Fried in tradition: Montreal's best zeppole spots

Feb 23 2023, 3:30 pm

Biting into a zeppola (zeppole for plural) is an enlightening experience. While the pastry’s fried casing and cream stuffing make for an excellent combination, it is its impermanency and fleeting nature that make it taste that much sweeter.

You see, unlike most pastries, zeppole are not commonplace year-round. The Italian beignets are traditionally consumed during the Festa di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph’s Day) celebrated every March 19, which means that traditional Italian bakeries only make them for about two months a year.

The same is true in Italian establishments around the globe, and right here in Montreal, where people with ancestry from the boot make up a large portion of the population.

So, if you’re a zeppole virgin, eager to finally try the dessert or even a San Giuseppe pro looking to stray from your usual supplier, here are five of the best zeppole spots in Montreal.

Clarke Café


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With its nostalgic interior and out-of-this-world sandwiches, Clarke dishes out delicious zeppole, each one topped with a cherry, throughout the month of March.

If you’re lucky you might even catch some in the window in the offseason.

Address: 2483 Centre Street
Hours: 8 am to 5 pm

Café San Gennaro


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Although they specialize in bomboloni, San Gennaro has been known to do San Giuseppe justice in the zeppole department. You won’t be disappointed, especially after a slice of their delicious pizza.

Address: 69 Rue Saint-Zotique E
Hours: 8 am to 8 pm


Known best for their lobster tails and sfogliatelle, Alati Caserta also makes a mean zeppola. Located in the heart of Little Italy, people from all over the city have been flocking to this hotspot since 1968.

Address: 277 Rue Dante
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm

La Cornetteria

This modern Italian bakery specializes in cornetti and cannoli, but when March comes around they pull out all the stops, offering zeppole with ricotta, lemon-vanilla custard, hazelnut or pistachio cream fillings.

Address: 6528 St Laurent Boulevard
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 8:30 am to 6 pm

Patisserie San Marco

Easily the first name in zeppole in Montreal. Some diehard fans of this joint would say you haven’t truly eaten one until you’ve had one from San Marco.

Address: 1581 Rue Jean-Talon E
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 9 am to 1 pm

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