AAA Travel Tips / 5 Places to Eat Iconic Montreal Foods

5 Places to Eat Iconic Montreal Foods

AAA/Laurie Sterbens
By AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens
October 08, 2021
Montreal is a don't-miss destination for food lovers. There are temptations around every corner, from restaurants offering Quebéc specialties such as poutine and Montreal-style bagels, to cozy French bistros and a robust international restaurant scene. With so many delicious options to choose from, even the most dedicated foodie can feel overwhelmed, so here’s a short list of essential Montreal dishes and great places to try them.
AAA/Laurie Sterbens

La Banquise

994 Rue Rachel E.
(514) 525-2415
When it comes to iconic Montreal foods, poutine is likely the first thing to come to mind for many people. The humble dish of crispy french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy originated in Quebéc and is now popular across Canada—it’s even featured in annual celebrations in Montreal and other cities. One of the most popular places to eat poutine in Montreal is La Banquise, which began serving classic and Italian poutine in the early ’80s. Its poutine menu now offers 30 variations, including a vegan option.


3927 rue St-Denis
(514) 845-5333
Don't miss the opportunity to experience classic French bistro fare during your trip to Montreal. L'Express is a local favorite, offering an a la carte menu featuring foie gras, steak frites, poached salmon and steak tartare. Wine lovers are sure to find something to please from the restaurant's extensive wine cellar. The restaurant is open from breakfast to the wee hours daily, but reservations are a must for peak dining times.
AAA/Laurie Sterbens

Montreal Pool Room

1217 boul St-Laurent
(514) 954-4487
If you're a die-hard Chicago- or New York-style hot dog fan, welcome to Montreal, which has its own contribution to hot dog culture. While firmly on the mustard side of the great ketchup-mustard debate, the Montreal dog has its own collection of unique traits and toppings. This is the home of the "steamie" (or steamé), named for its soft, steamed bun. "All dressed" includes mustard, a vinegary (not creamy) coleslaw, chopped onion and sometimes relish. A longstanding, popular place to experience a Montreal steamie is at Montreal Pool Room.
AAA/Laurie Sterbens

Reuben's Deli & Steak

1116 Ste-Catherine St. W.
(514) 866-1029
Another item you’ll see on Montreal menus is smoked meat—specifically the Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich. Said to be influenced by the pastrami of New York City's Jewish delis, Montreal's smoked meat is made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices before smoking. It's typically served on light rye bread with yellow mustard. One of the more fun places to eat this delicacy is Reuben's Deli & Steak, where the "Famous Super Sandwich" is piled high with 10 ounces of juicy smoked meat.
AAA/Laurie Sterbens

Saint-Viateur Bagel & Café

1127 Mont-Royal Ave. E.
(514) 528-6361
If you've never tasted a Montreal-style bagel, you owe it to yourself to try this city's spin on the chewy baked breakfast staple. The Montreal bagel is slightly smaller and sweeter than its New York cousin, due to a dip in boiling honey water before being baked in a wood-fired oven. One of the top bagel makers in the city is Saint-Viateur, which offers fresh bagels from several locations including its flagship bakery on Rue Saint Viateur O. Head to the Saint-Viateur Bagel & Cafe on Mont Royal for a full menu featuring bagels with a variety of spreads (try the apple cinnamon), bagel sandwiches and specialty coffees.

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