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15 Reasons Why Montreal Is a Foodie Paradise

By: Joe Sills
January 02, 2020

An affordable foodie adventure awaits Americans just over the border in one of the continent's most culturally diverse cities.

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A Sophisticated Food Culture

Montreal has long been known as the most European city in North America, but this revitalized metropolis is more than a living history lesson. Thanks to its position at the crossroads of First Nations, French, British and Canadian cultures, the hub of Quebec is now home to a fascinating array of flavors just begging Americans to make the short trip over the border to experience. These flavors coupled with favorable exchange rates have made Montreal a can't-miss destination for American foodies.

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Wood-Fired Bagels

Montreal has fostered a simmering bagel rivalry with New York City for decades, and St-Viateur Bagel sits squarely on the frontlines for Québécois. Montreal bagels offer a lighter, honey-touched alternative to their cousins in the Big Apple — a flavor of which is arguably best savored at St-Viateur, where wood-fired bagels have been flying out of the oven 24/7 since 1957.

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Smoked Meat

Americans may know Texas as the brisket capital of North America, but Montreal — yes, Montreal — gives the Longhorn State a run for its money. The city’s rugged history dates back to the 17th century when fur trappers built a booming industry out of the area’s wildlife. It’s natural, then, that Montreal knows a thing or two about meat. Schwartz’s Deli holds sway as the city’s iconic smokehouse, but don’t skip newcomers like Smoking Meat Vieux Montreal.

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First Nations Fusion

Have you ever tried seal? What about wild caught striped bass? Modern Quebec cuisine is embracing the ingredients of its distinctive past. At Restaurant Manitoba, Chef Simon Matisse blends traditional First Nations ingredients with a French Canadian-inspired cooking style that brings a new twist to ancient grains and proteins. Matisses’s menu varies by the market, but persistently plays with ingredients that are found in the remaining wild lands of Quebec.

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