19 awesome places to eat in Montreal during the pandemic

Aug 11 2020, 8:46 pm

Note: While local parks, shops, and events are reopening throughout the province, Santé Quebec is reminding individuals to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. If you decide to go out, maintain the two-metre physical distancing guidelines and wear a face covering or mask when in public. 

Even with the restaurant industry taking a massive hit due to the ongoing pandemic, there’s never a shortage of places to eat at in Montreal.

From physical distancing guidelines, to wearing masks, and popular spots beginning takeout, delivery, and food-app options, here are some Montreal restaurants that you just can’t miss out on.

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Schwartz’s Deli


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Montreal is known for its smoked meat, and nobody does it better than Schwartz’s Deli. The constantly busy spot is a landmark in the city and has been since 1928. It’s been operating with the same menu, at the same location for decades.

Grab a smoked meat sandwich (or just a pound of smoked meat) and a cherry soda, and revel in what just might be the best smoked meat sandwich in the history of smoked meat sandwiches.

The tiny deli has adapted to adhere to all of public health’s COVID-19 guidelines, and they’re offering delivery on Foodora and Skip The Dishes.

Address: 3895 Boulevard St-Laurent
Phone: 514-842-4813

Joe Beef


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What started as a 30-person restaurant in 2005 has turned into a massive food operation. This spot has doubled in size, added a gorgeous bar and patio, spawned three sister restaurants, has its own onsite smokehouse, trout pond, vegetable garden, a retail spice line, and a successful cookbook.

Plus, the food is top-notch. Joe Beef is known for their lobster pasta but they rock dishes of rabbit, hen, duck, and truffles. From poached and seared, they do it all.

The restaurant’s decor is a nod to antique shops, and its staff is very knowledgeable. You’ll need to make a reservation at this constant hot spot, far in advance.

Joe Beef and its sister locations are all functioning at limited capacity, their patios are open, and they’re offering takeout.

Address: 2491 Rue Notre-Dame
Phone: 514-935-6504
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Restaurant Boustan


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Boustan makes a mean Lebanese shawarma. It’s a grilled pita that’s loaded with pork, beef, or chicken and garnished with beets, lettuce, eggplant, potatoes (yes potatoes), peppers, and tomatoes, and then doused in a sauce of your choice.

Grab an order of garlic potatoes on the side and deal with the garlic breath, it’s totally worth it. Locals order the off-menu “Creation Sandwich” and you probably should too; it’s a combination of their veggie pita and chicken shawarma.

Boustan is active on all food-delivery apps and you better believe they’re all always busy.

Address: 2020 Rue Crescent/6202 Sherbrooke Ouest/4912 Rue Wellington/3604 Notre-Dame Ouest/5150 Jean-Talon Ouest/7757 Newman
Phone: 514-379-4912

La Belle Province


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La Belle is Montreal’s go-to poutine joint. From the fries to the cheese curds and gravy, they’ve perfected Quebec’s traditional trifecta. Grab a steamy hot dog as an appetizer and then devour the poutine as your meal.

There are 150 of these greasy and tasty dinners around Quebec, some open 24/7 and various open as early at 5 am because these poutines are so good, it’s acceptable to eat for breakfast.

La Belle says all locations “take coronavirus very seriously” and have implemented COVID-19 measures to keep their employees and staff safe.

Various locations
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R.E.A.L. Bagel


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From poutines to smoked meat, Montreal is also famous for our bagels, and it’s tough to top R.E.A.L. Bagel.

The hand-rolled bagels are baked on-site in a wood-burning oven and cooked to perfection.

From sesame to poppy seed and sugar-coated cheese bagels, your mouth will be watering as soon as you catch a whiff. Get an extra dozen to go and toss them in your freezer; you won’t be disappointed, especially once you add the cream cheese.

Address: 4940 Queen Mary / 6647 Boulevard Decarie

Monkland Taverne


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Taverne is a vibrant neighbourhood fixture with a retro style. The food is a fixed-price market menu that’s constantly changing and is always fresh and tasty.

They’re offering local produce and picnic boxes for pick-up during COVID-19, have their terrace open, and are operating with limited capacity inside.

Address: 5555 Monkland
Phone: 514-486-5768
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Restaurant Grinder


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This urban garden is the ideal date spot. It’s classy, trendy, and specializes in seasonal wines. Grinder’s menu includes a variety of tasty items, both raw and cooked: tartares, tatakis, ceviches, carpaccios, seafood, steak and braised meat.

All foodies will find something to their liking, and their canopied patio is located in Griffintown.

Address: 1708 Notre Dame Ouest
Phone: 514-439-1130
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Lucille’s Oyster Dive


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If you’re looking for a quick bite or an evening out, Lucille’s is the perfect choice for both. This maritime-themed spot boasts a decadent seafood menu, surf ‘n’ turf, and tasty cocktails. Open since 2009, Lucille’s goal is to offer its patrons the best selection of oysters from both the east and the west coast.

There’s just something about watching fresh oysters being shucked right in front of you – not to mention their famous lobster rolls, dry aged grilled steaks and fish & chips. Lucille’s is an undeniable Montreal staple.

On weekends, Lucille’s on Monkland hosts a weekend market to make up for lost time.

Address: 5669 Monkland / 4124 Rue St. Catherine
Phone: 514-486-5768

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Burgundy Lion


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If you’re looking for pub grub and a crisp beer, Burgundy Lion is tough to top. Besides boasting one of the most extensive whisky lists in the city (the whisky menu is a literal book), the memorabilia-filled pub specializes in English cuisine.

Having reopened at the end of June, the Lion has implemented physical distancing guidelines, limited capacity, and takeout because of the pandemic.

Address: 2496 Notre Dame Ouest
Phone: 514-934-0888
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Tuck Shop


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Tuck Shop is a small, neighbourhood restaurant that offers a simple yet delicious seasonal menu items in a comfy space. The chefs emphasize using quality ingredients to create a wide range of flavourful, market-driven plates.

The cozy restaurant is so delicious, it has since developed a popular catering service in Montreal as well. Tuck shop recommends making a reservation, as they are working on reduced hours and limited capacity since reopening in July.

 4662 Notre Dame Ouest
Phone: 514-439-7432
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Located in the heart of Old Montral, Gibby’s is housed in a 200-year-old building in the Old Port. The charming restaurant boasts stone walls, original beamed ceilings, romantic lighting and a cozy fireplace.

But it’s the steaks that’ll keep you coming back. Every steak comes with a salad and a refreshing sorbet, sure, but the best part is that these cuts are so tender, they’re served with a butter knife.

You can’t go wrong with the Gibby’s rib steak, served with Montreal steak spice and a Monte Carlo potato on the side.

The atmosphere has adapted for COVID-19, but the taste is still the same.

Address: 298 Place d’Youville
Phone: 514-282-1837
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Nora Gray


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Nora Gray is warm, cozy, and dark and is one of the most sought-after tables in town. The spot features savvy wine service, tasty cocktails, gorgeous decor, and beautifully-executed seasonal Italian food.

They have a terrace and have offered takeout since the pandemic began.

Address: 1391 Rue St Jacques
Phone: 514-419-6672
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Deville Dinerbar


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Classic grub is reimagined in this whimsical restaurant that oozes pink, neon, marble, and hefty portions.

They reopened at the end of July and are functioning with all the necessary COVID-19 protocols in place.

Address: 1425 Rue Stanley
Phone: 514-281-6556
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Liverpool House


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Come to the happening sister restaurant of Joe Beef for its oyster bar, lobster spaghetti, halibut, braised rabbit leg, grilled quail and modernized classics.

The restaurant is also known for hosting President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau for supper, not bad.

Pro tip: Anytime you have an excuse to eat in a restaurant that has a deer head and a floating canoe, it’s probably a wise choice. Especially when the wine and food are this tasty.

Address: 2501 Notre Dame Ouest
Phone: 514-313-6049
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Bar Loïc


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Loïc is an über wine and cocktail bar located in an old bank. The food is terrific, their wine selection and knowledge are among the best in the city, and the old bank’s vault doors are super cool.

Loïc is working at a limited capacity during COVID-19 and has all the health safety measures in place. Pro tip: Get the cheeseburger.

Address: 5001 Notre Dame Ouest
Phone: 514-439-6806
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Arthurs Nosh Bar


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Arthurs is relatively new to the restaurant scene in Montreal (est. 2016), but there’s no stopping these guys now.

The stylish place is deli-esque but far from traditional. The menu is composed of Jewish cuisine with a spin. A schnitzel sandwich or cured fish are popular orders, but what really brings in the crowds is their weekend brunch.

If brunch is what you’re after, be prepared to wait in line, especially during COVID-19. But trust us, it’s well worth it.

Address: 4621 Notre Dame Ouest
Phone: 514-757-5190
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Park Restaurant


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Renowned chef Antonio Park has a private fish import licence, and he isn’t afraid to use it. The Chopped Canada judge owns a gorgeous spot in the established Westmount neighbourhood. Park is arguably Montreal’s finest sushi restaurant. It’ll cost you a bit more but the taste is worth it.

Get anything on the omakase menu and you will not be disappointed.

Since the pandemic, Park has been offering delivery as well.

Address: 378 Avenue Victoria
Phone: 514-750-7534
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L’Gros Luxe


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L’Gros Luxe specializes in comfort food, and lots of it. From grilled cheese to mac & cheese to poutine, this Quebecois chain puts a spin on everything and makes it huge. Likewise with their comically large bloody caesar.

Sit back, enjoy the restaurant’s rustic decor, and dig in; you’re going to be here awhile. Or, stay at home and order their new delivery option.

Various locations
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Joe’s Panini


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This snug little sandwich spot grills some of the best sandwiches in the city. Plus, it never closes, so it’s here for you any time of the day or night.

You can’t go wrong with the spicy chicken panini or Philly-cheesesteak, but their salads and breakfasts are pretty top-notch too.

Regardless of which side of 5 am you’re on, this cozy shop’s big-screen TV is always playing music videos, proving that time at Joe’s stands still.

Joe’s has been functioning on all food-delivery platforms since the beginning of the pandemic.

Address: 1404 Drummond
Phone: 514-843-8057
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DH Montreal StaffDH Montreal Staff

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