The depanneur is a Montreal staple that touches the lives of everyone in the city. It’s safe to say that every Montrealer has developed a personal relationship with their depanneur. These places are not simply convenience stores, they are pillars of the local community that help foster and cultivate the culture of this city that we all love so much. All that being said, with thousands peppering the city, it’s truly difficult to choose the best. One thing is for certain, a good dep needs to have good food and good beer. With this daunting task at hand, I've done my best to present to you the seven best deps in the city.
1. Marché Unique
If it wasn’t for this place existing I likely wouldn’t be alive to write this article. They’re a dep at the core, but they sell good food, all reasonably priced. We’re talking won ton soup, steamed dumplings, stir fry, Jamaican patties, spring rolls, pastries, cookies, a varied and quality assortment of sandwiches and salads, and probably a few other things that I can’t recall off hand. They also have all the dep essentials like a solid beer and wine section. The woman at the counter is quiet and a little standoffish at times, but I don’t care. This place is tremendous, and I’m not usually in the mood for small talk whilst buying an embarrassing amount of food from them.
2. Mini Cout
This is my childhood dep. It’s quite large and has everything you want a dep to have. It’s also one of the most financially successful deps in the city. Everyone in Montreal West goes there all the time. It houses a very comprehensive deli section where they serve home made sandwiches, and it also has good coffee and a varied pastry and pie section. The beer section is good, but it isn’t cheap. They do however have a wide range of rolling papers and blunt wraps. They also sell pumpkins on Halloween, Christmas trees on ... well on Christmas, and have in season fruit and vegetable sales outside in their parking lot come spring. The staff is very friendly as well, and the same family has owned the place for years. Legendary spot. Definitely worth checking out.
This depanneur is also a solid entry mainly because of the food. They have an array of stuff similar to Marche Unique. Lots of good home made sandwiches, wraps, soups, and salads. They also have great pan-fried dumplings for super cheap, and a candy section that’s rife with rare chocolate bars that you don’t see everywhere. The fridge is well stocked with both imported and domestic beers, and the young girl who often works the cash is quite friendly and adorable.
4. Depanneur Nouveau Forum
This dep is the perfect place to fulfill your late night drunken junk food cravings. It’s open 24/7, and is located smack dab in the middle of downtown. It carries all the necessary dep essentials, good beer, candy, etc., but most importantly, it serves cheap pizza and poutine as well, making it a convenient last stop after a fun filled night of hedonism and debauchery
5. Depanneur A.S.
This dep is quite small, unassuming, and is located near Fairmount Bagel on St. Laurent. The main reason why it makes the list is due to its beer section. It’s got all the typical local favourites, but it also carries quite an extensive artisanal and craft beer selection from all over the world.
6. Depanneur Lalime
This dep has arguably the perfect balance in terms of its beer and food selection. Their beer section is large and comprehensive in terms of both imports and domestics, and the food is great too. They’re mostly known for their breakfast sandwiches, garlic-rosemary chicken wraps, and toasted pork paninis. It’s all cheap, and it’s all tasty.
7. Sushi & Depanneur
Ok, I’ll admit that I’m kind of cheating here, because this place is really more of a sushi restaurant/Japanese grocer than it is a depanneur. The thing is, it’s got ‘depanneur’ in the name, and there is no other depanneur out there that has sushi as good as this place. It’s very small and quaint, and only has about six tables, but the menu is very extensive and inexpensive. The sushi is simple, traditional, and fresh. Go there!