A landmark of Canada’s food scene, finding a classic poutine dish is almost a necessity when visiting the Great White North. Originating in the province of Quebec, this traditional cuisine has become a symbol of its culture. While it’s served on an otherwise casual bed of French fries, poutines are recognized for it’s delicious, melted cheese curds atop a creamy gravy that runs throughout the pile. Although various other cities and countries offer their own take on this customary snack, Montreal is guaranteed to provide the ultimate and most authentic experience. While poutine is usually no more than French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds, each restaurant has their own take on the classic. Listed below are a few suggestions as to where tourists can spot the best poutine in town.
Where: 994 Rue Rachel East
Price: $6.00 - $14.65 USD
Why: A top contender for the best poutine in the city, La Banquise is a 24-hour diner that offers numerous creative options of the Quebec delicacy. Whether their food is sought out after bar hopping on a Saturday night, or desired during a light brunch in the early morning, this trendy restaurant is a go-to for both locals and tourists alike. Originally a small ice-cream shop, La Banquise first opened its doors in May 1968 and officially began serving poutine in the 1980s. At first, the only poutine options were classic and Italian, but as the popularity of the food grew, so did the restaurant. The menu now serves over 20 different styles of poutine and other meals as well. From spice-filled La Fred Caillou to meat stuffed La Shoot-Out, a poutine at La Banquise is guaranteed to be très délicieux.
Au Pied De Cochon
Where: 536 Avenue Duluth East
Price: $17.80 USD for their poutine (an average of $30.15 USD for their general meals)
Why: While Au Pied De Cochon is most recognized for its fine dining atmosphere, the poutine option at this Quebec-based restaurant has become a hidden gem within the city. Decorated with lights across the ceiling and located on a street surrounded by coffee shops and bakeries, this cozy restaurant provides a stylish and upscale take on the traditional meal. Served with a tender foie-gras atop the fries, Au Pied De Cochon’s version of the local cuisine is more so an excuse to enjoy two of the world’s best delicacies at once. The size of the serving will make one question why it isn’t considered a featured entree, though it will have guests leaving the restaurant both surprised and satisfied by this underrated poutine hot spot.
Finding the best poutine in Montreal is similar to Ted Mosby searching for his soulmate on How I Met Your Mother - time-consuming, sometimes hopeless, but great experiences can be had along the way. Regardless of the stereotypes it has represented Canada with, poutine is a proud symbol of the north's culture. In addition to the above suggestions, there remain countless other restaurants highly-rated across the city: from Poutine Centrale’s delicious take, to the wide variety of options at Restaurant Chez Claudette, great poutines can be bought almost everywhere within the city. What other hot spots do you think has the best poutine in Montreal?