Le NIGIRIZ : onigiris on the Plateau


  • 32 Rue Saint-Cuthbert Montreal H2W 1L3
  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Coffee shop Counter

At the heart of Montreal’s vibrant Plateau district lies Le NIGIRIZ – a charming little café where Japanese culinary traditions are presented with simplicity and warmth.

While sushi often takes the spotlight in discussions about Japanese cuisine, Le NIGIRIZ aims to remind us of a humble yet essential dish in Japanese daily meals: the onigiri. Junpei Iwakiri (Ramen Nakamichi) envisioned Le NIGIRIZ as a tribute to this iconic dish, often enjoyed at any time of the day. “Most people think of Japanese food – they think of sushi. But we don’t eat sushi every day. We eat onigiris. It’s really a meal for the people,” explains Takumi Uyama, Assistant Manager. The choice of the Plateau is not coincidental. The atmosphere of the Plateau and Mile End neighborhoods indeed reminds Junpei of his former life in Kichijoji, Japan.

The café offers an authentic experience centered around onigiris, these rice delights wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with various tasty ingredients such as the classic tuna and mayo. The café’s name, Le NIGIRIZ, carries meaning. “Nigiri” in Japanese refers to the act of grasping something, while “riz” in French evokes the very essence of this dish. The choice of the name reflects the process of making onigiris, where the rice is hand-shaped with care and precision. However, that’s not all. The menu also features a selection of traditional Japanese small plates, showcasing subtle flavors and quality ingredients. And to top it off, it’s incredibly affordable!

You’ll be welcomed into a cozy atmosphere, enhanced by illustrations done by a friend of the owner. Whether you’re a Japanese cuisine enthusiast or simply looking to expand your culinary horizons, Le NIGIRIZ promises to transport you to the heart of Japan, one bite at a time.

Photography by Alison Slattery

From the magazine

Restaurants open on Tuesdays

Finding a restaurant open on Tuesdays is becoming challenging. Some restaurants choose to take a break at the beginning of the week.