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5 Must-Try Canadian Food in Montreal!

July 06 2015

The diverse food culture of Canada and French culinary influences have given birth to unique dishes that will captivate your imagination and make you drool. Canadian food recipes have been handed down the generations, yet they haven't lost their true essence. Fresh local produce, an expanding network of food trucks and pioneering Montreal restaurants are the major contributors to the city’s food culture.



Poutine can definitely be considered Montreal's signature food, evident through its popularity amongst locals and tourists. Variations of poutine are eaten for breakfast and main course meals. You can try breakfast poutine with duck confit and poached egg or can gorge on gluttonous foie gras poutine for main course meals.

The traditional version of Poutine - hand cut fries, gravy and cheese curds - is available at numerous food trucks and restaurants across Montreal. For a more gourmet experience - try the several re-imagined takes on Poutine, that use toppings like smoked meat and Foie Gras. Visit Au Pied de Cochon to try a vast variety of Poutine. Blackstrap BBQ, Pierrette Patates and Paul Patates are some of the other Montreal restaurants where you can indulge in an exhaustive range of poutine varieties.



Montreal prides itself on having the world's best bagels, which are apparently more delicious than their New York counterparts. The origin goes back to early 20th century when Jewish immigrants brought the hand-rolled and wood-fired dense rings of dough. The Montreal-style bagel is hand-rolled, blanched in honey water and then wood-fired in front of the patrons.

When visiting Montreal, make sure you visit St. Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel, the two most renowned and authentic Bagel shops in the city. Both these sacrosanct eateries run 24-hour operations. Do try your bagel with a can of cream cheese and smoked salmon.

3.Smoked Meat


Smoked Meat is hands down the most popular food in Canada; they put it in their sandwiches, on their Poutine and even on pizzas and spaghetti. A Canadian will say that a smoked meat sandwich is not just a sandwich - it's a work of art between two slices of rye with a smear of yellow mustard, perfected over 80 years.

There is a plethora of delis in the city offering a smoked meat sandwich. But the one that has gone down in history through books, documentaries and musicals is Schwartz's smoked meat. The restaurant's widespread fame is evident by the long line of customers waiting to dig into this local delicacy. Reuben’s, Smoke Meat Pete and Snowdon Deli are some of the other Montreal restaurants where one can enjoy a variety of smoked meat delicacies.

4.Gibeau Orange Julep


Although this is a drink and not a food item, Orange Julep features high up in Montreal's food culture. Lore has it that a man with a vision opened this orange coloured Hermas Gibeau, an eatery featuring waitresses on roller-skates and the most famous beverage in Montreal - Orange Julep. The Gibeau Orange Julep is a roadside attraction and fast food Montreal restaurant where you must spend an afternoon during your visit.

Although the recipe is a family secret, it is believed that one of the few ingredients is freshly squeezed Sunkist oranges. Packed with Vitamin C, this sugary milkshake-like beverage is the perfect companion on a warm sunny day in Montreal.

5.Shish Taouk and Couscous


You might wonder, "Why should I try Arabic food in a Canadian city?" The answer is - Shish Taouk and Couscous. These items are staple fast food fare and are ubiquitous in the city. Being the world's second largest Francophone city, there are many French-speaking immigrants of Arab origin, who have brought their delectable delicacies along with them.

Shish Taouk is available at small roadside shops all over the city. Just make sure you specify that you want Shish Taouk and not Shawarma as both have similar ingredients yet are completely different in taste. "Couscouseries" have also sprung up in the Plateau Mont-Royal area, offering Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian specialities.

Travelling Safely

Travelling to a distant foreign country poses many risks to you and your family. Although Montreal is a beautiful city offering scrumptious Canadian food, there is always the risk of falling ill. Therefore, make sure you carry any medicines that you may require. Carry warm clothing to prevent catching a cold and avoid a visit to the doctor. In addition, unpredictable accidents and losing your stuff are also a common danger of travelling.

Therefore, it is advisable to purchase comprehensive travel insurance as it covers you for cashless hospitalization, trip delays and cancellations, lost possessions and many other common travel mishaps. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance plans for you and your family before travelling.

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