Unique Restaurants In Montreal: 12 Quirky Dining Spots And Cafes In Montreal

by Jen
Unique Restaurants In Montreal
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In this guide, we explore the unique restaurants in Montreal, each offering a distinct flavor and experience. From innovative vegan sushi to immersive dining adventures, we’ll introduce you to places that redefine eating out. Join us as we uncover these culinary treasures, perfect for food enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

From the charming streets of Old Montreal to the bustling energy of the Quartier Latin, each neighborhood in Montreal brims with its own flavor and style. This article takes you on a journey through some of the most distinctive and memorable restaurants in Montreal. Each spot we’ll explore is not just about food; it’s about the experience, the ambiance, and the stories they tell.

Imagine dining on a boat, playing games while you eat, or even enjoying a meal in complete darkness. Montreal’s dining scene goes beyond the ordinary, offering experiences that tantalize not just your taste buds but all your senses, all while embracing that distinctive Quebec charm. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these restaurants promise to leave you with lasting memories and stories to share. So, let’s dive into the unique restaurants in Montreal, where every meal is an adventure waiting to happen!

The top restaurants to visit in Montreal right now

Unique Restaurants in Montreal: 12 Incredible Montreal Eateries

Montreal, a city known for its vibrant culture and French flair, is a haven for foodies. At Montreal’s unique restaurants, you can savor a mix of classic French cuisine, famous bagels, and creative contemporary dishes. Join us as we delve into these culinary hotspots!

1. Le Bateau-mouche

Imagine dining on the serene waters of the Seine, with Paris’ iconic landmarks slowly drifting by. Le Bateau-mouche offers just that – a floating culinary experience that’s both unique and unforgettable. This restaurant is a perfect blend of scenic beauty and exquisite dining, making it one of the most scenic places in Montreal to eat.

On board, you can choose from various dining options. Whether it’s a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner, each meal is crafted to complement the breathtaking views. The lunch menu, for instance, includes options like Le Bastille (Ham & Tomato) and Le Montmartre (Salmon & Avocado), each adding a Parisian touch to your meal.

For those seeking fun places to eat in Montreal, Le Bateau-mouche doesn’t disappoint. They offer special packages like the Champagne Cruise, where you can enjoy a sightseeing tour paired with a mini-bottle of Champagne Moet & Chandon. Or, opt for the Brunch with a View on Sundays, where you can savor a meal right opposite the Eiffel Tower.

Le Bateau-mouche is one of the unique restaurants in Montreal.
Le Bateau-mouche is a scenic floating eatery on the Seine, blending unique dining with serene beauty.

2. Candi Bar

Candi Bar stands out as one of the coolest restaurants in Montreal. It’s a place where playful design meets innovative drinks. Created by Paulo Branco, who also owns Gogo Lounge and Chez Serge Bar, Candi Bar is a vibrant splash in Montreal’s nightlife.

The interior is a feast for the eyes, made from 80,000 pink and purple Mega Bloks. It’s like stepping into a whimsical, adult version of a childhood playroom, making it one of the most visited themed restaurants in Montreal. The bar’s specialty cocktails are a delicious highlight. They come in ten different slush flavors, like grape and cherry, and each is presented on a lollipop-shaped menu, adding to the fun vibe.

One popular choice is the Tiffany & Co cocktail which blends Raspberry Smirnoff Vodka, Blue Caraçao, and raspberry slush, topped with a ringpop. Another unique offering is the Sushi cocktail with vodka, lychee liquor, and lemon slush, served with chopsticks to fish out candy sharks and octopuses from the glass!

Candi Bar’s bathrooms are also a topic of conversation. The ladies’ room features a stall with two toilet seats facing each other. It’s quirky and unexpected, just like the rest of the bar! The men’s room follows a circus theme, adding to the overall playful atmosphere.

Candi Bar blends playful design with innovative drinks in a vibrant nightlife scene.
Candi Bar blends playful design with innovative drinks in a vibrant nightlife scene.

3. O.Noir

Diners looking for an extraordinary experience should look no further than O.Noir, one of the coolest places to eat in Montreal. Here, you dine in complete darkness, guided and served by a blind waitstaff. This unique concept, Canada’s first dine-in-the-dark experience, is located on Prince Arthur Street.

The idea is simple yet profound. By dining in the dark, your sense of taste, smell, and touch are heightened. This sensory amplification turns a meal into an extraordinary experience. The menu features Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and choices range from grilled beef shoulder filet with Madagascar green pepper sauce to a vegan mushroom, leek, and sage pie. The surprise dishes, selected by the chef, add an element of mystery to the dining experience.

O.Noir is also one of the unique restaurants in Montreal for dinner that provides insight into the world of the visually impaired. A portion of the restaurant’s profits supports local associations for blind and visually impaired people. This adds a layer of social responsibility to your dining experience. Dining at O.Noir is both disorienting and enlightening. It challenges your perceptions and leaves you with a newfound appreciation for your senses!

O.Noir is a unique dark dining, served by a blind waitstaff.
O.Noir is a unique dark dining, served by a blind waitstaff.

4. Randolph Gaming Pub

At Randolph Gaming Pub, located in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier Latin, fun and games are the main course. This spot is a haven for board game enthusiasts and one of the fun restaurants in Montreal. With over 1,500 board games, from timeless classics to the latest releases, there’s something for every type of gamer.

The concept is simple: pay a small fee and play as much as you want. Friendly game masters are on hand to help you dive into new adventures quickly. The games are available in multiple languages, making it a welcoming spot for locals and tourists alike.

But Randolph is more than just games. It’s also one of the unique restaurants in Montreal, offering a delightful menu to fuel your gaming sessions. Their selection includes craft beers, wines, and cocktails, perfect for sipping while strategizing. The food menu features shareable dishes, hearty meals, and snacks that are ideal for gaming.

The atmosphere at Randolph is lively and social. It’s a place where unplugging from the digital world and connecting over a board game is the norm. Whether you’re a serious gamer or just looking for a fun night out with friends, Randolph offers an experience that’s both entertaining and unique!

Randolph Gaming Pub is a fun-filled haven for board game enthusiasts.
Randolph Gaming Pub is a fun-filled haven for board game enthusiasts.

5. Ping Pong Club

In Montreal’s Mile End, Ping Pong Club offers a unique twist on dining and entertainment. It’s a place where ping pong, good food, and great drinks come together, making it one of the unique Montreal restaurants. Located on the corner of Saint Laurent and Bernard, it’s a hotspot for those seeking a fun and different night out.

At Ping Pong Club, you can enjoy a game of ping pong or foosball while sipping on cocktails. This combination of leisure and dining creates a lively atmosphere. It’s perfect for a night out with friends or a unique date experience. The club is open every day from 4pm to midnight, welcoming guests to indulge in playful competition and relaxation.

But it’s not just about the games. Ping Pong Club is also known for its culinary offerings, making it one of the unique restaurants in Montreal. The kitchen serves a variety of delicious dishes, perfect for refueling after a game. From shareable snacks to satisfying meals, there’s something for every appetite.

The contemporary space of Ping Pong Club is designed for unwinding. When you’re playing ping pong, it’s easy to forget your worries. The club’s great music adds to the vibrant ambiance, creating an all-around perfect experience.

Ping Pong Club blends ping pong, great food, and drinks for a uniquely entertaining dining experience.
Ping Pong Club blends ping pong, great food, and drinks for a uniquely entertaining dining experience.

6. Café Chat L’Heureux

How about some cat interaction to go along with your caffeine? Café Chat L’Heureux in Montreal offers a unique twist on the café experience, making it one of the best places to eat in Montreal. This café is a haven where you can relax in the company of friendly cats. Founded by Clément Marty, Café Chat L’Heureux was inspired by similar concepts in Japan and South Korea and became North America’s first cat café.

The café is designed to be a paradise for both humans and felines. It’s a place where you can unwind and interact with a dozen resident cats, some of which are up for adoption. The cats are chosen for their loving, social, and playful personalities, ensuring a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The café also maintains high hygiene standards, with litter boxes changed three times a day and proper ventilation in place.

Café Chat L’Heureux is also one of the unique places to eat in Montreal. It offers a range of quality products, from hot and cold drinks to pastries, cakes, and delicious sandwiches, including vegan and gluten-free options. It hosts events and workshops, providing information about felines and promoting responsible pet ownership.

The concept of Café Chat L’Heureux is a response to modern living challenges. Many people can’t have pets due to housing restrictions or lifestyle. The café offers a substitute, allowing guests to enjoy the benefits of cat companionship!

Café Chat L’Heureux is one of the unique restaurants in Montreal.
Café Chat L’Heureux offers a unique café experience with friendly feline companions.

7. Vandale

Vandale in Old Montreal is a vibrant and affordable spot, perfect for those seeking cheap eats in Montreal. This French-Asian fusion restaurant offers a colorful and original atmosphere. It’s a lively place where every square foot is adorned with works by Montreal artists, creating an eclectic and visually stunning environment.

The menu at Vandale is designed for sharing, featuring a range of dishes priced between $13 and $21. From scallop crudo to homemade pizza and beef carpaccio, each dish is a testament to the chef’s unique culinary journey. A standout is the fried eggplant with hummus zaatar, cherry tomatoes, and harissa yogurt.

Vandale is also one of the unique restaurants in Montreal, offering more than just great food. The mixologist, Jake Cristofaro, has crafted a cocktail menu with original creations. Each cocktail is named after the artists whose murals grace the walls, adding a personal touch to the experience. The wine list, though classic, pairs beautifully with the French-Asian dishes.

A small hidden bar awaits downstairs, reminiscent of the 1920s. It offers an intimate setting with a cocktail menu as exceptional as the one upstairs. This hidden gem, seating around 35, is perfect for a date night or a special evening out!

Vandale is an affordable, vibrant French-Asian fusion spot adorned with colorful artwork.
Vandale is an affordable, vibrant French-Asian fusion spot adorned with colorful artwork. | Source: https://www.vandalemtl.ca/

8. Oasis Surf

An indoor surfing spot right next to a dining area? Sign me up! Oasis Surf in Montreal’s Dix30 district is a unique gem, blending the thrill of surfing with the delights of dining, making it one of Montreal’s best restaurants. Imagine catching waves in a secure, indoor surf pool and then relaxing with a meal inspired by the world’s most beautiful beaches. This is what Oasis Surf offers – a sunny vacation vibe without leaving the city!

The Le Turf resto-bar at Oasis Surf, with over 200 seats, presents a menu that’s a culinary surf trip. Dishes like Fish Tacos, Lobster Roll, and Poke Bowl bring the flavors of the sea to your table. The price range of $15-30 makes it an accessible spot for a variety of diners. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, the food here complements the surfing experience perfectly.

Oasis Surf stands out as a unique restaurant in Montreal. With the option to surf from the age of 4 in a safe environment, it’s ideal for family fun or a unique date. The surf shop on-site offers top brands like Billabong and Rip Curl, enhancing the authentic surf atmosphere.

Oasis Surf combines indoor surfing excitement with beach-inspired dining.
Oasis Surf combines indoor surfing excitement with beach-inspired dining.

9. Okeya Kyujiro

Okeya Kyujiro is a theatrical stage where food and artistry blend seamlessly. This unique spot in Montreal is where the best food in Montreal takes on a new dimension, transforming dining into an immersive experience. Chef Takuya Matsuda, inspired by the elegance of Cirque du Soleil and kabuki performances, has created a space that celebrates the beauty and art of Japanese cuisine.

The dining experience at Okeya Kyujiro is akin to a ceremony. It begins with an entrance through a discreet door, leading to a darkened room where anticipation builds with the music. The chefs, akin to performers, are introduced and then engage in their culinary craft. Each dish is a masterpiece, presented with a level of care and creativity that elevates the meal beyond mere sustenance.

Okeya Kyujiro is a standout among the best restaurants in Montreal, offering a unique omakase experience. The menu is a parade of exquisite dishes, each a testament to the chef’s skill and passion. From sushi and sashimi to grilled mackerel smoked in hay and Wagyu sukiyaki, every bite is a journey through the flavors of Japan. The restaurant’s commitment to quality is evident in its sourcing of ingredients and meticulous preparation techniques. This ensures a truly unforgettable dining experience!

Okeya Kyujiro is a fusion of Japanese cuisine and artistic flair.
Okeya Kyujiro is a fusion of Japanese cuisine and artistic flair. | Source: https://okeya.ca/

10. L’Idéal Bar & Contenu

There is a hidden gem restaurant in Montreal that redefines the concept of a night out. L’Idéal Bar & Contenu, part wine bar, part club, and part creative studio, is the brainchild of Émilie Amyot and Fabrizia DiFruscia. It’s a place where the lines between a bar and a cultural hub blur, offering a rich experience beyond just drinks.

The bar’s ambiance changes as the day progresses. Bathed in daylight, it’s a serene spot for early visitors. As night falls, it transforms into a lively hub with DJs, guest artists, and wine tastings. The centerpiece is the two podcast series recorded on-site, adding a unique twist to the Montreal bar scene. This blend of entertainment and culture makes L’Idéal a standout among unique restaurants in Montreal.

In the kitchen, chef Julia Giraud crafts a menu of delightful snacks and gourmet plates. The braised pork flank with caramelized cauliflower and the veal tartare with marinated eggplant are just a few examples of the culinary delights. The wine list, curated by sommelier Frédérique-Ann Brosseau, offers a cheerful mix of classic and modern selections.

L’Idéal Bar & Contenu blends wine bar, club, and creative hub for a redefined night out.
L’Idéal Bar & Contenu blends wine bar, club, and creative hub for a redefined night out. | Source: https://tastet.ca/

11. Bloom Sushi

Ever hear of sushi without fish? Bloom Sushi in Old Montreal is a haven for vegan sushi lovers, making it one of the unique restaurants in Montreal. This innovative restaurant, a collaboration between Sushi Momo and LOV, offers a delightful twist on traditional sushi. Here, raw fish is replaced with plant-based alternatives. Mushrooms, cauliflower, avocado, tofu, and tomato are the stars, creating a menu that’s both satisfying and sustainable.

The interior of Bloom Sushi, designed by Jacinthe Piotte, blends Japanese aesthetics with Scandinavian minimalism. The space is welcoming and soothing, with shades of beige and a 12-seat izakaya-like section at the entrance. Guests can watch the chefs at work or enjoy a more intimate dining experience in the 40-seat dining room. This beautiful cohabitation of energies caters to all desires, making it a must-visit for sushi enthusiasts.

Bloom Sushi’s commitment to eco-conscious dining is evident in its practices. The restaurant focuses on sustainability and ocean health, using minimal plastic and supporting local producers. The menu features innovative dishes like Kamikaze Tunato and Mr. Crunch. For those who love to explore, there are sharing platters with house staples. Accompany your meal with a selection of sakés, Japanese whiskies, light cocktails, wines, and beers from Quebec and Japan, for a complete Japanese dining experience.

Bloom Sushi is an innovative vegan sushi spot.
Bloom Sushi is an innovative vegan sushi spot.

12. Labo Culinaire – Food Lab

Located on the third floor of the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), Labo Culinaire – Food Lab restaurant is a unique restaurant in Montreal. With a focus on Quebec’s local produce, it’s part of the Aliments du Québec au menu program, showcasing the region’s finest ingredients.

Chef Emilie Bégin, with a rich background in both baking and cooking, leads the kitchen. Her journey includes stints at notable establishments like La Bête à Pain. She also owns a triple-starred French restaurant Clos des Sens. Her passion for cooking is evident in every dish, aiming to bring joy through her culinary creations. The drink menu, curated by sommelier Kim Urbain and bar chef Étienne Cloutier-Mongeau, complements the food with a selection of natural and biodynamic wines and inventive cocktails.

The ambiance of Labo Culinaire is both bright and casual, reflecting modern tastes with a preference for raw materials. The open kitchen adds to the dining experience, promoting transparency and demystification of culinary processes. The terrace, offering a stunning view of the city, is a highlight, making it a must-visit for those seeking a unique dining experience in Montreal.

Labo Culinaire – Food Lab is one of the unique restaurants in Montreal.
Labo Culinaire – Food Lab is a unique restaurant spotlighting Quebec’s best local produce.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Unique Places To Eat In Montreal

This FAQ section complements our Montreal restaurant guide, providing answers to common queries about dining in the city.

What food is Montreal best known for?

Montreal is famous for its unique blend of culinary delights. The city’s signature dish is poutine, a hearty mix of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Bagels, another local favorite, are hand-rolled and wood-fired. Smoked meat sandwiches are also a must-try. These dishes reflect Montreal’s diverse culture and culinary innovation.

Where do celebrities eat in Montreal?

Celebrities in Montreal often dine at upscale, trendy spots. These include chic bistros, gourmet restaurants, and hidden gems. Many choose places that offer privacy and exclusivity. Some restaurants are known for their celebrity sightings, offering a blend of fine dining and a chance to rub shoulders with the stars.

Montreal's cozy bistros aglow with inviting ambiance.
Montreal’s cozy bistros aglow with inviting ambiance.

Is Montreal a foodie city?

Absolutely! Montreal is a paradise for food lovers. The city offers a vast array of cuisines, from traditional Quebecois fare to international dishes. Its culinary scene is vibrant and diverse, making it a top destination for foodies. Whether it’s street food or fine dining, Montreal has it all.

What makes Montreal’s dining scene unique?

Montreal’s dining scene stands out for its diversity and creativity. The city blends culinary traditions from around the world. This fusion creates a unique dining experience. From cozy cafes to high-end restaurants, each place offers something special. It’s a city where every meal can be an adventure.

Are there vegetarian options in Montreal’s restaurants?

Yes, Montreal is vegetarian-friendly. Many restaurants offer creative vegetarian and vegan dishes. These range from plant-based sushi to gourmet veggie burgers. The city’s dining scene caters to all dietary preferences, ensuring a delightful experience for vegetarians.

Can I find international cuisine in Montreal?

Montreal is a melting pot of global cuisines. You can find everything from Italian and Greek to Asian and Middle Eastern fare. The city’s multicultural population contributes to a rich culinary landscape. This makes Montreal a great place to explore flavors from around the world.

What are some unique restaurants in Montreal?

Montreal is home to many unique restaurants. Each offers a distinct dining experience. From themed eateries to places with innovative concepts, the city has it all. These unique restaurants in Montreal provide not just great food but also memorable experiences.

How does Montreal’s culinary scene cater to different budgets?

Montreal’s culinary scene is diverse, catering to all budgets. You can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank. From affordable street food to mid-range bistros and upscale dining, there’s something for everyone. The city offers quality dining experiences at various price points.

Final Thoughts On Unique Montreal Restaurants

Exploring the unique restaurants in Montreal is like taking a journey through a world of flavors. Each restaurant we’ve talked about offers something special. From the theatrical sushi at Okeya Kyujiro to the vegan delights of Bloom Sushi, there’s a surprise at every turn. Montreal’s dining scene is a treasure trove for food lovers. It’s a place where every meal is an adventure and every dish tells a story.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these unique restaurants in Montreal are must-visit destinations, drawing those who fly from Montreal. They promise not just great food, but also unforgettable experiences. So, next time you’re in Montreal, dive into its culinary wonders and let your taste buds lead the way!

The top restaurants in Montreal for all types of travelers
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