Old Montreal Restaurants
719 Rue William, Old Montreal
Step into Mélisse and you’ll feel like you’re in LA: light wood; a bright, high-ceilinged space; and lots of plants. (Also LA-like: eating on the patio, weather permitting.) Breakfast and lunch are light and focus on seasonal produce (tartines, salads, satisfying egg dishes), while dinner is full of shareable plates, like grilled veggies and charcuterie, plus more substantial items, like grilled pork shoulder peppered with cherry tomatoes and pistachios. The 100 percent organic wine list is short but brilliant.
257 Rue Prince, Old Montreal
Housed in a former foundry and arguably one of the chicest reservations in the city, Le Serpent’s industrial-looking dining room is outfitted with modern art installations, making for a particularly unexpected experience (exactly what you’d expect from the team behind Le Club Chasse et Pêche). In keeping with the minimalist aesthetic, the Italian-inflected menu of pasta, fresh catch, and meat-centric dishes is streamlined and unfussy—a testament to chef Michele Mercuri’s knack for restraint.
Le Club Chasse et Pêche
423 Rue St. Claude, Old Montreal
Le Club, as it's known among regulars, is one of those places that consistently churns out high marks, making it just as popular with visitors who come to Montreal for the outstanding food scene as it is with locals who are looking for a special night out. Start with seared scallops with a lemon confit, then try catch of the day served with smoked Yukon potatoes, and finish off with a maple syrup parfait—obviously—that includes a decadent red berry sauce and dark chocolate. The sommelier will gladly help you sift through the considerable wine list. (There's also a gluten-free menu upon request.)
Olive & Gourmando
351 Rue St. Paul O, Old Montreal
Many would argue that Olive & Gourmando offers some of the best sandwiches in Old Montreal—and we agree. The O&G grilled cheese alone has us swooning with its thick caramelized onions and Gouda with house-made ketchup. The team at this charming neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot is devoted to rich dishes (think: shirred eggs and ricotta tartine), paninis, homemade soups, salads, and baked treats. There are no reservations here, so come early before the rush (or if you're in it, order a coffee and scone while you wait).
408 Rue St. François-Xavier, Old Montreal
Chef Chuck Hughes's first restaurant has a supper club vibe: A dimly lit sign leads you into the dark, exposed-brick interior where the scene is always packed and a bit loud (a mix of local foodies, devoted Hughes fans, and tourists). The food is rich (the lobster poutine is a mainstay) with a heavy French influence. What tops off this popular restaurant is its impressive wine list.
361 Rue St. Paul E, Old Montreal
The hype behind this place is legit (its owner, Chuck Hughes, has gained recognition as a TV food personality and as chef/owner of Montreal hot spot Garde Manger), as is the seasonal menu of fresh oysters, vegetable sides, and a limited but stellar mix of seafood and local meats. The food is hearty and has a French influence (note: the scallops, asparagus, and Béarnaise), which goes with the décor—dimly lit and cozy with exposed brick. A great spot for a date night.