Montrealers live to eat! Dine like a local with everything from traditional treats like smoked meats and bagels to inventive Quebec cuisine and exotic flavours from the four corners of the globe. Renowned chefs across the city tantalise the palates of seasoned and budding epicureans.
While there’s no way we could possible showcase everything Montreal brings to the table (literally), here are a few delicious selections from the city’s phenomenal food scene.
Try the Montreal musts
Don’t leave Montreal without taste-testing its iconic fare.
To start, indulge in a smoked-meat sandwich. Schwartz’s Deli is famous for its juicy, tender, dripping with goodness, savoury meats. It’s worth the queue!
Poutine in Montreal is something close to a religious experience. This tasty trifecta of cheese curds, chips, and gravy comes in endless variations. Try it “frilled up” with foie gras at Au Pied de Cochon, with lobster chunks at Le Garde-Manger, or choose from 30 different flavour variations from La Banquise.
Sink your teeth into warm, crispy Montreal bagels and find out even the proudest New Yorkers admit defeat and bow down to the champs. Make sure you enjoy one of these sesame-seed coated creations fresh out of the wood-burning ovens of St-Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel, two legendary bagel shops within a short walk of one another.
For full appreciation of the dazzling array of fresh local cheeses, meats, fish, breads, fruits, vegetables, and jams, a trip to either the Jean-Talon Market or Atwater-Market is not only mouth-watering, but essential.
Venture out with new Quebec cuisine
The creativity of Montreal’s chefs continues to shine in restaurants around town.
Boasting a menu based entirely on Quebec terroir cuisine, the young Manitoba has been getting rave reviews from the city’s top food critics.
Martin Juneau, one of Canada’s most renowned chefs, is the owner of Pastaga, where dishes like guinea fowl from La Mauricie with mushrooms and celeriac root form the basis of innovative dishes.
Chef Adrien Renaud at Foodlab delivers seasonal fare fresh from Canada’s lands and waters.
Craving something a little sweeter? Patrice Pâtissier, run by local pastry chef Patrice Demers, dazzles dessert lovers with his financier cakes, dessert cups, and pecan shortbread. Oooh-la-la!
Indulgence is a part of Montreal living, so loosen your belt and don’t hold back.
Chef Normand Laprise was a local pioneer in farm-to-fork cuisine, and continues to delight with his creativity at Toqué, bearer of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux seal and a regular name on the list of top restaurants in Canada.
Set amidst the arresting beauty of Old Montreal, the refined cuisine of Restaurant Les 400 coups should be on any foodie’s must-eat list.
For another great gourmet experience, book a table at Europea, another Relais & Châteaux restaurant in the heart of downtown that has diners swooning over its whimsical, seductive dishes crafted with obvious passion.
Epicureans and famous American chef and food personality Anthony Bourdain can’t get enough of Joe Beef. The restaurant – another regular presence on “best of Canada” restaurant lists – creates laid-back, playful but impeccably crafted culinary offerings, all in that signature Montreal style.
Finally, Bouillon Bilk is a sure bet for a delicious and sophisticated meal, served in its tucked-away, unpretentious setting.
Get the real deal
The smorgasbord of international cuisine reflects the multicultural neighbourhoods of Montreal.
For an authentic French meal, take your taste buds to Chez Lévêque Restaurant. This Parisian-style bistro keeps things simple and seasonal and totally authentic.
If you love Japanese cooking, the izakaya-style restaurant Flyjin features market-fresh produce prepared using traditional Japanese cooking techniques.
Italian more your thing? Head off to Little Italy for a chance to try the delicious rustic and market-inspired dishes at Impasto.
The Mexican sun shines at the heart of Montreal at Escondite, where tapas, ceviche, and tacos are served in a friendly downtown ambiance.
Last but not least, for a mouth-watering taste of Turkish cooking, BarBounya is the place you want to be. The delicious menu of mezze, inspired by the flavourful foods of Turkey, will leave you wanting more.
For more on Montreal food, visit the Tourism Montreal website.