Travel Blog

2 Aug

Where to eat smoked meat in Montréal

When traveling to a new city – especially Montréal, extensive research is usually done to find great attractions, local museums, shows and or shopping.  In such a metropolitan city the things to do are endless, but what lures most travelers to Montréal is the food.

Schwartz_smoked_meatDeemed as a “foodie destination”, certain Montréal restaurants have an appeal that boarder on a cult like following – and by far the tastiest cult is that of Montréal smoked meat.

Schwartz's_SusanMoss_625x625With a few major players in the smoked meat game, people who pledge alliance to a particular restaurant will argue and fight without shame with anyone who opposes their discerning palate.  One of these institutions is without a doubt, Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen (3895 Saint Laurent Boulevard.)

SchwartzsThis landmark on St. Laurent Boulevard has been slicing up smoke meat and satiating Montréaler’s smoked brisket void since 1928.  This deli boasts a 10-day brine to their meat, which in tandem with their spice mix, produces the signature taste exclusive to Schwartz’s.

You can order your meat on a scale of “lean” to “fat”, and locals usually order “medium-fat”; the sweet-spot at which die-hard smoked meat aficionados swear the stars align and magic happens.

deli-steakhouse-smoke-meatDirectly across the street from Schwartz’s is another and just as famous Montréal landmark, The Main Steakhouse (3864 Saint Laurent Boulevard.)  With a smoked meat recipe of their own and equally as secretive preparation technique, the ongoing claim for bragging rights on the strip has remained friendly and neighborly for the past 40 years.

Off the plane and into the arms of @lesters_deli for a smoked meat sandwich, French fries, the greatest pickles, coleslaw, and a black cherry soda. #montreal

Une photo publiée par Kristen Kish (@kristenlkish) le 2 Mars 2016 à 13h53 PST

Another Montréal smoked meat institution is Lester’s Deli (1057 Bernard Avenue) in the Outremont neighborhood. Still family owned and run (for over 60 years!), their spot highlights a great terrace in the summer and fun and kitschy tchotchkes that line the walls of the restaurant that rival the china cabinet of any bubbi.

smoke-meat-dunn's-famousDunn’s Famous Delicatessen is also a name that is synonymous with Montréal smoked meat. Myer Dunn founded the original deli in 1927 but it was only in 1955 after extensive growth of the business and rise in popularity did he open the now flagship restaurant at 1249 Metcalfe Street in the heart of downtown.  Gone are the large deli fridges displaying cold cuts and pickles but the nostalgia remains, colourful murals and new paper clippings documenting Dunn’s historical past decorate the walls.

Step inside #SmokeMeatPete, Montreal’s temple of blues and brisket (

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