Canada: Many of us know it as the land of hockey, maple syrup and Justin Trudeau. But our good friends are also killing the restaurant game, especially in Montreal. Gastronomy in Montreal was a pleasant surprise for us, and we pass this newfound knowledge to you, with 10 things you must eat in Quebec's biggest city.

1. Poutine

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The number-one food recommended to eat in Montreal is a no-brainer: poutine. The "junk food" of Quebec is a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy. Sound familiar? It's not unlike that late-night diner specialty known as disco fries, but this is on a whole new level. Hit up La Banquise for the best poutine around.

994 Rue Rachel E., Montreal, QC H2J 2J3. 
+ 1 514-525-2415;


2. Smoked Meat Sandwich

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The second-most-famous thing to eat in Montreal is a smoked meat sandwich. And there's no place better than Schwartz's Deli, a true landmark as one of the oldest (if not the oldest) delis in Canada. This classic Jewish deli serves massive sandwiches piled high with smoked meat and mustard. Round out your meal with fries and a half-sour pickle.

3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W 1X9.
 +1 514-842-4813;


3. Bagels

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Canadians are pretty damn good at making bagels, and that says a lot coming from a native New Yorker. In Montreal, you'd be wise to hit up the Mile End neighborhood for a piping-hot-from-the-oven bagel at St.-Viateur. The staff doesn't dress your bagel for you, so you'll have to layer on your butter or schmear yourself.

263 Rue Saint-Viateur W., Montreal, QC H2V 1Y1. 
+1 514-276-8044;


4. Crepes

Photo by Angelina Zeppieri

You'll find this French staple in abundance around Montreal. For sweet and savory varieties, plus cheese fondues and other deliciousness, find Chez Suzette. You can't go wrong with the brie and apple crepe — it's a just-right balance of tart and sweet, topped with powdered sugar and full of melty cheese.

3 Rue Saint Paul E., Montreal, QC H2Y 1E9. 
+1 514-874-1984;


5. Fish and Chips

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"Fish and chips?" you say. "Maybe in England, sure, but Canada?" Hear me out. Because once you taste the sinfully crispy deep-fried cod or haddock from Brit & Chips, you won't question a thing. I recommend getting your fill via Local Montreal Food Tours, whose three-hour walking food tour of Old Montreal includes Brit & Chips as the first stop.

433 Rue McGill, Montreal, QC H2Y 2G1. 


6. Croissants

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Breakfast is my favorite meal. And in my book, no breakfast is complete without buttery, flaky croissants. Maison Christian Faure makes the best ones in the city, along with other decadent French pastries that will have you drooling. It's a cafe, pastry shop and boutique all in one, located in the heart of Old Montreal.

355 Place Royale, Montreal, QC H2Y 2V3. 
+1 514-508-6453;


7. Duck Confit

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I recently ate at the trendy new Montreal hotspot Hvor and it may very well have been the best meal of my life. The concept itself is mysterious, a little glam and definitely meant to appeal to foodies: no menu, no choices and you don't find out what you're eating until it's put in front of you. But don't worry, because everything is superb  including duck confit as just one of the many courses. This is what dinner dreams are made of. 

1414 Notre Dame W., Montreal, QC H3C 1K9. +1


8. Panini

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There are lots of options for lunch in Montreal, but locals and tourists alike will often go for paninis and salad. There’s only one place in town everyone flocks to, and that’s Olive et Gourmando. For a hot pressed sandwich of smoked ham and house-made walnut butter on artisanal bread, do your best to get a table in this rustic space. It's always packed, but worth the wait.  
351 Rue Saint-Paul W., Montreal, QC H2Y 2A7. +1 


9. Pouding Chômeur

Photo by Angelina Zeppieri

Pouding chômeur is a dessert made with maple syrup and other relatively inexpensive ingredients, giving it its name (in English, "unemployed man's dessert"). Whatever you call it, it's rich and buttery and oh so delicious, resembling a bread pudding in texture. Head to SoupeSoup for the best rendition of this iconic treat.

7020 Ave. Casgrain, Montreal, QC H2S 3A2. +1 514-903-2113;


10. Butterscotch Mi-Cuit

Photo by Angelina Zeppieri

Last on the list is another dish that will certainly satisfy any sweet tooth. At the popular restaurant Holder near Old Montreal you'll find the butterscotch mi-cuit, filled with a warm butterscotch cream and served with Maldon salt and butterscotch ice cream. Too much butterscotch for your liking? I thought so too, until I tried it. 

407 Rue McGill #100-A, Montreal, QC H2Y 2G3.
+1 514-849-0333;

By Angelina Zeppieri

Angelina is a ​lifestyle writer and explorer from New York City, focusing on travel, food and other important things. You can usually find her on a yoga mat, at a wine store or off on a new adventure. Follow her on Instagram and her blog.