People sitting outside restaurants in Montreal

Many visitors are drawn to Montreal simply for its food. Montreal is a cultural melting pot and cosmopolitan. The majority of the city’s immigrants come from European countries and represent 28% of the population. As result, Montreal’s food scene is quite diverse and rich.

While restaurant menus are ever-changing, there are a few staples which you can always try when you're in town. Here are just a few foods to eat when you visit Montreal.

A dish of poutine in Montreal

1. Poutine

The most popular meal you can have in Montreal, if you can call it that, is a Poutine (not related to Russia’s president). The traditional dish of Canada, poutine is essentially cheese fries served with a dark gravy. It’s so popular that even McDonalds has it on its menu!

A plate of French-style pork cheeks

2. French cuisine

Of course you can’t come to Montreal and not try some authentic French food. You can do so at Chez Leveque located on the beautiful Laurier West street. If you want a unique French cuisine experience, try the veal liver or the homemade apple black pudding!

Afterward, grab dessert at the ice cream parlour of Le Bilboquet just a few blocks away in the high-end area of Outremont and admire the tree line streets and million dollar homes.

French pastries on a wooden table

3. Bakery food

One thing we are happy that has come here from France is the boulangerie. Authentic French ones are hard to find but do exist. We particularly like Le Paltoquet or Mamie Clafoutis. If you are going to go with a commercial chain, choose Au Pain Doré rather than Première Moisson.

The only difference you’ll find here with the pain au chocolat (literally translates to "bread with chocolate") is that it’s called chocolatine.

Just like in France, bakeries are a great place to go to for home made sandwiches. Try the Jambon-Brie on a baguette, a French classic.

Poke bowl with tuna and vegetables

4. Poke

Hop on the poke bowl wagon while you're in Montreal. The trend has probably moved on but the food remains just as good. Venice Montreal owns three spots in the city where they serve savoury dishes in a Californian style setting.

Try the Indian power bowl - It’s light, yet so filling that you won’t have room for dessert. This restaurant is a great place to have lunch while visiting the Old Port of Montreal.

Apple baskets in a market stall in the Jean-Talon Market, Montreal.

5. Fruit and veggies from the outdoor markets

You can’t visit Montreal and not visit either Atwater Market or Jean-Talon Market. The latter one is the most popular and biggest. Although it won’t have the same enthusiasm that you would find on markets in France or Italy, the stands are so neatly organized with little baskets that will make your stomach growl.

Don’t worry, you can actually taste the fruits and vegetables on the stands. Little plates are made available for you to sample.

Since Jean-Talon market is located in the Italian section of Montreal, it’s only fitting to eat some pizza while there! You can do so at Pizza Napolitana or Gemma near the market.

A stack of Montreal-style bagels

6. Bagels

Believe it or not Montrealers are very fond of bagels and the two most popular brands are Saint-Viateur and Fairmount. You can buy some in stores or go directly to their shop in the Mile-End where they’ll still be hot. You can request some cream cheese to go along with them.

Planning a trip to Montreal? Read a local's guide to Montreal through the seasons.

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Anne-Charlotte Passera

Author - Anne-Charlotte Passera

Anne-Charlotte Passera is a writer who has been traveling ever since she was born. An explorer at heart, she is passionate about inspiring other women to do the same and not be afraid to stray off the beaten path. Her interests vary from reading to conscious living. She isn't afraid to try something new, with a little dancing and karaoke from now and then.

Last Updated 10 April 2022

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