There’s something enchanting about Montreal in the winter. In late December and early January, there was a steady dusting of snowfall which made everything sparkle in the moments when sunshine peeked through the heavy clouds. Though I had to buy proper winter boots upon my arrival in order to walk anywhere, the powdery snow enhanced the sightseeing experience. But because of the cold, there were times when I just wanted to curl up with a crepe in a warm restaurant. Here are three restaurants I would highly recommend visiting in Montreal.
- Le Cartet- This place has such a great atmosphere. It was a bit unnerving to be seated in their communal dining, but it seemed to work so cohesively as a whole. The breakfast menu items were all delicious, but that’s not why I highly suggest that you visit.
You have to go because the coffee is the best that I’ve ever had. Hands down. I’ve been a coffee connoisseur for quite some time now, and I’ve never had coffee that smooth with just the right amount of rich flavor. And it comes in a bowl! It’s an entire bowl of coffee. There was a long line out the door, but I’d gladly wait in the snow again just for that coffee.
2. Universel Déjeuner & Grillades (Peel) – Just look at those portions! This restaurant has a fun atmosphere whether you’re sitting outside or inside. The Billy Goat, poached eggs with salmon, spinach, goat cheese, and Hollandaise sauce, was delicious. The creamy Hollandaise sauce paired with the fresh, smoked salmon and perfectly poached eggs made the rather hefty price worth it. Because I was traveling with three people, I got to sample more than just my dish.
Normally I would not order a plate of meat like my friend did, but everything on the plate was delicious. The bacon was especially crispy and smoky. This was served with a tiny cup of custard in which you could dip the crepes. It was so creamy and buttery but not overwhelmingly sweet. As I was sampling the custard, I imagined myself digging into an entire bowl of nothing but the custard. It was that good. 3. Schwartz’s Deli – If you read any guides on where to eat in Montreal, they inevitably include Schwartz’s Deli. As my group was full of meat lovers, we had to make the trek there to check out their “World Famous Original Smoked Meat”.
We had poutine just about everywhere you can order poutine. I could have taken or left the poutine here. But their fries are homemade and had that crispy crunch on the outside.
My friend ordered the liver steak to be adventurous, but it turned out to be a bad decision. Unless you are really into the texture of liver, I wouldn’t recommend getting this. She left most of it uneaten because she couldn’t get past the chewy, greasy texture.
So why do I recommend eating at Schwartz’s when it’s a bit of a taxi/uber drive from downtown? This. The smoked meat sandwich. I’m not much of a meat eater, but I devoured this sandwich. It’s served with mustard which brought out the rich, smoky flavor. It’s the best sandwich with any type of meat on it that I’ve ever had.
Montreal boasts some pretty lofty claims about their food. And the boasts are true, if you know where to go.