Montréal, pronounced Mont-réal instead of Mon-tréal, is located in the Québec province of Canada. Being the second largest Canadian city after Toronto, this city boasts of their European flair and sophistication. McGill University is also situated in the heart of Montréal, where apparently many (Hollywood) movies are filmed at (read: X-MEN Days of Future Past being the most recent).
While I thought talking about places to go would be a better introduction to Montréal, I decided to start with food first because I miss poutine so much! 🙁 So here goes, 5 types of food (+2 Winter bonuses) you have to try while in Montréal!
1. POUTINE, LA BANQUISE
This poutine shop is da bombdiggity! It’s opened 24hours, so you can eat there for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. The queue is long even in -20 degree celsius winter. No kidding. Here’s the trick: ask for to go/takeaway to jump the queue! Downside: you gotta find somewhere outside to indulge but hey, you already saved 30minutes or more of your time waiting outside (in the cold during winter). I went there twice, during chilly winter. It’s definitely not healthy, BUT PLEASE INDULGE, YOU’RE THERE ALREADY.
Find them at
994 Rue Rachel E
Montreal, QC H2J 2J3
2. SMOKED MEAT SANDWICH, SCHWARTZ’S
Considered as one of Montréal’s treasures, this smoked meat deli has a stall just for takeaway, beside their restaurant. Add mustard and it’ll be the perfect combination. If you aren’t a mustard fan, do with the ketchup and it still taste as good. You can choose lean, meaty or fatty smoked meat, but I’d say don’t get the lean because fats taste better. (You did not hear me say that) It’s opened from 8am till late (12.30am-2.30am) everyday. So after a meal at La Banquise, you can consider hopping on to this one. #foodgasm
Find them at
3895 St-Laurent Boulevard
Montreal, QC H2W 1X9
3. MONTRÉAL BAGELS, FAIRMOUNT BAGELS
I haven’t been to this myself, but it’s being highly raved about. Apparently, this is the first bagel bakery opened in Canada in 1919. They have 22 flavours of bagel to choose from, so I guess you’ll be spoilt for choice! Nevertheless, you can’t go to Montréal or Canada in general without trying their bagels. I’m not sure if I’m stereotyping, but it does seem to me that they love to eat bagels for breakfast. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Find them at
74 Avenue Fairmount Ouest
Montréal, QC H2T 2M1
However to make up for my loss, I bought poppy seeds bagels and smoked salmon cream cheese from the local supermarket to toast it myself in the hotel room for breakfast. (Actually I used the microwave, but served the purpose of warming up anyway)
4. MAPLE SYRUP ICE-CREAM, LES DÉLICES DE L’ÉRABLE
You’re in Canada, you have to try maple syrup everything. This ice-cream store’s maple syrup flavour is really good. I matched it with hazelnut flavour (my personal favourite), and the burst of flavours in my mouth sent me to heaven. It’s really good, I swear with both hands.
5. CHINESE DUMPLINGS, QING HUA DUMPLING
Funny how I’m recommending you to eat dumplings in Canada. But hands down to the best Chinese food I’ve eaten in the entire North America in 4 months and a week! A Canadian friend recommended us give this a try, and we didn’t think too highly of it but wanted our Asian food fix after a long week in Quebec, so we went ahead. I grew up eating dumplings, both shui jiao and guo tie (水饺／锅贴), so I have very high expectations of how they should taste like. Yes, maybe you’ve guessed it, it’s own by native Chinese – and thus the standards! The skin is not too floury, and there’s a good amount of meat wrapped in each. You would be surprised, many Canadians/ foreigners were there to indulge in this Chinese goodness too.
Find them at
1676 Lincoln Ave
Montreal, QC H3H 2E7
WINTER BONUS PLACES:
6. MAPLE TAFFY ON ICE/SNOW
I LOVE THIS! I tried this at an event space held outside Place des Arts, and I made a mess out of myself because I didn’t twist it tight enough. But it can easily be made at home too, well, if you live in a country with snow that is. All you need to fresh clean snow and a can/bottle of Quebec maple syrup. I guess I can try it in Singapore too, just that I need a shaved ice machine. :/
7. SUGAR SHACK (CABANE À SUCRE)
Also translated as sugar house/cabin, they are semi-commercial establishment who will collect sap from sugar maple trees and boil them into maple syrup. The common itinerary includes a (lunch) feast, horse sleighing, tour the place and have maple taffy as dessert after. The activities and food varies from place to place. All the sugar shacks are situated in the sub-urban areas predominantly in Eastern Canada, hence tourists would mostly have to drive there. Plan early so you could rent a car!
We had a welcome drink (alcoholic) each, if I didn’t remember wrongly it’s ice wine with some maple syrup in it, a free flow lunch buffet, maple syrup pie as dessert, toured the compound to know how maple syrup was made, and went to the souvenir shop. There weren’t horse sleighing for this particular one we went though, sadly. However, do note that the peak period for sugar shack is usually in March and April, although some operate all year round. We went in mid February and didn’t want to miss this out, so we had to find one that’s open early. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable one!
There are many in operation, and we found ours through BonjourQuebec. Try it next late winter if you’re in Québec!
I conclude that I still miss Canada’s food very much. This post made me really hungry.