No need for a plane ticket to escape the cold Montreal weather – simply step inside Tropikàl Restobar, and you’ll be transported to a warm Caribbean island.
Nestled in the bustling Saint-Henri district on Notre-Dame Street West, this popular eatery offers a friendly, colorful atmosphere, perfectly complementing its flavorful menu.
Tropikàl is the brainchild of renowned Montreal chef Jae-Anthony Dougan, a former Top Chef Canada contestant. Since its opening in March 2021, the restaurant has consistently attracted foodies, adventurous diners, and lovers of Caribbean cuisine, even earning a spot as “best trailblazer” on Air Canada enRoute magazine’s list of the best new Canadian restaurants in 2021.
The cozy décor draws inspiration from nature, featuring hanging plants and a wall of flowers that create a festive ambiance. As the evening progresses, the sound of rhythmic music fills the air while drinks flow and laughter abounds.
With his past experience opening two other great restaurants – Seasoned Dreams and Tingz in Ottawa – Chef Jae-Anthony sought to introduce Quebecers to Caribbean specialties with his unique twist. Drawing from traditional recipes spanning a dozen countries, including Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guadeloupe, as well as the West African coast and African-American cuisine, the result is a sunny, seasoned, and satisfying menu.
I recently had the opportunity to sample Tropikàl‘s new summer menu during their March 22 Movers & Shakers event. The evening showcased a variety of culinary delights that perfectly capture the essence of the tropics, from Tropikal ceviche and mini jerk chicken poutine to spicy coconut shrimp, roti n channa, and vegan plantain cups. Each dish was expertly crafted to combine bold flavors and fresh ingredients.
The event also featured signature cocktails created by the talented mixologist and bar manager, with unique concoctions like Vandra’s Rum Punch, Secret Spirit, Berry Breeze, and Malaya delighting guests at the two bars.
Adding to the excitement of the evening was the unveiling of Tropikàl‘s basement speakeasy named Truth. This upscale space offers an immersive experience complete with handcrafted cocktails and delectable Caribbean and Afro-Latin appetizers. The official opening date for the Truth Speakeasy is May 5, 2023, though it’s currently available for private events. With a capacity of 50 guests, it’s perfect for birthday parties and networking events.
Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a taste of the tropics, Tropikàl has it all. From the delicious Caribbean-inspired dishes to the vibrant atmosphere, this Montreal gem is a must-visit destination for an unforgettable dining experience. So, why not step through its doors and let yourself be whisked away to a secret island paradise, right in the heart of district Saint-Henri?
Here is what you need to know about Tropikàl Restobar
Best Kept MTL does not condone the overconsumption of alcohol or other substances. If you are going to consume alcohol, please do so responsibly and only if you are of legal age. If you are finding more often than not that you cannot consume responsibly, it is time to get some help.
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From fine dining restaurants to boutique hotel staycations to high society balls, V is a lifestyle writer who unlocks some of Montreal's best-kept secrets.