, as it resides in the grand hall of the iconic Royal Bank Building on rue Saint-Jaques. With astonishingly high gilded ceilings, grand chandeliers and more marble than you can imagine, there is something a little magical about this place. Beyond it’s beauty, Crew also serves delicious beverages and pastries, and they sell some funky merchandise and knick-knacks. If you’re trying to impress a date, treat yourself to some sweet self-care, or just wanting to grab a coffee as you stroll through the cobblestone streets, Crew Café is the perfect spot. It is also a very popular venue for students and professionals alike to clock in a couple of working hours, so it can get pretty busy during the day.
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Olive et Gourmando

Olive and Gourmando has been a staple address of Old Montreal for over two decades now, and there is no question that it will continue to be. Olive and Gourmando is the place we come to when we’re looking for something super simple and tasty, but also beautiful and high quality. The decor is very relaxed and inviting, and is the perfect space to enjoy a Sunday morning amongst good company. Once you walk through the door, you will be instantly drawn in by the fully stocked pastry counter at the front of the room. Of course, we can assure you that the brunch and lunch menus are just as impressive as the pastries! This address is home to one of the best brunches in Montreal, the best croissants in Montreal, and so many other amazing specialty treats.
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Monarque is one of our favourite restaurants in the city, and certainly one of the most beautiful. This restaurant is a tried and true showstopper, and the type of place you come to if you really want to impress your date. Every detail from the décor and service to the menu and drinks has been thought out to a tee. The cuisine here is contemporary and French inspired, and the plates look just as beautiful as the space in which they are served. The menu is in a constant state of development according to the seasons and inspirations of the chef, so you’re always in for a surprise at each visit. If you are looking for somewhere very special to dine, restaurant Monarque should be at the top of your list!
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Not only is restaurant Pastel beautiful, it is one of the best kitchens for haute cuisine in the city. Coming to Pastel is not a decision that you make on a whim – the process is slow paced, gastronomically challenging, taxing on the wallet, and very very worth it. A meal at Pastel is an amazing experience if you are the type of person that loves gastronomy as much as we do. The cuisine here is an accurate representation of owners Kabir and Jason’s creative personalities. You may also pick up on a hint of Japanese culinary influence in some dishes, but the menu cannot really be pigeonholed. Designed by the owners, the surroundings are chic, minimalist and very spacious, and perfectly compliment the dishes served.
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Restaurant Gandhi Montréal


We come to restaurant Gandhi to eat very delicious Indian cuisine in a chic space right in the heart of Old Montreal. The restaurant is located on Rue Saint-Paul West, and is in a charmingly quaint and classic neighbourhood building. On the inside, the décor is very bright, clean and minimalistic, and the service is just as put together.  On the side of food, you will find a menu of all sorts of appetizers and main dishes – the chef recommends the vegetarian dishes, the Korahi lamb, the Korahi chicken, and the tandoori. The menu is traditional Indian cuisine first and foremost, so you will likely recognize the names of most of the dishes. That being said, everything they serve is executed with such care, intention and finesse you wont feel like you’ve ever had it before!
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Philémon bar is a special hideaway in Old Montreal where we come to enjoy good food, wine, cocktails and friendly service. In the words of owners Ariel Goldstein et Zebulon Perron, “Our formula is to provide a warm and welcoming place for our customers and to take good care of them. We’re always ready to help make their evening here is a success, even if that means joining them!” While at Philémon bar, you can savour some charcuteries and a menu of simple dishes designed to be shared. Everything is made using high quality products, and it shows in the final result. For drinks, there are bold and affordable wines, all private imports from over a dozen different dealers. Come to Philémon bar for a fun and festive evening of good food and drinks!
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Caffe un po di piu

Caffe Un Po Di Piu is a very charming address that will transport you straight to Italy as soon as you sit down. This bistro is owned by the same duo responsible for the amazing Olive and Gourmando, so it is in no way surprising that we like Un Po Di Piu as much as we do. The very stylish interior was designed by the renown Atelier Zébulon Perron, and sets the mood for a relaxed and joyous meal. Of course, the highlight is the food. At Un Po Di Piu, you will find a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, all made up of seasonally available produce. The cuisine here is fresh and original in its presentation, inspiration and flavours. And of course, you cant forget to save room for dessert! The sweets here are great.
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Restaurant Toqué!

Since restaurant Toqué opened nearly 3 decades ago, it has established itself as one of (if not the) best restaurants in Montreal for fine dining. Owners Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche have created a beautiful space for people to experience an elevated and unique cuisine. The cornerstones of the menu are creativity, quality and presentation, and it is all well worth the steep price tag. You can order in the format of a tasting menu or an à la carte menu, and they also have a special lunch menu. To pair with the meal, Toqué offers a wine list curated by Maxime Lavallée and Karl Villeneuve-Lepage, mainly consisting of private imports from traditional wine-countries. If you aren’t afraid of investing in a nice night out, a meal at restaurant Toqué will certainly be one to remember!
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Jellyfish Crudo+Charbon is located in the magnificent space at the corner of Rue Marguerite d’Youville and Rue Des Sœurs Grises. Floor to ceiling windows cover all of the exterior walls of the restaurant and the ceiling sits at an impressive 16′. The décor is sleek and chic, and it all comes together to give this restaurant an acute feeling of openness and grandeur. On the menu, you will find a diverse selection of dishes and flavours, all inspired by chef’s travels around the world. Everything is beautifully presented, so it is a true pleasure to eat. For drinks, you have a wine list made by Simon Duval and a cocktail menu created by Brynley Leach (Le Bremner). Whether it is for a full sit down dinner or just a drink with friends, we always really enjoy Jellyfish Crudo+Charbon!
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Le Club Chasse et Pêche

Le Club Chasse et Pêche is one of the best restaurants in Montreal if you’re looking for something that feels a little bit exclusive, a little swanky, and has very good cuisine. Since it opened in 2004, this restaurant has been amongst our favourite addresses in Old Montreal, partly because it is so secluded from the neighbourhood’s usual hustle and bustle. In terms of food, you will find a short menu of very well executed appetizers, mains and a few desserts. It should come as no surprise that a great deal of the menu is centred around game and fish… it is called Club Chasse et Pêche after all. As for the wines, the restaurant offers an impressively long wine list, all curated by the head of the wine cellar, Ray Manus, and his deputy Philippe Vincent. In addition, the atmosphere feels just as luxurious as the food and drink!
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FCO di Fiumicino

At FCO, pizza is the star of the show, and it’s so good that you will keep coming back for more. This relatively small address is typically packed at lunchtime on a weekday, and we understand why. The pizza here is baked by the metre (the calzones look just as impressive), but the real highlight of the food is how authentically Italian it is. The pizzas are all thin crust – perfect ratio of crispy to chewy – and are made using fresh and high quality ingredients. Beyond the pizza, you will definitely notice the display case filled with gelato right as you walk in. The gelatos are all made in house, and are an absolute must for anyone with a sweet tooth. We highly recommend the Pistachio flavour! If FCO is too busy, you can always check out the owner’s second restaurant that is right next door, Officina.
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