The French-speaking city of Montreal is widely considered the cultural capital of Canada. It defines the word cosmopolitan, displaying Québécois style with panache. This thriving big city is best experienced as an adventure and the food scene is no exception. Find out which foods you must discover on Montreal’s hot cuisine scene.

Gnocchi

Like any world class city, Montreal offers dishes from many different countries around the world. One example of this is fresh gnocchi, which is perhaps best prepared at Drogheria Fine. This understated, easily overlooked shop serves mouthwatering pasta sauce to top off the gnocchi, which you can purchase by the carton or by the jar.

Soft Serve Ice Cream

Located near Drogheria Fine, Kem CoBa serves artisanal ice cream and sorbet that is free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. You cannot go wrong with a treat that is healthy and delicious! The popularity of the shop attests to the irresistible draw of its ice cream, sorbet, pastries and chocolate. The line stretches down the street in the warm spring and summer months.

Traditional Poutine

Fast food may not come to mind when you think about must-have foods, but the poutine in Montreal is truly something special. Consisting of cheese, gravy and fries, this local classic is available in more than 30 different versions throughout the city including La Santorini, La Mexicaine, La Véganomane, Sud-Ouest and Le Reggae.

Garlic Potatoes

Sometimes simplicity is the key to great food. The potatoes smothered in a spicy garlic sauce at Restaurant Boustan are among the area’s favorite comfort foods. The Lebanese-Canadian eatery has been frequented by a number of Canadian celebrities over the years and it is for good reason.

Smoked Meat Sandwich

When you talk about the Montreal food scene, you cannot leave out Schwartz’s Deli. It is a simple place, as expected of deli, but Schwartz’s hits it out of the park when it comes to popularity. Lines can stretch for several blocks. The most iconic dish at the deli is a traditional smoked meat sandwich accompanied by fries and a pickle. If you really want the complete experience, order it with a black cherry soda.

Jackfruit Sandwich
Of course pulled pork sandwiches offer a quick lunch for city dwellers, but for those who prefer a vegan version, jackfruit provides a perfect alternative.  Served on a crusty rustic bread, with a sweet, yet tangy sauce this delicious vegan sandwich may transform even the most die-hard meat lover.  Find this savory delight at The Depanneur Le Pick Up.

Bagels

These are not your average bagel. They are hand-rolled, fresh and warm – making them especially inviting in the snowy winter months. St. Viateur Bagel, among the best bagel shop in the city, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to satisfy your carb cravings at any time of the day or night.

Juice

Yes, we said juice – that is, if you get it from Gibeau Orange Julep. The quirky diner has a 1960s feel and serves various juices including its standout namesake, the Gibeau Orange Julep. Take yours to go or sit and enjoy the fun ambiance.

Montreal is a city with virtually infinite possibilities for visitors and its food scene is no exception. Choose from a large variety of lip smacking dishes when you visit this bustling metropolis.

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Jim Bozzelli