Photo Cred - mj*laflaca
Traditional paella finds its origins in the coastal towns of Valencia and is largely considered today as Spain's national dish. Many regional variations of this popular rice dish exist, but the three best known are Valencian paella, seafood paella and mixed paella. While each incorporate different ingredients, all share the same foundation of toasting a layer of rice at the bottom of the paellera (pan), which is then left to develop and absorb all the delicious cooking flavours.
Obviously, the best paellas are found slow-cooking over open fires on the beaches of Eastern Spain, but you can still find some tasty recipes being served up here in Montreal.
Open for over 30 years, El Gitano knows their paella. With over a dozen kinds to choose from, you will have a hard time deciding which one to get. Portions are really generous and deliciously prepared. The lamb and rabbit are always good choices, or pick your own lobster from the aquarium to add to your paella. El Gitano also hosts Flamenco shows every Saturday night.
Tapeo is already well-known for its simple and elegant tapas, but the Paella à la Tapeo for 2 is so worth it. Ingredients change daily, so you know it's always fresh, but generally features nice, fat shrimps, complemented by a large selection of Spanish wines to choose from.
An Old Port favourite, Barroco features a warm and rustic interior with paella to match. The "Paella Barroco" is expertly prepared and overloaded with fresh sea food, chorizo, and veggies, and for a little extra you can add a half-lobster straight from Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Plus Barroco offers great drinks and live rock 'n roll/jazz music that always make for memorable nights out.
Photo Cred - @gacia
Club Espagnole De Quebec
Don't be fooled, Club Espagnole De Quebec can be considered a community center, but that just means you're guaranteed some truly authentic paella with huge shrimp, perfectly-cooked rice, mussels and sausage in every bite. Plus, a humble decor also means very humble prices.
La Sala Rosa
While La Sala Rosa serves up great food 6 nights a week, the paella tastes extra delicious along side live Flamenco music every Thursday. You have a choice of several different kinds of paella, each served with salad and include a creme caramel for dessert. Once dinner's over, why not head upstairs to dance the night away.
Les Pyrénées is a French/Spanish fusion restaurant in the heart of Old Montreal with great atmosphere and impeccable service. Their Catalan Paella made with seafood, pork, chorizo and chicken is a true taste of the Pyrénéesin the Basque Country, and the dessert menu features some delectable French classics.
Photo Cred - Casa Minhota
So more of a Portuguese restaurant, Casa Minhota still makes a mean paella. This friendly, unassuming restaurant serves up fresh and perfectly cooked seafood, always well-seasoned, and the rice is always tender. Wash it all down with a fine wine, and you're primed for a night out on The Main afterwards.
Baked in traditional metal plates for that real authentic flavour, Casa Galicia offers 12 different kinds of paella including their delicious Catalonian paella made with lamb, chicken, mussels, chorizo and squid. Or get the seafood paella for 2 with lobster and shrimp, which comes with your choice of lobster bisque or a chef's salad as appetizer. Throw in a pitcher of sangria and free professional Flamenco shows on the weekends, and you might even forget you're in Montreal!