Montreal is well known as a foodie destination and as a foodie myself, I hadn’t yet had a chance to experience it firsthand. I just returned from Quebec and got to experience two popular cities in “La Belle Province”. Montreal was no let-down but I had also hoped that the nearby ski town of Mont Tremblant would share the culinary pride of Montreal. Unfortunately, the food in Tremblant was a bit disappointing.
Here’s a quick run down of each city and some of the places we visited and whether they were winners or losers.
- Universel Déjeuner & Grillades: A great breakfast-brunch-lunch joint near the Rue Peel Metro stop. We ate both breakfast and lunch here during our stay and loved it all. The crepes are incredible but you can’t go wrong with the tortellini either!
- The Mon Café: A salty joint for a quick breakfast or coffee near Notre Dame. The french toast is excellent if you like things on the sweet side.
- Schwartz’s: I don’t care much for Anthony Bourdain and his style but I did hear about this old-school deli on his show. The smoked meat sandwiches are quite good along with pickles, fries, and a dark cherry cola. You must get the dark cherry cola!
- Deville Dinerbar: We ate here on my birthday for a little celebration. It’s a contemporary twist on the American diner without being cheesy. The decor is swanky, the food is delicious, and the music kept me bouncing in my seat all evening. On top of all that, the service was great! We befriended our server as it was her last couple of weeks before she headed off to New York for school.
- La Distillerie No 1: While we got a bit turned around while looking for this place, we finally found it. The bartenders were really chatty and warm. They serve specialty cocktails in mason jars which were quite good. They also serve a beer if that’s the route you prefer.
- Renoir: This is the hotel restaurant and bar inside the Sofitel hotel where we stayed. The staff was arrogant and pouty. We only had drinks here but I was so disappointed that we didn’t return for any meals.
Mont Tremblant Winners
- Smoke’s Poutinerie: Smoke’s was unfortunately the only winner in Tremlant for me. The Pulled Pork and Bacon Cheeseburger poutine were both great. Portions are generous. Although the man behind the counter hated my French skills. My French isn’t THAT terrible.
Mont Tremblant Losers
- Le Shack: This place spent all their money on over-the-top decor and forgot to make good food. Service was okay but the food was not good. The fries are so bland everywhere in Tremblant that the only way to make them good is to turn them into Poutine.
- Pizza & Cie: This place came recommended and it’s located in the old town of Tremblant, away from most of the main touristy action. The place was quite sleepy as there was only one other person in the restaurant. The pizza was also bad. But I’m a pizza snob.
- Tremblant Station (Tremblant Peak): Yes, this is the restaurant at the peak of Mont Tremblant. Restaurants at the peak of ski resorts are never good. This one was no exception.
So while Montreal are only 1.5 hours apart, they share nothing in common in their gastronomy DNA. At least based on our experience. The food was so much better in Montreal. Of course, we still have a great time in Mont Tremblant on the mountain and in the village. But if you visit, keep your food expectations low. As for Montreal, expect a great all-around foodie experience.