Written by Dahlia Merlo on 16.04.18

We’ve all had the same conundrum. You have tickets to an awesome concert at the Bell Center, or you’re hitting up the latest Habs game, but you’d like to get a bite to eat first (or maybe just a drink). With the horrendous parking downtown (it’s a struggle every time), you may want to head over there early to eat and actually find a decent spot. But where to go? We’ve rounded up a list of the best spots near the Bell Center for your food and beverage needs. We split up your choices: you have the essential casual spots, the fancier dinner soirée, or the bars where you can grab a drink (and a bite) at your discretion.

Quick Casual Bite


Escondite Montreal Mexican Restaurant Downtown (10)

This Mexican eatery has been popular and packed every night since it opened. With two locations, you can try either one for your chance at a reservation. Our favourite dishes at Escondite: chipotle and maple chicken wings, pollos hermanos tacos (fried chicken deliciousness), and the al pastor tacos (with pork belly, grilled pineapples, and happiness).

La Habanera 

la habanera montreal restaurant

This Cuban spot is the sister restaurant of the above Escondite, so you know the food will be delicious. At La Habanera, try the Piña’ribs: Adobo pork ribs with maple pineapple and basil glaze. We also recommend the Bao Cubano, Steam bar, anchiote and saffron fried chicken, with argousier habanero salsa.

Mister Steer Burger

mister steer burger montreal restaurant

For a classic, simple, and delicious burger, head over to Mister Steer Burger. Try their famous Suzy Q fries alongside one (or two) burgers for your pre-game/concert meal. The burgers are pretty small, so you may find yourself savouring more than one! They’ve been opened since 1958, and 60 years later they’re still a hit.


reubens deli and steakhouse montreal restaurant

If you’re craving smoked meat, Reuben’s is the place to be. Try any of their classic smoked meat dishes (with a side of pickle and fries, of course) and you’ll be one happy camper. Don’t like smoked meat? No problem! Their roast beef melt sandwich is to die for. For dessert, try their epic 7 layer carrot cake.


lov 5a7 thursday onlovlesjeudis montreal restaurant 1

With their new location on de la Montagne, LOV is even more accessible near the Bell Center. For the city’s favourite vegan eats, you can’t go wrong. Try their Bahn Mi Burger or their quinoa fritters for veggie goodness. For something different, their Kale Mac ‘n Cheese is a hit.

Deville Dinerbar

Deville Dinerbar_Montreal15

This restaurant is really just a lot of fun. Deville Dinerbar whips up the most creative dishes that taste really really good. Some of our favourites: the crispy mac ‘n cheese wontons (exactly as described, and insane), and the Seoul food lettuce tacos (prepare your own and drool). The menu is extensive so you may have a hard time choosing. Our suggestion: choose a medley from the appetizer section and share!

Parma Café


For a quick Italian bite to eat, Parma Café is your go-to spot. Try their pizza al taglio, pastas, awesome coffee, and desserts. Catch their daily specials for treats like mussels and chicken parmigiana. For a sweet way to keep you awake for your evening, try the caffè affogato, vanilla ice cream drowned in hot espresso.

Kinton Ramen


If you’re craving ramen, Kinton Ramen is the best place in the area. They have 4 different kinds of broth (5 with the veggie broth) with various toppings, making it the perfect comfort meal any time of year. Try their appetizers too, like the karaage chicken or the gyoza.

Brigade Pizzeria Napolitaine

brigade pizzeria napolitaine montreal restaurant

The team behind Brigade Pizzeria Napolitaine is a husband and wife duo who are also certified pizzaiollos. Talk about a stacked resume. Brigade lets you build your own pizza if you’d like or choose from their great pizza menu. They have all the classics and some creative ones as well.

Garage Beirut

garage beirut

For a taste of the Middle East, head to Garage Beirut. Try their kebab, hummus, fattoush, and other Middle Eastern delights at this casual eatery. The Fattet Hummus is a treat, with chickpeas, yogurt-tahini sauce, pita bread, roasted nuts, and pomegranate seeds. If you can’t choose between dips, they have a dip sampler so you don’t have to!

Wine and Dine

Dominion Square Tavern

dominion square tavern montreal restaurant

This swanky 1920s bar and restaurant isn’t simply inspired by the decade, but is actually from the roaring 20s.They opened as a hotel restaurant in 1927, became one of the first gay bars in Montreal in the 70s, and then finally became Dominion Square Tavern. Find delicious English fare. You must try the Big Bone Marrow plate as well as their heavenly salmon gravlax.

Kinka Izakaya

Kinka Izakaya Montreal Restaurant 12

This Japanese eatery is a little more upscale than the Izakayas we’re used to. With a beautiful space and deliciously affordable prices, you can’t go wrong . Try Kinka Izakaya’s grilled beef short ribs as a delicious appetizer, along with grilled miso black cod. Another winning dish, the Unagi Bibimbap with eel and burdock. Delish!

Nora Gray

nora gray restaurant montreal

Classic Italian dishes will be had and devoured at this classic Italian restaurant. And when we say classic, we mean classic from Italy, not classic American. At Nora Gray, you’ll find tripes on the menu, along with squid ink fettucine and grilled sardines. Buon appetito!

La Société

la societe montreal restaurant

Grab a tasty salmon tartare at this beautiful Parisian bistro in the heart of downtown Montreal. Try some French delicacies like duck terrine, a mushroom tartine, and French onion soup. La Société is a perfect spot for the girls to have a fabulous dinner before their long-awaited concert.

The Keg

The Keg, Montreal Steakhouse Restaurant - sandwich

Another spot for a nice steak a little more within the average budget, The Keg is always a safe bet. If you’re not into steak, never fear, they have a mean tuna steak and other delicious options. Their tuna tartare is pretty bomb as well. For something different, the crispy fried cauliflower is delicious, and their French onion soup warms the soul.

Queue de Cheval / QDC Burger

la queue de cheval montreal restaurant

For a little opulence, get a steak at Queue de Cheval. They’ve been around a long time and heralded some of the best steak in Montreal, so you know you’ll have a great meal. If their steak isn’t in your budget, try their takeout burger joint, QDC Burger, for a mouth watering gourmet burger.

Da Vinci

da vinci montreal restaurant

This Italian restaurant is serving up all the classics you know and love, with a special pasta and risotto menu for those of you who are carb-inclined (it’s the only way to live). If that’s not your thing, their rack of lamb is the most delicious mouthful (or 5). Try Da Vinci‘s veal chop or their creamy burrata dish.

Just a Drink

1909 Taverne Moderne

1909 taverne moderne montreal bar restaurant

The brand new Canadiens bar is open and it’s a pretty great experience. They boast having the largest screen in Canada, and that’s saying something. Grab a drink and a bite at 1909 Taverne Moderne before the game or stay throughout for an experience that competes with the energy at the Bell Center.

The Fidler’s Green

Fiddlers Green Irish Pub Montreal (5)

Montreal has scores of Irish pubs, but only some are really worth your while. One of these is Fiddler’s Green, less known than its giant neighbours but definitely worth grabbing a pint. Grab a drink and a spicy chicken bacon burger before you hit up the Bell Center.


brutopia brew pub montreal bar

If you like beer, Brutopia is the place to be. They brew 8 house beers (on tap) and carry other Quebec beers, even a gluten-free beer! They’ve been open since 1997 so you know they’ve stood the test of time. Grab some of their tapas (or Brutapas) or sandwiches for a quick bite too.

Hurley’s Irish Pub

hurleys irish pub montreal bar

Another Irish pub worth mentioning is Hurley’s Irish Pub. This is another Montreal classic, open since 1993. They have 19 beers on tap, more than 50 single malts, and 16 whiskeys. They even have the celebrity endorsement, with big names like Steve Nash and Ewan McGregor having visited.


bierkmarkt montreal bar

Biermarkt brings your beer loving to an international level. They have over 150 beers from over 30 different countries. Thhey have 24 beers on tap and a fully stocked bar. Great spot for a drink and a quick bite before the game.

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