24 Hours in Montreal: What To Eat | Nik Snacks

24 hours is not nearly enough time to run through the city of Montreal's offerings, but I took one for the team, traveled to the Great White North and made a schedule of some fantastic eats.

With over 5,000 restaurants, Montreal is one of North America's best destinations for anyone who loves food, world class destinations and access to some of the best gustatory experiences in the Western Hemisphere.

Pull up your athleisure pants, folks. Here's a stomach-stretching itinerary for a day and a night in the City on The Mount Royal.

Let's eat and drink your way through Montreal in 24 hours...

Let's go to Canada, eh?

SOOooo, Eater came out with its own 24 Hours In Montreal guide in September, but I would be remiss in my duty to you as a content provider if I didn't create my own list. All of these places can be reached by the extensive, well-developed transportation system of Montreal (metro or bus). If you time it right, this list will have you eating and drinking every 3 hours, like a good little tourist.

The street art in the city of Montreal is amazing

Sushi at Sushi Saint in Montreal
I found this gem by doing a cursory search of places to eat on Yelp. Not only were the reviews highly complementary, the photos showed a range of beautiful and creative dishes. I started with the sashimi and apple salad. Delicate julienne pieces of granny smith apple paired with a shimmering, piece of perfect salmon. Pictured above is the Maki Madonna: Tuna, salmon, spicy mayonnaise, mango, cucumber, avocado and seaweed outside. But know that there is also a Maki Marvin Gaye and a Maki Tupac, as well. Best sushi I've ever had.

Smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's Deli
Montreal is known for its smoked meats and Schwartz's is the best. Mounds of sliced, cured, and smoked brisket on rye bread with whisper of mustard await you. The oldest deli in Canada is a tried-and-true tourist spot, there is always a line snaking out of the door and once inside, you may THINK you're going to regret your decision, but you're gonna choose wisely. Seating is... intimate and cozy. There's just enough room to slink by the table next to you to get to your seat. The menu is on paper placemats and while you may be tempted to order french fries or a pickle the size of your hand to accompany your sandwich, DON'T. The only side worth getting completely stuffed over is the coleslaw.

Betty bought a bit of  Bishop Bitter to make her bitter batter better
Known for their gin collection, skip GO and collect your $200 by checking out their EXCELLENT beer and pub menu.
Grilled octopus, shishito peppers, feta, crispy onions? Yes.
Rarebit made with house bitter, hanger steak, fried egg? Uh huh
The Bishop Special Bitter is the house brew and it was the best Canadian beer I tried. And let me tell ya--I tried MANY.

Booty, booty, booty rockin' everywhere
Billed as an event space, cabaret mixed with a modern-day speakeasy, this place is hopping most nights with an impressive selection of fine liquors, beers and glasses in the shape of boots. Big boots. 1 liter of beer worth of a boot. Go. Drink. Be merry. I insist.

And away we go!
No, this isn't a restaurant--but it's important I add it to the list because this tour could literally set the tone for the rest of your trip. Explore Old Montreal with a certified guide who had to study over two years of culture and history just to be able to lead tours for FREE. They work for tips, so hand over your money as you will learn everything there is to know about Quebec, Montreal, a myriad of restaurants, pubs, bars and start to really feel like you can take the city by storm, whether you're fluent in French or not. It's a great place to start and what's two and a half hours of fun between friends?

Even more ubiquitous than smoked meat, Canada as a whole is known for the poutine. Crispy french fries topped with fresh cheese curds and splashed with brown gravy, this dish is what people come to eat. But THIS poutine is why I traveled to Montreal in the first place. At market price (~$14 CAN) you can get the ultimate poutine topped with big, succulent pieces of lobster and garnished with a little bit o' chives. Easier to get into than say, Joe Beef, the restaurant has no address number on the outside and only takes reservations 30 days in advance, but if you're a solo (or maybe even a double) diner and arrive precisely at 5:29:30 PM when they open, you may have a chance to get in without planning so far in advance. 

Baby's first poutine
If you can't go high, go low. As in, low price. At Patati Patata, you can get it for a small price, like $5 CAN. Don’t be fooled by the small size of the place. It's cozy and intimate, too. Crazy cheap and filling, you can get out of here for less than $20 CAN for two entrees with beer and a good tip, if you feel extra friendly.

Best bagels in the world
In 2017, this place celebrated 60 years of boiling and then baking bagels in a wood-fired oven for the masses. For less than $10 CAN you can get a dozen bagels (sesame is best) and munch on them delightfully all day long. A hot, fresh bagel fresh from that oven pictures above is one of life's joys that you should experience once in your lifetime. It should also be noted that Fairmount Bagels  also exists and is no less perfect than this place. Be a champ. Go to both. 

That's it, folks! Okay--there's more. A lot more. 5,000 more places you can try in Montreal! But this concludes my list of what to eat in the city. Have you ever been to Montreal? What did YOU eat? I'm always looking for more places to add to my to-do list for next time!

If you liked THIS post, check out my list of what to eat in PARIS!

This post is NOT sponsored in conjunction with ANYTHING. I received NO product or compensation. All opinions, photos and words are mine and mine alone.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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