By Maria Allon
Montréal is known for many things: the mountain in the middle of the city that gives it its name, its bilingual “bonjour, hi!” greeting, and its amazing food. Whether you’re taking a brief trip, or you’re lucky enough to be spending your year abroad there like I did, Ville Marie has enough food spots that’ll make you never want to return to the dry pasta and cheese of Selly. Want to know where to find the best poutine in the world, or your next cosy café study spot? Read on!
Best Deli Sandwich: Schwartz’s Deli (Boulevard St. Laurent)
Located in Montréal’s Jewish quarter, Schwartz’s proudly holds the title of Canada’s oldest deli. You won’t find a better sandwich anywhere else in the city! Heaps of smoked, salt beef brisket, tangy mustard and 3 slices of bread are all it takes to fill you up for the day. Pro tip: the take-out side always has the shorter line.
Best Brunch: L’Avenue (Avenue de Mont-Royal Est)
If you’re all about brunching, a trip to L’Avenue in the Plateau is well worth standing in line for 40 minutes in -15-degree temperatures! From Eggs Benedict to stacks of American pancakes, L’Avenue serves any and every type of brunch. My personal favourite? The Nutella and strawberry French toast!
Best Café Study Spots: Tommy Café (Rue Notre-Dame Ouest) and Crew Collective (Rue St. Jacques)
If studying in aesthetic cafes is your thing, Tommy Café and Crew Collective need to be top of your list of cafes to visit! Both located in Old Montréal, just a stone’s throw away from Notre Dame basilica, the beautiful interiors of these cafes make studying on cold winter evenings much less painful.
Best Poutine: La Banquise (Rue Rachel Est)
Last but not least; poutine. It’s easy for us Brits to think that poutine is just a glorified cheesy chips and gravy, when in fact it is so much more. Twice-fried French fries, squeaky cheese curds and salty meat gravy are the basis of a classic poutine, but feel free to take things up a notch and add toppings. Though its origins are debated, there’s no denying that La Banquise serves the best poutine in Canada, and so by default is home to the best poutine in the world. Open 24 hours, La Banquise is the perfect way to end a night after a game of hockey courtesy of the Montréal Canadiens at Centre Bell. Veggie or vegan? La Banquise have got you covered!
On a budget? Honorary mention goes to Frite Alors, Québec’s fast-food answer to poutine.