Where/what should I eat in Montreal?

Hey all, thinking of doing a road trip to Montreal sometime soon. Where should I eat? Im gonna try to snag a table at Joe Beef. Is it worth it?

I admittedly haven’t done much research into the Montreal scene…I blame chowhound’s ridiculous search function.

Where else should I look into? What are Montreal’s specialties?

Thank you!

Allow me to provide some suggestions as a child of Jewish Montrealers. These are some of my family’s favorites:

  1. Moishe’s Steakhouse - A “Jewish” steakhouse, meaning it has great pickles and chopped liver in addition to the standard old-school steakhouse fare: Website

  2. St. Viateur Bagels - The Montreal bagel in all it’s glory is different than the NY bagel. Sweeter, smaller and a little denser, St. Viateur and Fairmount Bagel duel for best bagels in town: website

  3. Snowden Deli - Great Jewish deli, we always get boxes of the “Party Sandwiches” to take back to L.A. with us when we leave. website

  4. Schwartz’s Hebrew Charcuterie - OK, there are rumors that Schwartz’ has declined in the past few years and places like Lester’s are now better, but I can’t verify that. The last time I was there it was still great. The karnatzel is something I can’t find anywhere! website

  5. Gibeau Orange Julep - Not “Jewish” per se, but located near a large Jewish community, this giant orange ball of a roadside attraction serves awesome Montreal-style “steamie” hot dogs and their signature Orange Julep. I’m sure there are better dogs in the city, but this reminds me of Montreal. No website AFAIK, but here’s the wikipedia link: wikipedia

Again, this is a list of a very small niche of Montreal food, and nothing like the majority of places in Montreal, but still, I love these places! Bon Vacances!

Hey Set!

Definitely snag a seat at Joe Beef’s - it’s definitely worth it. They ended up 80th (?) on the extended list of the World’s 50 best. It’s rich, decadent and delicious. You might want to try Toque (high end) as well, Au Pied Du Cuchon, Le Club Chasse et Peche, Restuarant Park, Le Bremner, Le Vin Papillon, and Impasto. You’ll also want to seek out Schwartz’s, for some of the best smoked meat you’ll ever have, and some Montreal bagels, which are also exceptionally good.

These are all on my list. Definitely stoked to try St. Viateur…what a great name too.

Ahh thanks for the advice. I’m already looking into a table at Joe Beef…honestly I think that will dictate when i go!

Schwartz’s sounds like the perfect lunch spot.

Montreal is foodie heaven! Been twice! (I’m from Los Angeles) Number one resto for me is Au Pied de Cochon. Get reservations. First trip we went to Joe Beef and every table around us, including us, drank a bottle of wine waiting for their food to arrive - my husband said never again. Lunch at Toque was fantastic - need reservations. Les 400 Coups is phenomenal. Le Club Chasse et Peche was great fun. Lovelovelove Lemac for lunch but sure it’s great for dinner. Olive & Gourmando is good for breakfast, lunch or coffee. Stash Cafe is good if you’re walking around the Old Port.
If you get out of the city at all, there are great breweries - Le Temp d’un Pinte, Le Trou du Diable, etc. If you get to Quebec city, a must is lunch at the Parliament - which is literally, the Parliament.

Also, the Atwater Marche is great to visit and if you want to bring food stuff home. They have local products - saussison sec from Fou du Cochon et Scie is worth smuggling back!

I visited Montreal this summer, and visited several of the places listed above. Had hot-out-of-the-oven “fully dressed” bagels (elsewhere known as “everything bagels”) at St. Viateur, and they were wonderful. The standard sesame bagel didn’t impress me though. Moishe’s was good – decent but not great steak. Schwartz’s meat was pretty good; certainly better than Lester’s, which I found sort of watery and bland. Neither was as good as Langer’s, IMO, although I recognize that it’s a different thing.

I really enjoyed both Jean-Talon and Atwater markets – more to-go food at Atwater, more produce at Jean-Talon.

If I could only have one meal on a trip to Montreal I would go to Park, full stop.

If you’ve never been to Montreal then by all means some of the classic joints mentioned by others are worth doing once for the experience, I might add Willensky’s to that list but with warning that of all of the joints it’s the jointy-est and people either love it or hate it.

I would add Maison Publique to the list as well.

Any updates on the Montreal Scene? Going in a few weeks.

Was in Montreal last weekend. Here’s what I thought.

Schwartz’s is worth the stop…on my visit the meat was a touch dry but the sandwich itself was still delicious. Dine-in, the place is so old school.

Fairmount Bagels was better than St. Viateur’s.

Wilensky’s Light Lunch is worth a stop for the vibes alone…they do a rendition of a breakfast sandwich that is pretty damn good. Also, they have a legit soda fountain. Try the egg sodas!

Wilensky’s, Fairmount, and St. Viateurs are all within a couple blocks so my group just did a little food crawl and that all counted as lunch.

Joe Beef is worth the hype, though that lobster bacon spaghetti dish ain’t. Stick with ordering offal-y things with French influence. Imagine slightly highbrow Lyonnais bouchon food, that’s what this is. I can’t really recommend anything because the menu changes daily. Though the seafood was really good. Great oysters, scallops, and uni all from the north part of Quebec. Also, our waitress was incredible, this place has a remarkable lack of pretension given all its praise.

Le Mousso was extraordinary. Eight course tasting menu for $60 American, though I ordered a lobster, black truffle (shaved on top, legit stuff) and matsutake mushroom dish as a 28 Canadian dollar supplement. Other highlights included an uni tart, a superb venison dish, and a “shrimp taco” in a pork skin shell topped with absurd amounts of greens. And the desserts were superb. I don’t know if everything that night was just perfect or what, but it was one of my most memorable meals of the year, and that’s saying something because I did the Basque country pilgrimage in June…

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That’s super helpful

Could not get a Rez at Joe Beef but could get the sister resto, Liverpool House. Also looking at Pied Au Cochon, Montreal Plaza,

Pied Au Cochon! Heaven! Get the foie gras in a tin!

Pied Au Cochon is as classic as it gets. Didn’t go there bc that menu looks so absurdly heavy and I knew my dining companions wouldn’t wanna do Joe Beef and PaC. Montreal Plaza was high on my list too.

Also take a look at Hoogan et Beaufort. Went there and loved it.

Now looking like
Liverpool House, Pied Au Cochon, Bouillon Bilk

Boullion Bilk was FANTASTIC. Best meal we had in Montreal.
The awesome staff there suggested we go to Bar Le Mal Nécessaire afterwards - super fun, late night tiki bar. On another night, Bar Big in Japan was also wonderful.

We also loved the food and style of Liverpool House.
Au Pied was mostly a hit (the checkerboard of boudin noir and foie gras appetizers was super-terrific) but the place just did not WOW us as much as the other two dinners.
Checkerboard Foie/Boudin Noir

La Banquise was a nice poutine stop.
Chicken and Pea poutine


Fairmount Bagel scratched that itch. Right next door was the most wonderful place, Drogheria Fine, selling Italian items and fabulous hot gnocchi. Hit the spot on a cold, snowy, windy day.

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Almost forgot - Notkin’s for a seafood lunch was another winner - huge, fresh oyster selection.

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Ahh you went to that little Italian place, damn I should have skipped my second round of bagels and done some gnocchi. Thanks for the report, looks like I’ll have to try Boullon Bilk next time I’m out there.

Now I’m sort of glad I passed on Au Pied…

I figure I’ll be back soon. It’s quite the city and now that I’m New York based it’s just a short skip away…

Over holidays had great meals at:
Beatrice Inn
Cafe Altro Paradiso

So-so meals at:
Red Farm (good but not really my cup of tea)
MP Taverna (wanted it to be Elias Corner but it is not)

Esca was both fantastic and atrocious.
Has such a wonderful lunch on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. Everything was aces.
So, I brought my parents and siblings for a horrible dinner on the Sunday after TG. The fish stew was marred by rotting clams. The pasta with crab meat and uni had no uni. It was like no one shopped for fresh fish after Wednesday and the B team was cooking (or not cooking) on Sunday. They took the bad dishes off the bill. But it really was terrible.