At some point in every Montrealer's life, they are bound to become acquainted with a steaming hot plate of crispy french fries, melted cheese curds and a savoury gravy sauce; yes, I'm talking about poutine, people. A mandatory choice for anyone new or old to the city, poutine is kind of a big deal here, so much so that we have festivals to celebrate the heart-clogger dish and a variety of culinarily creative toppings to elevate the classic drunk-munchie meal. This budget-friendly midnight snack is a no-brainer option for students in downtown Montreal, so without further adieu, please enjoy a roundup of the most delectable, delicious, jaw-droppingly delightful poutine dishes in and around the McGill Ghetto area, soon to be in and around your mouth.
The name speaks for itself; self-proclaimed "Montreal's Best Poutine" restaurant, this place makes a solid case for its title. Not only are they one of the best in the city, but their Heart Attack Poutine (topped with everything from chicken, bacon and hot dogs to green peppers, minced beef, mushrooms and homemade gravy) weighs in at a hefty 15 pounds, i.e. the biggest poutine you can find in Montreal, guaranteed. Feeling a little delicate after a rough night out? Their Hangover Cure poutine goes down well with two Advils and a little hair of the dog.
2 .Montreal Pool Room
Shoot pool 'n slurp poutine at this authentic and old AF St Laurent hidden gem. Well, that's a bit of a lie. Since opening in 1912 (!!), Montreal Pool Room is no longer a place to actually play pool, but their poutine is still of the delectably delicious and well-known variety amongst the greasy spoon community.
Photo Cred - mtlblog
3. La Banquise
A classic choice that is anything but traditional when it comes to its poutine creations. The first time I stopped here for a midnight
snack meal, the line-up down the street was so long I thought it was a very obscure, very odd-looking club. But if there's anywhere that's serves poutine dishes that are well worth the wait, it's La Banquise. Guac and hot peppers? Pulled pork and creamy coleslaw? You name it, they've probably got it.
4. Patati Patata
A small place with big serving sizes, Patati Patata (say that 10 times fast) has earned its stellar reputation for dishing out some decadent poutine plates. This teeny-tiny french fry joint located on St Laurent proves the age old debate that size doesn't matter so long as they keep serving up some of the most flavourful, cheese-tastic poutine in the game.
5. McGill Pizza
A stone's throw away from McGill's Milton gates entrance, McGill Pizza is the budget-friendly place to be when exam season hits you hard and the only thing that will ease the pain is french fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy. Not just cheese and gravy though, this comfort food joint mods the classic poutine and ups the deliciousness factor with toppings that include bacon, sausage, onions, mushrooms and more. The cost to deliciousness ratio is almost as overwhelming as the portion sizes.
6. Pied de Cochon
Finally, a place where you can eat like a total cochon but feel fancy while doing it because you're pigging out on fucking foie gras poutine. How bougie. On the higher end of the wining and dining scale, Pied de Cochon offers elevated poutine dishes that can put even the biggest food snobs into total fangirl mode over some humble fry, gravy and curd combos.
Is absolutely magnifique. With philly steak, bacon 'roni and pizza to name a few of the many poutine topping options, you're guaranteed an explosion of flavourful goodness with every bite. Not feeling like trekking through the cold Montreal streets to reach these delicious dishes? Have no fear, Pitarifique delivers!
Photo Cred - nationalgeographic
With poutine plates big enough to feed an army (or one very drunk student), Alto is hard to miss and harder to resist. Located on Parc Avenue between the Ghetto and St Laurent, it is the mandatory stop you make as you stumble (possibly shoeless and definitely half-conscious) home from a ratchet night spent at Tokyo Thursday. The best part about an intoxicated trip to Alto's? Waking up to a doggie bag full of leftovers big enough to feed you and your roommates...who wants hungover breakfast?!
9. Vices & Versa
The beer is good, the poutine is great and vice versa. The bistro's laid-back atmosphere combined with its generous selection of regional brewskis and a deee-lish beer sauce poutine (yeah, that's a thing) makes it the perfect place to hang out with friends and subsequently slip into a comfort-food coma.
10. Dunn's Famous
And with good reason. Their must-try "Dunn's Famous" poutine plate incorporates another Montreal favourite, smoked meat, with a mouth-watering homemade gravy sauce and cheese curds so fresh they squeak. Not your thing? No problem (weirdo). Let your culinary imagination run wild with their "Your Taste" option and create a unique poutine dish with all the toppings your greedy heart desires.
11. Decarie Hot Dog
Don't let the name fool you. Sure, these guys dish out some top notch dogs, but dare I say the poutine is on the same level? A little hole in the wall greasy spoon, Decarie's secret to their great poutine is in the sauce; a hint of spicy, a touch of garlic and the perfect balance of sweet and salty gravy to top off crispy fries and cheese curds.
12. Frite Alors!
More like zut alors, too many poutine dishes to choose from. With their multiple locations in and around Montreal, you're bound to find yourself in a Frite Alors! devouring one of their famous meaty poutine dishes at some point. From bacon and pork fat to braised beef toppings, every poutine packs a hearty punch, so you're guaranteed to walk (more like roll) out satiated and totally stuffed.
Photo Cred - seriouseats
13. Comptoir 21
You'll eat (and gain) a ton. Primarily a fish & chips place, they've got you covered with their quality skin-on fries that are perfectly thick and satisfyingly crispy. Any veggie lovers in the house? In my humble opinion, Comptoir 21's rich vegetarian gravy option gives the traditional meat-based gravy a run for its money. Don't buy it? I guess you'll have to taste it to believe it.
Hungry for seconds? Check out the links below for some more crispy, cheesy and gooey goodness!