Montréal is a lot of things. It’s French, it’s English, it’s stylish, it’s historic. To me, above all else, Montréal is delicious. With its unique mix of cultures, Montréal is home to some of the best dishes Canada has to offer. With that in mind here are my favourite Montréal must-eat dishes and where to find them.
First up on this Montréal must eat list has to be Poutine. The quintessential Québec dish is the love child of frits, gravy, and cheese curds. What’s not to love?
Literally derived from the word pudding, poutine has risen from a greasy diner staple to arguably Canada’s national dish. Today Poutine can be found in every type of restaurant in the city and you can spot it as a side dish for dining locals. For my Montréal must eat experience I headed to Poutineville, literally.
Although it is not the city of Poutine, it’s menu says otherwise. You can build your own creations by choosing your spud slicing style, cheese, gravy and a plethora of extras. From roasted eggplant to corn dogs and fried pickle spears, you’ll find it here.
Although it is easy to get carried away (I certainly did) if this is your first-time Poutin’ing I suggest sticking to the classic.
Montréal Style Smoked Meat
Next up on this Montréal must-eat list is my personal favourite – Montréal Style Smoked Meat.
To me, there is no better place to get Montréal Smoked Meat than Schwartz Delicatessens. I have literally gone out of my way on road trips just to visit Schwartz and have even had it flown across the country. It’s that good.
Located on bustling St. Laurent Boulevard, Schwartz is to find with its orange signage and long lineups. Although the menu is deep, stick to the classic – a medium fat sandwich with smoked meat piled high on rye bread slathered in mustard. Don’t forget the pickles and be sure to wash it down with a black cherry cola!
Fun fact: Schwartz is one of the oldest delicatessens in the city (opened in 1928) and today, has a part owner in Celine Dion.
Montréal Style Bagels
The Jewish influence in Montréal food goes far beyond smoked meat and is most noted by Montréal style bagels. Similar in shape and size as a New York style bagel, it’s Canadian cousin is denser, chewier, and sweeter. This is thanks to a honey water boil before being baked in a wood-fired oven.
Much like poutine, bagels are available in restaurants throughout the city, however, be sure to go to a bakery to get the freshest ones possible. I went to St-Viateur Bagel Shop because it is open 24-7 and pushes out 10,000 bagels plus a day through its doors.
The Rest – Marché Atwater
Of course, Montréal’s foods go far beyond poutine, smoked meat, and bagels. Unfortunately there just isn’t enough time or notches on my belt to sample it all. To compensate I took a Bixi bike to Marché Atwater, a massive market chock full of fresh food, vendor stalls, and Québec favourites.
Grab a bag of cheese curds to snack on while you shop for ingredients to take home. From fresh produce to the perfect macaroon, you’ll find it at this busy and his historic public market. Don’t miss the maple syrup and maple butter.
What say you?
Thoughts on these Montréal Must-Eat Dishes? What’s missing from this list??
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