The French brought many things to Canada, but hands down it is their culinary taste we appreciate the most. Quebec is most famous for its tourtières (meat pies), pâté chinois, pea soup, baked beans, cretons, ham dishes, maple desserts such as Grand-Pères and molasses treats such as "tire Ste-Catherine" (St. Catherine's taffy). And, let us not forget the greasy goodness of poutine. So bring on the fat and sugar, and dig into these restaurants that cater to all your belle province needs!
Taverne Gaspar89 Rue de la Commune East Montreal, QC H2Y1J1Inspired by British gastro pubs, all its flavor comes from Quebec. Modern cuisine set in a historic building. The menu boasts such dishes as lobster sliders, oysters, fish and chips, and a delish mac ‘n cheese. The house brew is the Gaspar lager, and other local beers include St-Ambroise suds.
L’Orignal479 Rue St-Alexis Montreal, QC H2Y2N7The restaurant is on Saint-Alexis, a small cobblestone street in Old Montreal. L’Orignal means “moose” in French. So expect game food heaven. Menu includes such things as lamb burgers, braised wild boar, and a bison rib steak. The walls decorated with antlers, birch trunks arranged in large urns, and tables made of polished maple are also indicative of that French Canadian charm.
Photo credit Smith & Ratliff
Binerie367 Ave Du Mont-Royal E Montréal, QC H2T1R1This small diner has been open since 1938. This isn’t fine dining, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time. Everything is homemade and they serve great traditional Quebecois food. Some menu features include their trademark beans,tourtières, Pâté chinois, pouding chômeur, pea soup and spruce beer.
Les 3 Petits Bouchons4669 Rue St-Denis Montréal, QC H2J2L3Located in the Plateau, this cave-like space with brick and stone walls, and wood features makes for a perfect tête-à-tête – as the French would say. Owners Xavier Burini, Michel Charette and chef Audrey Dufresne have garnered a lot of foodie/wine geek buzz for being one of the best wine bars in town. Look up from your table and you'll see a blackboard listing a couple dozen wines sold by the glass. There are obscure wines -mostly French and organic-made by passionate "vignerons."
Photo credit Montreal, Best Food Ever Blog
Patati Patata Friterie de Luxe4177 Boulevard St-Laurent Montréal, QC H2WThis place has been serving up greasy goodness for almost twenty years. So calorie counters be gone! Many would consider this a go to poutine place. Even at odd hours it is fully packed.
Photo credit Shut up and eat
Au Pied de Cochon Cabane à Sucre11382 Rang De La Fresniere Mirabel, QC J7N2S4If you want the real French Canadian experience there is no better place than Chef Martin Picard's homage to sugar shack culture. Ya, you can go to the restaurant on Duluth and try his famous and fancy version of a poutine (fries, cheese curds and gravy made upscale with foie gras), but if you want the real provincial experience we suggest heading to Mirabel and willingly embrace a cholesterol coma.
La Banquise994 Rue Rachel Est Montreal, QC H2J2J3A top 10 list of French Canadian grub that didn’t include multiple poutine hot spots isn’t an authentic one. It serves twenty-five different kinds of poutine and is open 24 hours. On his television program, No Reservations, American chef Anthony Bourdain recommended La Banquise as one of his favourite meals in Montreal.
Photo credit John Kenney, The Gazette
Bouillon Bilk1595 Saint Laurent Montreal, QC H2XThe restaurant’s name has no real significance other than the fact that it sounded good to the owners. A small selection on the menu, but you can be sure that each dish is as tasty as it is pleasing to the eye. This is contemporary cuisine with an emphasis on seafood.
Photo credit Graham Hughes, The Gazette
La Colombe554 Ave Duluth E Montréal, QC H2L1B3This byob features such menu items as duck, foie gras, deer and Quebec's finest cheeses. It is remarkably affordable for fine French cuisine. It’s quite a small locale so reservations are definitely recommended.
Photo credit Martin Lemire
1227 Rue De La Montagne Montréal, QC H3G1Z2
Might want to start saving up for this one because this is French Canadian fancy à la max. If it’s made it on Frommer’s as a must see in Montreal it's got to be doing something right. Celebrity chef Jérôme Ferrer was also named one of the world’s top restaurant chefs of 2012 by Trip Advisor. They’ve got interesting ways to serve your dishes such as pastrami chips hanging on a miniature clothes line, cheese cigars presented in a humidor, and an over-sized ball of candy floss in a bowl.
Are their other French Canadian restaurants that you know of that didn't make the cut and should have? Let us know!
Written by Amanda Fulginiti, see more of her work here.