What do you think about when you think of Canada? Snow, lush nature, Celine Dion… and food! There are many unique dishes in Montreal, the French-speaking metropolis of Canada, that beg to be discovered. Here they are… and the addresses where to find them!

Poutine

This is the obvious one. It’s in all of the travel guidebooks out there. The salty-fatty combination of fries, unaged cheese and gravy used to be a workingman’s heavy lunch. It’s now become a late-night snack used to mop up the booze in revelers’ stomachs… and somewhat of a tourist trap.

The best in the world is located at Pied de Cochon. And its version includes foie gras. Cirrhosis medication not included.

Pied de Cochon, 536 Avenue Duluth E.

Smoked Meat

Montreal’s answer to New York’s pastrami – both come from the same group of immigrants and the same recipes – is one of many contributions from the Jewish community to Montreal’s culinary landscape.

A brisket sandwich, stacked high, covered in ballpark mustard on rye bread. It’s a world famous sandwich. And the very best is found at Schwartz’s.

Schwartz’s, 3895 St Laurent Blvd

Montreal-Style Bagels

A ball of dough is hand-stretched, then formed into an O, briefly boiled in honey water, then dipped in sesame seeds and cooked in a wood-fired oven. The Montreal-style bagel – another Jewish delicacy – is unique in the world. Try it with smoked fish and capers.

St-Viateur Bagel, 263 Rue Saint Viateur O.

Pâté Chinois

It’s not a “pâté”, and it’s not Chinese, yet Pâté Chinois has been part of the Québécois – the name of the people who live in the province of Québec – culinary world since immemorial times. A book was written about it. It seems like nobody knows where it came from or why it’s called this way. It’s composition is very close to a shepherd’s pie or a hachis parmentier, yet it’s as unique as it gets.

It’s actually built somewhat like a lasagna, in layers. A thick layer of cooked ground meat is at the bottom. A layer of corn is next. Then an extra dense layer of creamy mashed potatoes comes to seal the casserole. It’ll stick to your ribs and keep you going all day.

La Binerie Mt-Royal, 367 Ave Mont-Royal E.

Maple Products

The province of Quebec is responsible for the production of the large majority of maple syrup in the world, simply because it’s practically the only place in the world where maple trees grow.

There are dozens of ways to eat maple products, not just as a syrup on pancakes. Maple ham, maple butter on toast, maple baked beans, maple toffee on snow, maple pea soup, maple doughnuts, maple-apple pies…

Yet the oddest recipe might be my favourite: eggs cooked in maple syrup!

Maple products are seasonal. In the early spring, maple production farms open up kitchens called “cabane à sucre” where people come to eat everything maple related. There are dozens in the province and a few great ones around Montreal.

La Cabane À Sure Haut Bois Normand Р426 Chemin George-Bonnallie, Eastman, QC

Author Bio: Cedric Lizotte is a journalist, food writer and travel blogger who owns a couple of blogs: Continents & Condiments and The Fine Dining Blog. Check out his foodie travel guides!

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