Montreal is one of my favorite places to visit and the delicious dishes you can get throughout the city is a big reason why. Of course, there’s the poutine. But in between those bites of french fries with gravy and cheese curds, you can also indulge in other Montreal cheap eats, like croissants, crepes, bagels and dipped ice cream cones. And we can’t forget the Montreal smoked meat, a French-Canadian variation of pastrami, which shows up all over the place in all sorts of mouth-watering ways.
Here are 17 quick bites in Montreal to capture your heart and your belly.
1. Schwartz’s Deli
Montreal’s answer to the pastrami sandwich at New York’s Katz’s Deli, the smoked meat sandwich served at Schwartz’s Deli is juicy, tender and melt-in-your-mouth good.
2. La Diperie
La Diperie (multiple locations throughout Montreal) has mastered the art of the dipped ice cream cone. I frequented the dessert shop many times to indulge in the sweet treats.
3. Saint Sushi Bar
All of the sushi bites I had at Saint Sushi Bar were tasty, but the cone-shaped mounds of lobster and tuna tartare on crackers that they call “Christmas trees” were on another level. Dear Santa, I would be delighted to find another batch of these under my Christmas tree this December.
4. Crepes at Au Festin du Babette
It’s reasonable to assume that Montreal excels at crepes, and Au Festin du Babette—a charming cafe on Saint-Denis—doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
5. Poutine at Frite Alors!
So much poutine, so little time. I grabbed plates of the famous Quebecois dish of french fries, cheese curds and gravy everywhere I could get my hands on them.
My favorite poutine hangout was Frite Alors! (multiple locations) and my favorite order was La Montrealaise, with smoked meat and pickles topping the original.
6. Ma Poule Mouillée
Head to Ma Poule Mouillée in Plateau Mont-Royal for Portuguese-style roasted chicken topped with a “special spicy sauce.” It’s wonderful. Ditto those fries.
7. Poutine at La Banquise
For those poutine cravings that hit you at all hours of the day or night, 24-hour Montreal hotspot La Banquise is the place to go. They offer 30 varieties of poutine. This particular version with corn as a topping doesn’t appear to be on the menu anymore (good call).
8. Croissants at Au Kouign-Amann
For my money, the best croissants this side of Paris—and perhaps including Paris—are at Au Kouign-Amann. They are fluffy, flaky perfection. Also make room for the pastry that gave this patisserie its name; the kouign-amann is a Breton cake with layers of rich buttery goodness.
9. Kem CoBa
Make your way up to Mile End for beautiful and lick-worthy soft serve at popular dessert spot Kem CoBa.