Montreal is an amazing city and there’s always a million things to do, no matter what time of year or time of day. From the dead of winter to the heat of summer there’s always a festival to go to or a new restaurant to try or some show to see. Montreal is also one of the most diverse cities in the world. People from all over the globe have called this city home and so they have brought their native cuisine with them, resulting in a multitude of different restaurants, located all over the city.
Visitors like to call Montreal a “slice of Europe in North America”, mostly because of its French influence, as seen throughout the city, from its architecture to its fashion and food. I, myself, am a native of Montreal, having been born here and I currently still live here, so when it comes to recommending places to eat, I know a few good ones.
Montreal has such a diverse food culture and it was hard narrowing down the list. So, here are some of my personal favorites.
1. Schwartz's Deli
Montreal may be a melting pot but there are also quintessential dishes from here, that just aren’t as good anywhere else. One of these foods is Montreal Smoked Meat. Schwartz’s Deli was opened in 1928, by a Jewish immigrant from Romania and they are known for serving the best Smoked Meat Sandwiches in Montreal. This place is so famous that people will line up, out the door, just to get a sandwich.
The restaurant also has its own book, chronicling the history of the establishment, as well as two documentaries about it and it was the inspiration for a theater production called “Schwartz’s: The Musical”
Address: 3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 1X9, Canada
Operating Hours: 8am - 12.30am (Sunday - Thursday), 8am - 1.30am (Friday) and 8am - 2.30am (Saturday). Hot meat only available after 10.30am.
Website: Schwartz’s Deli
2. St Viateur Bagel
Continuing down the list of essential Montreal food institutions, next is St Viateur Bagel. Offering some of the best bagels in the world (yes better than NY bagels), St Viateur is another restaurant founded by an immigrant that continues to thrive to this day. Open since 1957, St Viateur Bagel is the place to go whether you want a quick snack, to pick up some bagels for the family or if you need something to soak up the alcohol, after a night out. They are open 24 hours a day, so stop by literally any time.
St Viateur Bagel
Address: 263 Saint-Viateur Rue O, H2V 1Y1 Montreal, Quebec
Operating Hours: 24 hours, daily.
Website: St Viateur Bagel
3. Maison Boulud
Notre Chef vous apporte une recette surprenante à Maison Boulud autour du Saint-Pierre. Simplement doré au sautoir , il...Posted by Maison Boulud Montreal on Sunday, 29 January 2017
Now for something a litter fancier, we have Maison Boulud. Started by chef Daniel Boulud, this restaurant is located in the Ritz-Carlton and serves some of the best, high-end dining in Montreal. Inspired by traditional French cuisine, you can enjoy lunch or dinner here, overlooking the gardens.
This is truly an elegant dining experience, with dishes that span from the traditional to even the casual. The dishes and menu are driven by the local seasons, always allowing for the freshest ingredients, year round.
Address: 1228 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, Québec, H3G 1H6, Canada
Operating Hours: 7am to 10.30pm
Website: Maison Boulud
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4. Joe Beef
Quickly becoming a Montreal institution, the critically acclaimed Joe Beef was named after an Irish tavern owner from the 19th century. Joe Beef is the brainchild of chefs Frederic Morin and Dave MacMillan. It started out as a small, 32 seat restaurant, but quickly expanded to 75, due to its increasing popularity.
The restaurant has been featured multiple times on TV, including on Anthony Bourdain’s shows and New York chef David Chang considers it to be his favorite. The restaurant serves seafood and steak, as well as Quebecois specialties. There’s also Liverpool House down the street, which is owned by the same people and serves similar dishes. It was also visited by former President Obama, during his visit to the city.
Address: 2491-2501 Notre-Dame West, H3J 1N6 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Operating Hours: 6pm to 10.30pm.
Website: Joe Beef
Tucked away in a little corner, down some stairs and through a door, you’ll be greeted with the aromatic scent of herbs and garlic being roasted on a spit. It is none other than the delicious smell of shawarma. Established in 1986, Boustan serves Lebanese and Middle Eastern style food.
The restaurant is open till very late and located in a busy part of downtown, making it an excellent location to grab a fast and satisfying snack, after a night at the bar or club. Just be aware that in Montreal bars close at 3:30 am and Boustan will be packed with people. Boustan is so popular in Montreal, it has been visited by local sports teams, actors and the Trudeau family.
Location 1: 2020 A Crescent, Montreal, QC, H3G 2B8
Location 2: 19 Ste-Catherine E, Montreal, QC, H2X 1K3
Operating Hours: 11am to 4am
6. Olive & Gourmando
Montreal is a pretty hipster place. And what do hipsters like? Brunch! Olive & Gourmando, located in old Montreal, is the go-to spot for a quick croissant, panini or coffee. A definite destination for foodies out there who like artisanal bread and sweets or vegans looking for a great salad or sandwich.
Olive & Gourmando
Address: 351, Rue Saint-Paul Ouest, H2Y 2A7 Montreal, Quebec
Operating Hours: 9am to 5pm
Website: Olive & Gourmando
7. La Banquise
You didn’t think I was going to write about Montreal and not mention poutine, did you? For the uninitiated out there “poutine” (pronounced: poo-teen) is a Quebec delicacy, made of french fries, brown gravy, and topped with cheese curds. It’s amazing and filled with carbs so eat at your own discretion. Of course, there are a billion places to get poutine around Montreal but La Banquise is the poutine mecca.
Open until late at night, there’s always a lineup right out the door, so don’t go during peak hours. La Banquise serves some of the best poutine creations around the city and it makes the perfect drunk snack!
Address: 994 Rue Rachel Est, H2J 2J3 Montreal, Quebec
Operating Hours: 24 hours, daily.
Website: La Banquise
8. Au Pied de Cochon
From chef Martin Picard comes Au Pied de Cochon, which translates to “From the foot of the Pig”. If you’re looking for traditional Quebecois food, this is the place to go. Tons of pork, tons of maple flavor and their specialty, foie gras. Prepare to leave feeling a couple of pounds heavier.
Au Pied de Cochon
Address: 536 Avenue Duluth E, Montréal, QC H2L 1A9
Operating Hours: 5pm to 12am
Website: Au Pied de Cochon
Le steak Gibbys... Un vrai goût de foudre ❤️👌 - - - - - - - - - - - Gibbys Steak... Love At First Bite ❤️👌Posted by Gibbys Restaurant on Thursday, 10 August 2017
Gibby’s, in Old Montreal, is one of the best steakhouses in North America. Located in a renovated 18th-century stable, this is an upscale dining experience, so dress accordingly and expect higher prices. But you definitely get what you pay for. Gibby’s features some of the most amazing beef dishes, as well as seafood options. And don’t forget to check out the extensive wine list to pair with your food.
Address: 298 Place D`Youville, H2Y 2B6 Montreal, Quebec
Operating Hours: 5.30pm to 11pm, daily.
10. Café Chat L'Heureux
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
The name of this place translates to the Happy Cat Cafe, and that’s exactly what it is - a vegetarian-friendly place serving some nice meals and coffee, all in the company of cats. That’s right, you sit down and enjoy your coffee or food and relax, as cats stroll about getting pet by the patrons or just lounging around. Cat cafes are widely known around some parts of Asia but the Cafe Chat L'eurheux is actually the first cat cafe in North America. Grab a coffee and make a new furry friend.
Café Chat L'Heureux
Address: 172 Avenue Duluth Est, H2W 1H3 Montreal, Quebec
Operating Hours: 11am - 8pm (Tuesday - Thursday), 10am - 10pm (Friday & Saturday) and 10am - 8pm (Sunday). Closed on Mondays.
Website: Café Chat L'Heureux
Amazing food in an amazing city
Montreal has so many diverse food options, catering to any craving or appetite. Whether you’re looking for something cheap on the go or to sit down and eat something delicious and decadent, Montreal has you covered.
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