Montreal bagels with sesame seeds on a wooden cutting board.

Top Foods to Try in Montreal

by | Canada, Culture, Food

Explore Montreal’s Gastronomic Delights

If you’re looking for a culinary adventure, then Montreal is the place to be! This vibrant city has something special for every foodie – from its iconic poutine to smoked meat sandwiches, delicate pastries, and hearty comfort foods. No matter what your tastebuds crave, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes to try in this unique municipality. Whether it’s high-end dining or traditional street food that you seek, we’ve rounded up the top foods to snap up when exploring Montreal. Get ready for an unforgettable edible escapade!


bacon poutine

This iconic dish is a must-try on any trip to Montreal. Poutine, a delicious blend of crispy french fries, melted cheese curds, and hot gravy, originated in Quebec in the 1950s and has stayed popular ever since.

Smoked Meat Poutine

One of the most famous variations of poutine found in Montreal is the smoked meat poutine. This version of poutine features the classic ingredients of fries, cheese curds, and gravy, but with the addition of smoked meat. The smoked meat adds a savory flavor to the dish, making it a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. Try it at Paul Patates.

Lobster Poutine

Another popular variation of poutine in Montreal is the lobster poutine. This luxurious dish features fresh chunks of lobster meat on top of the classic poutine ingredients. The lobster adds a touch of elegance and decadence to the dish, making it a favorite among seafood lovers. Try it at Garde Manger.

BBQ Poutine

BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine combines two delicious comfort foods into one. The traditional fries are smothered with pulled pork, covered with cheese curds, and topped off with tangy BBQ sauce. The combination of sweet barbecue sauce and savory pork makes for an unforgettable flavor experience! Get it at Le Boucan.

Vegetarian Poutine

Montreal is home to some of the best vegetarian poutine in Canada. The classic dish consists of French fries, cheese curds, and rich vegetarian gravy – but creative chefs have taken it to a whole new level. From vegan steak and cheese poutine to loaded veggie poutine with grilled vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, onions, and more – there are endless possibilities for vegetarians to enjoy this iconic Quebecois dish. Try it at Poutineville, where you can choose the vege poutine or build your own. Meat eaters can explore poutine with flavors from around the world.

Montreal-style Smoked Meat Sandwich

This signature sandwich is a classic staple in Montreal’s food culture. The smoked meat, pastrami-like beef, is seasoned and cooked for up to 12 hours and then served with mustard and rye bread. You can find smoked meat sandwiches at famous spots like Schwartz’s.

This sandwich is a must-have for any meat-loving visitor to the city. Smoked meat sandwiches are often served with sides like French fries, coleslaw, or potato salad. They can also be topped with pickles, onions, and other condiments. Montreal smoked meat is known far and wide as one of the most delicious foods in all of Canada – it’s no wonder that it’s such an iconic meal! Whether you get yours at Schwartz’s or another spot downtown, just make sure to savor every last bite and enjoy the unique experience that only a real Montreal smoked meat sandwich can provide.

Montreal Style Bagels

Assorted montreal style bagels

Montreal-style bagels are a unique twist and are different from New York bagels. In Montreal, The bagels are boiled in honey-sweetened water before baking to give them their sweet flavor. They are thin, crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. Make sure to head to St-Viateur Bagel for this culinary delight! These two shops, located in Montreal, have been putting out amazing bagels for generations and are considered to be the best of the best. If you’re ever in Montreal, no visit is complete without stopping by for a delicious Montreal-style bagel. Whether it’s an authentic sesame seed or cinnamon raisin option, you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!


A savory meat pie often eaten during the holidays, is a delicious meal that both tourists and locals enjoy. The traditional dish originated in Quebec, and its filling is typically made of pork, beef, or wild game, all co-seasoned with cloves, thyme, and pepper, among other spices. Many of Montreal’s pastry shops and cafes serve their version. It is an especially popular meal during the colder months, and people find comfort in its hearty flavor. To make it even more special, you can add a dollop of cranberry sauce or a scoop of mashed potatoes on the side. No matter how you serve it, this savory pie is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. We recommend La Binerie Mont-Royal for a true Montreal experience.

Roasted Chicken

Eating chicken in Montreal is anything but boring. Restaurants around the city deliver a wide array of flavors inspired by countries such as Portugal. From whole roasted chickens to shredded meat piled atop poutine, there’s something for everyone looking to explore an international flavor profile.

The city has embraced this savory, juicy delicacy and it can be found in many local restaurants. Roasted chicken in Montreal typically features a combination of herbs and spices, including garlic, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, and paprika. This combination gives the dish its unique flavor profile that many Montrealers have come to love over the years.

The preparation of roast chicken can vary depending on the restaurant or cook but there are some common methods used by best restaurants throughout Montreal. Many restaurants use a rotisserie oven to slowly turn the bird while it cooks so all sides are evenly cooked and crispy.

Smoked Salmon

Montreal’s smoked salmon has a unique flavor that comes from cold-smoking for several hours over hardwood chips, giving it a smoky, sweet taste, unlike any other type of smoked salmon. Enjoy it with a Montreal-style bagel.

Pea Soup

pea soup

Pea soup has been a staple in Montreal for centuries. It is an integral part of the city’s culinary heritage, and to this day it remains popular among locals and visitors alike. This thick, creamy soup can be found on the menus of many restaurants, cafés, bistros, and pubs throughout Montreal.

Traditionally made with split peas or yellow peas that have been cooked until they become soft and mushy, pea soup is enriched with butter, cream, vegetables – often including potatoes – and spices like nutmeg or allspice. The combination of flavors can vary from kitchen to kitchen; some prefer an earthy flavor while others love a hint of sweetness.


Crepes are a delicious and popular dish sold at various restaurants and cafes in Montreal, Canada. These crepes are thin and delicate, yet have a satisfying texture that is both chewy and crispy at the same time.

One of the key ingredients in Montreal crepes is buckwheat flour, which gives them their unique nutty flavor and rich, dark color. This type of flour is also gluten-free, making them a great option for those with gluten sensitivities.

Montreal crepes are typically filled with a variety of ingredients, such as ham, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, and eggs. They are often served with a side of mixed greens and a light vinaigrette dressing, which helps to balance out the richness of the crepes.

One of the best things about Montreal crepes is that they can be enjoyed at any time of day. They make a great breakfast option, as well as a satisfying lunch or dinner. In fact, many Montrealers enjoy them as a late-night snack after a night out on the town.

Sweet crepes can be found everywhere in Montreal, from the street carts to the local bistros. They make a delicious breakfast or dessert option, as well as a light snack throughout the day. Sweet crepes usually consist of a thin pancake-like dough filled with fresh fruits, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce or Nutella among other fillings. A favorite among locals is called ‘La Canadian’, which has maple syrup and butter inside its delicious pocket. The perfect combination of warm dough and sweet filling makes it an unbeatable treat!

Montreal crepes are a must-try if you’re visiting the city. With their unique flavor and texture, they are sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Try the sweet crepes at Breizh Cafe and for more savory options as well as sweet, check out Obreton.

Sugar Pie

Montreal’s maple syrup industry is one of Canada’s oldest industries, and sugar pie is one of its sweetest traditional treats. It’s simple, yet delicious made with brown sugar, butter, and eggs that are baked together into a gooey and sweetly rich filling. For a fantastic dessert experience, try the maple sugar pie at La Fournee de Sucreries.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and culinary delights, Montreal is a city that offers a lot for the tourist’s palate. From savory meat pies to sweet sugar pies, from unique bagels and an endless variety of poutine to smoked meat sandwiches, Montreal’s food scene remains an attraction for food lovers. Make sure to check out the recommended eateries, dine, and enjoy the flavors that make Montreal a foodie’s heaven. Bon appétit!

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