1. Bagels

Montréal bagels are world famous. Institutions like St-Viateur and Fairmount Bagel in the Mile End have been feeding Montrealers for decades. Montreal bagels are different from New York bagels because they are thinner, smaller, sweeter, and denser, have a larger hole. Also, Montréal bagels are boiled in honey-sweetened water whereas in New York City they boil their bagels with normal water. Bagels are a breakfast staple, spread sNutellaella, butter or cream cheese for a quick, delicious meal.

Lunch

2. Poutine

Bonne fête St-Jean! #labanquise #poutine #mtl #💙

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Ahhh, poutine. Many people don’t understand why Québecers love this meal so much. There are three main ingredients in poutine: fries, cheese curds, and brown sauce. We put this meal in the Lunch category but people eat poutine any time of day: as a snack, for dinner, after a night out drinking or even for breakfast (to cure a hangover). You can put almost anything in poutine: hot dog sausages, onions, pogos, ground beef, guacamole, the list is endless! Even if you’re skeptical, try this dish with a nice cold beer, you won’t be disappointed.

3. Smoked meat

A smoked meat rye bread sandwich with mustard and a pickle on the side is a great Montreal dish. Again, this is not the most glamourous meal but it is a Montreal staple food. Thanks to the prominent Jewish community for providing the world with great Jewish institutions serving this type of sandwich. Again, Montreal-style smoked meat is usually compared with New York-style smoked meat but they have subtle differences like which spices they use.

4. Pea soup

Pea soup is delicious and hearty. Yellow dried peas, pork, and herbs are mixed into a broth. You can get great pea soup at the grocery store because not many restaurants serve this kind of soup. It is mostly eaten during the spring, at a cabane à sucre (sugar shack).

Snacks

5. Creton

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This forcemeat-style pork with onions and spices is often spread on bread or crackers. It tastes similar to pâté or French rillette. If you go eat at a typical breakfast restaurant in Quebec, you’ll usually have eggs, bacon (or sausages or ham), fruits, potatoes, toast and creton.

6. Cheese

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The French are not the only ones who make delicious cheese. You can get tasty cheese from all over Quebec. Cheeses come from Charlevoix, Abitibi, Gaspé, Eastern Townships, there are 14 cheese regions. You can get cheeses made with cow milk, goat milk, sheep milk. You can find excellent Quebec cheeses in grocery stores or in specialty stores or the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets.

7. Baked beans

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Baked beans are another sugar shack specialty. They will usually serve them slightly sweet by sweetening them with maple syrup. In grocery stores, you can find maple baked beans as well as generic ones sold worldwide. If you’re a bean lover, you’ll enjoy the sweeter taste and what makes them so special is that you can only find them there!

Dinner

8. Pâté chinois

Pâté chinois is another poor man’s food. It consists of potatoes, ground beef and onions and creamed corn. You layer the three main ingredients (cooked beef, corn, then mashed potatoes) and bake them until it is warm. This dish is very similar to the English cottage pie or shepherd’s pie. It is not a Chinese dish, but it may refer to the time when the Chinese Canadian railway cooks introduced it to the French Canadian workers. It’s a hearty meal most people make at home but you might be lucky enough to find a variation of this dish at one or two restaurants.

9. Tourtière

This meat pie dish is yet again another poor man’s dish. It is usually made with minced pork or beef, onions and various spices. You place the meat in a savoury pie and bake it in the oven. Quebecers usually have this during Christmas Time or at New Year’s but you can buy this meat pie anytime at the grocery store. The tourtière is most famous in the region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and tourtière is often referred to as la tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean.

10. Ragoût de boulettes

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Ragoût de boulettes is another Christmas Time food and is also known as Ragoût de boulettes et de pattes de cochon. It is a pig’s feet and meatball stew with tons of spices, broth, and fat. It is real comfort food. If you don’t love stews you should try this one. The meat is tender and the sauce is very creamy. With a hint of cloves, you truly smell the Christmas spirit in this food.

Dessert

11. Pouding chômeur

Pouding chômeur literally translates to poor man’s pudding. This is another great sugar shack staple since it is made with maple syrup. It is very easy to make and tons of restaurant serve this delicious dessert any time of the year. The recipe is simple: you make a simple, white cake batter and pour the maple syrup and sugar mixture on top before putting it in the oven. You’ll get a scrumptious caramelized cake.

12. Tarte au sucre

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Again, tarte au sucre (sugar pie) is a dessert you have at a sugar shack, Thanksgiving or Christmas Time. Fear not, you can get this kind of pie pretty much any time of year. It is a must try, and if you buy a few cans of maple syrup and bring them back home, you can easily make this pie at home, wherever you’re from.

13. Sucre à la crème

Sucre à la crème is similar to Scottish tablets, meaning it is made with sugar, condensed milk and butter but sucre à la crème is gooey. If you’ve never had a Scottish tablet, sucre à la crème can be compared to fudge since they have a similar texture. Quebecers make this during Christmas Time since it can be easily sent as a gift. You can find some in grocery stores or easily make it yourself if you want something fresher.