Food & Drink

50 Foods You Need to Eat in Montreal Before You Die

Published On 09/23/2015 Published On 09/23/2015
Flickr/Wei-Hang Chua
Beauty's Luncheonette
Courtesy of La Diperie
Courtesy of La Bilboquet
Moishes Steakhouse
Mike Boutin/Dic Ann's
Hof Kelsten
La Cornetteria
Flickr/Boris Anthony
Flickr/Kenneth Lu
Flickr/Chris Goldberg
Flickr/Sharyn Morrow
Flickr/Karsten Planz
Flickr/Magalie L'Abbe
Flickr/Ames Lai
Shakila Rahimi/Khyber Pass Restaurant
Flickr/Cecile et Pierre Chandrion
Patisserie Phubarbe
Dinette Triple Crown
Flickr/Ames Lai
Villa du Souvlaki
Flickr/Tom Spaulding
Mamie Clafoutis
Fous Desserts
Les Givres
Le Cochon
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1. Chez L'epicier 311 Rue Saint-Paul Est, Montreal, H2Y 1H3

The menu at Chez L’Epicier may change regularly, but the strawberry macaroons at this ultra-local high-end restaurant are always available on the basis of popular demand. A tasting menu and creatively presented seasonal dishes are also offered.

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2. Beautys Luncheonette 93 Ave. du Mont-Royal Ouest, Montreal, H2T 2S5

Montreal is a city that loves tradition, and Beautys Luncheonette is about as traditional as they come. Set in a retro 1940s space, Beautys is perfect for indulgent breakfasts and brunches, or just a smoothie in one of their old-school booths.

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3. La Diperie 68, Avenue des Pins, Montreal, H2W 1N5

La Diperie rethinks the modern ice cream cone with more than 20 dips and endless topping-Belgian chocolate combinations. Think a soft-serve vanilla ice cream, dipped into warm chocolate, rolled in almonds and then drizzled with caramel. Need we say more?

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4. Gibeau Orange Julep 7700 boul. Décarie, Montréal, H4P 2H4

You'll know this hot dog joint when you see it. It's located inside a GIANT ORANGE. They do classic steamed hot dogs served with coleslaw, onions, mustard, and relish.

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5. Moishes 3961 boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, H2W 1Y4

Moishes Steakhouse was founded in 1938 by Moishe Lighter, a Romanian immigrant. The restaurant-- a hybrid Jewish deli and steak house-- remains a fixture of "The Main" neighborhood of Montreal today with its famous charcoal-broiled bone-in filet mignon, among other meaty offerings.

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6. Saint Sushi Bar 424 Duluth Est, Montreal, H2L 1A3

This Plateau fish spot rolls out a myriad of festive and delicious rolls and other Japanese fare, including a roll made with spicy mayo, tempura, avocado, cucumber and Boston lettuce named after Tupac. Seriously.

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7. Aux Vivres 4631 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, H2T 1R2

Even the most meaty of meatatarians have to admit that this vegan resto's meat substitutions can taste better than the real thing, and that's why this makes for one of the best-kept secrets in the city.

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8. Hof Kelsten 4524, Boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, H2T 1R4

Whether you’re looking for a sweet ending to your day, a grand dessert to bring to your friend’s party, or just a sinful breakfast, you can’t go wrong with this Plateau bakery.

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9. Restaurant Manitoba 271 Saint-Zotique O., Montreal, H2V 1A4

If you're looking for fine dining in the Park-Ex area, look no further than Restaurant Manitoba, which has an ever-changing menu loaded with rustic wild game options that often include heart and tongue.

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10. Boulangerie Cheskie 359 Rue Bernard O, Montreal, H2V 1T6

Prepare for a taste of the Old World at Boulangerie Cheskie. There is nothing sexy or modern about this little bakery, but don’t be fooled by the rickety exterior; the rugelach here is the Jewish take on the chocolate croissant, and there is nothing simple about the interwoven layers of pastry and sweet cocoa and sugar mixture that make up this delicious treat. Stopping at one is impossible, so don’t even try -- and grab a black & white cookie to go.

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11. La Cornetteria 6528, Blvd Saint-Laurent, Montreal, H2S 3C6

La Cornetteria is one of the many spots to have jumped on the Cronut bandwagon. And to its credit, it does that hybrid pastry well. But when in Rome (Little Italy), do as the Romans do. The cannoli is this bakery's shining star. But be warned: snacking will be messy. This heavenly cream-filled cone will break on first bite, and you will be licking the crumbs off the table.

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12. Pho Lien 5703-B Chemin De la Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal, H3S

At Pho Lien, you can choose from about 10 beef phos made with brisket, tendon, tripe, and other yummy cow parts. What appetizer should you get with your pho? Order either the papaya beef salad, or the spring rolls.

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13. St-Viateur Bagel & Café Monkland 5629 Ave de Monkland, Montreal, H4A 1E2

This, the Monkland outpost of St-Viateur, doles out all the tasty carbs and breakfast items as the other locations. But don't overlook the lunch options, which range from quality sammies to salads and more.

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14. Fairmount Bagel 74 Ave. Fairmount Ouest, Montréal, H2T 2M2

Welcome to the best (and first!) bagel bakery in Montreal (just don't say that in front of nearby St. Viateur Bagel): open since 1919, Mile End's Fairmount has seduced locals and tourists with its slightly sweet, wood-fired bagels. When you enter, you see bakers sliding the hot dough discs out of the oven with a wooden slat, adding a visual to the fresh-baked smell that fills the place. Sesame and poppy seed are the local favorites, but those craving a bit more umph should go for the "all dressed," a close approximation to an everything bagel, rolled in coarse salt, garlic, caraway, and onion.

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15. Café Falco 5605 ave. De Gaspé, Montreal, H2T 2A4

With immaculate design, Japanese coffee siphons, and a unique, understated aesthetic in food, Café Falco is a great place to come work and eat, even if you aren’t flush with cash.

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16. Montreal Pool Room 1217 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2X 2S6

This greasy spoon has been around since 1912 (!), and since then, it's been a prime spot for steamés, greasy poutine, and spruce beer.

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17. Fameux Viande Fumée et Charcuterie 4500 rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, H2J 2L3

This place is simple, but tasty, and you won't find better burgers or pizza for the price around town.

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18. Caffe San Simeon 39 rue Dante, Montreal, H2S 1J6

For authentic, Italian-style coffee, head to Caffe San Simeon, which has been serving espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos since 1996. Pair your caffeine with a selection of tarts, cannoli, and Nutella cookies, and you're basically in Italy.

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19. Joe Beef 2491 rue Notre-Dame O, Montreal, H3J 1N6

An ode to Charles "Joe-Beef" McKiernan, a 19th century innkeeper and Montreal working-class hero, this resto serves up Quebecois classics like sausages, hot smoked salmon, and 18oz steaks (dubbed the "Monsieur's portion" on the menu) in the heart of Little Burgundy.

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20. Au Pied de Cochon 536 Ave Duluth Est, Montréal, H2L 1A9

Dining at “the foot of the pig” ("Au pied de cochon") is a Montréal must, as Chef Martin Picard has created a temple for all things meaty, decadent, and over-the-top (read: poutine topped with foie gras!). While ultra-luxe ingredients like red wine chutney and pig's trotters are a common theme here, their application to low-brow foods is what sets this bustling restaurant apart. The price tag might not match the casual atmosphere, but exaggerated indulgences like pan seared foie gras with goat cheese and raspberries on a brioche will blind you to dollar signs.

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21. Depanneur Le Pick Up 7032 Rue Waverly, Montréal, H2S 3J2

Le Pick Up is a quiet spot to sit and enjoy everything from their amazing sandwiches made with their massive "pulled porc" (which comes in regular and vegetarian) to their haloum grillé.

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22. Khyber Pass Cuisine Afghane 506 Avenue Duluth E, Montreal , H2L 1A7

If you'd like an introduction to Afghani food, head here for the herb-spiced lamb dishes. The lamb korma chalaw at Khyber Pass embodies the feeling of Afghanistan that you can only get from food prepared lovingly by its people…and then interwoven into the fabric of Montreal. Oh, and it's BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine). Win.

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23. Bagel Etc. 4320 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2W 1Z3

Bagel Etc. is a diner/cafe that's known for its brunch specials, and the bagels are all hand-rolled, Montreal-style. Grab a seat and admire the funky decor while you dig into your meal.

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24. Kem CoBa 60 Fairmount Ouest, Montreal, H2T 2M2

Kem CoBo is a colorful, counter-serve joint known for their creative sorbet, ice cream, and soft serve. Popular flavors include salted butter, durian, New York cheesecake, and raspberry and dark chocolate swirl.

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25. Romados 115 Rue Rachel Est, Montréal, H2W 1C8

This Portuguese resto serves up fantastic BBQ, especially their rotisserie chicken and by extension, their off-menu chicken sandwich made from said rotisserie chicken.

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26. Patati Patata 4177, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H1W 2Y7

This joint not only has a list of mouth-watering burgers (including their Mediterranean Burger with feta, red onion, tomato, lettuce, and a tzatziki-inspired sauce), they also do supremely tasty fries for the perfect combo.

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27. Lawrence 5201 Boul St-Laurent, Montreal , H2T 2L9

This casual restaurant located in the heart of Mile-End serves refined British cuisine such as braised oxtail, pigs feet, and kedgeree (curry with fish, rice, and eggs), along with sweet breakfast pastries.

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28. Patisserie Rhubarbe 5091, rue de Lanaudière, Montreal, H2J 3P9

This quaint pastry shop is a sweet tooth's dream, offering house made popsicles, candy bars, spreads, tarts, and a rotating brunch menu.

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29. Dinette Triple Crown 6704 rue Clark, Montreal, H2S 3E9

Authentic southern food is hard to find in Montreal, but Dinette Triple Crown does it well. They serve the staples, like fried chicken and coleslaw.

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30. Kazu 1862 rue Ste-Catherine O, Montreal, H3H 1M1

Regardless of the small size of its location, Kazu has become known for its delicious food. Menu highlights include housemade tofu, a shrimp burger, and 48-hour pork with onions and rice.

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31. Boulangerie Roma 6776 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, H2S 3C7

With Sicilian-style cannoli, puffy pastries, pizza, sandwiches, and classic Maraschino cherry cookies, Boulangerie Roma is a Little Italy favorite.

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32. Villa du Souvlaki 5347 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal, H4A 1V2

This place has great lunch prices and even better Greek food. You are going to want to try the Chicken souvlaki with potatoes.

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33. Pizzeria Napoletana 189 rue Dante, Montreal, H2S 1K1

This place might have the best pizza in all of Montreal, plating 41 different pizzas and 34 different pastas in Little Italy since 1948.

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34. Le Sain Bol 5095 rue Fabre, Montreal, H2J 3W3

Le Sain Bol—"The Healthy Bowl"—is a small, cash-only restaurant that boasts organic, locally-sourced ingredients and a menu that caters to all dietary restrictions: vegan, vegetarian and gluten and lactose free.

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35. Mamie Clafoutis 3660 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, H2X 3L7

This small, Montreal-based chain resembles a living room so guests can enjoy homemade pastries and treats in a relaxed, cozy setting.

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36. Pâtisserie Au Kouign Amann 322, Ave du Mont-Royal Est, Montreal, H2T 1P7

When you walk into Pâtisserie Au Kouign Amann, you need to focus. Don't get distracted by the quiche (it's delicious). Do not divert your path towards the croissants (they're transformative). Head right to the pizza-sized Kouign Amann, which translates literally into, "butter cake." If the words, "butter cake" aren't selling you, we think you're in the wrong place.

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37. Fous Desserts 809 Laurier Ave, Montreal, H2J 1G2

Let us be clear. This is no average bakery. This is a chocolate bakery. Chocolate is its thing. It is the brain child of chocolatier Franck Dury-Pavet, and his, "passion for the thousand and one flavors of cocoa." We aren't sure what those flavors are, so you'll have to visit 1,001 times and report back to us. And if you're not in the mood for chocolate (shame on you), the second-best option is a rich, buttery croissant.

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38. Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen 3895 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2W 1X9

Montreal is known for its smoked meats, and Schwartz's Deli has some of the best in the city. Order a sandwich -- literally any sandwich -- and prepare for your taste buds to explode from the deliciousness.

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39. Bottega Pizzeria 65 rue Saint-Zotique Est, Montreal, H2S 1K6

Although Bottega is known for their wide variety of artisanal, Neapolitan pizzas, this place also offers creative small plates such polpetta con pomodoro (veal dumplings with tomato sauce) and arancino bella Napoli (rice balls stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella).

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40. Les Givrés 3807, rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, H2W 2M3

In addition to manufacturing ice cream and sorbet, Les Givrés is a year-round "artisan dairy bar" which offers creative frosted delights, with flavors like rhubarb, carrot, blueberry, and marshmallow dream. The ice cream, as well as the cones, are made on-site.

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41. Le Cochon Caché 7901 Henri-Julien, Montreal, H2R 2B9

This "comptoir gourmand" supplies some of the best porchetta sandwiches in Montreal, in addition to poutine topped with rosemary, garlic potatoes, and homemade gravy.

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42. Velo Burrito 32 Rue Beaubien E, Montreal, H2S1P8

Velo flawlessly combines vegetarian and Mexican cuisine with loaded, healthy burritos that are about the size of a small infant.

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43. El Rey del Taco 234 rue Jean-Talon Est, Montreal, H2R 1S7

Known for their homemade salsa and colorful tortilla chips, this modest taco joint serves fresh, authentic Mexican eats whether you're dining in taking out.

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44. Alep 199 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montreal, H2R 1S8

Alep serves traditional Syrian and Armenian cuisine that brings the Middle East to Montreal. Fan favorites are the fattoush, moussaka, and the various kebabs, all waiting to be paired with one of the restaurant's 250 wine selections.

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45. Wilensky's 34 Ave Fairmount Ouest, Montréal, H2T 2M1

Think old-school -- like, ring-up cash register and old-fashioned soda fountain old-school. Wilensky's opened in 1932, and their "Wilensky's Special" -- a deliciously simple grilled sandwich with all-beef salami, all-beef baloney, and a hint of mustard -- has been a solid local favorite ever since.

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46. 786 Halal 768, rue Jean-Talon Ouest, Montreal, H3N 1S2

786 Halal embraces Indian and Pakistani cuisine with a extensive menu featuring classics like chicken tikka masala and lamb curry, along with more authentic items like shahi paneer and Pakola, or "Pakistani cola."

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47. Tripoli Restaurant 679, rue Saint-Roch, Montreal, H3N 1L2

Simple, rustic, and straightforward in delicious flavours, Tripoli is everything you'd want in a classic Greek restaurant. You can tell everything is authentic when you hear the staff yelling at each other in Greek, a fact that's reaffirmed by the freshness of each dish.