This is Montreal where i am from and will be in another week.This is a city like no other ,an island in the St Lawrence river with a mountain in it’s center and a mostly French population and a Old City with buildings dating to the 17th century.
I grew up here and know it’s streets and alleys very well.
This is an eater’s paradise and has some of the best chefs and food in North America something someone no less than Anthony Bourdain has proclaimed.
Montreal (and Quebec) Glossary of Terms
Déjeuner, dîner, and souper
Respectively, this is breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Quebec French. These terms are different than in France, where it’s petit déjeuner, déjeuner, and dîner, in that order.
5 à 7
Literally “five to seven,” but always pronounced in French (“cinq à sept”) — it means “happy hour.” Yes, happy hour is two hours.
“Snack bar” is the official translation, although a casse-croûte usually resembles a diner, serving poutine, burgers, hot dogs, breakfast, and the like.
Roughly the same as prix fixe: a set-price menu with just a few options under each course.
A restaurant or bar patio. Smoking is banned on terrasses in Quebec.
Some dub it Canada’s national dish, but it’s a Quebec specialty, and this is the only province where you can reliably find it. A classic poutine has fries and cheese curds (grated cheese is considered an aberration), topped with a meat-based gravy. Diners are often a good place to get them; they’ll usually sell countless permutations with extra toppings like bacon, sausage, vegetables, or more.
Sugar shack (cabane à sucre)
A restaurant typically found on a maple farm, serving greasy food (ham, pancakes, eggs) that you’re meant to douse with maple syrup. They’re usually only open around March and April, when maple trees are being tapped for sap, and are located outside the city (although there are usually a few restaurants in the city offering sugar shack menus). They’re often family-oriented, but there are fancy ones too, like the Au Pied de Cochon version near Mirabel.
A Montreal specialty: beef brisket cured in spices, then smoked, served on rye with mustard at Jewish delis like tourist hubs Schwartz’s and Snowdon.
Wood-fired bagels of Jewish origin, unique to Montreal. They are substantially smaller than New York bagels, and much less doughy. St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel are the two big bakeries. Eat them fresh or freeze them — they turn into rocks if left out for long.
A large meat and potato pie often cooked around Christmas season. It’s more of a rural Quebec specialty, and isn’t terribly common in Montreal.
Literally “unemployment pudding” — a cakey, syrupy dessert born in Depression-era Quebec.
Exactly what it sounds like — pizza and spaghetti on one plate (sometimes the pasta is on top of the pizza). This strange and tacky dish is endemic to Quebec, and is most often found at family restaurants or casse-croûtes. It’s not something you need to try.
A convenience store that sells beer and bad wine. If you want good wine or hard liquor, you’ll have to go to the government-owner liquor store, the SAQ.
Jewish Eats: Jewish culinary traditions have very much shaped Montreal. For staple smoked meat, tourists always visit Schwartz’s, but it’s not the be-all and end-all — Snowdon Deli is also good, and doesn’t have line-ups. Fairmount Bagel and Saint-Viateur Bagel are the two places for Montreal-style bagels (most people have a semi-arbitrary preference for one or the other; St-Viateur has multiple locations, though). For something more modern, Hof Kelsten and Fletchers are both doing intriguing takes on Jewish cuisine.
BYOB Restaurants: For whatever reason, bring-your-own-wine restaurants are a hub for classic French cuisine in Montreal (although there are some non-French ones, too)
Caribbean: Montreal has been a hub for various Caribbean diasporas for a few decades now — including a particularly large Haitian community. I love the patties and the roots and the jerk chicken.
The cafes in Montreal are excellent and also the bakeries especially the Jewish ones with their knishes and cheese danish. The Greek and Arab and Iranian places are also terrific and Vietnamese is some of the best i have eaten.
If it weren’t for the weather and the French fascist politics i might still be living there…..