Montreal's gastronomic reputation is well established. The Quebec metropolis has thousands of restaurants, from the simplest and most traditional to the most original and avant-garde.
Lovers of Montreal or explorers, here is a brief overview of the culinary experiences that the island has to offer!
Let's start with a few restaurants where you can taste local and traditional cuisine: Rich and comforting dishes, maple desserts or regional specialties, representative of the harsh winter climate.
Located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, this small restaurant has been offering traditional Quebec cuisine since 1938. Their specialties include baked beans, pea soup, Shepherd’s pie (local version), homemade cretons (terrine of spicy pork, similar to rillettes), and the must-have tourtière (traditional meat pie, made with beef or veal). For dessert, you can give in to the iconic pudding chômeur or sugar pie.
Also in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal, Au Pied de Cochon restaurant offers local cuisine made with traditional Quebec ingredients in a friendly and warm atmosphere. Their "signature" dish is foie gras poutine: a gigantic lobe of foie gras over French fries cooked in duck fat, fresh cheese curds, all topped with foie gras sauce. The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of wines.
It's all in the name. Eat well, drink well, and discover. Located in Val-David (75 km from Montreal), L'Epicurieux focuses on freshness with a cuisine that is prepared using local products when possible and changing according to the seasons. Simple and refined dishes, bold but balanced combinations and a careful presentation, all in a warm setting. The restaurant also offers a nice list of natural or organic wines and the waiter will be happy to assist you in choosing the best combinations.
Le Passé composé
A must for brunch in Montreal! Le Passé Composé offers a fresh, colourful and generous bistro cuisine, sweet or savoury. The service is efficient and friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed and trendy. Try the poached eggs on toast with a good coffee or the famous grilled-cheese.
A warm, soft bagel alone is a good reason to come to Montreal (yes!). This ring-shaped bun of Russian origin is to Montrealers what a French baguette is to France. Fairmount Bakery, an institution in the Mile End neighbourhood, has been in existence for 100 years. Open 24/7, stop by to enjoy one (or more) sesame bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
You must add smoked meat to your list, this beef cooked according to a particular process that makes it melt in your mouth. Try it as a platter or sandwich, accompanied by a pickle. Opened in 1928 on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Schwartz Deli is iconic. Don't rely on the ordinary appearance of the place, but rather on the almost continuous line in front of the restaurant. And if you're lucky, you might run into Celine Dion!
Want to feel like you're eating like a Montrealer? Here are some typical everyday addresses.
It is obviously impossible to miss the iconic poutine, the one that accompanies brunches, late nights, snacks or Sunday movies. If the classic version of poutine consists of French fries, cheese curds and brown sauce, the Banquise offers no less than 25 variants: Italian, Mexican, Reggae, Savoyard, Pepper... The place is friendly and you can also enjoy a microbrewery beer before or after your walk in the nearby Lafontaine Park.
Montreal is also a city based on multiculturalism and has an incalculable number of restaurants that are representative of the different communities that coexist. Why not take advantage of your trip to go even further in your discoveries? Here are some of our favourites.
Pat'e Palo's speciality is authentic Peruvian and international cuisine. Come to enjoy seafood or a good ceviche (Latin American dish made of fish cooked in a marinade and served cold). You can also enjoy a delicious cocktail made with Pisco (the Peruvian national drink).
Visit the Satay Brothers in the dynamic Saint-Henri district, where they offer delicious and inventive South Asian cuisine. The place is pleasant, entertaining, and we enjoy dishes that take us far from Quebec: laksa soup, steamed pork buns, papaya salad with peanuts... the mixture of flavours and the pleasure in the mouth will be remembered for a long time. Don't forget to reserve, the place is always crowded.
For gourmets and seafood lovers, I recommend a meal at the chic Greek restaurant Estiatorio Milos on Avenue du Parc. Attended by celebrities and business people, the bill will be a little "steep" but the quality and freshness of the products is evident. Some are even imported directly from the Mediterranean. A great Montreal restaurant to try.
Holidays are also about having original experiences and Montreal has a lot to offer you. Located in the heart of the Plateau, this restaurant is plunged into total darkness and its visually impaired staff brings you a variety of surprise dishes. O'noir is the pleasure of food coupled with a sensory experience because without sight, the other senses intensify.
Montreal is also the mecca of healthy, vegan or vegetarian cuisine. Restaurant Aux Vivres, located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, is one of the highlights of this trend and offers fresh, innovative and delicious dishes that will delight you regardless of your diet.
Montreal is also a fan of BYOW restaurants (meaning "bring your own wine") as in the United States or Great Britain. You can bring good bottles of wine to complete your meal without adding too much to the bill. Located a few blocks north of Jean-Talon Market, Tandem is a neighbourhood restaurant with an intimate and warm setting. The chef offers you a fine gourmet table d'hôte inspired by Franco-Quebec cuisine that varies according to the seasons and market trends.
We couldn't conclude without giving you the address of a Cabane à sucre (Sugar Shack)!
Whether it's for food, activities or a festive atmosphere, there are always things to do at the Constantin Cabane à sucre. Located in Saint-Eustache (about fifty kilometers from Montreal), it offers you an all-you-can-eat traditional menu: Canadian bread, pea soup, cretons (greaves), coleslaw, sausages in syrup...). From Valentine's Day until the end of April, you can celebrate the sugar season (maple harvest). Also test “ la tire”, which consists of heating maple syrup and pouring it over snow to make soft candy. Perfect gourmet activity for the whole family!