The city of Montreal has something to suit all of its visitors’ tastes. There are local specialties which are unique and impossible to find in any other city. They are part of the local culture and sure to suit even the most demanding tastes. Visit the city and enjoy them.
It was on the last day of 1928, nearly 100 years ago, Reuben Schwartz, opened on Boulevard Saint-Laurent what is today one of Canada’s oldest delicatessens, if not the oldest. “Schwartz” is internationally renowned for the quality of its smoked meat with fine herbs. A “secret” recipe, in which the meat is marinated for 10 days, attracts a multitude of visitors, local and foreign alike. Therefore, we recommend that you arrive early or you will have to wait for a while. Alternatively, we suggest that you order at the counter to take away. You can then enjoy the food at home or at one of the city’s many parks. The story says that the first owner, the man to whom the establishment owes its name, was not very business oriented and had a bad temper. It was in the 80’s that, with the arrival of a new partner, the musician Maurice Zbriger, the delicatessen began to adopt a more solid business model allowing it to resist as years went by. And nowadays it is a unique place in Montreal, where the atmosphere is completely relaxed and youthful. It is as if we were at a gathering with friends, just chatting and eating together. Anyone who has been there knows that the menu is not for vegetarians. So everyone knows what is going to find when going to “Schwartz”, the Jewish delicatessen in Montreal.
3895, Boulevard Saint-Laurent, QC H2W 1X9
OLIVE ET GOURMANDO
This is considered a safe proposal and even a “classic” space in Montreal. It started out as a bakery, opened in 1997, and still operates as such, selling organic bread. However, the menu expanded to include sandwiches – hot and cold – and more substantial dishes, with vegetarian options allowing a wider variety to choose from, maintaining the quality. For those with a sweet tooth, there are “home-made” cakes, and according to the reviews, they have “extraordinary brownies”. The coffee is described as “always full-bodied”, “aromatic” and even “reassuring”.
351, Rue Saint-Paul O., QC H2Y 2A7
BAGELS – ST-VIATEUR AND FAIRMOUNT
Bagels, those small round rolls of Polish origin, can be found in many establishments worldwide, but Montreal’s locals assure that the best ones are those from this city. And when they say this, it is not because they want to demonstrate local pride, but because there is in fact a difference: they are baked in a wood oven and have slight variations in the ingredients, such as egg and honey. Not to mention size and density. They are not like the ones which, for example, you can eat in New York – nearly 500 kilometres away. And even among Montreal’s bagels, there are two houses which have been baking them for several decades giving rise to a discussion about which ones are the best. If you wish to make your own gastronomic appreciation, you must taste the bagels from St-Viateur and from Fairmount. The original houses are not far away from one another and solving this issue is always a good reason for filling the roll with creamy cheese and smoked salmon and enjoying this local gastronomic delight.
263, St-Viateur O., QC H2V 1Y1
74, A. Fairmount O., QC H2T 2M2
MAISON CHRISTIAN FAURE
Founded by the renowned French pâtisserie chef, Christian Faure, the Maison Christian Faure is more than a simple confectionery, coffee and shop in the heart of the old part of Montreal, at Palace Royale. This is the first international school totally dedicated to French pâtisserie, in Canada. Located in a historic, 300-year-old building, which has been restored and fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, this place offers customers the opportunity to enjoy structured snacks and buy exclusive souvenirs. It is a sweet suggestion for everyone who cannot resist a temptation…
355, Place Royale, QC H2Y 2V
Located between Montreal’s old part and Griffintown, there is something described as a “gourmet’s paradise”. The Mélisse restaurant is a place that combines quality cuisine and hospitality, where customers are “welcomed like old friends”. Whether for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, Mélisse serves healthy, nutricious, very flavoursome gourmet cuisine at competitive prices. It has a wine list with organic harvests. The chef, Bertrand Giguère, explores Quebec’s locally-grown products in a concise menu mainly focussed on meat and changing according to the times of the year. You can taste grilled wild shrimps on a bed of oven-baked tomatoes, pork spare ribs, mixed salads and much more. A detailed decoration, with high ceilings, suspended plants and pastel colours for a more than perfect scenario all contribute to “a simple but gratifying culinary experience”.
719, Rue William, QC H3C 1N8