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Jan 5, 2008 03:33 PM

Pizza lovers in Montreal? Ever left montreal for pizza?

Im not from here but when i moved here from Philadelphia. I found out there's 2 kinds of pizza. What you guys call Fast food pizza 2for1 which isnt pizza and then normal pizza, but how come pizza in montreal is soo damn expensive? Im talking normal pizza, not 2 for one crap. Is it because cheese is high or dough? Anyone notice the high price of pizza in Montreal compared with most American cities? I haven't been to other parts of Canada to know if this is a Quebec thing or Canadian thing, but i have a feeling its a Quebec thing since we get raped on everything here.

Your thoughts?

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  1. I never left Montreal for pizza, but I have studied and worked in Italy on several occasions. Why do you assume the pizza from where you come from is "normal" pizza? The only justified norm would be pizza as found in Italy (of the Roman or Neopolitan schools). Sure, Philadephia pizza, Montreal pizza, Argentinean pizza (a wealth of those) etc are part of the pizza diaspora, all with their own merits.

    I haven't been to the US for many years, so I can't really compare prices. A dear friend of mine from the North Bronx who is twice as Italian in origin as I am (me = 1/2 italiana) who visits us up here frequently, thinks that in general we have better food for our budget than he does there. Including pizza. Not including wine prices, but we can go to a byow or takeaway.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lagatta

      I don't know why somebody who hasn't lived in the States or Canada recently would comment about this, I have grown up in Montreal and have lived all over the States and in Europe. Food prices are just higher in general along with the over all cost of living in Montreal compared to the United States.

      Now for the Pizza! I personally think quebec/Montreal style pizza with the meat underneath the cheese is a hot mess and tastes terrible. Nothing like biting into a hot sloppy pizza loaded with too much sauce, too much cheese and a lame crust for it to fall apart all over your face with all the topping coming off the crust. This terrible pizza design makes you have to eat it with a knife and fork, much like the chicago deep dish with their overload of cheese and sauce. I am a firm believer that pizza should not be eaten with a knife and fork, therefore the best pizza I have had is the NY style where you you can get full off one slice and fold it in half when eating it. Montreal does have pizza that is NY style such as what used to be the 50 cent slice of pizza on Guy Street, I have no idea how much it is these days.

      I have always loved NY style even though the sicilian style pizza I have had while in Europe is pretty awesome too...But who ever came up with the awful style of pizza that you eat in quebec with those big stupid pepporonis and soggy crust where the toppings come clean off needs to die...Montreal as far as I am concerned is a North Eastern city and as far as I'm concerned is very east coast in its comparison to cities in the US...we should embody great eastcoast styles of city dining with our pizza just as much as everything else.

      And yes cheaper pies would be nice too, however you if you made the pizza better, there would be more demand therefore you can reduce the price.

      1. re: nathan2220

        nathan, I think you have misread my post. I didn't need to specify that I live in Montréal and have for many, many years. I specifically stated that I haven't been to the US recently, but mentioned a NYC friend who had an opinion on relative cost of living at odds with the original poster. Another friend who frequently travels to the US finds prices on some things (especially fresh vegetables) much higher there (Michigan), and lower on others. Housing costs for one thing remain far lower here in Mtl, despite recent increases.

        I was mostly challenging his concept of "normal" pizza, as it has undergone many permutations in the pizza diaspora.

        Not even mentioning the "raped" comment. Cattivo gusto.

    2. Honestly, I have yet to have a pizza in the States that doesn't make me gag on either the 6 pounds of cheese (I went to the US with a friend from England and he wondered why it was that everything in the US has cheese on it) or the mystery meat. Yes, pizza is very inexpensive in the US, but you really do get what you pay for. More is not better.

      Pizza in Italy....a whole other world. Beam me up, Scotty. Any time.

      1. Can you explain what "normal" pizza is? Because even though it might have originated from Italy, from culture to culture the shape, texture, toppings and substance of the pie changes significantly. If you are looking for Chicago style pizza, or any other regional speciality you are probably out of luck.

        1. Normal being cheese that actually melts and doesn't look like stick on crap AKA 2 for 1. I can get much better quality for a whole lot cheaper. Like here most places charge at least say 25 bucks for an US large which is a Canadian Extra large 16inch pie. My wife is Italian, Canadian born and we live in Saint Leonard and i go around town always looking for different pizza joints to try just to try different ones. Prices here are highly exaggerated no matter how you spin it. Kinda like buying a corvette that starts at 60k for same car that starts at 40k in the US which really sums up the whole how come its pricey for nothing?

          Please don't turn this into a US vs Canada pissing match or whatnot.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mike2000z28

            "Prices here are highly exaggerated no matter how you spin it. Kinda like buying a corvette that starts at 60k for same car that starts at 40k in the US which really sums up the whole how come its pricey for nothing?

            "Please don't turn this into a US vs Canada pissing match or whatnot."

            Right. Now that you're finished pissing, you mean.

            Like everything else in economics, the reasons for price differences are complex. The factors at play include exchange rates, climate, marketing boards, market size, population density, wage levels, social programs and the taxes necessary to pay for them, etc., etc. Lots of things -- from decent French food to university education -- are cheaper up here, btw.

            As for pizza, well, Bottega aside, it's not a great pizza city, though many people who grew up eating the local pies feel differently, think Chicago and NY-style pizzas suck. To each his own. You can always console yourself with a bowl of poutine.

          2. Back a number of years ago when working in a Pizzeria in Rochester NY. I had been asked by a number of clients why our pizza was more expensive than the place down the street. Time and again, I had to explain that we use real dairy cheese. It seems that due to slim margins, the growing trend was to use soy based cheese product which was available at a much lower cost. From what I see the cost of cheese in Montreal is much more than in the US.

            There are some very good pizzas available in Montreal that you could say are worth the price. Then again there are some lousy pies that are just over priced for what they are. I believe it all comes down to knowing where to go to get value.

            The pizza in Montreal is also distinctly different from anything you will find in the US, or even most places as close as Ottawa. Oddly enough, Pizzerias in Montreal tend to dress the pizza then cover the toppings with the cheese, whereas in the US, the trend is to put the toppings on top of the cheese. Personally, I prefer crisp pepperoni than steamed pepperoni. In Montreal, mushrooms on a pizza are always fresh mushrooms, In the US, they most always use canned mushrooms.

            I will never forget chatting with the owner of the now defunct Michael D.'s that was on the corner of de Maisoneuve and Greene, who swore that the best pizza is made with Norvegia and not Mozzarella. Testament being the display case next to the cash stacked full of Norvegia bricks. And it was good pizza too.

            One of the best Pizzas delivered in the downtown core was from a guy named Hamid who owned a place called couple pizza. Their deluxe was not only very reasonably priced, but was hands down the best delivery pizza we found. .... Then one day, they stopped answering their phone....We were very sad to see them disappear suddenly with no notice... later at the end of 2005 while sipping a coffee, and reading the Montreal Mirror column highlighting the year in review, there was a piece on Montreals dumbest criminal. It turns out that Couple Pizza was actually a front for a heroin home delivery operation. Damn I will miss that pizza.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fedelst1

              The sausage called peperoni does not exist in Italy. And there isn't actually a lot of cheese on authentic pizzas. Most North American pizzas tend to be rather overdressed.