Eat your way through Montreal

Schwartz Smoked Meat
Gibbys Steak
Famous bagels
Bilboquet Ice Cream
More sweet stuff

A gastronomical feast is in store for any visitor to Montreal regardless of budget, so be prepared to arrive with an appetite.

Here are a few of Montreal’s must-eats:

No trip to Montreal would be complete without a visit to Fairmount Bagel Bakery, open 24-hours a day.  What makes these bagels stand out is that each bagel is dipped a special water and honey based solution prior to baking in an open brick oven. There are about twenty flavors to choose from, ranging from plain, sesame seed and onion to pesto-black olive or chocolate chip.

Also, a must is Schwartz’s Deli for smoked meat or pastrami. Don’t be fooled by the basic no-frills, fast food style and chaotic atmosphere of this bustling joint.  Founded in 1928 by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, Schwartz’s Deli is a Montreal institution, patronized by locals. Don’t be intimidated if there’s a queue out the door waiting to be seated. The line will go quickly and it’s worth the wait.

A lively area with a flurry of activity for lunch or dinner is any restaurant along Prince Arthur Street, bordering the McGill Ghetto.  Here you can find menus to please every palette and every budget. Prince Arthur Street is closed off to traffic at all times. In the evenings you’ll enjoy the free entertainment along the promenade, including musicians, magicians, dancers and mimes charming adults and children alike. Sit outdoors and bring your own wine.  Also noteworthy is that the legal drinking age in Montreal is eighteen.

A perfect venue to start that late night escape is the fun-filled and lively contemporary Italian restaurant Buona Notte on St. Lawrence Boulevard. This restaurant is transformed after 11pm on weekends from restaurant to dance club, and is as much about the modelesque staff as it is about the party-like atmosphere and the cuisine. If you’re looking to embrace the culture of Montreal then you’ll appreciate this venue.

If you’re celebrating an occasion or hoping for a special evening, look no further than Gibby’s. Located in Old Montreal, Gibby’s is one of Montreal’s oldest and finest steakhouses. In the 1700s this fine restaurant was a horse stable, but today Gibby’s is an institution. Menu favorites include filet mignon, beef wellington, arctic char as well as expertly prepared seafood options. Top off this gastronomic experience with hot apple croute or crepe jubilee.

Juliette et Chocolat is a must to indulge that insatiable sweet tooth – including irresistible chocolate crepes, chocolate fondue, chocolate martinis or anything chocolate.  If that’s not enough to satisfy your sweet craving, there’s always Bilboquet for splendid ice creams and sorbets. This “artisan glacier” makes its own sweet stuff, rich with caramel, nuts, fruit and anything that is fresh and in-season that triggers the chef’s interest. Flavors include maple taffy, passion fruit, chocolate-orange, and vanilla-raspberry.

Donna Salle is a travel writer living in New York. She can be contacted at TravelsWithHeart@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @DonnaSalle.
Source = Donna Salle
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