72 Hours in Montréal
We spent much of our time in Plateau Mont-Royal with its young and funky vibe where you can experience everything from boutiques to galleries, to black box theater, and popular local food spots. This is a great neighborhood to wander and nibble. And the first stop should be at Fairmount Bagel for one of Montréal’s famous bagels.
Montréal’s bagels, known to be the best in the world (move over New York!) are unique in that the dough is made with egg, they’re hand rolled, and then cooked in honey sweetened water. Baked in a wood fired oven, they’re often served piping hot when you order them. They’re very different from traditional New York bagels. These bagels are denser, smaller, have a hint of sweetness, and are chewier than the bagels found in the U.S. Get in line at this popular spot and grab a bagel or two. Slathered with cream cheese, they are a real treat.
After a warm bagel, take a stroll down the street and get in line for another popular local favorite, Kem CoBa’s artisanal ice cream. Owners Vincent Beck (a pastry chef) and Diem Ngoc Phan (a chocolatier) change their flavors frequently and are inspired by their backgrounds and travels around the globe. Flavors like Indian Chai Tea, refreshing lime-mint sorbet, and salted caramel have locals and visitors coming back again and again. They even have a Twitter account for updates on the length of the line. Follow @KemCobaLine when the craving hits and you’re screaming for ice cream.
There’s nothing wrong with dessert before lunch or dinner since you might have to wait in another line to eat one of Montréal’s most famous foods, a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s Deli. Just a few minutes away and located on what is known as “The Main” or Saint-Lawrence Boulevard in Plateau Mont-Royal, this Montréal landmark for over 80 years is the oldest delicatessen in Canada.
Founded by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, in the late 1920s, this popular hot spot serves up several dishes like liver, steak, and chicken, but it’s the heaping sandwiches of smoked meat on rye with mustard that you really want to try. Similar to the pastrami we know in the U.S., but homemade, the meat is marinated in their own blend of herbs and spices for 10 days and then smoked the old-fashioned way and steamed. Served alongside a plate of crunchy tangy coleslaw and a sour pickle, this is a Montréal tradition that can’t be missed. Come hungry and bring cash since they don’t take credit cards or checks.
Stay tuned for the rest of 72 Hours in Montréal – The Culinary Scene and what other attractions you should see and a suggestion for where to stay while in the city.
For more information on Montréal, please refer to their tourism and visitors website.
For more travel articles on the Québec region, please read the following:
* The top photograph and these images are courtesy of Tourisme Montréal
Disclosure – We want to thank Tourisme Montréal for their assistance during our trip to Québec. We have not been compensated for this article and the opinions expressed regarding our experience are our own.
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