The list of unique Montreal restaurants that exist is beyond extensive and we foodies are always out looking for a new spot to try. Sadly though, like everything in life, some good things must come to an end.
By that, I mean sometimes our favourite spots end up having to close their doors forever. Here's a list of seven restaurants we had to say bye-bye to in 2021 — they'll remain forever in our hearts though!
This tasty Montreal vegan joint closed forever in August 2021. But luckily, if you never got the chance to try it, you'll be able to once again in 2022 as the restaurant plans on reopening next spring, but in Eastern Quebec rather than Montreal this time around.
This Caribbean restaurant in Lasalle took to Facebook in June 2021 to make people aware of its official closure. But, Cuisine Caraibe Delite reassured the public that its recipes and "signature jerk chicken dish" can still be found at Le Jardin du Cari on rue Saint-Laurent.
In October, renowned Montreal chef and co-owner Martin Juneau shared the news on Instagram that Cul-Sec, a much-loved wine bar in the city, would be shutting down. Juneau described Cul-Sec as a "collateral victim of both a global pandemic and the local construction sites of the past few years."
Known as an Old Port staple, Le Bremner sadly closed permanently in 2021. Owner Chuck Hughes’ posted the news on their Instagram account in June, explaining the closure was a result of a conflict with the landlord and too many repairs needed.
Address: Casino de Montréal; 1, ave. du Casino, Montreal, QC
A press release from April 2021 announced the end of the Casino de Montréal's L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (AJR) lifespan. "The exceptional circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the time at which the Casino will reopen have informed this decision," it read.
One of Montreal's most beloved Portuguese restaurants, Romados, subtly announced its official closure in a Facebook comment in June.
Eater Montreal reported in October that the restaurant had reopened with new owners. However, a Facebook comment by the original Romados account calls any new "incarnation that is operating" a "total violation of what the original owners created."*
During a press conference on December 20, the Quebec government announced that the new measures they had announced last Thursday were no longer "sufficient enough" to help stop the rise of cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in Quebec. So, additional measures are coming into effect as early as today.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 20, the Quebec government is ordering a "complete closure" of bars, taverns, casinos, cinemas and concert halls.
Health Minister Christian Dubé went on to say that restaurants will now only be able to open between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.*
This new list of health rules comes just days after the government announced an initial set of regulations that included 50% capacity limits for bars and many venues. Those rules came into force on Monday but will be trumped by the new rules taking effect at 5:00 p.m.*
The province also cancelled earlier plans to expand private gathering limits for the holidays.
Dubé called the situation in Quebec "critical" on Monday and once again urged Quebecers to get vaccinated.
With 4,571 infections confirmed on Monday, Quebec broke a record for the most new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day — and that record was just onen day old. The province broke a two-day-old record on Sunday with 3,846 cases, up from 3,768 reported on Friday.
*Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article misstated that restaurants will be able to open from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. In fact, they will be able to open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. This article has been updated with the correct information.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
In a city this cold with food this amazing, there's one very obvious way to make it through a Montreal winter: comfort food.
If you're looking for places to feed your soul and warm your belly now that there's actual snow on the ground, we've got you covered. These spots have some of the city's heartiest and most delicious eats to get you through the next few months.
Why You Need To Go: This Japanese tapas bar is the perfect place to hide away from the cold with friends and good food. Stay close to the kitchen for added warmth coming off the flames as they grill up beef ribs, chicken thighs and duck heart.
Why You Need To Go: One of the most popular — and most comforting — dishes in Québécois cuisine is poutine, and one of the most popular spots for it is La Banquise, which means no Quebec winter would be complete without a visit.
Address: 5524, rue Saint-Patrick #200, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: From the team behind Joe Beef, one of the most famous comfort food spots in the city, comes this super cool and trendy luncheonette. It serves up mouth-watering spins on classics like huge sandwiches, schnitzel, pasta and rotisserie chicken.
Why You Need To Go: Think BBQ is only for the summer? Think again! The website describes Blackstrap's food as "simple, soulful and lovingly prepared from scratch daily." Smoky, tender meats and rich, savoury sauces made with love... that's about as comforting as it gets.
Why You Need To Go: Located in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Montreal, this restaurant is super cozy and intimate and makes for the perfect winter night out. What's on the menu? An often-changing selection of Spanish- and Italian-inspired Argentinian eats like roast lamb with bagna cauda, strozzapreti and empanadas.
Why You Need To Go: Combining Vietnamese with Cambodian cuisine, this restaurant in La Petite-Patrie is packed with the kind of menu items you need to keep your taste buds — and your soul — happy this winter. Expect bánh mì burgers, kimchi poutine, cheesy ramen and more.
Why You Need To Go: Bringing a taste of the Caribbean to Montreal, Kwizinn has become a super popular spot for anyone who's looking to add a little spice to their life. The banana leaf smoked fish is a whole experience, but with a menu full of good stuff like seafood djon djon rice, griot mac 'n' cheese and plantain burgers, it's going to be a very tough decision.
The team behind iconic Montreal nightclubs École Privée and Coda have opened a supper club called 212 in the heart of Old Montreal boasting an "immersive dining experience." Not knowing what the heck an "immersive dining experience" entails, I went to check it out — and if you're looking for a meal with a side of flair and pizazz, this is the place to get it.
Naturally, we started with drinks. The first cocktail to catch my eye was the 212 Spicy Margarita. I figured that a drink named after the restaurant means you're in for a treat, and I'm proud to say my theory was correct.
Moving on to apps, we ordered the tuna tartare, ceviche and a cauliflower roti. Have you ever had a plate arrive at your table and leave you in absolute awe? Not only were we so excited for the food, but the presentation was so gorgeous that we were overcome by the literal art that the kitchen had whipped up for us.
Once we were done marvelling at the dishes in front of us (and had obviously snapped some pics), we dug in. The only thing more impressive than how these dishes looked was how they tasted. We paired them with some wine from an impressive wine list, and we were in heaven.
As for the mains, we ordered some plates that really helped us tap into the creativity and luxury of 212. We tried the lobster linguine and duck confit caramelli.
I can honestly say I had to put down my fork after the first bite of each dish out of sheer wonder and excitement. They were that perfect mix of decadent and refined with just enough oomph to let you know you're eating something seriously special — just thinking about the server pouring bisque over my pasta makes my mouth water.
Brooke Walsh, 212 owner and Montreal club scene royalty, told me he wanted to create a supper club where the food was the top priority — something he felt was lacking among supper clubs.
He said he brought in his serious network of club creators and designers (we're talking about people involved in Madonna's Super Bowl Halftime Show and Billie Eilish's last tour) to help with the decor and ambiance, which includes a super trendy mirrored art piece on the ceiling.
From the moment you walk in, you feel like you're part of an exclusive club, but in the friendliest and most inviting way possible.
An immersive experience we were promised and an immersive experience we did get. This is my new favourite spot for drinks, dinner and boozy brunch! Plus, now that dancing is on the horizon for us in Quebec, you can bet I'll be dancing the night away at 212 after dinner and drinks very soon.
Foody Savior, built by Montrealers Mohand Rabhi and Félix Gouhier, aims to reduce food waste by connecting restaurant and store owners with bargain hunters.
According to a statement shared with MTL Blog, consumers will be able to buy this otherwise wasted food for one-third the regular price.
Courtesy of Foody Savior
Foody Savior says about 20 businesses are currently using the app but that it's expanding.
Right now, the statement says, those businesses are located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mile End, Pointe-Saint-Charles, Hochelaga, Villeray, Ahunstic-Cartierville and Côte-Vertu boroughs and neighbourhoods.
The app is currently available on Google Play and is coming to the App Store too, though it's unclear when that will happen.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.