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May 4, 2009 08:23 AM

Kosher restaurants and food in Montreal

Summer is around the corner and that means lots of Kosher tourists will flock our city. I saw that someone did this last year and I disagreed with most of his recommendations for good Kosher food and restaurants in Montreal. So here's my two cents:

For elegant, fine dining places:

Mortys Steakhouse, 5395 Queen Mary, Montreal 514-481-2000
This is really Montreal's best Kosher restaurant. They openned last year and its owned by the people at El Morocco. They serve top quality beef, dry aged, the works. They also have a great fish menu. This is an authentic steakhouse, the decor is very New York and the food is awesome. It's perfect for birthdays, dates, business meetings and just if you want to spoil yourself. The service is fantastic, its very warm and hospitable. They had a rocky start, but 1 year later, the food is incredible and everything is perfect from start to finish. They hired a chef who worked in a very big Steakhouse institution in Montreal (Moishe's) and they do a great job.

El Morocco, 3450 Drummond, Montreal 514-844-6888
Montreal's oldest Kosher restaurant, openned in the late 70s and still open today. Something unique for Montreal. The food is authentic morrocan, although they have some items that are not moroccan. They also own Mortys, so they serve some of their steaks. It's Montreal's only Kosher restaurant downtown, so its great for tourists who are staying in hotels around it. They also cater for Shabbat and can have it sent to your hotel. The food is incredible and the decor is really nice. It was a little downhill a few years ago, but they went through a nice facelift a couple years ago and are back on top. Probably my 2nd most favorite place after Mortys. The service is also very nice.

Ernie and Ellies, 6900 Decarie, Montreal 514-344-4444
I put this restaurant in the elegant section. It's not really elegant, but I didn't create a 'do not visit' section, so i decided to put it here. This used to be a great kosher restaurant! For the last few years, it really went downhill. The food is gross, the service is outright rude and the management doesn't care. They make all their money in takeout and catering so the restaurant only exist to get rid of the food they couldn't sell at their catering or takeout. So I'm writing this in hopes that someone from Ernie and Ellies reads this and makes some changes!

Exodus: Closed, but was replace with Mortys, see above.

Family friendly place, moderately priced:

Rahamim Glatts, Cote st Luc Road, near TCBY
They just openned this place and only went there once. My theory is that they figure that since Exodus closed, they wanted that clientele. I'm not sure if they've succeeded, but its not a bad restaurant, its not great either. The food is decent. They have italian, french and moroccan. I think with the right effort, they can become much better. I'll review it again later.

Yakimono Sushi, 4210 Decarie, Montreal 514-484-1515
Probably the best Sushi in Montreal. They have lots of choices and the prices are very fair. It's not a big place, so you need to reserve if you're going to be more than 4 people. They also do takeout. If you want great sushi, this is the place. Beware, they don't much besides Sushi.

Pizza Pita, 6415 Decarie, Montreal 514-731-7482
The name says it all. Good Pizza. It's like a Kosher equivalent of Domino's. Good Pizza, good prices, family friendly. Don't expect stone oven thin crust pizza here! But for what it does, its great.

Exception 5039 Queen Mary, Montreal 514-344-0508
A really nice restaurant, too bad its only Dairy. They have some great sandwiches, omelettes and pasta. The decor is gorgeous and really well tought out. They also have incredible pastries and cakes. Definitely one of Montreal's best Kosher restaurants in this category.

Fast food, counter places:

Chez Benny, 5071 Queen Mary, Montreal 514-735-1836 (also another one in SaintLaurent)
Not what it used to be, but still pretty good. The food is tasty, the quantity is good and the quality is decent. They could be a little more polite, but i guess it comes with the territory. The place to go for a Shawarma, Fallafel or some grilled stuff.

Prime Grill, 5334 Queen Mary, Montreal 514-656-9900
I used to love this place, now I just like it. The food is Israeli. They have the best Fallafel in the city. Their Shawarma is good. Their service is friendly, which is unique in this type of Kosher restaurant. It's a small place, but its very well located on Queen Mary.

There are other Kosher restaurants in the city, but they're either not worthy of mention or totally out of the way. For a complete listing of Kosher restaurants in Montreal approved by the MK (Vaad Hair of Montreal), go to:

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  1. yakimono the best sushi in montreal? a bit of a stretch

    2 Replies
    1. re: berbatov

      I think the OP meant best kosher sushi, not the best ever.

      1. re: berbatov

        I said "probably".... but definitely good considering the limitations of Kosher cuisine, i.e. No real seafood! I heard some new owners just took over the place, so let's wait and see if they do a better or worst job than current management.

      2. El Morocco is kosher? Are the owners Jewish? Because it occurs to me that halal and kosher rules are, except for shellfish, virtually identical and therefore any Muslim-owned restaurant can be roughly considered kosher.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Shattered

          Yes, El Morocco's owners are of Jewish Moroccan origin. There are many Maghrebi Jews in Montréal, as well as in France and in Israel.

          Halal and kosher rules are indeed very similar but people who strictly observe one of those dietary laws might not want to eat foods prepared under the other. One of the main differences for couscous and co. would be that Muslim Maghrebis might put butter in couscous (served with meat). (I'm not of Jewish or Muslim origin but have worked in settings where we had to accomodate various dietary requirements).

          1. re: Shattered

            > El Morocco is kosher?

            Yes, according to the city's official kosher guide:


            > any Muslim-owned restaurant can be roughly considered kosher.

            If you wanted to get into that line of discussion, the general Kosher board would be the place for it, not here.

            1. re: kpzoo

              El Morocco is Kosher and owned by Sephardic Jews, Moroccan I think. I think the owner is also the Chef. An no, Hallal and Kosher are very different. Usually, a muslim will eat Kosher, however, an observant Jew cannot eat Hallal. My understanding is that Kosher is a couple of steps beyond Hallal (cannot mix dairy with meat, meat slaughter is a little more complicated with Kosher, etc.)

              1. re: davidfine

                For meat, those who keep Halal will not eat animals with canine teeth, as opposed to the split hooves/cud chewing that Kosher requires. The rules for slaughter are also very different. Kosher fulfills all the requirement for Halal, but not the other way around.

            2. re: Shattered

              El Morrocco is no longer recognized as a Kosher restaurant by MK.

              1. re: MontrealChick

                El Morocco was sold by its Jewish owners earlier this year to non-Jewish owners, who kept the same menu, but it is no longer kosher.

            3. El Morocco, and they make a nice service of the tea at the end (It is my favorite kosher restaurant in Montreal). I loved the food there. Additionally, for tourists staying downtown, if you just want to grab a bite/fast food, there is Yossi's Dizengoff cafe in the hillel house. I agree with the above on Ernie and Ellie's, mediocre.

              1. BS"D

                Too bad that there's nothing in your kosher listing presenting the unique Montreal specialty: Montreal Smoked Meat. Considering that it's been touted on the nonkosher boards as there being nothing else like it, a unique charcuterie experience in the world, one would thing that great examples could be found among Montreal's kosher restaurants. Yet, no word.

                12 Replies
                1. re: ganeden

                  One sad aspect of food in Canada in that pretty much all really good kosher deli has disappeared. You will find kosher smoked meat in Montreal, but it doesn't taste anything like the real thing, and hasn't in decades.

                  1. re: embee

                    For Kosher Montreal Smoked Meat, go to Chez Papa Ernie.

                    They just recently opened, and are pretty good.

                    Here's a link to a recent article about the restaurant:

                    The restaurant is at 5839 Decarie Boulevard (corner Bourret) - they have free Valet parking.

                      1. re: zsero

                        That list is for restaurants under the hashgacha of the "MK" a.k.a. the Montreal Va'ad Hair. Chez Papa Ernie is under the hashgacha of the KSR, which is more or less the Sephardi council hashgacha.

                        1. re: JulesNeverBeige

                          Jules, would you have a link for KSR? A friend of mine in Paris, of Moroccan origin, keeps kosher and would definitely like to know this when she visits Montreal.

                      2. re: pjudef

                        I went there tonight, and had a smoked meat sandwich, which was delicious. There were other lovely-sounding things on the menu, so I may find time to schedule a second visit next week.

                        I also visited Kosher Quality, where I picked up a sausage I'd never heard of before called "karnatzel"; I haven't tried it yet.

                        1. re: zsero

                          You should listen to the words of Romania, Romania and will hear about eating Karnatzel(ach) and dring wine.................

                          1. re: zsero

                            If it's a really good one, it will kill vampires.

                            1. re: embee

                              Vampires definitely do NOT keep kosher.

                          2. re: harold.r

                            And if folks don't know each other they just introduce themselves. At least, this happened to me when I was there in August. The people at the table next door introduced themselves and started a conversation, we ended up sharing side dishes, and one of them ended up giving me a lift back to the Metro!

                      3. What is the best (kosher) place to get those famous Montreal bagels people are always talking about?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: serenarobin

                          While there is nothing unkosher about a Fairmont or St Viateur bagel, they are not under any kind of supervision. I'm afraid you're out of luck.

                          1. re: embee

                            A lot of people confuse Jewish or Kosher style restaurants and actualy Kosher certified restaurants. Montreal has great Smoked Meat restaurants, Schartz being one of them, but as Jewish as it is, its not a Kosher restaurant.

                          2. re: serenarobin

                            To get great Montreal bagels that are kosher, there are a number of great bakeries to choose from (in fact, kosher bakeries in Montreal are known citywide for their excellent baked goods).

                            Here is a listing from the MK (Montreal Kosher Vaad Haiir):

                            My favorite bagels are at the Homemade Bakery at 6915 QUERBES - 514-270-5567

                            The MOUNT ROYAL BAGEL FACTORY has the most choice in terms of flavors- 709 LUCERNE ROAD

                            1. re: serenarobin

                              There is a fabulous kosher bagel place (with hashgacha) at the corner of Lucerne and Jean-Talon, whose bagels are on par with St-Viateur, if you go early enough and get them piping hot right out of the overn.
                              MOUNT ROYAL BAGEL FACTORY 709 LUCERNE ROAD 514-735-1174