16 meals in Montreal that you must eat at the very least as soon as
Montreal’s food scene is iconic. Plain and simple.
The city boasts a number of must-try meals that you have to eat. From smoked meat to bagels, poutines, and the classic steamy hot dog, you can’t just focus on one thing to eat in Montreal.
Even if it’s just once, we promise you’ll be coming back for more with these iconic Montreal dishes.
Garlic potatoes at Boustan
Boustan’s garlic potatoes hit the spot every time, especially after a few drinks. If you really want to perfect the duo, grab a “creation shawarma.” As tasty as the shawarmas are, the garlic potatoes are the real winners here— every single time.
Portuguese roast chicken at Romados
Romados’ in-house Portuguese chicken is an absolute must-try. It’s tender and smokey — add some house chilli oil for a bit of an extra kick to make it pretty close to perfection.
Sesame bagel at Fairmount Bagel
Fairmount Bagel is the king of the city’s bagel game. It’s still dishing out tasty bagels from its original location in 1949. It’s open 24 hours a day because Montrealers need a bagel fix at any time of the day.
Grab a dozen sesame seed bagels, some cream cheese, and you might just end up eating all twelve.
And you know what? It’s completely normal.
Smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s
From one institution to another, Schwartz’s is an absolute must-try if you’re in Montreal. It’s arguably the most synonymous restaurant in the city’s food scene, and one bite into the smoked meat sandwich will prove why.
Steamé hot dog at La Belle Province
Ah, le steamé hot dog. Hot dogs are basic meals, but nobody does the steamé like Quebec. If you’re in Montreal, tackle any of the city’s Belle Pros, and you’ll find tasty simplicity at its best.
Burgers at Dic Ann’s
Dic Ann’s was founded more than six decades ago and has branched out to several locations around town. The home-grown burger chain is known for serving up thin patty burgers with a little bit of spice. It’s an absolute Montreal classic.
Caffe latte at Café Olimpico
Okay, we’ll cheat a bit here, only because it’s a must-try. It’s not a meal, but the Italian coffee shop Olimpico serves up a caffe latte that you have to try. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better coffee in Montreal, which says a lot.
Quarter chicken at Chalet Bar-BQ
Chalet Bar-BQ is a Montreal landmark. The spot has a simple menu: chicken meals variation and fries.The slow-cooked chicken is wood-fired, and the quarter chicken (or half) meal with a plate of fries is near perfection.
Even in the delivery form.
Poutine at La Banquise
It’s tough to pinpoint the best poutine in Montreal, but La Banquise gets extra points for being open all the time. If you’re in the mood for tasty poutine any time of the day, La Banquise has 30 variations of poutines, with their best being the classic.
An Orange Julep at Gibeau Orange Julep
The Orange Julep obviously stands out, you know, because it’s a giant sphere off the highway, but the Julep’s signature drink is part orange juice and part milkshake.
Again, it’s not a meal, but it’s an absolute must-try. Toss in a hot dog or two while you’re there.
Lobster Spaghetti with Joe Beef
Joe Beef is arguably Montreal’s most celebrated dine-in spot. Their famous lobster cream sauce pasta is highly sought after. It’ll cost you $85, but it’s completely worth it.
Italian Sub at Momesso
If you’re in the mood for a sub, Momesso’s is your go-to — enough said.
The McArthur at Arthur’s Nosh Bar
Arthurs, the modern Jewish diner, is relatively new to Montreal’s food scene, but its crispy fried chicken schnitzel, The McArthur, is an absolute classic. Fried chicken, mayo, pickles, and lettuce on homemade challah.
Fois gras poutine at Au Pied de Cochon
When you’re talking about food in Montreal, sure, poutines will come up. But if you want to go deluxe, the foie gras variation of the popular dish is a heavy and decadent take on the classic Quebecois dish.
Cheese curds, gravy, and a heaping pile of foie gras — Wowza.
The Special at Wilensky’s
Wilensky’s is a family-run lunch counter that’s been open since 1932. The special is their go-to: salami, bologna, cheese, and mustard on a kaiser roll. It’s simple and delicious.
Chicken liver pâté at L’Express
L’Express’ pâté is a creamy and fluffy dish that is a must if you’re on the hunt for traditional French dishes. Served at one of Montreal’s most iconic restaurants, it’s a must-try. Even if you’re not into pâté, give this a shot to change your mind.