As to be expected from just about any big city, Montreal is a haven for foodies. Now, I’m not talking about the Michelin starred restaurants you have to book months in advance. I’m here to rave about the food in Montreal; the lowkey local establishments and dishes that won my stomach (and heart) over while I was there.
Disclaimer: since I was only in Montreal for three days this time around, this list by no means encompasses all the delicious food to be found in the city. That being said, this is all the noteworthy food in Montreal that I ate and raved about.
Okay, so this is a pretty obvious one. If someone asks me what the quintessential “Canadian food” would be, my first thought is poutine. Although you can find poutine in many parts of the world, Montreal (obviously) does this dish justice. Aside from the traditional hand-cut fries, cheese curds, and gravy, you can find a whole range of toppings for poutines nowadays. My favourite place was La Banquise. Typically known for their late night, after the bar crowd, La Banquise has a wild selection of poutine that you have to try. We opted for both their classic poutine and the La Sud-Ouest with bacon, red onions, guacamole, onion rings, and chipotle sauce on top of a regular poutine. Needless to say, we waddled our way out of the restaurant after.
2. Smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz’s Deli is an absolute must every time I visit Montreal and is one of the few places where I don’t mind having to queue. I kid you not when I say that you will have the best smoked meat sandwich you’ve ever had in your life here. Aside from the sandwich, you have to order the fries and pickle on the side. This place is so damn good, I actually wrote an entire post on it – click here to read more about why you must try Schwartz’s Deli.
3. Find a food festival
If you’re visiting Montreal in the summer, you’re in luck – there are festivals galore, all of which will likely involve food (it’s a win-win, really). We happened to stumble upon a mac n cheese festival with a bunch of food trucks all serving up different variations of the classic. We also went to the Just For Laughs festival where they had a fantastic food section serving up some great dishes from local establishments. One of my favourites was Birona Hummus Bar’s vegetable stew with tender chicken on a bed of couscous.
4. Craft beer
Although best appreciated in the summer, Montreal is home to a variety of pubs that serve up a range of local and international beer. If you are in the city during the warmer months, you’ll be spoiled for choice of restaurants with outdoor seating. A stroll down some of the more popular, pedestrian-friendly streets will lead you to a variety of restaurants and bars with patios. Regardless of which one you decide to enjoy a pint at, rest assured that you’ll find some local brews on the menu.
5. Honey donut balls at Mr. Puffs Pastry
These delicious honey-drenched dough balls were a glorious discovery in Montreal. I had seen Mr. Puffs Pastry around Montreal before, but didn’t decide to try them until I saw their food truck at the Just For Laughs Festival. I tried the honey dipped and creamy caramel dough balls, both of which were absolutely divine. Honestly, these were so damn good and just writing this is making me crave them.
Montreal is home to a variety of cute cafes, so you can never really go wrong just choosing a random one on the street to enjoy a coffee and some baked goods.