There are so many restaurants in Montreal that it can be hard to decide where, or what, to eat. There are just so many options: Montreal is a melting pot of different cultures, and the city offers a wide variety of cuisines.

Many people who come to the city find themselves overwhelmed with choice. We've tried to make this choice a little easier by rounding up a list of the must-tries in the city.

Whether you're a tourist, new to the city, or have lived here your entire life, here is a list of the foods you can't leave Montreal without trying.

Montreal "steamies"

The classic Montreal hot dog is a favourite for a reason: the soft, chewy bun with a steamed sausage and some delicious condiments make for the ultimate summer classic.

Orange Julep

This institution is so iconic in the city that it's hardly necessary to explain why it deserves a spot on this list. Their iconic drink, made with oranges, dairy and egg whites, has been around since the restaurant's opening in 1922.

You can watch our video about the famous store here.

Portuguese chicken

Though "portuguese chicken" may not exactly synonymous with "great Montreal food." But Montreal has a thriving Portuguese community, and we have a ton of restaurants that offer Piri-Piri chicken. Romado's and Ma Poule Mouillée are two favourites.

Two Chow

Alright, before you get mad at me in the comments, this is a list of the foods you can't leave the city without trying, not the best food in the city. Because is there anything more #MTL than scarfing down some $2 noodles after a night out on St-Lo?


Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without this entry. Whether you're team St Viateur or team Fairmount, you have to agree on one thing: Montreal bagels are the best.

"New Canadian" cuisine

There has been a revival in classic Canadian cuisine. Restaurants like Joe Beef and Manitoba are championing the farm-to-table approach and re-kindling our interest in classic recipes.

Smoked Meat

Institutions like Schwartz's have given Montreal a worldwide reputation for smoked meat. The delicious, tender meat is served hot or cold in rye bread, with mustard and (optional) pickles. A true delight.


Obviously, this Montreal mainstay is included on the list. Though the cheesy, gooey dish is found in diners across Canada, the best poutines are undoubtedly in Quebec. Some of the best poutines are in the least glamorous locations: think small, family-owned diners.

Queue de Castor

Yes, this company has locations throughout Canada, but the pastry is everywhere in the city: one of the busiest locations is in the Old Port, where tourists line up at all times of the day to get a sweet treat.

Rotisserie Chicken

There's a lot of great chicken in the city. If Portuguese chicken isn't your thing, you should give regular old rotisserie chicken a try. Though it isn't the best chicken in town, St-Hubert is a Québécois classic, and something that we've all eaten at some point.


Thanks to the abovementioned Portuguese community, the city is #blessed with a ton of spots to eat great natas. Read this article for our favourites.



Again: this may not be the best food, but it sure is a Montreal classic. Shawarma after a night out? Yes, please.

Street food

Montreal has no shortage of street food: food trucks line the streets in the Old Port. We even have a monthly event dedicated to food trucks, called First Fridays. Not to mention the Salada Market, where you can get crazy treats like the Krispy Kreme donut burger poutine.

Donut holes

The ever-popular Timbit and all of its imitators have a special place in the heart of Montrealers. If Tim Hortons isn't your deal, try a donut hole at Mr. Puffs, a Montreal-based company.

Maple-syrup derived products

Though Canada is generally synonymous with maple syrup, the bulk of the sweet syrup is produced in Quebec. We have a ton of maple syrup products like cookies, butters, and toffee. It's the best if you have a sweet tooth.

That concludes our summer bucket list of foods that you HAVE to try before you leave Montreal.

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