In 2023, I spent a full week in Montreal essentially eating and drinking my way through the city, and I fell head-over-heels in love with it. Among many other reasons why Montreal is a great city is the fact that it is downright easy to eat gluten free in Montreal, with a nice array of both gluten free restaurants and gluten free bakeries to satisfy any gluten free foodie.
In a lot of ways, actually, it reminds us of our home here in Portland (though the gluten free scene is not nearly as good as Portland’s, to be clear). Here’s our pet theory on why this might be true: the more reasonable a city’s cost of living is, the better the gluten free options tend to be.
Montreal, like Portland, is a city with a relatively low cost of living compared to the cities nearby (in this case, Toronto), which means there is more room for innovation and experimentation that leads to better gluten free options.
Because people can afford to, you know, LIVE while pursuing something they’re passionate about.
It’s a little bit of a cliche – I can’t tell you how many pieces I’ve read about Montreal claiming that it’s North America’s most “European” city – but in one regard, I think it’s true; the gluten free scene.
The gluten free scene in Montreal is eerily similar to the one in Paris (or Berlin, or Brussels – you get the idea). And by that I mean there are close to zero gluten free options if you’re looking for the local cuisine, but numerous options if you’re in the mood for just about anything else.
Both Montreal and Paris shine in the pastry department. There are multiple gluten free bakeries in Montreal where you can find a beautifully made croissant, an éclair, a tarte aux pommes (or a tarte of just about anything, really), and more.
While, sadly, you won’t find much in terms of Montreal’s traditional foods – Montreal-style bagels, smoked meat sandwiches, and poutine – that is made safely gluten free, there are still plenty of options.
You’ll find several dedicated gluten free Latin American options – arepas from Venezuela, tapioca crepes from Brazil, and empanadas from Colombia (which are made with corn) – along with a few very good Asian options.
In this guide to eating gluten free in Montreal, we’ll go through our picks for the best gluten free restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops, and more.
As an added bonus, all of the places featured in this guide are 100% gluten free, which makes them safer for Celiacs (like Matt), AND we’ve personally eaten at almost every single place on this list.
Our intention here is that, by the end of this guide, you’ll have a list of potential safe gluten free restaurants and bakeries in Montreal to hit during your time in Montreal.
Sound good to you? Let’s get into it.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.
The 11 Best Gluten Free Restaurants in Montreal: A Complete Guide
Without much preamble, let’s get straight into this guide.
I have personally eaten at almost every single place mentioned in this guide. There are two gluten free bakeries that, for one reason or another, I didn’t make it to. I clearly marked that one with an asterisk (“*”) in the guide below for transparency’s sake.
Oh, one other very important detail: every single place in this guide is dedicated gluten free.
Over the years, we’ve realized that it’s important to us to prioritize supporting the businesses that support the Celiac community. And that means doing our best to make it to every single dedicated gluten free restaurant in a city to include it in our guides.
If you’re curious what our process for discovering and vetting gluten free spots looks like, you can read our gluten free FAQ.
One last note here. If you didn’t already know, Montreal is the heart of French-speaking Canada. French is the primary language that interactions start in, though it is worth noting that a big proportion of people – especially in the service industry – also speak English.
As you might imagine, if you don’t speak French (Matt speaks good conversational French after spending six years studying it in school), it can be intimidating to try to explain your needs in an unfamiliar language.
I’ve found myself in those scenarios plenty of times over the years, and I have personally used gluten free restaurant cards from Jodi over at Legal Nomads multiple times in multiple different countries, including Germany and Colombia (among others).
Essentially, the card explains – in the language you don’t speak – that you have Celiac Disease, can’t eat gluten, which means wheat, barley, and rye, and will get very sick if you do ingest it.
Plus, a few other location-specific notes (e.g. flour in sauces or bread in mole) that are important and often forgotten in the free-to-print cards.
In my opinion, it’s worth the $9 for the peace of mind alone, which is why I buy a card from Jodi whenever I’m heading somewhere with an unfamiliar language.
Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurants in Montreal
In this section, we’re going to go through our favorite dedicated gluten free restaurants in Montreal that make for a good lunch or dinner.
At a high level, a perfect food day in Montreal probably involves one of the incredible gluten free bakeries for breakfast (more on that below in the bakery section) and one of these restaurants for dinner.
Like we mentioned above, you unfortunately are not going to be able to find very many options in terms of local specialties – bagels, smoked meat sandwiches, and poutine – that are both gluten free AND prepared safely for Celiacs.
But we’d argue that there’s plenty of great options for Celiacs in Montreal with a nice range of different cuisines.
Crêperie Du Marché
This turned out to be my favorite gluten free restaurant in Montreal, as evidenced by my three visits here over the course of seven days.
I kid you not, by the third visit (when I brought Alysha along to see why I had already been there twice), the friendly staff greeted me with a “welcome back” because I had been there so often doing my best to order and ask all my questions in French.
They must have remembered me because they gave me a lesson in how to say “scrambled” or “over easy” when ordering eggs, which I made sure to use on my return visit.
It’s not a standalone restaurant, but a permanent stall at the (excellent) Marché Jean-Talon, which is a must-visit on any Montreal itinerary.
Now, you might hear “ Crêperie” and be skeptical about cross-contact because everyone knows crêpes contain gluten.
HOWEVER. The name here is a little bit of a misnomer, because what they really specialize in is galettes, a specialty of Brittany in northwest France. Which are made with buckwheat, a gluten free grain.
Everything here – including the sweet options – is made with a buckwheat base and is gluten free.
In terms of fillings, they have a nice range of both sweet and savory options. As you might imagine, over three visits, I tried several of them.
My favorite was the “Vannes,” which involves potatoes, pesto, and goat cheese (three of my favorite things). Though I would say that the unique Vitré, which is named after a city in Brittany and is made with baked apples, maple syrup, ham, and swiss cheese, was also very enjoyable.
They also have a great cider selection, including some local ciders and some ciders imported from France (Brittany is a big cider producer).
If you know anything about us, you probably know that we’re big fans of arepas. Especially of the Venezuelan style (sorry Colombia, we still love you) which are stuffed with delicious fillings.
One of my first searches on any trip is opening up a Google Map of whatever city we’re visiting and typing “arepas” to see if there are any good arepa spots.
In Montreal, we were in luck! Arepera popped up as an option immediately and it happens to be 100% gluten free, an added bonus!
They are located on the Plateau, our favorite part of Montreal in terms of food and coffee, which is an easy bus or metro ride from just about anywhere else in Montreal. They’re open for lunch and dinner.
I stopped by on my own for a solo dinner, and grabbed a table in the surprisingly busy restaurant (for a 5pm dinner). The arepa menu they handed me is massive, broken up by meat type (or vegetarian).
I’m a sucker for fried plantains in an arepa (or on their own), so I narrowed down the options by looking for an option that included fried plantains.
I ended up with the pollo de guisado, which is an arepa stuffed with chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce, fried sweet plantains, black beans, and crumbly cheese.
Aside from the massive arepa menu, they also have a menu of starters, empanadas, and platters. As someone who loves corn-based empanadas, which are a staple of Colombian (and Venezuelan) cuisine, I ordered some empanadas to start too (specifically the vegetarian sampler).
Side note: Make sure they bring you the two sauces to put on your arepas. The green one, in particular, is excellent.
Another side note: We tried to go here a second time when Alysha was around, but they are closed on Sunday and Monday.
Another stop in Latin America via Montreal! This time, you’re heading to Brazil for another one of our favorite naturally gluten free delicacies; tapioca crepes.
We’ve actually made these at home before, and the process is essentially just putting tapioca pearls on a hot griddle until they kind of melt together, which forms a tortilla-like platform to put a bunch of toppings on before folding it over like a crepe.
Except because it’s made of tapioca, it’s gluten free.
This is another place I went back to multiple times, mostly because it’s a delicious and convenient on-the-go meal option. Plus, it’s right on Blvd Saint Laurent, which runs right through the middle of the Plateau.
As I mentioned, the focus here is tapioca crepes, which come with a variety of sweet and savory fillings.
After trying several, my favorite was the “We the North”, which is basically pulled barbecue beef. I’m a sucker for barbecue sauce, and this one hit the spot.
The caprese – tomato, cheese, and pesto – was a close second.
Right off of our favorite stretch in all of Montreal for eating, drinking, and shopping – Avenue Mont-Royal – Krapow is a vaguely Asian (I’ll explain what I mean by that) restaurant born during the tumultuous times of 2020 and 2021.
I say vaguely Asian because they take inspiration from a variety of southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia (among others).
It was started by a couple who lived in southeast Asia before returning to Montreal, and wanted to share their favorite dishes they discovered during their time there.
Both the location and the menu here are relatively small.
By far the best thing I ate here was the Beef Krapow, their signature dish. They also have a vegetarian option if you’re not into meat!
One thing to note here is that they have all sorts of disclaimers on their website that say something to the effect of “we cannot guarantee that all ingredients are free of cross-contamination at origin, but we only source gluten free ingredients.”
In general, my philosophy on something like this is that if the restaurant is knowledgeable enough to realize that there is a risk and states that they do their best to avoid anything particularly risky, I’m okay with it.
However, my risk tolerance might be different than yours, because no two Celiacs are the same. Here is the exact language for you to make your own decision:
“Are you really gluten-free?
We make every effort to ensure that none of our ingredients nor any of the products we use contains gluten. That means that there is little to no chance of cross-contamination with other dishes that contain gluten.
I have celiac disease. Is your food safe for me to eat?
We cannot guarantee that none of our ingredients contain trace amounts of gluten due to cross-contamination at the origin. However, we do avoid any products that have ingredients that contain gluten and any products that have listed a possible cross-contamination.”
Satu Lagi is probably my favorite spot for a nice, gluten free dinner in Montreal.
It’s right on Ave Mont-Royal, along a lovely stretch of commerce, bars, and restaurants that makes for an excellent start to a night out.
Satu Lagi serves food inspired by Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, and they focus on shareable small plates. The other thing to know is that their cocktails are both creative and excellent.
We made a reservation for five on a Thursday evening, and enjoyed a long, flavorful dinner full of laughing, good food and drinks, and friendly service with a group of friends we don’t get to see very often.
In terms of the food highlights, we really liked the Indonesian prawn crackers as a starter, which were served with what might have been our favorite thing of the entire night, their house peanut sauce.
The other thing that you’re probably going to want to order is the fried chicken, which comes in a couple of different varieties (we like the fermented honey chili, another sauce that is in the running for the best thing we ate).
On the bigger plates side, the stewed beef was great (though I will say that I preferred the version we had at Krapow).
D’maïs: Empanadas and Café
Since I had a good amount of time in Montreal, I decided to spend an entire day out along the Lachine Canal, which is a long canal (obviously) southwest of the city center.
I liked it so much that, a few days later when my friends and Alysha showed up to join me, we rented Bixi bikes and headed back out there.
The reason I say all of this is that D’maïs is somewhat inconvenient to get to UNLESS you are down in that canal area.
Luckily, it’s right near the metro station at Place Saint-Henri, which is on metro line 2.
Anyway, the offering here is empanadas. Specifically Colombian-style empanadas.
If you aren’t familiar, you might associate empanadas with a wrapping that is full of gluten. Which is true, sort of.
Argentinian empanadas (among other versions from other countries) ARE made with a wheat-based shell. But empanadas from Colombia and Venezuela (also among other versions) are made with a corn shell, and are much more likely to be gluten free.
At D’maïs, everything is gluten free. And, unlike most Colombian-style empanadas (which are deep fried), the ones here are made in an air fryer, which results in empanadas that are much less greasy and heavy.
I got a box of five empanadas so that I could try all of the different fillings that they had available at the time I showed up. By far my favorite was the chorizo and goat cheese, which I wish I had gotten five of.
Dedicated Gluten Free Bakeries in Montreal
The place where Montreal really shines is its pastries. Which isn’t all that surprising, I suppose, when you consider the city’s deep French roots.
L’artisan Délices Sans Gluten et Sans Lait
If you speak any French at all, you’ll know that everything in this bakery is both gluten free and dairy free.
I wandered over to their retail location, which is a 10 minute walk from Jean Talon Market, on a sunny weekday afternoon. As soon as I walked in the door, the fits of anxiety hit me as I realized what I was up against.
When you walk in, there is – and this is not an exaggeration – a set of six pastry cases FULL of all sorts of sweet and savory pastries, breads, bagels, cakes, éclairs, and just about every other baked good you could possibly imagine.
I was alone, and immediately started doing the math to figure out exactly how many pastries it was acceptable for a single person to consume in 24 hours (turns out, it’s A LOT).
After some fast math, I decided on five. Five was acceptable.
So I ended up with an almond croissant, a regular croissant, an apricot-cream pastry, a pistachio éclair, and a mille-feuille, which is kind of like a layered cake, but the cake part is puff pastry.
The almond croissant and the pistachio éclair were the standouts, though everything was pretty spectacular.
If you’re looking for Montreal-style bagels, this is the place to get them (it’s the only place I saw them, I think). However, you’ll want a toaster to prepare it, otherwise you might want to take them home to enjoy.
Boulangerie Le Marquis
I want to start by saying that these first two gluten free bakeries are making some of the best gluten free croissants I’ve ever personally eaten. Including many visits to Paris.
It’s nearly impossible for me to choose between these two bakeries, and the only reason I ordered them this way is the overwhelming selection at L’artisan, which threw me into a fit of indecision as I decided how many pastries was too many for one person.
If you’re in Old Montreal and are looking for a good place to grab something to eat, this would be my top (and basically only) recommendation. And even if you’re not nearby, it’s worth the detour.
They also have a location near Jean Talon Market, which is a few blocks from L’artisan Délices Sans Gluten (above) on a cute stretch.
I spent part of my trip staying in Old Montreal, so I ended up wandering over here for a quick on-the-go breakfast multiple times. They have croissants, éclairs, and tons of other pastry options in their huge pastry case.
I tried a variety (obviously), including an empanada, a couple of croissants, and an éclair. By far my favorite pastry was the almond croissant, which is filled with a delicious almond paste.
The one thing I want to call out – in a good way – is the texture on their pastries, particularly their croissants. They’re layered, fluffy, and buttery, which is a hard thing to do with gluten free flours.
As a bonus, the croissants are also dairy free (as are many other products).
Parc Sans Gluten
Another 100% gluten free bakery on the Plateau! This one is on a sunny corner of Parc La Fontaine, a sprawling green space that is absolutely worth wandering through, particularly on a sunny weekend afternoon when locals are out in full force.
This is very much a takeout spot, with basically no indoor seating, but the park makes for a great place to sit down and enjoy your food.
Like the places mentioned above, this bakery has a wide variety of different pastries, including croissants and chocolatines (pain au chocolat), which are the two things I ordered.
Both were good, but the texture wasn’t quite as good as the other two bakeries above – definitely a little more dense.
That being said, I went back here a second time, which should tell you everything you need to know.
They also have a selection of ready-to-eat sandwiches and wraps, and I grabbed one for later knowing that I would be out and about with friends all day with limited food options (it was okay, but probably would have been better warm).
Another 100% gluten free spot on Ave. Mont-Royal? Seems pretty easy to figure out how that area came to be our favorite part of the city.
Now, Vegâteau is both gluten free and vegan, which in our experience can be very hit or miss. For whatever reason, texture tends to be hard to nail when both of those things are true (but not when it’s only one or the other).
However, I also appreciate that this particular combination is hard to find, so I went in with an open mind and, to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised.
To be clear, that’s not to say it’s not possible for vegan + gluten free baked goods to be good. For example, Petunia’s Pies and Pastries here in Portland makes the GOAT gluten free donuts, and they’re both vegan and gluten free.
Especially considering that I ordered two things that I expected to be a little harder to pull off vegan to see how they held up.
Both the éclair and the lemon tart I got were great, and I doubt that I would have been able to determine whether or not they were vegan.
For transparency’s sake, this place either opened after I visited (in the months between my visit and sitting down to write this guide), or I just completely missed it somehow.
Either way, because I didn’t actually eat here myself, I have limited things to say about it.
The concept reminds me a lot of gluten free bakeries in Italy, which aren’t so much serving exclusively baked goods, but are incorporating small meals (like slices of pizza, panini, quiche, etc). In addition to pastries, you’ll find a rotating selection of meals here, along with a fun wine list.
They often post their plat du jour (dish of the day) on Instagram, like this post. As you’ll notice, there’s a definite Italian spin to their offerings, and the menu basically changes every single day (although they do have their staples available every day).
Gluten Free Montreal, Mapped
As promised, here is a map of all the coffee shops mentioned in this guide.