Food & Drink

Why Montreal convenience stores are basically the best in the world

Published On 08/09/2013 Published On 08/09/2013
Toronto dep
Katherine Sehl

If you're seeing deps everywhere, you're either Tim Burton, of you're a resident of Montreal. Pretty much unique to the province, dĂ©panneurs (or deps as the anglo-folks call ‘em) are basically like the greatest convenience stores ever, upscaling themselves in a variety of unique ways, such as adding sushi bars, sandwich shops, craft beer rooms, and more. Here are the five best in the city:

Popcorn Plays

1) DĂ©panneur Le Pick Up 7032 Rue Waverly
This off-the-map hipster dep not only holds bragging-rights over having the best pulled-pork and best veggie pulled-pork sandwich (they use jackfruit as a delicious faux pork substitute) in the city, but they also have tropical sunset wallpaper, a retro diner bar, a zine rack, a giant pink comb hanging over produce racks & beer fridges, and a "secret" garden space out back. And toothpaste.

2) Sushi DĂ©panneur 1475 avenue Mont-Royal est
Do you like sushi? Do you also happen to need gum and stuff? Well then this one’s a no-brainer. Sushi Depanneur provides you with your basic corner-store needs and one of the best goddamn sushi dinners in town, serving everything from your standard rolls (yellowtail, salmon, etc.), to more advanced rainbow and phoenix rolls made with caviar.

Katherine Sehl

3) DĂ©panneur A.S. 5191 Boul Saint-Laurent
Not only do they stock one of the finest selections of local and imported micro-brewed beers in Montreal, but they are also pretty much single-handedly keeping the video rental dream alive with a pretty decent video selection too. Not DVD. Video.

Simon Gosselin

4) L’Express St. Zotique 555 St. Zotique
Perhaps you don’t feel you’re at your best whilst picking up toilet paper and other self-effacing but necessary toiletry needs, but Montrealers have turned it into an occasion to dine on gourmet sandwiches at L’Express St. Zotique -- you'll find everything from confit duck, to BBQ pork, to roast beef curry.

5) BONI SOIR 850 rue Rachel Est
Apparently a bastardization of "good night" in French, the name's pretty bang-on, considering this dep has its own specialist beer room bigger than most Montreal apartments, filled with one of the biggest collections in the city/province. It even includes a brand of golden ale brewed by hardcore separatists named Schoune L'Indépendante which will soon emancipate you from reason and rationality, too.

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1. DĂ©panneur Le Pick Up 7032 Rue Waverly, Montreal, QC H2S 3J2

The crowd at Depanneur Le Pick Up is diverse, from the old-school lunch counter to the back porch patio, people come from all over to indulge in artisan-style sandwiches for working class wages. What started out as a convenience store has now grown to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Try the pulled "porc," a faux veggie version that uses chinese vegetarian bean curd with spicy sweet chili sauce to create the shredded meat texture. It might have you considering the vegetarian thing (okay, let's not go that far).

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2. Sushi DĂ©panneur 1475 AV.Mont-Royal est, Montreal, QC H2J 1Z1

Exploit the fact that this corner store not only has all your personal care needs, but also a full-service sushi bar. So bring a date and enjoy some chic sushi rolls or sashimi while you grab some deodorant and toothpaste for later and uhh whatever else you may need..?

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3. Depanneur A.S. 5191 Boul Saint-Laurent , Montreal, H2T 1R9

DĂ©panneur A.S. may be the only place on earth where you can still rent videos, let alone peruse a wide selection of craft brews while you're at it.

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4. L' Express St. Zotique 555 Rue Saint Zotique Est, Montreal, QC H2S 1M2

A pear and brie baguette with mint jelly puree or salmon tartare with all the fixings, at the corner store? Sure, that's how they do it at L' Express St. Zotique. So you're out of paper towels, aka you want a duck confit pita; what's the difference really?

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5. BONI SOIR 850 rue Rachel Est, Montreal, H2J 2H9

The definition of convenience stores had to be founded with BONI SOIR. Pick up both your coffee and craft beers at the same time, and any other less important groceries you may need between drinking your morning and evening brews.