Six Montreal Restaurants You Haven’t Heard Of (But Need To)

  • The Hip Hop Café opens its doors and drops the beat March 1 in the Mile-End.

Looking to grab some grub over the weekend? Dig into these five new restaurants that are trending on the Isle of Montreal.

1. Biiru — A New Japanese Izakaya
1433 City Councillors St.
Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Does your ideal Friday night include sake bombs, authentic Japanese food and DJs soundtracking your night away in a bistro-type setting? Then drag your friends to Biiru! Their bold menu ranges from Gyoza dumplings and japadogs, to street-food style karaage (fried chicken). Don’t leave this place without having tried the Japanese pancake okonomiyaki topped with mushroom and truffle oil as well as the Ramen with foie gras. Oishii!

2. Hip Hop Café — Sip on some joe and jam to hip hop classics!
4801 Parc Ave.
Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (hours vary by day)

This place is literally brand new and buzzing with hype—its grand opening is this Saturday, March 1. The Hip Hop café promises to be a thriving cultural centre, bringing coffee and hip hop music together at long last. In addition to java, you’ll find a merchandise section of the store where you can peruse CDs, vinyls, books, magazines and more.

3. Hof Kelsten — A Bakery Opened by Ex-Chef of World’s Best Restaurant
4524 St. Laurent Blvd.
Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

After spending many years working in in the kitchens of Noma, French Laundry and El Bulli, chef Jeffrey Finkelstein today supplies to some of Montreal’s best restaurants. His new bakery concentrates on baking simple, quality bread. Don’t expect anything fancy but, while you’re there, get yourself a gravlax sandwich for a satisfying lunch. Don’t forget to reserve a trademark Challah loaf with raisins—they’re so good, they fly off the shelves.

4. The Cardinal — A British Tea House in the Mile End
5326 St. Laurent Blvd.
Open: Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The time has come to get your (tea) party on. While Montreal has a pretty big coffee scene, tea houses are slowly steamrolling their way across the city. One of them is The Cardinal, created by the owners of The Sparrow (a bar on St. Laurent), a Victorian style tea room decorated with vintage books, antique items, and even a chandelier. Expect a vast selection of high quality tea to be enjoyed with a side of scones, pastries and tea cakes.

5. La Recolte — An Eco-Conscious Brunch Spot
764 Bélanger St.
Open: Saturday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

After working for several years in the food industry, three friends took matters into their own hands and opened up La Recolte, a brunch spot that promotes healthy and eco-responsible food. Many of the products they use in their dishes are organic, locally-grown and cultivated by local farmers. The menu changes on a weekly basis, but you can expect to find suitable meals for all tastes—they also have a delicious hot gin drink that marries well with virtually every meal.

6. Tkrestobar — Inventive Asian Dishes Done Right
5940 Victoria Ave.
Open: Saturday and Sunday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. (hours vary during week)

Tucked away west of the mountain in Cote-des-Neiges, this small but sleek restaurant serves up some unique creations that have gotten Montreal’s bloggers buzzing. They’ve concocted their own version of the ramen burger, which substitutes fried seasoned ramen patties for their dull bread counterparts—biting into one of these creations is truly a divine experience. Other intriguing Tk dishes include the lamb and feta burger, salmon tartar with avocado and pork belly steamed buns.

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