Photo cred - wEnDaLicious
Meat on a stick has been a culinary staple for thousands of years, and few cultures do it as well as the Greeks. Maybe their greatest gift to mankind is the infamous Souvlaki, from the original Greek word souvla, or ‘skewer’ (go figure). Whether it’s pork, chicken, lamb, or beef, devoured straight off the grill or wrapped in pita as a sandwich, Souvlaki is enjoyed around the world, and Montreal is no exception. Like most things in this city, there’s almost an infinite amount of options of where to get your hands on this Greek masterpiece, that’s why we’ve narrowed down a list for you, our fellow viewers, so at least you know where to start. In no particular order…
Photo cred - Michael Zheng
Doesn’t look like much from the outside, but people love Marven’s which is probably why there is usually a line up. If you don’t mind the wait, you will be rewarded with deliciously awesome skewered meat.
From what I can tell, people either really love or really hate Marathon. I think the reason is due to the fact that it is one of the more commercial options out there. That said, it’s clean, portions are decent and it generally hits the spot.
This family-style restaurant, and actually run by an actual family, is BYOW (bonus) and delivers on some serious flavour. Their souvlaki plate is generous with perfectly charred but juicy skewers, and the terasse and décor will make you feel like you’re in a Greek restaurant, which is kind of the point.
Photo cred - J.R. Rondeau
Montreal’s Park Ex borough is largely populated by Greeks, so it’s not surprising that there is an abundance of options here. Elatos has been serving up tasty souvlaki for decades, and while the décor certainly reflects that, the food here definitely makes up for it. For an extra buck, add fries on top for the true “Elatos Style” pita.
Photo cred - Foodspotting
Opened in 1971, what was once a tiny spot in Montreal’s Mile End, is now also a major retail brand selling their products on grocery shelves nation-wide. Obviously they are doing something right and if you’ve never tried their souvlaki before, what are you waiting for? Hard to hate on a tzatziki recipe that’s lasted for over 43 years.
Estiatorio Yia Sou
I’ve heard people complain that the portions here are too big, as if that’s a bad thing! The ambiance is cool, the prices are good and their lamb souvlaki is out of this world. Definitely worth the trip on the blue line.
La Ligne Rouge
Another family-run restaurant that came from humble beginnings (Greeks are all about family), La Ligne Rouge do traditional cuisine with a focus on fresh, homemade ingredients. The owner doesn’t care what you call it (souvlaki, gyro, brochette) as long as you’re enjoying the food, and his bad-ass, hot-rodder style is hard to deny.
Photo cred - Foodspotting
A McGill Ghetto favourite, Alto’s has been filling bellies the right way for years. This friendly eatery can cook up just about anything and everything, as reflected by their large menu, and their souvlaki trio is my go-to item whenever I eat there. Huge portions mean they sometimes are heavy on the sauce, but perfect for dunking your fries in.
A little out of the way, but if you shop at Marche Centrale, you should definitely hit this place up. Nostos is a popular choice for their girthy chunks of perfectly cooked chicken or pork souvlakia (plural of souvlaki). Prices are very decent and their tzatziki is spot on.
Le Coin Grec
Le Coin Grec is a wildly popular spot for your Greek-food fix. Their souvlaki is always juicy and tender and their awesome selection of wines and beers along with their inviting dining room will keep you coming back again and again.
Villa du Souvlaki
While I did say this list was in no particular order, I am definitely partial to this place. I ate lunch here pretty much every day when I attended high-school just up the street. Classic souvlaki, wrapped in warm pita, deliciously slathered in home-made tzatziki, and topped with fresh onions, tomato and thick-cut cucumber. I generally try my best not to be bias, but add to that their moreish golden-dollar fries, and I could eat here every day. In fact, I did.
4491 Boulevard Samson (Laval)
Another off-island favourite, Village Grec looks and feels like, well, a Greek village. The interior is reminiscent of some quaint sea-side villa, and man do they know how to do a souvlaki plate. Huge portions, great value and a real authentic-y feel, Village Grec will make your belly smile.