Considering there are over 30,000 French expats currently residing in Montréal, it’s no wonder French bistros are often what foodies talk about. Curious to try authentic French food in Montréal but unsure where to start? These suggestions are guaranteed home runs that simply won’t disappoint.
The Best French Restaurants In Montreal
1030 Laurier West
Located on upscale and attractive Laurier Street West, Chez Lévêque serves what is decidedly one of the best Parisian bistro fares in the city – at a price that won’t break the bank. The cuisine is simple and focuses on seasonal products, for the freshest dishes possible. Their summery terrace is a definitive crowd-pleaser, as are their lunch and late night 3-course set menus ($22 and $35, respectively).
250 Des Pins East
Come for the food, stay for the gorgeous décor. This white-tablecloth bistro is one of the chicest looking spaces in the city, and as if that wasn’t enough, they also raise the bar further up by keeping their dishes delightfully exciting, and, most importantly, deliciously paired with French wines.
104 Laurier West
Nestled on the liveliest stretch of Avenue Laurier, this light-filled and white-washed 20-year old French restaurant, incidentally, couldn’t be any less French. Ran by a duo comprising a Québécois and a Belgian, La Chronique has nonetheless managed to excel at the art of balancing intricate flavours with an extensive, award-winning wine list and an unparalleled savoir-faire.
25 Place Simon-Valois
Located in up-and-coming HoMa, this colourful and hip Art Deco brasserie grills a mean back steak – and if their creamy beet and goat cheese croquette is on the menu, you’re in luck. They have an extensive wine list, too, which can be enjoyed with their $23 late night set menu. Bonus points for their covered terrace facing a quiet and leafy square.
La Maison du Magret
102 Saint-Antoine West
Foie gras aficionados, listen up. Housed in the vault of a former Old Montréal bank, this contemporary bistro almost exclusively serves duck, with a few exceptions. Torchon foie gras, magret, confit, terrines, you name it, it’s on the menu. New to duck? Order their mouth-watering tasting plate, which will have you become the world’s most enthusiastic duck amateur right after the first bite.
Brasserie Le Pois Penché
1230 De Maisonneuve West
With a décor that would have diners believe they’ve crossed the pond and entered a chic Paris brasserie and an impressive wine cellar filled with over 150 privately-imported French wines, it’s no wonder Le Pois Penché is one of most-loved downtown eateries. Don’t think twice about going, if only for their stunning oyster bar.
This Plateau institution first opened its doors in 1980, making it one of the oldest running French bistros in Montreal. Neither the menu nor the décor has changed since; it’s all part of the allure in this classy brasserie who prides itself on its consistency, friendly atmosphere, and simple but perfectly executed Parisian fare. Good to know: l’Express is open late and offers a $21 table d’hôte from 9 PM onwards.
Restaurant Plein Sud
222 Mont-Royal East
This unpretentious and casual Plateau Mont-Royal eatery is famous for its wholesome service and outstanding dishes inspired by south-western French traditions. Staples like duck magret, Corsican sautéed veal and pissaladière are always available, and for that, our taste buds are thankful.
With charm and quality being the operative words of Tandem, it really is no wonder customers keep coming back. The bring-your-own-wine yet haute cuisine restaurant offers a new 3-course table d’hôte every season, as well as a colossal tasting menu with 5, 7 or even (gasp!) 9 courses. Perhaps Villeray’s best-hidden gem.