For a city pretty far from the ocean, Montreal has good seafood. But never mind seafood! You'll forget your own name eating some of the tasty fried calamari that are served here in Montreal. The quality of the squid is less important than the quality of the preparation. That squid could've been an outright bastard, but it'll taste mighty good fried up w/ butter and lemon and french fries, here in Montreal or anywhere else. The following is an unranked list of Montreal's best calamari.
This Montreal seafood spot/chipper is a great place for fried calamari. The squids are crispy, the decor is lovely, and the price is definitely right. They also have tons of dipping sauces if you don't want to just have tzatziki.This fabulous Jean-Talon fish market has many special "days" like when they feature their Oysters and open up the fish market to the alleyway to create a little restaurant. During the summer their fryer stall is open and you can roll by anytime and get fresh calamari cooked up as you wait or shop! The calamari is served w/ french fries and fiery thousand island. If you're hungry, pair the calamari w/ some fried shrimp.This Vieux-Montreal favorite is known for classy French foods like Duck Confit, but it also harbors some dangerous calamari. Perfectly fried, invitingly warm, these calamars melt in your mouth and are paired with delicious cilantro mayonnaise. These calamars are crispy, no gross rubbery stuff.For some sophisticated grilled seafood, look to Portuguese chef Helena Loureiro and her self-titled Vieux-Montreal restaurant. The Parrilhada dish at Helena includes U-10 Scallops, squid, octopus, and giant shrimps. The dish is $64 dollars, so go with friends!Despite , the people of Montreal are clamouring for Marvin's. This historical Montreal Greek restaurant has been churning out calamari for decades and continues to do a good job. Come here for a slice of Montreal history, and some good calamars.This classic family-run Greek hole-in-the-wall restaurant has some really good fried calamari. Nostalgia in Greek literally means the pain from an old wound. It's a twinge -- one in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This restaurant, this piece of Montreal history, is still family owned, and still has quality donner, gyros, souvlaki plates, as well as delicious fried calamari.Chez Delmo is nestled in Montreal's Vieux-Port and is well-known for excellent seafood dishes like their salmon tartare. Chez Delmo is also home to great calamari, halibut, scallops, Arctic char, mussels, and fish & chips.Elatos is a classic Montreal Greek restaurant that serves well-priced dishes like souvlaki, donners, gyros, pizza, and even calamari! The fried calamars here are a perfect accompaniment to a great, greasy, garlic-y, meal!This upscale Greek restaurant serves magnificent renditions of favorites like roasted lamb, octopus, and deep fried eggplant and zucchini. Their Tzatziki and Saganaki are both fabulous and the Kopanisti is another standout. The calamari is fried and served in large portions w/ eggplant and zucchini chips!Jano serves calamari Portuguese style, grilled not fried! These delicious and un-battered calamars are grilled and seasoned to mouth-melting perfection with a spicy-buttery sauce. By masterfully grilling the squid instead of over-frying it like some places, Jano's calamari is succulent, juicy, and easy to tear apart.This unique restaurant divides itself in two parts of a building, one a brilliantly lit kitchen that diners can view while they eat, and the other is a comfortable dining room with warm lighting and a black, purple, and neon red crab interior. Calamari here are fried or grilled or sauteed with zucchini on a bed of noodles. This restaurant is very innovative (see mint salad and dessert dumplings), which can be rare in China town.To add a little Verdun flavor to this list, Indian-French fusion restaurant Les Délices de l’Île Maurice makes some amazing herb-battered fried calamari. Deep fried cabbage fritters and fish balls are also two brilliant little dishes that you'll only experience here!Tripolis is a family-run Greek restaurant in Parc-Ex that features some of the best calamari in Montreal. The calamars are fresh, cut in big pieces, and not overpowered by the batter.The calamari here is served Greek style: fried, fresh, cheap, and in humongous portions. The batter is crunchy, but not too hard, and the calamars are soft but not mushy!This poissonnerie/restaurant serves delicious deep-fried calamari and fried Tiger Shrimp! Paired with a tasty chowder, this fish market/resto offers a great stop & shop fish experience.This creative little Mexican restaurant plays with squid quite a bit! Their calamari/squid/ceviche salad is very spicy and delicious. The calamari have a enticing smokey roasted flavor and are incredibly tender. Paired with any other food at Maïs, the calamari make a fabulous appetizer.This upscale Portuguese restaurant makes fantastic grilled calamari. Ferreira Cafe has an extensive wine list, brilliant food, and grilled calamari just the way it should be done. Ferreira is a haven for properly prepared scallops, fish heads, clams, shrimp, and more beefy Portuguese dishes too!Philinos is a swanky and classically Montreal-Greek restaurant that specializes in an authentic lively atmosphere and dishes like fried octopus, Saganaki, freshly made Spanakopita, and rack of lamb. Philinos also lays claim to some of the best fried calamaris in the city.
With occasional specials like fried calamari poutine with squid ink sauce and gold flakes, Au Pied is on this list for a reason. The meat masters at Au Pied serve their regular calamari light and full of citrus flavor, accompanied by caviar. The seafood platter here is immense, bring some backup for stuffed mussels, conch, razor clams, calamari, cherrystone clams, oysters, and periwinkles sautéed in black bean sauce.
A startling 46% of seafood samples sold in restaurants and grocery stores in four major Canadian cities were mislabelled, according to a report published Wednesday by the non-profit group Oceana Canada.
Often, low-cost knockoffs were pawned off as fancy fishes; out of a total of 94 samples, all 24 of butterfish, yellowtail and white tuna were mislabelled and over half of the samples labelled snapper was actually tilapia, "a much cheaper" fish.
Furthermore, there were 10 occasions where products labelled butterfish or tuna turned out to be escolar, a fish that "can cause acute gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and nausea and is banned from sale in several countries," according to a news release.
Despite promises to tackle the issue, seafood fraud has been an ongoing problem in Canada. Oceana's multi-year DNA testing study found the Canadian city with the most fake fish was Montreal, where 52% of the samples were mislabelled, though Ottawa and Toronto did nearly as poorly, with mislabelling rates of 50% each.
Sayara Thurston, a seafood fraud campaigner, highlighted the need for better traceability systems to detect foul fish before they hit our dinner plates. "Buying fish shouldn't be a guessing game. Canadians deserve to have confidence in the seafood they eat."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The restaurant is located on the Bay of Quinte, on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. The spacious terrasse overlooks Victoria Park Harbour, where many people dock their boats, including sailboats and yachts. The ambiance is very nautical chic — just like you'd expect to find in a trendy port city.
To top it all off, Boathouse serves amazing seafood. According to its website, it was voted "Best Seafood Restaurant in Ontario" by the Ontario Food Awards in 2019, and it's won the Belleville Readers' Choice Award for favourite seafood restaurant 16 years running.
The menu includes seafood chowder, battered halibut, a lobster and king crab combo, fish tacos — and basically anything delicious that a seafood lover could dream of.
Boathouse has daily food and drink specials and live music every Saturday night. It's open all year round, but if you go on your birthday, you'll get a free entree valued up to $15. Make sure you sign up in advance to take advantage of the free birthday program.
A menu posted in May also shows classic snack shack eats, like burgers, giant hot dogs, club sandwiches and fries.
But best of all might be the view. The cantine sits right on the seashore (well, it's technically still the Saint Lawrence River Estuary, but it's the closest we can get to the sea in most of southern Quebec).
Get the details below.
Cuisine: Seafood and summer snacks
Address: 479, route de la Mer, Sainte-Flavie, QC
Why You Need To Go: To enjoy some greasy fried food and eat seafood the way it's meant to be consumed: on the side of the road.