The complete culinary traveller’s guide for where to eat, shop, and enjoy the local food and drink in Montreal.
OLD MONTREAL Lining the edge of the St Lawrence River is Vieux Montreal with its cobblestone streets, picturesque squares, old-world architecture, quais, cafés, fine-dining and small parks. Charming, although narrow, Rue St Paul is where you’ll find many artisans, while Rue de la Commune is a breezy waterfront street teeming with cyclists, wandering tourists and Cirque du Soleil patrons.
DOWNTOWN Rue Ste-Catherine is the busy hub of downtown with big name fashion brands and department stores. But along Notre-Dame Ouest and Rue Charlevoix is a somewhat secluded eating and drinking scene. For example, Restaurant Candide, hidden in the back half of a church in the suburb called Little Burgundy, is a unique fine-dining experience.
LE PLATEAU MONT-ROYAL This is a hip area for eating out (only second in “coolness” to Mile End and Mile Ex), with a range of restaurants for all meals of the day, although if you eat at the famous Au Pied du Cochon, you may not need any other meals! You’ll also find a healthy amount of BYOB bistros and big plates along Le Jardins de Panos.
MILE END, MILE EX, LITTLE ITALY Looking to do some culinary shopping? Little Italy is the best area for kitchen items. These neighbourhoods are also where you’ll find some really unique, although not necessarily pricey, bistros, lounges and eateries as well as legendary bagel shops, and many cafés. Hip new Mile Ex is considered Montreal’s most creative area, with hidden bars, brasseries and many boutique eateries.
MARCHÉ JEAN-TALON This is the city’s largest food market, with several hundred stalls selling all kinds of fresh produce, and offering many taste tests! There are also several delis and cafés where you can get sandwiches, crêpes and other meals. 7075 Ave Casgrain, 7 am – 6 pm Mon, Wed and Sat, to 8 pm Thu and Fri, to 5 pm Sun.
MARCHÉ ATWATER You’ll find this market on the banks of the Canal de Lachine. Inside the vaulted hall are high-end delicatessens and specialty food shops, meanwhile outside are various other vendors. 138 Ave Atwater, 7 am – 6 pm Mon-Wed, to 7 pm Thu, to 8 pm Fri, to 5 pm Sat and Sun.
MARCHÉ BONSECOURS Built in 1847, this is Montreal’s oldest public market, that sold meats and fresh produce right up until 1963. Although you won’t find fresh ingredients here today, the neoclassical heritage building is still an edifice to be admired. It now houses several cafés, and boutique shops selling arts, crafts and fashion pieces. In warmer months a number of al fresco restaurants take over the front façade at 350 Saint-Paul Est.
All of Montreal’s markets are open year-round. For a complete listing of Montreal’s farmers’ markets see www.marchepublics-mtl.com
Montreal’s great tastes
There are many local bagel bakeries. For a fresh bagel any time of day, try St-Viateur Bagel (open 24 hours) at their 263 St-Viateur Ouest location.
Montreal smoked meat is available all over town, but try Schwartz’s—a Montreal tradition since 1928—and while you’re there pick up some Montreal steak spice to bring home. Schwartz’s Deli, 3895 Boul St-Laurent.
Visit Marché des Saveurs (in Marché Jean-Talon) for all kinds of Quebecois delicacies, such as cheeses, smoked meats, preserves and more.
Montreal’s great drinks
- Microbrasserie de Charlevoix
- Le Trou du diable
- Les Trois Mousquetaires
- Bell Guele
- Brasseurs du Monde
- Dieu du Ciel
- Pit Caribou
- Le Castor
- Le Lièvre
- Les Soeurs Grises
- Brasseurs Illimités
- Brasseurs Dunham
- Le Bilboquet