All the Greatest Locations to Eat Vegan in Montréal: From Poutine to Sushi

There are few cities in all of North America extra fascinating than Montréal. Mixing urbane cosmopolitanism with distinctive neighborhoods, the French-speaking metropolis brims with joie de vivre. Irrespective of if it’s winter, when town is blanketed in snow, or summer season, when the times are lengthy and the grass is inexperienced, Montréalers profit from every single day. 

Town has a factor for festivals. In wintertime, Igloofest invitations digital music followers to heat up by dancing the evening away, whereas the Fête des Neiges brings households out to take pleasure in crisp, chilly sunny days. Summer time options countless festivals, with no less than 30 devoted to LGBTQ+ delight, bicycling, dance, style, road artwork, fireworks, circus, comedy, and movie in addition to loads of totally different kinds of music, together with the grandparent of all of them: the Pageant Worldwide de Jazz de Montréal. 


Even when there’s not a competition occurring whenever you go to (in case you are available October or November, don’t miss the Montréal Vegan Pageant), town has quite a bit to supply. Stroll alongside the Saint Lawrence River waterfront, the place a busy port has given strategy to a floating spa and broad swathes of ice skating. In summer season, the still-functioning system of locks lifts boaters via verdant parkland as bikers and canine walkers look on. Whenever you’re uninterested in postindustrial pure magnificence, head up the hill via the ancien régime appeal of Vieux Montréal the place centuries-old buildings attest to town’s wealthy historical past as a seat of energy in New France. 

It’s not shocking {that a} metropolis loaded with refined sophistication leavened with a pleasant, inclusive perspective options loads of vegan choices. However Montréal takes it additional than most: my shortlist alone included practically 40 totally different vegan eating places. 

Montréal’s vegan evolution

I began with Aux Vivres on Saint Laurent Boulevard, one among two areas. At 26 years outdated, Aux Vivres is Montréal’s oldest vegan restaurant, and it retains that historic Nineties vegan appeal. The menu options old-school staples like bowls, burgers, and Indian-inspired dishes. I fell upon the Bacon Caesar Bowl, filled with romaine, capers, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes topped with savory coconut bacon, grilled natural tofu, and a tangy, creamy Caesar dressing. 

Prior to now few years, Montréal’s vegan scene has developed dramatically.

“Folks listed below are very open-minded,” says Christian Ventura, Montréal’s most outstanding vegan restaurateur. “For the scale of town, there are plenty of vegan locations.” 

VegNews.SushiMomoSushi Momo

When it opened in 2014, Ventura’s flagship Sushi Momo was the primary vegan sushi restaurant in Canada. The trendy inside of wooden and brick is a superbly moody backdrop for a date evening (ensure you get reservations prematurely), and each plate is a exactly composed sculpture that redefines what’s culinarily attainable. “Sushi doesn’t imply fish,” says Ventura. “It means vinegared rice. It could possibly be fish, nevertheless it is also greens—one thing folks have been neglecting.” 

The three Champions roll, one of many menu’s hottest, options enoki, oyster, and portabello mushrooms with avocado in an inverted roll completed with a truffle oil emulsion. It’s topped with little spheres of bubu arare (tiny rice balls seasoned with sesame oil and darkish soy sauce), giving a crunchy backbeat to the savory melody of the remainder of the components. 

Ventura’s different spots embrace Bloom Sushi, a less complicated vegan sushi idea, and the self-explanatory Bvrger. 

Montréal’s vegan eating scene

Vegan eating in Montréal additionally has a heavier facet at locations like Mimi & Jones, the place chef-owner MJ Guertin serves up hefty vegan cheeseburgers and a Reuben of toasted rye encasing smoky, thin-sliced housemade seitan and tangy sauerkraut.

“I’m attempting to make a distinction, as a result of enterprise as ordinary is unacceptable,” Guertin says passionately as she slides a frosty vegan chocolate milkshake my method; it’s thick, cool, and scrumptious with out being overly candy—that’s the job of the coconut whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry on prime. “Animals don’t have a voice,” she provides. “So I needed to open my massive mouth and do one thing about it.”

When Mimi & Jones opened in 2019, it began a revolution. The vegan diner idea has caught fireplace in Montréal, which has a practice of heavy, gut-busting fare.


At Maynard, chef-owner Brodie Somerville has taken up the format with an emphasis on native natural components: half the components are sourced on the Island of Montréal itself, and Somerville has banished vegan go-tos like nuts, lemons, and avocados due to the local weather affect of bringing them to Canada. Maple syrup is the only real sweetener he cooks with. 

I sampled a giant dish of poutine—the queen of Québécois consolation meals that appears to the uninitiated like a mound of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy, and but is as soothing and satisfying as being rocked in your mom’s arms. “Poutine is love on a plate,” says Somerville.

His certain hand with the fryer is obvious throughout the menu: standouts embrace Pogos (corn canine), wings produced from oyster mushrooms, and the revelation of my go to: Oreos deep-fried in a Dr. Pepper batter. They had been crisp on the surface, mushy and heat on the within, with a sweetness and perfume that would convey you to your knees. 


Should you go to through the hotter months, don’t miss close by SWIRL (not removed from absolutely vegan Chez Zac Pizzeria). Swirl, which is open seasonally (closed in winter, name forward in spring and fall), has crafted a superbly satiny mushy serve with an natural coconut milk base. Flavors change each two weeks as totally different native fruits come into season. A swirl of creamy vanilla with the cool fruitiness and citrus tang of blueberry yuzu is heaven in the summertime solar.

A correct gastronomic expertise

Montréal has turn out to be an incubator of vegan chains. There are six outposts of Copper Department, a vegan restaurant franchise that began right here and now has practically 40 areas throughout Canada. And each Guertin and Ventura have opened new eating places (Jones Café and Bloom, respectively) which are designed to be replicable.

With not a lot time left in my go to, would my final meal in Montréal be at faux-meat-heavy vegan Thai restaurant ChuChai? Or at one of many branches of the informal bistro Lola Rosa? Maybe one of many branches of the opposite informal bistro LOV? What about Mediterranean at one of many Green Panther areas? Extra heavy however stylish consuming at Burger Fiancé? Or possibly proceed with vegan Japanese at Ohana Sushi or Umami Ramen & Izakaya?

VegNews.BistroTendresseBistro Tendresse

I made a decision it was time to get fancy. Bistro Tendresse, on Rue Sainte-Catherine Est, is a shiny, elegant area within the coronary heart of Homosexual Village—Montréal’s most occurring LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Proprietor ​​Catherine St-Cyr opened Tendresse 4 years in the past to spherical out town’s vegan choices. “What was lacking for me was a spot to drink good wine and have a correct gastronomic expertise as a vegan,” she says.

The meals at Tendresse is a feast of fastidiously constructed dishes of well-executed vegan gastronomy. King oyster rounds ready in a calamari fashion—with a lightweight rice flour batter, a wedge of lemon, and herb aioli—had been crisp with tender and toothsome flesh that nearly made me need to cease proper there and eat order after order. 

Tendresse’s inventiveness was on full show with its savory waffles. Stacked with sautéed mushrooms, radish slaw, maple truffle mayo, balsamic discount, and recent herbs, this dish achieved a unified and engaging character regardless of the wildly uncommon mixture of components. Equally, the edamame falafel and shaved fennel salad, with its tiny balls of crispy however gentle falafel atop ribbons of fennel in a tangy dressing, introduced collectively various components to create a coherent, scrumptious expertise.

I left with the proper meals buzz (okay, there was wine concerned, too) for a stroll via the full of life nighttime streets, reflecting on the standard of the vegan eating right here. I believed again to one thing Maynard’s Brodie Somerville had mentioned that completely encapsulates Montréal’s impeccable eating scene: “An important ingredient in meals is love.”