Montreal, like all multicultural cities, is not short on places to dine, drink, or munch; especially in the downtown area, you’ll find as many Asian and European cuisine choices as you would in New York City or San Francisco. Even after you’ve eaten, it can be hard to say no to the smell of pastries or the idea of sipping another glass of red wine on a patio.
Here are five foods in particular that visitors to Montreal may want to try on their trip:
1. Poutine is a dish (often served in fast-food fashion from street vendors) of french fries (frites) with cheese curds and sauce (like gravy). Sometimes meat is added too. If you’ve been to the U.K., getting poutine is similar to what you might get at a chip shop, but with a slightly different texture. La Banquise claims to have the best poutine in Quebec—see for yourself!
2. Bagels are smaller than they are in New York City, but have a style all their own due to the large Jewish population of Montreal. Bagels come with all kinds of toppings and tend to have a sweetness to them. Fairmount Bagel and St-Viateur Bagel are both extremely popular places, and both are open 24 hours a day—so you just might find yourself coming back sooner than you expected!
3. Chocolate is always a safe bet wherever you are, but Montreal has more than a few nice places to treat yourself to some cocoa delights, like Suite 88, Juliette & Chocolat, and Les Chocolats de Chloé.
4. Smoked meat is easy to find here, and Schwartz’s is a famous deli with legendary brisket. There are plenty of smaller places hidden around corners with extraordinary sandwich makers ready to give you the lunch of a lifetime.
5. Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon) isn’t exactly a food, but it deserves to be on this list because of its local freshness and colorful selections. From fruit and vegetables to cheese and bread, to crepes, soaps, flowers, spices and (of course) maple syrup—this market is an experience for tasting as well as smelling, shopping, people-watching and taking it all in.
Watch our Flavors of Old Montreal Walking Tour video and learn more about the city’s food culture.