A Weekend in Montreal: Food Guide

We’re one of those couples that have a serious food obsession. We might even go so far to self-label ourselves as foodies. When planning a trip, we often try to include which restaurants we want to eat at ahead of time and plan our activities around their locations. Montreal was no different. Because we were only visiting for an incredibly short time, we did our best to pick out hidden gems nearest our hotel and hope for the best. We definitely were not disappointed though. Check out our picks for Montreal restaurants to visit over a weekend:

Day 1: Nyk’s Bistro Pub
We didn’t actually arrive in Montreal until mid-afternoon on the Saturday that we drove up, so our first meal was actually supper. Wandering around the downtown area near our hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, we happened to stumble across a cute restaurant pub with an inviting patio. Luckily for us, a table had opened up upon our arrival and we were able to be seated right away.
Reviewing the drink menu, we had noticed that they served a lot of local Quebec craft beers (our faaaavourite) and made our selection. Dan ordered a Preparation Hache Hibiscus Pale Ale (the only batch made that summer, we later learned…), and I found my favourite Blanche de Chambly.
IMG_20170918_154439_614

When it came time to order, we decided that an appetizer to start was necessary, as there were so many delicious options to choose from. We chose the “Tartare du moment” (which turned out to be salmon) to share. IMG_20170918_165149_920

Our main dishes followed: salade de confit de canard (duck confit salad) for me, and a poutine confit de canard avec sauce au foie gras (duck confit poutine) for Dan. IMG_20170918_165416_135IMG_20170918_165106_760

Day 2:

La Crepe 2 Go:
A very French dish (other than Quebecois poutine) was on our list for breakfast – crepes! Just steps from our hotel, tucked away in a basement-type location, was La Crepe 2 Go, a breakfast spot serving all things delicious and baked. We went in with a focus on crepes, but they also sold a lot of other breakfast type foods. Once seated, we had a challenging before us: choosing which crepe to order! After pouring over the menu and matching photos with items, we eventually decided. I got the Nutella-Banana-Strawberry crepe to satisfy my sweet tooth, while Dan ordered the savoury starter crepe: eggs, ham & cheese. IMG_20170920_080648_288IMG_20170920_080727_807

La Banquise:
For lunch, we knew we were wanting to get the traditional Quebecois dish of poutine, because I mean…did you even go to Quebec if you didn’t eat poutine at least once? No. Making the decision of which poutine place to eat at was a challenge, as you can easily get a poutine anywhere you go in Montreal. However, walking around the city, we saw a line up outside of a restaurant and down the sidewalk (in the rain) of people waiting to be seated at La Banquise, and immediately decided that we would join them. If the poutine here is good enough that people are willing to wait around in inclement weather, it must be dang delicious.

Fortunately for us, the line was fairly quick-moving, and we managed to get seated within the half hour. There were SO many poutine options, we had a difficult time deciding, but Dan ended up ordering the Italian style (fries, meat sauce and cheese curds), while I ordered Poutine galvaude (fries, poutine sauce, cheese curds, rotisserie-style chicken and peas – don’t knock it until you try it – it was amazing). italian_poutinePoutine_galvaude

Escondite:
For our last supper (and meal) in Montreal, we decided that some Mexican cuisine was in order! We walked down to Escondite and were able to get in right away. This place was unique, as they make everything in a way that is meant to be shared. Luckily for us, we’re pretty good at sharing so that worked out just fine. We ordered:
El General Chapo,

el general chapo
El General Chapo: Mexican General Tao chicken with tamarind and agave.

Nachos,

mexican nachos
“Nachos”: Monterey Jack & Jalapeno gyoza with pomegranate pico de gallo, guacamole, queso fresco & black pepper crema

…and 3 kinds of tacos (lol) –

tacos
Camarones & Chicharon: shrimp, chorizo, chicharon, charred pepper sauce; Don Puerco: Pork belly with pineapple, onions, jalapeno and coriander; Pollos Hermanos: fried chicken, chipotle crema, corn bread croutons, iceberg lettuce

This place was totally hidden and darkly lit both inside and out, but it was packed with customers and the food was amazing. Definitely a great spot if you’re feelin’ some Mexican food.

Overall, our time spent in Montreal restaurants was time well spent. We had some fantastic dishes. We can’t wait for another opportunity to visit Montreal specifically to continue with our food touring of the city!

Have you ever been to Montreal? Which restaurants did you visit that you loved? Leave us your suggestions in the comments so that we can add them to our list for our next visit!

Cheers!

–The Calkins’

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