Montreal is one of the most exciting cities in Canada. The city is famed for its unique food culture drawn from its culinary scene that is ever innovative and creative. You will never miss a food moment in Montreal with a perfect blend of tried-and-true local dishes and signature dishes at your disposal.
Pop-up restaurants, swanky cafes, and casual eateries make Montreal’s exotic food experience as spectacular as the delicious meals they serve. But the big question is, what makes this city’s food culture so different from other Canadian cities? Let us find out.
Montreal’s food culture owes so much to the immigrant culture. The city was among the few Canadian cities that experienced a massive wave of immigration from Europe during World War II and around the turn of the 20th century. The inherited culture is thriving in many parts of the city, such as Little Italy.
Today, it is almost impossible to take two turns in the streets of Montreal without spotting an Italian Montreal restaurant outlet. In fact, some of the traditional Italian foods have become staples in the city. Native Canadians have teamed up with Italians who have been living here for many years to open up Italian restaurants dedicated to serving Italian food such as lasagna, pizza, pasta, and many more.
Signature Montreal Cuisine
The city is also home to the oldest Jewish settlers in Canada. It means that the traditional Montreal cuisine is heavily influenced by Jewish cuisine as well. Smoked salmon, smoked meats, and bagels are only a few of the critical contributions one can choose from. However, there is a wealth of Jewish-owned restaurants and bakeries to explore and sample in Montreal.
Although Poutine is widely regarded as Canada’s national food, the reality is that the food belongs to Montreal and, to some extent, the Province of Quebec. The staple is thought to have originated somewhere in rural parts of Quebec in the 1950s, but Montreal made it famous. Ever since, the food has grown in popularity to become a national favourite.
Home to Indigenous Cuisine
The indigenous cuisine is finally getting its rightful place in the spotlight, thanks to the City of Montreal. The city’s indigenous landscape offers a wide range of exciting dishes focused on locally sourced ingredients used in traditional recipes complemented with a modern twist.
Restaurants serving indigenous meals are popping up all over the city and attracting a massive number of customers. Their menus reflect the local geography and appreciate the unique features that make Canada stand out from the rest.
Walk into any indigenous restaurant in the city center and order local dishes as Ojibwa tacos prepared using bannock in place of corn tortillas or shredded free-range buffalo ribs served with delicious organic local greens.
The Bottom Line
Montreal food culture is an ever-changing landscape that has been influenced heavily by different cultures, traditions, and recipes from around the world. While every region in the country has its own unique take on Canadian food, the City of Montreal best represents the embodiment of the different cultures.