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Feb 28, 2009 06:37 AM

Who does it better: Toronto or Montreal

I have lived in many cities and I have discovered that different genres of cuisine are, on average, either executed well or poorly in each. For example, since moving to Toronto, I've discovered that the Thai and Japanese food are, for the most part, executed poorly here. The Chinese food on the other hand - yum!

I will be traveling to Montreal quite a bit in the next few months and am wondering if there are cuisines that are done better (on average) there compared to here. Obviously there will be variation within each city. For example - I'm frustrated with the sushi here - will it be any better in Montreal?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. amy, you will get much better information on Montreal by posting on the Quebec board, but I can tell you that most Ontario Chowhounds would visit Schwartz's, and Au Pied de Cochon above all else.
    Asian food is not a strong point in Montreal, although there is some good Vietnamese.

    1. Japanese is not better in Montreal, neither is Thai, and the Chinese there doesn't come close to the Chinese here. There are more/better Vietnamese restaurants (as mentioned below).

      Things like bagels, Schwartz's, poutine, Montreal-style pizza, and things that others miss after leaving Montreal are probably good ideas. Bakeries/patisseries can be quite good in Montreal. There are wines and stuff that you can get at the SAQ that I don't see here, and there are Quebec beers that you also aren't likely to find here.

      jayt90 is right, check out the Quebec board and see what is actually good. There are many differences between Montreal and Toronto, but most of it isn't one city doing it better, more that it's something that is entirely missing from one city and not the other. Find out what's good in general, and go.

      1. If you like Ethiopian food, the best I've had (keep in mind that I've never been to Ethiopia!) is at Le Nil Bleu (3706 St. Denis). AMAZING food and lovely decor.

        1. I haven't been to a Portuguese restaurant I didn't like in Montreal.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chef_vegabond

            How do they compare to Chiado here?

            1. re: syoung

              From my experience, a little like apples and oranges, far more casual, laid back and fun (not to mention a quarter of the cost) than Chiado but that's not why people go to Chiado.
              The fish has not been flown in that day from the Azores, the wine list not as interesting and they don't import their own rare olive oils.

          2. You will definitely find better pastry in Montreal, Toronto does not have the same level...!
            and you should enjoy their wonderful bagel!