The highly coveted guilty pleasure known as poutine was, indeed, created in Quebec, Canada. Which means there's no other better place to try it than the location of its origin - right? Right!

Although it might seem simple to fry up some tasty french fries, cover them with cheese curds, and a layer of decadent gravy, it's actually not all that easy. Many establishments around the world have tried to recreate the original poutine hailing from the north, and have done so unsuccessfully. However, in Quebec, it remains the same as it was during the late 1950s, a staple in Canadian cuisine and in nearly every full-service restaurant. Here's where visitors can find the most beloved local spots for this favorite dish.

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But First, A History Of How Poutine Was Created

Warwick, Quebec, was where poutine was first created. The year was 1957, and a man by the name of Fernand Lachance did something simple, yet life-changing. By adding cheese curds to hot fries and dousing it with gravy, a new dish was born with a very simple action. The name of the dish is actually slang for 'mess,' which pretty accurately describes what it's like to dig into a pile of hot fries, gravy, and cheese.

The key characteristic of poutine is undoubtedly the way the cheese curds squeak when eaten; if poutine claims to be this without that squeak, then it's not truly authentic. While there are no specific rules about the gravy or the type of cheese curds (as is seen in many of the best restaurant poutines), the classic addition must always be real cheese, with a delicious gravy topping.

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La Banquise

When it comes to authentic poutine and a variety of options, La Banquise is the one place where visitors and locals alike can bond over their favorites. The menu includes no less than 30 types of poutine, each with a different twist. Each dish varies from the type of meat used to the type of gravy that's poured over the top, and they're all delicious in their own right. There are even vegan options for those who don't eat meat, which makes this one of the most versatile restaurants in Montreal, as well. Ready for the best part? La Banquise is also open 24/7, which makes it an unbelievably great stop for anyone looking to satisfy that poutine craving at 1 AM.

  • Must-Try Dish: The classic poutine and the Greek salad
  • Hours: 24/7, everyday

Patati Patata

It's worth waiting in line at Patati Patata for some of the best poutine in Montreal. While the line might wrap around the building, a plate of their original-style poutine is just the thing to warm you up on a chilly day. There is limited seating within the restaurant so if tourists are adventurous enough to try this, be sure to line up early and pick a day when the weather is in your favor. Poutine at Patati Patata is made with fries that are skinnier than most, fresh cheese curds, and a healthy dose of gravy. It's nothing like anything poutine fans are likely to have ever had before, and they've got quite the signature dish.

  • Must-Try: Patatine with mushrooms, peppers, and onions
  • Hours: Daily, 11 AM - 1 PM

Frite Alors!

When considering how many different types of poutine there truly are out there, it's almost tough for one to wrap their minds around. This is true of establishments such as Frites Alors! which not only has a full menu of poutine but is serving up international twists on them, as well. The poutine here is also hailed as some of the best in the world with its Belgium-style french fries and delicious gravy. Frites Alors! also offers vegan options, so it's a great spot for meat-free eats, too.

  • Must-Try: La Frite Alors!, vegan poutine
  • Hours: Hours vary depending on location

Au Pied de Cochon

For fancier poutine, look no further than Au Pied de Cochon. This is the type of poutine that calls for a good soaking-up with some freshly fried french fries, as cheese curds just start to melt into this delicious mashup. It's fancy food done right (messy) with just the right amount of flavor and appeals to anyone who's seeking something elevated, but still comfort food-like. The signature dish of the restaurant showcases foie gras in a way that no other has: as the centerpiece atop a plate of traditional poutine.

  • Must-Try: Poutine de luxe with foie gras
  • Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 5 PM - 11 PM, closed Monday & Tuesday

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