5 Must-Try Foods in Montreal

With over 6,000 restaurants and the highest concentration of eateries on the continent, it shouldn’t surprise you that Montreal is known as a foodie city. As a cosmopolitan city, you can find all types of cuisine in Montreal, its cultural roots are French. The main dining districts are in Old Montreal, The Plateau Mont-Royal, and Downtown, each with its own personality, so no matter where you stay, you are likely to find fabulous restaurants nearby.

In addition to all these restaurants, Montreal is home to a large number of food trucks — many serving up gourmet fare. We were fortunate to visit over Labor Day/Labour Day Weekend in early September, during the YUL EAT festival — featuring food trucks and live music in the Old Port. It was a perfect way to sample some of Montreal’s variety, as well as some of its “must-try foods.”

5 Montreal Must Try Foods -- be sure to sample from a few of their 350 food trucks!

Food trucks at the YUL EAT festival in Montreal

5 Montreal Must Try Foods

If you are planning a visit, here is a round-up of Montreal’s must-try foods.

Smoked Meat — Everyone says that you “must” go to Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen for smoked meat. Well, we have been to Montreal twice now and still haven’t waited in line at Schwartz’s but no worries, you can find smoked meat all over. We sampled some at the Atwater Food Market. Just visiting a market should be on your must-do in Montreal list for foodies and Atwater has a “food court” area in the back where you can get everything from smoked meats to sautéed mushrooms.

5 Montreal Must Try Foods -- be sure to visit on their food markets!

Fruit from Atwater Market in Montreal

Montreal Steak — If you are a fan of Montreal Steak seasonings, then Montreal steak should be on your list. One of the most famous steakhouses is Gibbys. Located in a 200 year-old building in Old Montreal, Gibbys combines Old City charm with classic steakhouse cuisine. The steak here was pricey, but tasty, plus their salad dressing is worth buying a bottle to take home.

Montreal Bagels — Montreal bagels are smaller and denser than New York bagels, and cooked in a wood-fire oven. We are definitely NY bagel snobs, but I’ll admit that Montreal bagels are definitely good. I’m not sure where the ones we tried were from, but the two popular bagel places are St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel.

5 Montreal Must Try Foods -- poutine from Das Truck is an absolute must!

Das Truck has the best poutine in all of Quebec (and maybe the world!)

Poutine — French fries are my favorite food and growing up in New Jersey, we always got diner fries with cheese and gravy. Poutine takes my teenage favorite to a whole new level. Poutine is french fries with cheese curds and gravy, but can also be topped with just about anything from foie gras to duck confit. When we were in Montreal, it was our mission to hunt down the Das Truck food truck, as they won an award for the best poutine in all of Quebec. We found it at the YUL EAT festival and sampled their bratwurst poutine. Oh…my…God! I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be happy. The fries were perfect and somehow still crispy underneath the richest, tastiest gravy I’ve ever had, topped with cheese curds and sliced bratwurst — which was enough to be a meal in and of itself. The three of us couldn’t even finish our order.

5 Must Try Foods in Montreal -- including pastries from Maison Christian Faure

Passionfruit tart from Maison Christian Faure

Pastry — As expected in a city with such a French influence, you can find some excellent pastries and chocolate. Our contact at Tourism Montreal recommended Maison Christian Faure for the best croissants in the city. The verdict is still out on the croissants, but their pastries are outstanding. We sampled some one day and went back the next to get more to bring to a friend’s house.

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5 Montreal Must Try Foods -- and where to get them!

Do you have a favorite Montreal must try food?

Note: Our visit was hosted by Tourisme Montreal, but we paid for our own meals. All opinions are my own.

6 Comments on “5 Must-Try Foods in Montreal

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  1. There is no 350 food trucks in Mtl. It is more like 50…

      Interesting, I’ll double check where I got that fact from and update, thank you.

        I found this on the Tourisme Montreal site…”In addition, the street food scene, with some 350 food trucks and takeout meal stands, offers a diverse range of fresh, affordable, and high-quality products.” … but maybe it is out of date.

    I think I was totally spoiled from living in Montreal for the summer! Our apartment was a 5 minute walk from St Viateur in NDG. I’ll never be able to eat a bagel anywhere else in the world. 😉

    I did manage to get a sandwich from Schwartz’s. It was pretty darn good! There was no line when I went though. It was 10pm at night. Definitely the time to visit if you don’t want to queue!

      Great to know! Did you find any good poutine?

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