Although it's much different than past years, Montreal's La Poutine Week 2021 is finally here — which means Montrealers can chow down on some of the wildest, most original, most outrageous and most delicious poutines our city has ever seen.
If you're participating in the festival, which runs until February 7 via a combination of SkipTheDishes deliveries and online voting, then here are 14 poutines (out of 70 local options) you'll definitely want to try this week. Only one poutine will be declared the winner, but we hope many of these delectable creations become permanent menu items.
Restaurant: La Belle Tonki
Why You Need To Taste It: This poutine is currently at the top of La Poutine Week's leaderboard, sitting at number one in Canada! Topped with "Spicy Ramen Challenge" cheddar sauce, kimchi and chicken popcorn — how could you not try this Cambodian-Vietnamese fusion restaurant's spin on poutine?
Thit Kho Poutine (Vietnamese Braised Caramel Pork)
Restaurant: Le Petit Sao
Why You Need To Taste It: This one's currently number five in Canada on La Poutine Week's leaderboard. If you ever wondered what poutine would taste like if a Vietnamese grandmother made it for you — topping it with braised caramel pork, 'umami' sauce and fried shallots — now's your chance to find out.
Restaurant: Banquise resto
Why You Need To Taste It: What would a Montreal poutine festival be without La Banquise? Plus, there's that tongue-in-cheek nod to the Quebec curfew. Take any anger you may feel toward the curfew and use it to rip this dish to shreds — classic poutine topped with shredded beef, nacho cheese sauce, hot peppers and bits of mac and cheese.
The Village GalvaudeLa Poutine Week
Restaurant: Resto du Village MTL
Why You Need To Taste It: An absolute mountain of fries, homemade poutine sauce, crispy fried chicken and peas. You'll never be hungry again... until your next poutine.
Restaurant: 3 Brasseurs
Why You Need To Taste It: This is the poutine for morning people... or just people who miss brunch: Toulouse sausage, caramelized onions, Camembert cheese, soft-cooked egg and buttery hollandaise sauce.
Chicken & Waffle PoutineLa Poutine Week
Restaurant: Poutine Boss
Why You Need To Taste It: Another one for the breakfast lovers. This poutine manages to amp up chicken and waffles, taking them to a whole new poutine-filled level. Yassss!
Seafood and Cury Poutine (Khao Poon Style)La Poutine Week
Restaurant: La Betise Rosemont
Why You Need To Taste It: This one's for the seafood lovers because this poutine is topped with grilled shrimps and squids! It also has red curry sauce with coconut, lemongrass and kaffir lime aroma, giving it a Laotian flavour profile.
La French TacosLa Poutine Week
Restaurant: Mont Tacos
Why You Need To Taste It: So you can eat the tortilla bowl when you're done with the poutine... duh.
Shahi PoutineLa Poutine Week
Restaurant: Thali Indian
Why You Need To Taste It: If you can't decide between Indian cuisine and poutine, try these tasty fries topped with butter chicken, shahi paneer, and cheese curds.
The Falatine (Vegan)La Poutine Week
Restaurant: La Cale - zero waste pub
Why You Need To Taste It: Vegans shouldn't have to skip out on uber decadent poutine. This one's topped with red-wine gravy, beautiful vegan Mozza-style cheese curds, and crispy falafel balls.
Leche Churros "Poutine"
Restaurant: Léché Desserts
Why You Need To Taste It: If you're more into sweet than savoury, check out this "poutine" made from cinnamon sugar churro "fries," dulce de leche "gravy," and fresh marshmallow "curds." After eating all those poutines, you'll need a dessert.
The Burger Poutine 1967La Poutine Week
Restaurant: Toujours Mikes Rosemont
Why You Need To Taste It: Not only does it combine two of the greatest food groups — poutine and burgers — it also has a super original theme, based on "everything you need to remember this pivotal year of Expo 67."
Peking Duck PoutineLa Poutine Week
Restaurant: La Betise Verdun
Why You Need To Taste It: Look at it! The sauce is made with turkey, duck and veal. And it's seasoned with hoisin sauce, crispy duck skin, soy sauce and miso. This is Quebec meets Beijing on a plate.
Pulled Pork PoutineLa Poutine Week
Restaurant: Roasters Rotisserie & Bar
Why You Need To Taste It: With fries, cheese curds, gravy and pulled pork this is one of the simpler options on offer. But the rich-looking sauce and mix of textures really seal the deal.