Much of Montreal’s food scene is related to French cuisine, but the international city has expanded to include influences from other cultures as well, from as far away as the islands of Haiti to the Middle East. Montreal’s unique foods are so prevalent that they have even begun to spread throughout Canada and into the United States. Here’s a look at the three standbys of Montreal’s most famous Canadian delicacies.
Poutine is a French dish and also a popular French street food. Originating in Quebec, poutine can now be found in trucks and stands all over Montreal. Places like New York and the Eastern United States have adopted gourmet versions of the rich snack, but for newbies, the original is still the best. A proper plate of poutine is thickly sliced fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. The affordability and widespread availability means that even in a cosmopolitan city, good eats are always nearby. Grab some from a stand and enjoy them as you head back to your room. Or find a more refined version from your hotel’s room service, especially if you’re staying at the Hotel Bonaventure.
Bagels in Montreal are a surreal experience. While New York bagels get all the press, it does seem to be the water in Montreal that makes all the difference. Or maybe it’s the ovens. Montreal bagels are baked in wood ovens, which results in smaller and denser bagels than the New York variety. St-Viateur and Fairmont are the best bagel shops in Montreal, and both have several locations around the city. Some are even 24 hours, like the one near the La Centre Sheraton Montreal, so you can head out for a bagel whenever you want.
Smoked meat is often compared to New York’s pastrami, but different spices and processing give it a completely unique flavor. The standby for smoked meat in Montreal is Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen, which has been slicing smoked meat for Montreal in the same location on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, right next to the Hyatt Regency Montreal, for over 80 years.
The delicacies of Montreal have grown and expanded over the years, but some things never change. Find a hotel in Montreal and spend your time exploring all that the city has to eat!