Do you miss sunshine and adventures? You want to discover new horizons and new flavors, but unfortunately you don’t have the time or the money to go to the other side of the world soon? No problem, Montreal and its surroundings are full of funky restaurants that will take your breath away and satisfy your desires for a change of scenery. Here are some places to spend a blazing spring while staying at home!
Escondite – 1206 Union or 1224 Drummond
With Mother Nature’s mood swings, Escondite’s burst of flavors is just what you need to bring color to the gray days of spring. You literally feel immersed in real Mexican cuisine. Forget the mariachis and sombreros of 3 Amigos, at the Escondite authentic dishes are reinvented like their decadent gyozas nachos, their punchy salads and the best ribs in town! We suggest you try the tasting menu which is very affordable and perfect for a successful date! Share their crazy guacamole between sips of tasty margaritas! Their inspiring decor is also worth a look, you will be transported into the world of Frida Kahlo, in the heart of Mexico!
Harbin Dumpling – 4801 St. Laurent
Do not underestimate the simple look of the place, this restaurant serves the best dumplings in Montreal, no doubt! You go there for the casual atmosphere and the incredible taste of their food. Whether you are a businesswoman or a student, everyone meets under the same roof to enjoy the culinary wonders of this family business. Smoked, grilled, veggie, beef, chicken, lamb, it’s literally an explosion of flavors waiting for you. Their warm soups will also delight you. Not satisfied yet? No problem since you will be able to retry the experience at home with their varied selection of frozen dumplings.
Mochica – 3863 Saint-Denis
One of our favorite discoveries this year is Mochica, where exquisite Peruvian cuisine is served! Start your journey in Peru with a Pisco Sour to awaken your senses to the culinary wonders of this country and take you out of your comfort zone. They also use typical local foods, so you’ll be able to discover a whole new culinary culture while dreaming of Machu Picchu in this restaurant-museum. Yes, besides culinary delights, archeological replicas, masks and original textiles accompany the discovery of their unique cuisine. Ceviches, tiraditos, fish and seafood, duck, braised lamb and llama or alpaca meat, there is something for everyone.
La Khaima – 142 Fairmount West
This charming little restaurant on Fairmount Street offers North African nomadic cuisine in a authentic setting that will make you feel like a true Berber. This is the perfect place for a relaxing evening with friends. Surrounded by colorful veils, we sit on the floor, under the “Moroccan tent” and we share the different dishes on the slate of the day. Their tajines are simply delicious and a vegetarian option is also available. The warm atmosphere makes us feel like part of a big family reunion on a completely different continent.
Venice MTL – 440 Saint-Francois-Xavier
It’s definitely one of our favorite go-to favorites for the seasonal blues! Relaxed decor and fresh, colorful cuisine make it a summer-time place all year long with its West Coast feels. Fish tacos, avocado toasts, summer salads and especially their succulent poke bowls are among the dishes you absolutely must try. California at your fingertips, it was enough to charm us and it becomes one of our favorite restaurants in the Old Port!
Café Aunja – 1448 Sherbrooke West
The iced coffees of the Starbucks or the Second Cup and company, that’s good job when you’re in the morning, but it comes a little redundant in the long run. Located on Sherbrooke West, Cafe Aunja is a one-way to the Middle East and Iran. Ideal to enjoy a little pick me up! With their impressive varieties of original teas and home-made lemonades, this is the perfect place for a brunch or to study in a setting worthy of Ali Baba’s cave. It’s cute, it’s cozy, we like it!
Happy foodie discoveries!