To coincide with our Montreal promotion (which runs from November 1-5), we’ll be whetting your appetite for the city all week. First up: food. Here are five things you must eat while you’re in town.
French fries, cheese and sauce – yes, poutine is as heavenly as it sounds. The cheese is made from curds and the sauce can be anything from the traditional peppery flavor to marinara, for an Italian take on it. Have a taste at Poutine Lafleur (3665 Rue Wellington) which serves some of the best traditional poutine in the city despite looking like a fast food joint.
Smoked meat has been a staple of the Montreal food scene since the 19th century -you’ll find whole steaming briskets on offer at shops and delis, which are then sliced by hand (that tradition keeps its temperature). Try it at Schwartz (3895 St Laurent), a Jewish deli that’s been serving meat smoked with a secret recipe of spices since 1928.
Montreal claims its bagels are the best in the world, and even if you don’t agree, you can have fun testing them out. Montreal bagels are smaller and sweeter than New York ones, so you can even spare room for a couple. Try them at St-Viateur Bagel (263 St-Viateur Ouest), which has been baking them since 1957.
Now might not be the time you most crave ice cream, but Montreal’s gelato and granita scene is worth braving some shivers for. Little Italy is the place to go for the freshly made stuff – try the bars and cafes Mozart or Dante Street and ask what flavors are in stock. Fruit (especially lemon) is the most traditional granita, but coffee also works surprisingly well.
European chocolate is infinitely superior to the stuff you can get in the States (sorry folks) and in Montreal it’s easy to get hold of French dark chocolate (or chocolat noir). Go for the stuff that has at least 85 percent cocoa – that’s the most highly prized. If you haven’t had pure chocolate before, you may be surprised – it’s bitter, rich and delicious. Best of all, it’s easy to transport home. Try it at Chocobel (374 Rue de Castelnau Est).