Best local snacks
Am visiting Montreal in late November and am looking for recommendations on places to snack between meals. Love focused businesses that specialize and are obsessed with perfecting a niche of food. Here are some of the categories I'm interested in:
Coffee/espresso - strong, rich styles
Pastry - interested in all cuisine & ethnic styles, from French favorites (macarons, canneles, croissant), to Asian
Bread - enjoy all kinds from rustic levain to the pillowy sweet Chinese buns
Are there any snacks unique to Montreal? Can't misses?
La Maison du macaron: De La Roche just south of Mont-Royal.
Fou Desserts or Les Saveurs du plateau for pastries, both on Laurier East between, say, St-Denis and Papineau.
Cocoa Locale for cakes and cupcakes: Parc near Villeneuve.
St-Viateur or Fairmount for bagels. On the streets of the same names.
(crap, I lost my post....)
Coffee : Café In Gamba, Neve, Myriade, Café Italia close to Jean Talon Market, and this thread (among many other threads) :http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/98712
chai : don't know... I buy pre-made chai-stuff.
Pastry: Gascogne, and the middle-eastern stall @ Jean Talon Market; and pastry related : Mamie Clafoutie on Van-horne St...
Bread: "Première Moisson" ( I always ask for over-baked stuff, they are better than the bread in the display), or St-viateur or Fairmount Bagels
Gelato (or ice-cream related): Havre aux Glaces @ Jean Talon Market
On Van-Horne, there's "La Maison du Cheddar" that specialized on Cheddar; you can get cheese curdes (fromage en grain), or grill-cheese...
wrong wording ... I ask for baguette "Bien Cuite" or Well Baked, or nearly burnt ... the ones that are too "brown" and crispy for the public display...
Each time they sound insulted when I ask for that, and say that they never burn bread, but I ask them to go at the back and get the ones that I like, not the chewy ones, and they find a few of them that I'm happy to buy.
Tarte au sucre (sugar pie) - try it at Ma'am Bolduc, 4351 avenue de Lorimier. They also have other Québécois specialties like tourtière (meat pie)
Fèves au lard, tourtière, soupe aux pois (French-Canadian split-pea soup), pouding chômeur (poor-man's pudding cake) - try La Binerie Mont-Royal, 367 Mont-Royal est - http://www.labineriemontroyal.com/
Poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds, don't knock it til you've tried it) - a lot of folks recommend La Banquise, 994 Rachel est, http://www.restolabanquise.com/
Bagels aka Montreal honey-water-boiled, wood-oven-baked bagels - try St. Viateur and Fairmount & compare. Get sesame (white) or poppy (black) and forgo the fancy stuff. - http://www.stviateurbagel.com/ http://www.fairmountbagel.com/
Coffee - try Myriade - 1432 Mackay (downtown) - http://www.cafemyriade.com/
Bakeries - try Moh's famous Mile End Bakery Tour: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/663304
Gelato - don't know about gelato specifically, but highly recommend hitting up Havres aux glaces for ice cream at the Jean-Talon Market. You can also try some crêpes at the stand in the middle of the covered area of the market, or paczi (Polish donuts) at Wawel while you're there.
Have fun on your trip!
Pastry--Cannoli at Alati Caserta on Dante, just a short walk from the Jean Talon market--really the best I have had in any city, ever.
Bread--Zaatar--lebanese flatbread deliciousness, comes in many varieties at the Zaatar bakery on DeCastelnau just north of the JT market.
Gelato---I very strongly second Havre aux Glaces in the JT market--amazing, and it, unlike many Montreal ice cream joints, is open through the winter. Note-you can always have 3 flavours in one, even in the smallest portion size.
wow, so much to eat already with all those suggestions... others I can think of:
pasteis de nata, portuguese egg custards.
A good place to get them would be les Anges Gourmet, at 4247 Saint-Laurent.
Lahmajoun (armenian thin pizzas), at Arouch. Downtown location at 1600 de Maisonneuve W, next to the Guy Concordia metro
I'll skip chinese bakeries since you're from San Francisco! You probably have a more extensive choice there.
Kouign Amann (= butter cake) a specialty from Brittany (France) made of layers of brioche dough, butter and caramelized sugar. A treat if you like buttery pastries! Their croissants and other options are all very good. 322 Mont-Royal E, close to St-Denis (closed on Wed now).
Another good bakery wood be the Fromentier, 1375 Laurier W, corner de Lanaudiere. They make different breads each day of the week.
There's also la Maison Cakao, a chocolate shop just a few steps away, 5090 Fabre.
Greek pastry place: New Navarino bakery
5563 du Parc, corner of St-Viateur (where the bagel shop is)
you can also check out Cheskie, a Jewish bakery just a street north, on Bernard. They're known for their challah, rugelah, babka, etc...
fresh nuts: the nut booth at either Atwater (close to the pizza place) or Jean-Talon markets. Their spicy rosemary nut mix, or maple covered pecans are addictive!
churros: Uruguayan version at Churros Montreal. They also have empanadas.
Corn / rye crackers from Fourquet Fourchette (a Nouvelle-France type restaurant, located in the Palais des Congrès at 265 Saint-Antoine W, corner Jean-Paul Riopelle place - good deal for lunch by the way). They serve those in the bread basket, and you can also buy a small bag for 5$ - crunchy and quite tasty. I wouldn't make a detour for them, but since you'll probably visit the downtown and old montreal areas, you'll be close. No need to eat there to buy stuff; they also sell cured meats, smoked salmon, mustards, beers...
Something tells me you won't be craving gelato late November... :-)
7497 Rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, QC H2R2N5, CA
1887 Av Bourgogne, Chambly, QC J3L1Y8, CA
Coffee, PAstry & Bread - Les Copaiins D'Abord is a can not miss. It really does have the most amazing pastries. I used to sell them and they practically flew off the counter. Their coffee is great too. Never tried their bread but it looks pretty decent.
As for ice cream, look for shops that sell Bilboquet local ice-cream. Quebec's answer to Ben & Jerry's. They have a few locations around town, I say Google it.
As for local snacks - my God. Poutine. Crispy fries, with stringy molten cheese curds and thick gravy poured all over. Believe me, I know it sounds revolting - I avoided it for a whole year after coming to Montreal... but it's a winner. Best place to get that is La Banquise on Rachel and Cristophe Colomb. Hands down.