Featured below are some of our Montreal eats, excluding our three dinners at Garde Manger, Les 400 Coups (BEST MEAL OF THE TRIP) and Joe Beef. I will apologize in advance for the lack of photos in the actual restaurants or of missing food items, either in my excitement, laziness, my distracting bellyache or for consideration of other diners (due to lighting issues, my persistent flash could not have always been welcome). I hope you enjoy what I have here and stay tuned for my dinner posts coming soon!
1. Schwartz's Montreal Deli (3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal)
Our very first stop in Montreal, we had to get our hands on some smoked meat. As my boyfriend and I are huge fans of Katz's Deli in NYC, it only made sense to go straight to this Montreal institution. We arrived late afternoon, so lucky for us we did not have to wait in any lineup (which I hear is often very long). We ordered two MEDIUM FAT sandwiches (in hindsight, I should have probably ordered FAT) but nonetheless the smoked meat was thick, juicy and well seasoned. Paired with the perfect, jumbo dill pickle and the classic yellow mustard, it is a definite must.
2. Fairmount Bagels (74 Ave Fairmount Ouest, Montreal)
Another landmark we had to hit -- Montreal bagels! We were planning on going to both Fairmount and St. Viateur but the next little detour instead at Fous Desserts proved to be worth it (photos below). The shop is incredibly tiny but bagels are turning out fresh every moment. We got some bagels to go with and we also brought a little tub of Liberte cream cheese (I swear I will never go back to Philadelphia, it rocked my world). Delicious, sweet, chewy and warm.
3. Fous Desserts (809, avenue Laurier Est, Montreal)
Shortly after our bagel stop, we detoured to Fous Dessert. It came highly recommended from a friend when I was searching the internet for a great croissant in Montreal. She was so right. This transported me back to Paris (even a close second at Ceci Cela in NYC). These croissants were so amazing we ordered four in total. They had that perfectly crispy, crunchy exterior that flakes all over you when you take a bite. Then what comes next is that perfectly soft, buttery, light croissant that is just perfection. I highly recommend this place and as a croissant LOVER, you will not be disappointed.
4. Arepera du Plateau (4050 Rue De Bullion, Montreal)
Located very close to our hotel, I had heard great reviews about this little restaurant. We were feeling in the mood for something fresh, so we opted for Arepera du Plateau. Fresh juices made in house (featured is the guava and passion fruit, we decided to mix them which was amazing). The fresh plantains were soft, crispy and sweet with that savoury cheese (I presume queso?) piled on top. We also got the creamy avocado chicken arepa which reminded me of a delicious, creamy chicken salad and our favourite was the Pabellon which features shredded beef, black beans, queso, fried plantains. We doused our arepas in the green and red sauce they bring to the table (completely necessary but I am also a sauce fiend); makes all the difference in the flavours of the arepas.
5. Olive et Gourmando (351 Rue St-Paul O, Montreal)
This café/bakery in Old Montreal has been well reviewed and with incessant line ups at lunch hours, we decided to check out what all the hype was about. We ordered:
- Caesar Salad
- Raspberry Lemonade & Fresh Squeeze OJ
- Gustavo = grilled chicken + red caramelized onions + portobello mushrooms + havarti cheese + maple dijon
- Cajun Chicken = grilled chicken + Cajun spices + guacamole + tomatoes + fresh mangos
- Croissant (Meh), Banana Chocolate Brioche (Heaven), Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie (Heaven)
Overall I was a little disappointed with this place. The Cajun Chicken sandwich, while fresh and delicious, was really overly salty in random bites. The Gustavo was a delicious hot panini albeit a little greasy. The Caesar was very average considering the $13 price tag. The fresh juices were overpriced ($5.00 for a TINY fresh squeezed OJ). The highlights were probably the treats LESS the croissant (too dense, not a good texture). I loved the banana chocolate brioche which was dense, rich and extremely decadent. The chocolate pecan cookie was also very delicious (no photo).
6. Main Deli Steakhouse (3864 Boulevard St-Laurent, Montreal)
Luckily a short walk from our hotel and with the late night hours, we got to check out the Main Deli located directly across from Schwartz's (also known for their smoked meat sandwiches). The Reuben was delicious but the smoked meat was very different from Schwartz's. On the thinner side but still very juicy and flavourful. I still prefer Schwartz (I like my large slices of Pastrami). The slaw was very refreshing and light, a nice addition.
7. Resto la Banquise (994 Rue Rachel E, Montreal)
Open 24 hours, after a night of drinking this is a great place to find yourself. Come here for a classic Poutine. To be honest, the poutine was good (not life changing) but a Montreal institution nonetheless.