This Summer 2022, Mike and I visited the beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec, to take in the 40th anniversary of the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and—eat!
I had shared a travel guide on What to Do in Montreal back in 2018 following my first visit. Now I’m happy to offer this Where to Eat Guide to help you plan eats for your next Montreal trip!
I’ve broken out this food guide into different food categories, including referencing spots we ate at during our 2022 as well as our 2018 adventures in Montreal.
There are some restaurant repeats this 2022 trip because I feel like it’s hard to visit Montreal without visiting some institutions no matter how many times you’ve been!
Warning: I use the term ‘institution’ to describe a fair bit of spots featured in this list lol. Montreal is home to a lot of landmark, iconic, long-standing restaurants that are truly institutions, it doesn’t lessen the impact just because there are a lot of them LOL.
Please note, as with all of my posts, this is “Where to Eat in Montreal” based on *my* experiences and recommendations! Of course the list will vary depending on who you talk to.
At the bottom of the blog I’ve also included crowdsourced suggestions from my followers on social media—in case you’re looking for even more ideas on what to eat in the city.
I also hope to add more to each category with repeat visits because we can’t wait to return!
Travel Guide: Where to Eat in Montreal
Last updated: Aug 21, 2022
Listed in alphabetical order based on food category
- Fast Food
- Lebanese / Mediterranean
- Smoked Meat
2 Rue De La Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H2Z 1B9
When travelling anywhere, I always try to find food and drink locations I can’t get at home, and while there were many similar bubble tea brands in Montreal that is also in Edmonton, I chose to try Coco Patisserie in Chinatown (not to be confused with the Coco Bubble Tea chain) for my Montreal bubble tea fix.
Coco Patisserie is a Hong Kong-style bakery in Montreal’s awesome Chinatown where you can find savoury and sweet buns, cakes, and of course, bubble milk or fruit teas! (I lean towards passionfruit teas with tapioca pearls and jelly slices).
Coco was packed when we popped in but the wait wasn’t too bad. Mike waited outside and got to catch some buskers performing along Rue De La Gauchetiere, a strip in Chinatown I lovingly refer to as Bubble Tea Alley because there were so many bubble tea shops along it!
1624 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, Quebec H3H 2S7
I can’t remember much about our visit to Kinka Izakaya because it was from our first visit back in 2018—except that it was one of our first meals had in Montreal, featuring delicious Japanese dishes on a cute patio. Kinka is located on Saint-Catherine St., a very long shopping strip in downtown Montreal. It stretches 11 kilometres across the city and is one of North America’s longest and liveliest streets that is a popular spot for nightlife in the city too so the strip itself is definitely one to visit—with a stop into Kinka if you wish!
Mai Xiang Yuan Dumplings
1082 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1J5
Along the main Chinatown strip in Montreal, we found ourselves trying a variety of dumplings at Mai Xiang Yuan Dumplings—soup dumplings, fried dumplings, and steamed dumplings.
The fried and steamed dumplings were our favourite. We also can’t resist a spicy cucumber dish.
This restaurant is named after the Cantonese word for ‘the best flavours of wheat.’ Owner Li Hui immigrated to Montreal from North East China, with a goal to introduce the delicious dumplings she grew up on to her new Montreal community. They have over 35 flavours of dumplings!
I also love that the translation for dumpling here is Ravioli lol.
Mai Xiang Yuan is cash only (they do have an ATM at the door before you go in).
My Canh Vietnamese
1086 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1J5
On our travels, we always have to find a Vietnamese restaurant to eat it—and luckily there’s plenty of popular ones in Montreal. We ended up choosing My Canh Vietnamese Restaurant (actually located next to Mai Xiang Yuan Dumplings!) and loved it.
My Canh’s interior looks exactly like a Vietnamese restaurant looks like (I do have experience in this—I grew up in a Vietnamese restaurant lol). It’s a simple spot serving delicious Vietnamese dishes like one of my favourites—bun bo hue, a spicy, lemongrass beef broth soup.
Otto Yakitori Izakaya
1441 St Mathieu St, Montreal, Quebec H3H 2M4
After one of our late Just for Laughs Comedy Festival shows, I was itching for a late night experience which led us to Otto Yakitori Izakaya, a fun Japanese bar with a cool vibe, open late (1 a.m. most days, 1:30 a.m. on weekends).
I loved the pork belly skewers (yakitori means skewers so they have a wide selection of them), and also ordered a hearty soup here. They have a fun drink list as well. Unfortunately when we went the place was packed and there were only two servers working so it did take quite awhile to be seated and served but I’m hoping that is resolved if you plan to visit lol.
Much like smoked meat, when in Montreal, everyone’s likely going to tell you to grab some Montreal bagels and everyone’s going to have their opinion on which bagel spot is *the* spot.
The two most famous bagel spots in Montreal—Fairmount Bagel and St. Viateur Bagel—have long histories in the city, and are located not too far from one another, so it is worth visiting both to see which comes out on top for you!
74 Av. Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2
Fairmount Bagel is a family-owned bagel bakery that first began in 1919!! It was Montreal’s first bagel bakery. This is a century-year-old bagel business and today the family still rolls each bagel by hand and bakes them in their wood-fired oven.
Fairmount Bagel is a pretty small space and yes this is one of those Montreal institutions where you can expect to line-up.
Find sesame seed, poppy seed, plain, caraway seed, onion, garlic, all-dressed, mueslix, flax seeds, power bagel, whole wheat, multi-grain, blueberry, chocolate, cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, and sweet bagels, plus pretzels, Matzoh Breads, and bagel chips here—plus various cream cheeses and smoked salmon options to go.
Fairmount is well-located next to a famous gnocchi stand, a popular ice cream shop, and other shops along Fairmount near Saint-Laurent Boulevard makes some delicious bagels, and is well worth a visit, however personally Mike and I prefer St. Viateur Bagels, which I share why, and write more about below!
St. Viateur Bagel
263 Rue Saint- Viateur O, Montréal, QC H2V 1Y1
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St. Viateur Bagel has been making bagels in Montreal since 1957. Their flagship location is on Saint-Viateur O, but they also have a few other locations around Montreal.
This is another family-owned bagel operation where staff hand roll, shape, boil, strain, dress, bake, toss, and pack delicious bagels.
Quality-wise, honestly, Mike and I think Fairmount and St. Viateur bagels are pretty identical (but we are not bagel aficionados lol), but the reason we like St. Viateur just a touch more than Fairmount is because the space is bigger and the way it’s set up you can see a lot of the bagel-making in action. That’s really the main reason lol. Otherwise the bagel flavours are very similar, it’s also a busy take-out spot, and you can pick up cream cheeses and smoked salmon along with your bagels.
You can also get St. Viateur Bagels in cities outside of Montreal (it’s a more expanded operation—for instance in Edmonton, Coffee Bureau and Cafe Bicyclette get shipments of St. Viateur Bagels each week), so from that perspective it isn’t something you can only exclusively get in Montreal—which may make Fairmount more appealing, but again, we really like the set-up of the flagship bakery lol.
Basically, I suggest you visit both Fairmount and St. Viateur, and then add your own firsthand opinion to the long-standing bagel debate. Our preference is really just based on the space experience lol—it’s fun to see the bagels being made at St. Viateur!
Le Mount Stephen, 1440 Drummond St, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1V9
Bar George is set in a massive heritage mansion once belonging to Sir George Stephen, a famous Canadian businessman. The space is now a hotel with a 140-year-old history. The restaurant serves contemporary takes on U.K. dishes and it’s very fancy inside—with a nice patio outside.
Bar George gave us Fairmont Hotel vibes, is a little pricier, and offers a wide drink menu.
Le Mal Nécessaire
1106B St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1J5
Another really cool space in Montreal is Bar Le Mal Nécessaire, a tiki-themed spot in Chinatown that specializes in fancy cocktails. The vibe is 10/10 here. Bar Le Mal Nécessaire also has a small Asian snack bar menu but you’re really coming here for the fun drinks!
Pub Le Sainte-Élisabeth
1412 Rue Sainte-Elisabeth, Montréal, QC H2X 1L4
The patio of Pub Le Sainte-Élisabeth is realllllly incredible. Don’t be fooled by the dimly lit, dive bar-like interior of the actual pub, if you keep walking through, you’ll find a beautiful, enclosed outside patio with the tallest vine walls we’ve ever seen.
The pub doesn’t have much for food selection (at least when we went)—this is certainly more of a place to have drinks, talk to friends, and enjoy the really cool patio space.
Le Petit Dep
179 Saint-Paul St W, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1Z5
One of Montreal’s cutest little cafe and general store is Le Petit Dep.
A depanneur is the term for a convenience store (that’s what the dep stands for in Le Petit Dep).
Le Petit Dep is located in Old Montreal, in a space that’s been standing since 1822. The shop features products from 50 vendors so in addition to coffee and light breakfasts, plus ice cream, you can also pick up a lot of cute gifts here too.
60 Av. Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2
I got a few recommendations to try ice cream shop Kem CoBa while in Montreal.
This is a Vietnamese-owned ice cream shop! Kem CoBa means “third auntie’s ice cream”.
You’ll find fresh soft serve and scoop ice cream and sorbet. They also do some Asian pastries.
When we went the special was blueberry honey and it was delicious! Though I was so sad at how quickly it melted on the hot August day.
Kem CoBa is cash only and you can expect to line-up here (though it moves quickly!)
It’s located on a great strip next to famous gnocchi and bagels!
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La Diperie is a popular ice cream shop with multiple locations across the city. You’ll find over 30 different delicious chocolate “DIPs” and over 20 toppings and combinations. Dipped ice cream basically creates a delicious hard chocolate shell around your soft serve. It’s so fun to watch them dip the ice cream!
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Zetti’s is an ice cream, dessert, crepe and waffle shop in Montreal that satisfied our late night crepe cravings. They’re all about “extravagant,” creative, delicious treats. Find bubble waffles, sundaes, crepes, milkshakes, funnel cakes and more at Zetti’s!
Gibeau Orange Julep
7700 Decarie Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H4P 2H4
Gibeau Orange Julep is a super cute, very Instagrammable, gigantic orange-shaped fast food joint—a throwback to the 50s & 60s drive-thru era.
Serving up orange creamsicle-like juice, hot dogs, burgers, and even spaghetti (it was good!!), you can’t leave Gibeau Orange Julep without posing for a photo with the iconic orange in the back.
Every summer, classic cars park in the lot for people to visit and photograph as well. And at night, it gets lit up so it just looks even cooler. This spot is super cool and very vintage.
Au Pied Du Cochon
536 Duluth Ave E, Montreal, Quebec H2L 1A9
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During our visits to the Montreal, only a handful of our meals were at fancier (e.g. pricier) spots, and we are happy to report that the fancier / pricier places we did visit certainly delivered on both quality of food and excellent service, like Au Pied Du Cochon, named one of Canada’s best restaurants, led by Chef Martin Picard, located in Plateau Mont-Royal, that’s been around for more than 20 years.
Au Pied du Cochon is one of those restaurants that are booked up at normal dinner times for months in advance—so many visitors plan their Montreal trip / meal around availability even! But if you’re cool with late dinners or luck out like we did, we got a 5 p.m. reservation without even trying (there must have been a last minute cancellation lol).
Au Pied du Cochon translates to ‘pigs feet/leg’—so pork dishes are an excellent pick here (in fact the special when we went was a pigs head). This restaurant designs its French-inspired dishes so they are ‘hearty and comforting’ and when they opened, was one of the first open concept kitchens in the city where you could see your food in action.
Au Pied du Cochon is also well known for its selection of the very French foie gras (duck liver), and a dish called “Duck in a Can” which is quite literally a cooked duck breast that is stuffed into a can and then poured back out onto your dish at your table (so it’s dinner and a show!), with foie gras, cabbage, bacon, celeriac puree, and brown butter. Foie though, I find, is very much an acquired taste and not for everyone, so while this dish is famous, the texture may not be for you.
We highly recommend the pork chop and potato puree (mashed potatoes mixed with cheese curds), and although the inside is quite nice, we enjoyed sitting out on Au Pied du Cochon’s beautiful patio, surrounded by plants!
1431 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2S8
On our 2022 visit to Montreal, we were primarily there to catch Just for Laughs Comedy Festival shows, so some of our meals were planned around proximity to Just for Laughs show venues.
This is how we ended up at Restaurant Cadet, located near the downtown end of Saint-Laurent Boulevard. This is another ‘fancy’ (pricier) restaurant, dimly lit, romantic, bustling. Mike always wants to order any bread on a menu so we broke focaccia bread accompanied by a spicy oil. We also shared a delicious main dish of fried sea bass.
I thought the Cadet menu was interesting because many of the dishes had Asian flavours (gochujang, soy, miso, sesame), but also felt very French.
Cadet is a sister restaurant to the also popular, French restaurant Boullion Bilk.
68 Av. Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2
I mentioned a famous gnocchi stand earlier in the blog post—this is it!
We only stumbled across Drogheria Fine on our first visit to Montreal by accident—on our way to Fairmount Bagels, you’ll first notice a line-up at this gnocchi window.
It really is a great strip, so you can plan to have gnocchi AND bagels (and ice cream the next building over—which I also talk about in this post lol).
Drogheria Fine mostly specializes in Calabrian-style tomato sauce, which you can order online, but in Montreal, they put heaping portions of that sauce over their housemade gnocchi.
This is Nonna’s gnocchi, pillowy, perfect, comes in a Chinese take-out container. It’s been $5 forever. This is the only dish it serves through its take-out window. Try it!
470 Rue De La Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H2Z 1E3
Just outside the AirBnB Mike and I stayed at in downtown Montreal our second time visiting is an Italian eatery called Fiorellino. It’s called a snack bar but you can easily have a full meal of delicious pizzas, pastas, and Italian starters.
The inside is quite nice but we opted for the patio along the street, to get some street vibes and outside breeze.
The Contadina Pizza with Italian sausage was fantastic. I wanted to order more but this was an in-between meals meal so we didn’t want to fill up too much lol.
Lebanese / Mediterranean
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What I learned on our recent visit Montreal is that the city is home to the largest Lebanese population in Canada! So Lebanese restaurants are quite plentiful in the French city.
Boustan is one of the more well-known names in the Lebanese restaurant community in Montreal—a fast casual chain serving Mediterranean classics that first began in 1986 and has since expanded to nearly 50 locations in the city.
Some locals say since Boustan became a large chain the quality isn’t quite the same, but we did enjoy our beef shawarma pita wrap and chicken shawarma rice with garlic potatoes when we stopped by.
I was told that any Lebanese restaurant—chain, fast casual, or sit-down, in Montreal would be a worthwhile dining experience and I think it’s extra cool knowing there is such a big Lebanese population in the city.
994 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2J 2J3
It’s hard not to find poutine on a menu in Montreal. During this trip and in our past one, we probably ate poutine once (sometimes twice) a day, lol. Very full poutine bellies.
Our absolute favourite poutine we tried was from the popular La Banquise, a 24-hour restaurant serving over 30 kinds of poutine since 1968! You can go for a classic poutine if you want but I think if you’re eating at La Banquise you need to try one of their interesting topping ones.
We’ve now tried The Shootout (smoked meat, bacon, spicy sausage and pepperoni) and The Fred Caillou (minced steak, smoked meat, spicy sausage and merguez sausage, and one they took off the menu since our last visit a breakfast poutine.
La Banquise gets crazy line-ups during peak hours (lunch, dinner, and late night midnight!) but our first visit around 10 a.m. on a Friday it was pretty empty, and this time around we went on a Sunday around 12 p.m. and surprisingly didn’t have to wait.
The line-up for take-out was quite long when we were heading out (make sure you go inside to check about seats even if you see a line-up!)
181 Rue Saint-Paul E, Montréal, QC H2Y 1G8
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During your visit to Montreal, be sure to visit Old Montreal—and while there, take the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal right to Montreal Poutine—a restaurant / bar that specializes in—well—poutine! It’s what they’re famous for.
Montreal Poutine offer different variations of the signature Quebec dish (including one topped with classic Montreal smoked meat). They also have with some Montreal smoked meat sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers, but the poutine is really the star here.
What I find I love a lot about Montreal eateries is the vibe is as much perfection as their food—so having poutine, slushies, and drinks in a beautiful, enclosed outdoor courtyard in Old Montreal just felt like a really perfect setting and meal.
You can’t visit Montreal without having some Montreal smoked meat—right?!
And while the most popular smoked meat in the city (and especially the one tourists seek out) is from Schwartz’s Deli, during this trip to Montreal, we decided to try three different Montreal smoked meat spots to compare. Read on for our assessment! (but regardless, I do think if it’s your first time to Montreal you should stop at Schwartz’s, it’s an institution lol).
3864 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y2
Interestingly, a really great smoked meat sandwich can be found just across the street from the famous Schwartz’s Deli on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, at the Main Deli. This place is literally right across the street! It was kind of comical to see the massive line-up outside Schwartz’s but just be able to walk into Main to get your Montreal smoked meat fix lol. My friend Sharman actually suggested we try it. For people who are line-up adverse, this makes a really great alternative.
Most of the delis that serve up Montreal smoked meat are pretty unassuming, no-fuss spots and Main Deli is no exception there. Unlike Schwartz’s, Main Deli has a wider menu also serving steaks, salads, spaghettis and other deli items.
Montreal delis in general don’t mess around when it comes to meat to sandwich ratio on their smoked meat sandwiches—Main Deli’s was massive and delicious.
We also enjoyed their ground beef onion poutine.
3895 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1X9
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You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who DOESN’T recommend a visit to Schwartz’s Deli when in Montreal—it’s an institution (I know, I know, so many places in Montreal are institutions lol).
Schwartz’s is on Saint-Laurent Boulevard and has been serving up smoked meat and other goodies since 1928. The thing to know about Schwartz’s is there is both a dine-in and a take-out line-up and the take-out line-up moves a lot faster than the dine-in one! Plus, there’s still some seating in the take-out section. The two times we’ve gone we’ve always been able to snag a seat to eat in the take-out section.
Ultimately in the Battle of the Montreal Smoked Meat Delis, Mike crowns Schwartz’s as the winner, for more tender, fattier chunks of meat, but I think you can get quality smoked meat at lots of places in Montreal (including across the street at Main Deli—where there is no line-up lol) so on return visits I can see us not necessarily NEEDING to visit Schwartz’s, but if it’s your first time to Montreal, I do recommend waiting in line—really just to say you tried it lol.
5265 Decarie Blvd., Montreal, Quebec H3W 3C2
Snowdon Deli I feel like is a very serious smoked meat competitor to Schwartz’s—it’s just kind of out of the way unless you have a vehicle while in Montreal (we ended up getting it on our way to the airport). But as a result of the location, you likely won’t find a line-up, which is great!
Snowdon Deli is a family-owned operation that first opened in 1946. It’s got a restaurant and a take-out deli side, and a wide menu—but for the purposes of this blog post, it’s the smoked meat you’ve got to try! It was also recommended that I try their club roll which I now pass on that recommendation to you! It’s assorted deli meats grilled on a toasted hamburger bun served with a pickle. Gotta love the pickle with meat pairings in Montreal.
I also wanted to thank my followers who shared their Montreal food recommendations!
(Some also shared things to do but I only included food-related in this post lol)
Feel free to use them too:
“L’Avenue (for brunch). Kem Coba for ice cream, Mandy’s Gourmet Salads, Qing Hua Dumpling, La Banquise for poutine.” – @ginger_mariah
“Gelato at Kem Coba, classic Portuguese chicken at Rotisserie Ramados, Kouign Anman at Cafe Kougin Anman” – @jillds
“Falafel St. Jacques for dishes with the fluffiest pita, see candy being made at Candy Labs, Juliette et chocolat (the chocolate lava cake with strawberries), Mr. Puffs (like mochi donut holes)” – @dani.kuni
“Brunch at L’Avenue, Arthurs or Barley, poutine at Ma Poule Mouille or Paulo & Suzanne’s. Also St. Viateur! ” – @hopeful_li_soon
“Seoul Chako, Eggsqis or L’Oeufrier, Orange Julep, weekend breakfast buffet at the casino, Les 5 Saisons for quiche, natas, Mille feuille and roasted chicken, Cheskie’s Bakery (get chocolate babka and cheese crowns)” – @rachelsrunway
“Fairmount Bagels (get the smoked salmon spread), L’Express (desserts a must have and beef tartare), Schwartz’s Deli” – @sketpicaljess
“I had Yokato Yokabai for lunch AND dinner during our visit—ramen lunch, Japanese food dinner. Alejandro’s was delicious for brunch” – @justalillost
“La Banquise for poutine, Bilboquet or Kem Coba for ice cream, Fairmount bagels, Jardin Nelson, Les Glaceurs for cupcakes” – @dr.neuroshannon
“Schwartz’s, although I hear it’s better to buy a loaf of their rye and meat and make your own sandwich” – @ansareece
“Au pied du Cochon if you want your heart to stop. Of course Schwartz’s for smoked meat. You can buy vacuum sealed packages to freeze and bring home. Drogheria Fine gnocchi, Ta Pies” – @lillhabits
I also haven’t shared about the many different Montreal food festivals that happen particularly during the summer months—like First Fridays, Montreal’s food truck festival, or Le Grand PoutineFest, or the Asian Night Market—and more! You can definitely plan your dates to Montreal to align with food / festivals that pique your interest.
So I hope you got a ton of ideas for What to Eat in Montreal, Quebec!
I know there’s still sooooo many spots I want to try and I can’t wait to come back to try it!
I will keep adding more of my Montreal food experiences and recommendations to this blog post with each visit to this amazing city.
If you have your own Montreal food favourites that weren’t mentioned, feel free to leave it in the comments so other travellers can factor that into their planning too.
And stay tuned for more Montreal content! I’ll be sharing some video blogs of our 2022 Montreal trip soon as well so be sure to check out my YouTube Channel too!
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We loved the Green Spot in Montreal..think Silk Hat on Jasper ave complete with old school juke boxes at each table..amazing poutine!!
The lobster spaghetti at Liverpool House and Joe Beef is to die for. Had everybody try it on our family trip back to Montreal this summer.