Restaurant Joe Beef

A Review of Montreal’s Top Restaurant

Joe Beef

One of the most famous restaurants in Montreal, Joe Beef, has earned its reputation and then some. The unique part about its fame is that while most top restaurants specialize in a particular dish or cuisine type, Joe Beef does everything, and we mean everything! 

If you’ve ever seen the show “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain,” you’ve likely seen the episode where he visits Joe Beef in Montreal. Similarly, another pop-culture icon, Joe Rogan, is often quoted saying that Joe Beef is his all-time favourite restaurant…

Joe Beef a Top Restaurant in Montreal
Credit Alison Slattery /Tourism Montreal

Not only is Joe Beef touted as one of the best restaurants in Montreal it also makes it to certain lists of top global restaurants. For those that have had the pleasure to dine at Joe Beef in Montreal, this should come as no surprise… 

In this article, we’ll be diving into the delicious and decadent world of Joe Beef, a top restaurant in Montreal, QC. Not only will we give it our overall review, but we’ll detail the intricacies of its food and beverage menu. We will also discuss its staff and service while noting other reasons along that way as to why it’s quite evidently the most sought-after table reservation in the province. 

So, pull up a chair because you’re in for a treat! Let’s get right into it…

The Story of Joe Beef…

Before diving into the deliciousness of Joe Beef, it’s essential first to provide a brief history behind its birth. 

Owned by David McMillan, Allison Cunningham, and Frederic Morin, Joe Beef was made a reality in 2005 when it first opened its doors. Notably, for the history buffs out there, its name was conceptualized and inspired by the quartermaster for the British Army, Charles “Joe Beef” Mckiernan, often touted for his resourcefulness in always finding and hunting down meat in times of desperate need. 

To date, Joe Beef is located in Montreal’s small neighborhood of Little Burgundy, perched on Notre Dame Street W, still bringing in locals and tourists alike eager to have the chance to indulge in Joe Beef’s excellence. 

Though its primary owner, McMillan, has since retired, the legacy of Joe Beef continues to live on…


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A Restaurant Overview

Joe Beef a Top Restaurant in Montreal,Quebec, Canada
Credit © Alison Slattery – Two Food Photographers – Tourisme Montréal

For those eager to sample the chef’s work at Joe Beef, you’re likely curious as to what to expect with regards to not only the menu itself but the pricing and availability as well…

Notably, you might want to reconsider before we continue any further if you’re thinking about visiting soon. Why? Because of its international popularity, booking reservations can be quite a task. With that said, the only solution is to book far in advance; if you do that, there shouldn’t be any problems…

Now for the food…

While many hesitate to visit such a renowned restaurant, fearful of the investment it’s going to cost them, Joe Beef happens to offer reasonably priced dishes, starting at a modest $19. With that said, you’d be crazy not to think that they also have dishes priced at the extremes of hundreds of dollars.

However, the unique part about it is that all dishes are designed for the table. In other words, instead of ordering individual dishes size enough only for one person, Joe Beef creates dishes that are to be placed at the center of the table and be indulged in by all; bring a group of friends or family, split the costs, and you’ve got yourself a reasonably affordable fine dining experience for the books! 

Finally, as for the specifics, Joe Beef is essentially an experiential restaurant like most top restaurants are. In other words, its menu depends on the day, what ingredients are available in the kitchen, and what the chef wants to create.

It does, however, share a common theme which is “French market cuisine.” Think raw seafood like oysters and lobster salad, paired with creations that involve steak, tarter, and of course, only the best-imported wines. Not to mention, they also brew their own beer and absinthe! 

A Review of Joe Beef

Joe Beef Montreal
Restaurant Joe Beef Montreal. Credit © Alison Slattery – Two Food Photographers – Tourisme Montréal


From its creative and collaborative menu comprising bombastic dishes, decadent wine lists, and pairing recommendations to its atmospheric nature that embraces the old days, Joe Beef seems to have hit all the ingredients that make a great restaurant. 

The crazy part is that that only scratches the surface of what makes Joe Beef a landmark destination for foodies and critics alike.

Beyond its menu and trademark atmosphere, Joe Beef is also known for providing impeccable service, from the chef’s and in-house waiters and waitresses to the hosts themselves; Though, what great restaurant doesn’t boast impeccable service… To be expected. 

In short, we’d be remiss not to give Joe Beef a 10/10! You saw that coming, didn’t you? 

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