Great Montreal izakayas to discover

The Japanese izakaya is quickly taking over the Montreal restaurant scene. In case you’re wondering: an izakaya is a Japanese pub that serves tapas-style dishes, and Montreal has plenty of them to choose from. Kampai!

Restaurant Kazu

1844 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H3H 1M1

Kazu is a popular cheap-eats spot on St. Catherine Street in downtown Montreal. They don’t take reservations and there is always a line-up outside, no matter the weather. But the wait is worth it! The service is quick, the turnaround is quicker, and the food is delicious! You’ll find the menu pinned to the walls, hand written and messy. We loved the pork cheeks and the BBQ chicken tortilla, and their tartare is delicious and perfectly fresh! Try their shrimp burger for something different and their 48-hour pork bowl. Kazu is open every day of the week except Tuesdays.

Kyo Bar Japonais

711, cote de la Place-d'Armes, Montréal, QC H2Y 2X6

Kyo Bar Japonais has quickly become a popular haunt in Old Montreal for both lunch and dinner. Stocked with the largest selection of sakes in the city, it is located in the Place D’Armes Hotel. Kyo’s sushi rolls are creative and delicious, the bento box is perfect for lunch, and the yuzu doughnuts are a must-have for dessert. And don’t forget about Kyo’s Cherry Bomb Fridays! They are open every day of the week except Sundays.

Restaurant Imadake

4006, rue Sainte-Catherine O, Westmount, QC H3Z 1P2

When I say sake, you say bomb – SAKE – BOMB! Welcome to Imadake! We adore this izakaya and bar with fun dishes like deep-fried salty chicken skin, fried goat cheese with a raspberry sauce, and their chicken with wasabi mayonnaise. For a real treat you have to order their takoyaki, which is a type of Japanese street food that is literally fried octopus balls. Reno, the manager, always makes you feel at home. Imadake is open late every night for dinner and drinks, especially for Sake Bombs!


417 rue St-Pierre, Montréal, QC H2Y 2M3

If you like house music, look no further than Flyjin. This popular izakaya is reminiscent of an underground speakeasy, complete with a partially hidden entrance and minimal phone reception. The cocktails, served by an attractive wait staff, are refreshing and the food is on point too. We fell in love with the miso black cod but try their various tatakis and sashimis too. Flyjin is open for dinner and cocktails on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 7 pm until 3 am.

Restaurant Big In Japan

3723, boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2V7

Big in Japan Restaurant is down the street from its wildly popular bar of the same name on Saint Laurent. Simple and delicious, their pork steam buns alone are worth the trip. You have to try their okonomiyaki, a type of Japanese pancake, and their tuna tataki. Some of the main dishes on the menu are seasonal so if something makes your stomach grumble, order it right away, before it’s gone! They’re open seven days a week until late, and for a real treat, head over to their bar by the same name after dinner.

Kinoya Bar à Tapas Japonais

4250 rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2J 2K8

Kinoya’s St. Denis space recently underwent renovations but the food remains delicious. Their tartare and carpaccios are must haves, as is their octopus. Their salmon onigiri rice ball is comparative to those found in the 7-Elevens in Asia. They have plenty of vegetarian options too, and if you’re feeling adventurous, try Kinoya’s mocha ice cream in their red bean paste or sesame flavours. They’re closed on Mondays, and they have $1 oysters on Wednesdays!

Kinka Izakaya

1624 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montréal, QC H3H 2S7

The original Kinka Izakaya first opened in Toronto and then made its way to downtown Montreal on St. Catherine Street. It serves authentic Japanese pub fare and drinks, with a large selection of cold and hot tapas, sushi, noodle dishes and more. They also have a tasting menu for 25$. You’ll leave Kinka Izakaya feeling full and happy!

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