International in Old Montréal

Celebrated chef Chuck Hughes (the mastermind behind Garde-Manger) has wowed his fans with this subterranean, low-lit haunt across from the Marché Bonsecours. The menu changes regularly and features fried quail, crab and kimchi toast, succulent grilled sea bream and roast pork chop with clams.

The vibe: laid-back servers ballcaps and tattoos, hip hop playing overhead and a preparty crowd sipping first-rate cocktails (try the Negronis). The entrance is unmarked; look for number 361 above the stairs. Reservations are essential.