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Food

57 things to eat and drink in Montreal before you die

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Lindsay William-Ross May 31, 2016 11:20 pm

Bagels, poutine, foie gras, tourtiere, deli sandwiches…sure, there are some tried and true food stereotypes about Montreal. But this serious food-lovers city has a vibrant global eating culture that can take diners on a culinary journey from Little Italy to what’s Big in Japan.

Need to know what you absolutely must eat in Montreal? Consider this your bucket list. Here are 57 things to eat and drink in Montreal before you die.

1. Sweet-Salty-Crispy Eggs Benny at L’Avenue

is famous for a dish called the “Sweet-Salty- Crispy Eggs Benny” that is made with Panko-crusted french toast, poached eggs, ham, and hollandaise sauce.

2. Garlic Potatoes at Boustan

Those potatoes though!

3. Cromesquis de foie gras at Au Pied de Cochon


If you’re going to have foie gras in Montreal, you’d best be doing so at Au Pied de Cochon. How about trying it in deep fried liquid form? Oui.

4. Tourtiere at La Binerie Mont-Royal

A Quebecois staple at a Montreal staple.

5. Benny Mac at Fabergé

The Benny Mac is a mac and cheese fritter topped with pulled pork and jalapeno jelly. Do yourself a favour and save room for the S’mores Waffle.

6. Portuguese Chicken at Romados

They don’t call it the best chicken in the city for nothing.

7. Bao Buns at Satay Brothers

Spice up your life

A photo posted by Satay Brothers (@sataybrothers) on

Try any of their bao buns.

8. Mish Mash and a milkshake at Beautys

All their milkshakes are to die for and so is their legendary mish-mash. This diner has been open for decades, and it’s a real slice of Montreal history.

9. Donuts at Léché Desserts

Any donut here is to die for. Raspberry Cheesecake, Coconut Lime, Chocolate Brownie…

10. Dragon Bowl at Aux Vivres

Montreal’s first vegan restaurant is still beloved by meat-free eaters (and those who don’t mind skipping the meat). Try a Dragon Bowl to see what’s kept them an enduring classic.

11. Avocado Toast at Buck 15 Espresso

This is avocado toast heaven in Montreal.

12. Fried Chicken at Dinette Triple Crown

Their fried chicken served in a picnic basket is an essential eat.

13. Chocolate Pizzas at Cacao 70

So many chocolate options at Cacao 70, but can you really say no to chocolate pizzas? Exactly.

14. Oysters at Lucille’s Oyster Dive

Take a guess what wins on the menu here…oysters!

15. Lobster Pasta at Joe Beef

As if we could leave off Joe Beef! The Lobster pasta will put you in a foodie coma. Well, pretty much everything here will, but that’s a good start.

16. Margherita Pizza at Pizzeria Magpie

The Margherita pizza is New York-worthy.

17. Pimped out Grilled Cheese  at L’Gros Luxe

Sure you could have a plain grilled cheese. Or you could go to L’Gros Luxe and have a grilled cheese with all sorts of crazy additions–look for the option to Pimp your Grilled Cheese on their menu. If you really feel the need to be extreme, order their L’Gros Luxe Caesar. It’s a meal on its own!

18. Ice cream cones at La Diperie

This seasonal cash-only ice cream spot draws crazy lines, but for a great reason. We suggest a Chocolate and pretzel dipped swirl ice cream cone.

19. Pancakes at Le Bremner

Everything here is to die for but the dessert pancakes are a serious hit.

20. Lobster Poutine at Garde Manger

You know this dish because it’s what led Chuck Hughes to bring down Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. It’s a must-try, even in a city of so many poutines.

21. Fish & Chips from Brit & Chips

The obvious choice will not lead you astray here.

22. Balsamico Brownie from Juliette & Chocolate

The balsamico brownie here will melt in your mouth.

23. Rib steak at Moishes

Head to Moishes for the rib steak with a side of the delectable Monte Carlo Potato.

24. Sandwiches from Dagwoods

Not trendy in the least, Dagwoods is well-known by locals as a reliable sandwich shop with locations all around the city.

25. Lemon Meringue Pie from Rustique

Best lemon meringue pie, period.

26. Whiskey cocktails at Big in Japan Bar

This high-end speakeasy-style cocktail bar melds the complementary worlds of Japan and whiskey. Order a Perfect Manhattan, sip, and enjoy.

27. Espresso beverages at Cafe Myriade

Cafe Myriade works primarily with Vancouver’s celebrated 49th Parallel roasters, but also sources beans from guest roasters from Montreal and beyond. Visit their cafe for an expertly pulled espresso drink.

28. Motherf *** er Burger at Mile Ex

Come on, it’s fun enough to say the name. But in all seriousness, the Mile Ex burger is legendary. It’s served as a single, double, or triple (damn!) with bacon, cheddar, and spicy mayo.

29. Bacon Pancakes at Maison Publique

Some may consider weekend brunch at Chef Derek Dammann’s Maison Publique one of the best in the city. You’ll find decadent fare like their bacon-topped pancake stack here, served in a charming setting.

30. Coffee and vegetarian food at Le Doggy Cafe


Let’s face it: You’re not here for the food. You’re here because you can bring your dog. Dogs! This is a vegetarian cafe where you can hang out with pups inside. It’s the first of its kind in Montreal, and a must-try if you’ve got a four-legged canine companion.

31. Steak Tartar at L’Express

Because it’s the best steak tartar in the city.

32. Porchetta at Impasto

Porchetta goodness #tenniscanada #stadeuniprix #grateful #honoured #pizzeriagema #cheztousignant #impastomtl @sfaita

A photo posted by Chef Michele Forgione (@micheleforgione) on

Little Italy’s Impasto roasts their own porchetta in-house, with tantalizing results. Crispy-tender,it’s sliced up and served with poached pear and rapini.

33. Chicken Shawarma Platter at Sumac

If you want a trendy spot and a great chicken schwarma platter this is your spot.

34. Hot dogs and Orange Juleps at Orange Julep

A giant orange structure off the Decarie highway in Montreal brings surprisingly delicious toasted hot dogs and the iconic orange juice mixture everyone loves.

35. Pork Belly at Tuck Shop

The pork belly will melt in your mouth and make you dream about this St-Henri staple for days to come.

36. Foie Gras Terrine at Toqué

The Foie Gras terrine is pure luxury here. It’s no wonder that Toqué has been on top 10 restaurant lists time and time again.

37. Tasting menu at Le St-Urbain

A six-course tasting menu at Le St-Urbain is a great way to get to know this 50-seat market driven neighbourhood-style restaurant.

38. Wilensky’s Special at Wilensky

Wilensky’s special made with all-beef bologna, salami, and swiss cheese is the best $5 you’ll ever spend.

39. House Special Burger at Dic Ann’s

One of the most original burgers you’ll ever have. Get the house special, which consists of a patty filled with their secret sauce served between ultra-thin buns.

40. Sushi at Juni

Their maki and sashimi is as fresh as it gets. It’s no wonder this sushi heaven is jamming every night.

41. Eggs in a Hole at Chez Nick

One of the oldest restaurant in Montreal, this spot has been serving happy customers since 1920. Try their all day breakfast and order the eggs in a hole.

42. Smoked Meat Sandwich at Schwartz’s Deli

Want another one of these! Wonder if they FedEx? #montrealsmokedmeat

A photo posted by Jay Westman (@slickshoes) on

Hey, it may not be the best, but it’s part of Montreal’s history. You kind of have to make a stop at Schwartz’s for their epic smoked meat sandwiches, pickles, and fries.

43. Mason Jar Cocktails at La Distillerie

Open your Instagram app and get ready to snap the pretty, pretty, pretty drinks coming from the bar at La Distillerie.

44. Pork Schnitzel at L’Original

This cozy restaurant is cherished for its focus on game meats, and a chalet-style vibe. Try their Pork schnitzel, which is served with spätzle, mushrooms, fried egg and mustard sauce.

45. Ice cream and sorbet at Havre Aux Glaces

The best ice cream in Montreal? Try Havre Aux Glaces for their artisanal ice creams and sorbets, using fresh ingredients.

46. Chocolate Babka at Cheskie’s

This Hasidic bakery is well-known, and their speciality is the chocolate babka.

47. Lamb Shoulder at Liverpool House

Part of the Joe Beef family, Liverpool House wins diners over with its rustic charm. This is rich, intense food, so be ready with your stretchy pants.

48. Chicken shish Taouk at Damas

Sample Syrian cuisine at Damas, where you’ll want to try their signature Shish Taouk.

49. Housemade Ricotta “Salty” at  Olive & Gourmando

With a trim menu of sandwiches and salads, it’s hard to choose, but when they’re making their own ricotta, you have to go for it.

50. Beef Noodle Soup at Nouilles de Lan Zhou

Take your tastebuds on a journey to China with these hand-pulled noodles. The beef noodle soup is a favourite.

51. Bagels from St. Viateur


Ready for a bagel throwdown? Try the bagels at St. Viateur; they’ve been in the biz since 1957.

52. Bagels from Fairmount

Now try its arch rival, Fairmount, for their award-winning bagels. You decide.

53. Poutine at La Banquise

This is classic Montreal. A staggering array of choices for poutine toppings will have you going nuts trying to choose just one. La Folie, La Elvis, La Miam, La Hot-Dog, La Reggae…take your time, it’s a big decision.

54. English-style breakfasts at Lawrence

Scones, sausage and egg rolls, traditional English breakfast, Kedgeree, and even more adventurous offal fare are on the menu for brunch at Lawrence.

55. La Chronique du Mois at La Chronique

Take advantage of this well-established French eatery’s focus on fresh ingredients and skilled technique and see what they have for their monthly tasting menu.

56. Wine at Le Vin Papillion

Hands-down, one of the city’s best spots for sipping wine.

57. Omakase tasting menu at Park


See what all the fuss about Chef Antonio Park is about via the omakase tasting menu at his eponymous Asian-fusion (albeit sushi-centric) restaurant.


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Lindsay William-Ross
Lindsay is a former Daily Hive Food Editor. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she has also lived in Toronto, NYC, and LA.

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