I haven’t been really active lately. In between visiting interesting places, hanging out with amazing people, enjoying the summer, exploring the city and everything it offers, there wasn’t much time left to be spent on the internet. So it’s about time to put into words at least couple of those magic moments from my last trip to Montréal.
Some of those who have visited Quebec claim that people there don’t eat well, that the food isn’t that interesting and savory… Well, it might be true, if the only thing that comes to your mind is poutine, the ”national” dish consisting of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. And yet, even poutine can be a culinary experience if you know where to go.
My food guide is a base for every traveller who wants to explore the city flavors in couple of days. There are many places to be added. I of course didn’t have enough time to do them all. And there are many places for which I have no visual testimony because their food was sooo delicious that was devoured in no time and I unfortunately missed out on having a second pair of hands to take photos.
One of the first things I like to do when I come to a new city is to go to the local market. When I see what people eat and how they prepare their food, I seem to understand better their culture and the way they live. Jean-Talon is big and you can find just about everything there. But still, you will quickly understand what are the domestic products, colors and flavors.
La Fromagerie Hamel, Marché Jean-Talon
I once thought there was no good cheese in Quebec. I was soo wrong! When I was crossing Lanaudière region this winter I came across La Suisse Normande cheese makers and their wonderful Pizzy that proved me I was wrong all that time. There are certainly many cheese shops in Montreal with domestic and imported goods, but as far as I’m concerned La Fromagerie Hamel is one of the best ones.
Balkani, Marché Jean-Talon
This one is a must if you’re from the Balkans. They have a variety of meat products and apparently their salamis are fabulous (haven’t tried them though since I eat no meat). You will also find typical condiments, sweets and snacks, so if you’re in need of Vegeta, Smoki or Milka, that’s your place. On the other hand, no kajmak here. The best approximation can be found at Slovenia meats on Rue Clark.
Olives et Épices, Marché Jean-Talon
I’m in heaven baby! Just about everything you desire. And a vitrine à la vanille!
Les delices de la mer, Marche Jean-Talon
Smoked and fresh fish. From Gaspesie. Gone too quickly. No time to take photos. Sorry.
Smoked maple salmon pavé is one of my favorites, but just about everything tastes delicious. We also took some fresh pétoncle géant (scallop) and their quality was really remarkable.
Les Jardins Sauvages, Marche Jean-Talon
Their stand offers a variety of fresh and dehydrated mushrooms and edible flowers. Besides that you will be served with advice on storage and preparation!
Smaller than Jean-Talon, but non less interesting. If you’re doing Canal de Lachine tour, drop by for a lunch and pick something up at the bakery or treat yourself at outdoor food stands.
Montreal Street Food
Simple, fast and savory. Besides the fixed addresses, opt for food trucks. There is a really great application available on StreetFood MTL that shows you all the food trucks operating near you. Every first friday of a month all the food trucks gather next to Parc Olympique. Check out Le Cheese, voted best food truck (MTL Awards 2014), Grumman 78 and Camion du Pied de Cochon. Come early!
If you miss the food trucks, you will surely find something on the market.
Satay Brothers, Marche Atwater
Bagels: St. Viateur or Fairmount?
Why bagels? If you haven’t had them yet, don’t ask any further questions. Go there and try it on your own. It’s open 24/7. Is there anything better than the freshly baked bread?
Tried them both but too hard to decide. Luckily they don’t make them all the same. Go to St. Viateur for rosemary and poppy-onion-sesamy. Drop by at Fairmount for caravi, wholegrain and bluberry (save it for breakfast! the next day it tastes heaven!). Take sesame at both and decide later.
It’s not really about culinary experience. Dépanneur is an institution! And everyone has its own. It provides you with what you need when everything else is already shut down. Just don’t buy wine. That’s my advice.
It must be one of the things for which I will have to return to Montreal. Yes, for the photos. Couldn’t help myself…
My favorite being Sushi Tri Express, really different, with flavors bursting in your mouth. Try omakase I or II. Since I’ve tried it, I’m never eating sushi in Ljubljana again!
The other two that I’ve tried are Sushi 999 and Sushi St.-Denis. All you can eat. Would definitely go there again.