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25 Montreal’s Most Iconic Dishes

Montreal is a famous gastronomic destination in the world. Known as a food paradise, Montreal has a lot of iconic foods that you need to discover. This article aims to help you to know about some iconic Montreal dishes so you can capture the essence of the city. You will be enchanted by the taste this food offers. You can order any of these foods for delivery on any top food delivery service in Montreal or a Local Food App.

1. Poutine

French fries, sprinkled with plenty of curd cheese and dipped in gravy, are one of Canada’s most popular dishes. Poutine is so dear to Montrealers that major chains such as McDonald’s and KFC have incorporated it into their menu.

The delicacy originates from the Québec region and has become an iconic food all over Canada. Poutine is on the menu of most bars food trucks, and restaurants in Montreal, from the smallest to the biggest. Some restaurants have different versions of poutine, such as poutine accompanied by chicken or meat, gourmet, and even vegetarian.

Where to eat poutine

– La Banquise: This is one of the oldest and most successful restaurants in Montreal. You can visit La Banquise to taste poutine any time of day. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day.

– Patati Patata: Visit Patati Patata for an original poutine.

– Au Pied de Cochon: This restaurant is a perfect place to taste exquisite poutine, served with gravy made with foie gras and accompanied by a piece of duck liver. The price is pocket-friendly. The French restaurant, which opened in 2001, prepares the traditional French cuisine on a dash.

You can also taste foie gras, one of the most traditional French dishes, with ice cream, lobster, and as nigiri (a dish of Japanese origin).  

2. Bagel

New Yorkers and Montrealers don’t get along about the bagel; they dispute who makes the best ring-shaped bagel. The bagel, which has Jewish origins, is a savory bread made with flour dough. It is first boiled in water and then roasted. Each city has a peculiar way of preparing its bagel. What makes the difference in Montreal’s bagel is the cooking in water. 

New York bagels are softer and doughy, while Montreal bagels are boiled in a wood-fired oven. Montreal bagels are smaller, denser, and sweeter. Montreal bagel is sweeter because the cooking water is sweetened with honey.

The bagels are served with cream cheese, but you can add various fillings, such as jams, salmon, and Nutella. You can find a bagel in any coffee shop, cafeteria, and restaurant offering breakfast. In Montreal, the argument is about who makes the best bagel in the city. The brawl is between two traditional places, both with delicious savory donuts.

– St. Viateur Bagel: It has been open since 1957. There are four units in the city, and the cool thing is the possibility of watching the bagels prepared.

– Fairmount Bagel: It is probably one of the oldest. It supplies bagels to several bakeries and cafes in the city and area around Montreal.

3. Maple Syrup

You must have seen a yellow syrup over pancakes and waffles in some of the movies, and probably thought it was honey. However, it is Maple syrup. Maple syrup is taken with breakfast in North America and Europe.

Maple Syrup is extracted from the sap of trees of the Maple genus, also known as Acer. The Maple tree leaf is a symbol of Canada; and was incorporated into the country’s flag in 1965. The syrup is natural, with no added sugar. It is harvested only once a year, during spring. Québec is responsible for more than 75% of the world’s production.

Maple syrup is also a good souvenir option. In addition to its tree being a symbol of the country. Tire Sur La Neige is a Maple Syrup popsicle that is part of Québec culture, especially among children. Over the snow, pour a row of hot syrup and roll it with a toothpick. A soft and flexible candy called Maple Taffy is formed.

Where to eat Maple Syrup

You can find maple syrup in municipal markets such as Jean-Talon, Atwater, souvenir shops, and supermarkets. You can try it in restaurants, especially as an accompaniment to brunches. It is a good choice with bagels.

4. A Smoked Meat Sandwich

The smoked meat sandwich is very traditional in Montreal; it is part of the local culture. Pastrami from Montreal has unique characteristics that set it apart from other similar snacks. The difference is in the method of preparation and the spices used. Like the bagel, the pastrami has Jewish origins and is also popular in New York, yet another dispute.

Pastrami is made from beef brisket that is cured with salt and spices for more than a week. Then the meat is steamed and served plentifully and without much care for the snack. Many restaurants, cafes, and eateries serve the dish in Montreal, but if you’re looking for the best, check out the list below.

Where to eat Smoked Meat Sandwich

– Schwartz’s is one of the most traditional sandwiches in town. Its recipe has been the same since 1928. However, get ready for a long queue.

– The Main is located across the street from Schwartz’s. If you can’t stand the queue at Schwartz, you won’t regret choosing a less popular restaurant like The Main.

– Lester’s: This is the choice of Montreal locals.

– You can visit Le Roi du Smoked Meat to go beyond the sandwich. The smoked meat accompanies poutine, spaghetti, among other dishes.

5. Queues of Castor

Queues de Castor or BeaverTails is a chain of sweet pastries from Canada, which has become so popular that it is part of the culture of Canada. So there’s no way to go to Montreal and not try one of their favorite desserts.

It’s a fried and open dough, like an esfiha. Various toppings are added, such as Nutella, nuts, fruits, peanut butter, among other goodies. There are several Beaver Tails in Montreal, two in the old city area. 

Where to eat Bever Tail in Montreal

See the find Beaver Tail page to find a unit. They also offer food trucks during the summer.

6. Tartare

It is a typical French dish, which is popular in Montreal is called steak tartare. The dish consists of raw meat prepared with different spices. The dish is made from beef, but it has other variations, such as fish and pork. Tartare is common on restaurant menus.

Where to eat Steak Tartare

– L’express is a typical Parisian bistro in the Montreal style. Tartare is served with ground beef (as opposed to its cubes shape.

– Hotel Herman: It is not a hotel as the name suggests. The restaurant is famous for serving dishes with small portions. The highlight of the menu is the venison tartare.

– Marché 77: This is probably the first tartare bar, in the world. The menu features ten different types of proteins and 12 different types of preparation. You can mix fish and meat in a single tartare.

7. Chocolate

The city is home to the finest sweets in the world. Without any doubt, Montreal is a paradise for chocolate lovers, as many cooks are dedicated only to sweets. Most Montreal chocolates are handmade. There are several chocolate shops around the city. In addition, there is some that function as restaurants.

Where to eat chocolate in Montreal

– Juliette Et Chocolat: Chocolate is their overwhelming passion. It has a cozy restaurant atmosphere to eat your chocolate and offers sweets that you can take home. It is one of the most traditional in the city.

– Cacao 70: It has the same enchantment as the previous one. It has a menu with 15 different flavors of chocolates from various parts of the world. You can also taste chocolate pizza.

– You can visit Geneviève Grandbois to taste exotic flavors such as pepper, tobacco, and saffron. The creator proposes to offer different, contemporary chocolates that give an emotional experience.

– Suite 88 to taste alcoholic chocolate shots. The place works as a chocolate bar. It also serves several typical Montreal desserts.

8. Cheeses

Cheese is another gastronomic specialty of the Montreal region, be sure to try the different types of cheese. Some cheese is made with whole pasteurized milk. You can only taste the Montreal kind of cheese in Québec due to strict export rules.

You can try the Mimolette Jeune (firm, fragrant, orange),  Valbert St-Isidor (Swiss-like texture),  St-Basil de Port Neuf (buttery), Cru des Erables (smooth, ripe), Oka (made from cow’s milk in a monastery), and Le Chèvre Noire (goat milk covered in black wax).

9. Terrines and Pâtés 

These are great classic French cuisines that you can order as delivery food in Montreal. Terrines and pâtés have carved out a name as the pleasures of life. They can either be taken alone or accompanied by a good slice of fresh bread. Their rich and unique tastes make them particularly irresistible. 

“Terrine” and “Pâté” are sometimes interchangeably used but have some differences despite their similar appearances. Terrine refers to minced meat (typically containing meat or fish) traditionally baked inside a terrine or earthenware container from which it derives its name “terrine.” You can eat terrines only when cold. 

The pâtés, on the other hand, can be eaten at all temperatures, according to your tastes or the recipe. The pâtés can also be wrapped in a dough or a “crust” that completes it. Like the terrine, it contains mincemeat or fish, and sometimes vegetables. 

Over time, the terrine and the pâté en croute have become essential specialties during the holidays. They are particularly good at aperitif and dinner time, but let’s face it, they are just as delicious for brunch the next day. 

Where to eat terrines and pate in Montreal

Here are some addresses where you can find some during the holidays. Note that you can find them in most butcher shops.

– Aliment Viens: Located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Aliments Viens is a little butcher shop where you can always find excellent charcuterie. Aliments Viens offers a terrine and a pâté in its festive menu. The terrine is made from pressed foie gras, while the pâté en croute from poultry and Berkshire pork.

– Le Renoir: This restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel is run by none other than chefs Olivier Perret and Clément Tilly. For the holidays, their union is strength, offering you a nice mix of gourmet dishes. Their menu wouldn’t be complete without Chef Perret’s superb signature pâté. It is made with flour, butter, salt, eggs, pork, veal, chicken liver, garlic, mushrooms, foie gras, sweetbreads, and gelatin. The New Year’s menu also includes a mouth-watering terrine of foie gras with oysters!

10. Orange Julep

Oranges are delicious fruits that sweeten our desserts and give a special touch to our stews. Oranges are full of vitamins and nutrients that make their juice the perfect companion to start the day. Oranges have some medicinal properties; they are a defensive weapon against colds and other ailments.

The aesthetics of oranges has inspired dozens of artists who have included them in still lifes and paintings. Is it possible to build a building with the shapes and colors of oranges as a reference? The reality is, ‘Yes.’ The clearest example is the Gibeau Orange Julep in Montreal. Its architectural inspiration comes from the shape of oranges. Everyone knows the restaurant as “The big orange” few people know about the restaurant’s real name.  

The Gibeau Orange Julep is a gigantic spherical three-stories high and about 15 meters in diameter. Its construction was devised in 1932 by Hermas Gibeau, who decided to set up a shop to sell his original orange drink. 

Of course, the concept was clear and left no room for misunderstanding. The two-story building was complete in 1945. The restaurant was on the first floor, but the family home was on the second. They enlarged the premises in 1966, and the exterior was covered to give it a complete orange tone. They installed the lighting system so that the giant orange could attract attention both day and night.

Today, Gibeau Orange Julep is one of the points of attraction in Quebec (everyone is surprised to see an orange of such dimensions from the road). It continues to serve its drink based on orange. 

11. Beef Hash  

Originally from Montreal, it’s a delight made with smoked meat, accompanied by bread and lots of mustard. It’s shaped like a sandwich and usually includes cheddar cheese and lettuce. You can choose the meat to your liking, but the most traditional is pork or beef.

 It is seasoned with pepper and spices like coriander, garlic, and mustard sauce. Smoked meat is often served with Canadian wine and is the main course in many restaurants. You can choose the meat to your liking, but the most traditional is pork or beef. You can get beef hash in Montreal at Olivia’s Poulet Authentique, Lawrence, L’avenue, Eggspectation, and Snowdon Deli.

 12.  The Pounding – Chomeur

This dessert is typical of the Quebec region. This dish gained popularity due to the crisis of the 1920s that affected millions of Canadians. Its consumption spread throughout the country, being an easy dish to prepare and with cheap ingredients. 

The Pounding Chomeur, or “Pudding of the unemployed,” is very dear to Canadians, to the point that there are songs in its honor. It is prepared with butter, flour, eggs, and milk and is usually served with vanilla ice cream or maple syrup. A true delight is typical Canadian food.  

You can eat pounding chomeur in Montreal at Modavie, Au Pied De Cochon, or Jardin Nelson.

13. Tourtiere

This delicious dish consists of artisan bread dough and pieces of meat cut into squares. Usually, the meat is venison, lamb, or pork, although you can also order a mixture. Tourtiere is also known as pâté à viande, and its origins go back to 1840 when it appeared in a Canadian cookbook called La Cuisine.

This dish is typical of Christmas and is mainly consumed in the Quebec region, where there are strong cultural ties with France. So, if you plan to spend Christmas and New Year in Canada, you can’t miss trying this delicious dish. You can buy tourtiere in Montreal at La Maison du Rôti, Ta pies, La Binerie Mont-Royal

14. Nanaimo Bar.

 The Nanaimo Bar is perhaps the most consumed dessert in Canada. It usually comes in 3 layers of biscuit, chocolate, and vanilla cream-based squares, and is a real delight. The dessert originates from British Columbia, and is known not only eaten in Canada but also in the United States and England.

 Where to eat Nanaimo Bar

 You can find this dessert in restaurants, supermarkets, and food trucks. Rockaberry, Rustique, and Walmart Supercentre are some of the places to buy Nanaimo bars in Montreal.

 15. Sharwama 

As its name suggests, shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish that contains meat that is slowly cooked on a vertical spit. It can be filled with various meats that you would like served with your shawarma. Some of the most common meats include chicken, beef, and lamb. It’s commonly served with vegetables and pickles, placed on warm pita bread. The vegetables are usually red cabbage, lettuce, and onions.

 The pita bread is wrapped around the shawarma. A shawarma restaurant is usually found in the Middle East or Middle Eastern-influenced countries. However, you can eat delicious shawarma at Sharwamaz, Sharwama Habibi, or Shawarma Plus in Montreal.

 16. Sandwich with Pulled Pork

Consider a pulled pork sandwich, if you are looking for something new to eat it’s a simple dish filled with great flavor. Pulled pork is often roasted in the oven or barbecued. You can buy it pre-made or make it yourself! You may add your own toppings, but some of the best includes crumbled bacon, melted cheese, or even lemon juice. If you’re feeling adventurous, add different spices for a big punch of flavor!

The Dépanneur Le Pick Up, is a great place to get a hearty sandwich with pulled pork. Their pork sandwich is delicious. The bread is nice and crisp, and the pork is tender, juicy, and full of flavor. They put a lot of meat on the sandwich. It’s quite a substantial meal and is the perfect meaty comfort food. It’s also reasonably priced, so it’s a good value for the quantity and quality. 

 17. The Special 

Wilensky’s has made a name for themselves in Montreal for their specialty called The Special. This delicious sandwich has been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel! The Special is made of flat grilled rolls that have been smeared with mustard. The rolls are then stuffed with beef bologna and salami. 

Wilensky’s Special is a long-time favorite of the locals and tourists. The staff are efficient and friendly and know exactly what to offer by your side. Wilensky’s has been in Montreal since the 1930s but they started out as a barbershop and cigar store. Whether you’re a local or tourist, Wilensky’s will always be the main spot to check out!

18. Hot Chicken  

If you’re in the mood for some great food, consider heading over to Chalet Bar-B-Q for some of the best rotisserie chicken in Montreal! If you’re going out for dinner with a group of people and looking for an affordable and delicious meal, this is the place to check out! 

The atmosphere is welcoming and fun, and you can enjoy the atmosphere while you wait for your chicken to be done! The staff at Chalet are friendly, energetic, and ready to help you and your friends have a great time while you enjoy a cheap, delicious meal! Enjoy their famous hot chicken and the experience that great food can bring!

19. Roti Roti 

Roti is a kind of bread. It is made with a flour called “maida,” which is similar to all-purpose flour. It is folded at the end to give it some structure. The roti is made with the help of a Tava, a pan with a long handle, which helps give it a roti-lok, a long and flat look. 

Roti is prepared by heating the tava up to a high temperature. The pan is then brushed with oil. The flour is spread out on the pan and is made into a thin layer. After the oil is sufficiently heated up, the dough is spread out on the Tava, which has been heated to a high temperature. The dough is spread into a thin layer. The tava is turned after a few seconds. The roti is separated, the roti is folded, and they are ready to be served.

Caribbean food can be found in various locations around the world however the Caribbean Curry House is the place to go when it comes to Caribbean food. The Caribbean Curry House serves traditional curry and roti dishes that are made with high-quality ingredients. Take the time to order the Caribbean Curry House’s sampler of roti and curry dishes. This combo includes roti, yellow rice, peas, and chicken curry, plantain and coconut curry, and goat roti. Be sure to top off your meal with a mango lassi! If you are looking for an authentic Caribbean meal experience, don’t miss out on the Caribbean Curry House!

20. Schnitzel

Schnitzel is a German dish consisting of a thin slice of meat, most often veal, pork, or a mixture of veal and pork. It is coated in flour and then fried in oil. It is often topped with a coating of bread crumbs, or sometimes eggs (sometimes both), and fried again until the crumbs turn golden brown. Schnitzel may be served with a variety of side dishes, including potatoes, roasted potatoes, fried potatoes, boiled potatoes, French fries, spätzle, noodles, rice, pasta, salad, and more. Schnitzel is also a popular fast food dish in many parts of the world.

A deliciously stacked Schnitzel Sandwich at Arthurs Nosh Bar is perfect for a hearty lunch or post-gym snack! The sandwich is piled high with a juicy and flavourful schnitzel, crunchy vegetables, and melted mozzarella and cheddar cheese. This classic creation is served with seasoned potato wedges. Don’t leave without sipping on a refreshing beer, perfectly paired with your meal!

 21. Steamés

Steamed hot dogs are a great source of protein (for vegetarians and vegans) and provide a lot of energy. Also known as “steamés,” you can have them with a wide variety of condiments that are sure to give you energy as well. Whether you have some mayonnaise, relish, or cheese, they’re sure to have enough flavor. And if you prefer condiments like mustard, ketchup, or pickles, they’re also good options.  

There are many places in Montréal to go for a hot dog, but the Montreal Pool Room is a great hot dog joint in downtown Montréal. Located at 1217 Boul. Saint-Laurent next to Cité du Havre, the Pool Room serves delicious and unique hot dogs. 

You can choose from a variety of hot dogs, such as the lobster dog, the strawberry dog, or the roasted red pepper dog. Their hot dogs are made with the freshest ingredients, including 100% beef that is boiled and baked to perfection. They are steamed, then garnished with mustard, ketchup, chopped onions, and chili.  

If you’re not a big hot dog fan, you can instead try other dishes, including salads, quesadillas, and even seafood! They also have a variety of drinks, such as iced tea and iced coffee. This place is a must-eat if you’re visiting Montréal.

22. Lanzhou Noodles

Great Chinese food is hard to come by in Canada, but if you’re in the mood for noodles, Nouilles de Lan Zhou in Montréal may be just the place for you! It is one of the best Chinese places to grab some quick and tasty noodles. Nouilles de Lan Zhou is, in a word, fantastic. It’s a Chinese restaurant that, upon first glance, may seem like your typical hole-in-the-wall Chinese place… but it’s definitely not. 

The atmosphere is cozy, and the decor is filled with Chinese paintings and souvenirs from all over China. The food is so fresh and is always cooked to order, even if it takes a few minutes longer than you would expect. Whatever the dish, it is delicious and the prices are very reasonable. It’s a great little place to eat and get some Chinese culture at the same time! 

23. Kouign Amann 

This is a traditional French pastry from Brittany. The word “kouign” means “cake” in the Breton language, and Amann is the last name of the chef who invented it.

It is a moderately sweet, buttery pastry with a crisp crust and caramelized sugar coating. The inside of the pastry has layers of dough that are folded together before baking, resulting in an uneven surface with lots of nooks and crannies where butter pools. The result is a flaky crust with an airy interior, making it similar to croissants but denser. 

Au Kouign Amann is a bakery in Montreal famous for its Kouign Amann pastry. This pastry was invented by accident when the owner of Au Kouign Amann, who is also the baker, left some dough to rise too long, and it resulted in an extra crispy, buttery, and flaky crust.

24. Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon known as “peameal bacon” or back bacon is used in many Montreal dishes, including eggs, sandwiches, and burgers. The less fatty variety differs from classic bacon in that it is made from boneless pork loins and marinated in brine with the addition of maple syrup for a few days and then smoked. The result is very tasty!

Some of the places to get back bacon in Montreal are Montreal are IGA Duke, Atlantic Boucherie, and Boucherie Chez Vito.

25. Chicken Liver Pate

L’Express offers an appetizing chicken liver pâté that is made with fresh ingredients and cooked in a traditional style. The restaurant also has other delicious dishes on the menu, such as beef tartare, duck confit, and more

We hope you enjoyed our article about Montreal’s most iconic food! With this knowledge, we know that you can make the most of your trip to Montreal and make sure you try the best food the city has to offer.

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