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Is there great pizza in Montreal?

I posted this question before we went to Vancouver, and received the best pizza suggestion ever from a Chowhound post (the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co in Kitsilano) I'm hoping you can help me find a great place in Montreal.

We will be in town for a week with a car. We are willing to drive anywhere to find amazing pizza. Our idea of the perfect pizza is not traditional--more of a white pizza with light, chewy crust.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Yes and there are threads on this if you do a search. In my opinion best wood oven pizza in mtl is Il Foccalaio. And it has terrace if you bring your dog....They have over 70 types of pizza..
    PS free or street parking is i almost impossible there.

    Less traditional go to Amelio`s in the McGill Ghetto

    1. I love Pizza Napoletana's : 189 Dante Street in Montreal in the heart of little Italy. What more can you ask for:) info@napoletana.com. I always order the traditional one, but heard they have white pizza as well that it is as good.

      You can also try a Bakery (not a restaurant): Boulangerie Marguerita, (514) 276-6126, at 6505 Rue Clark, Montréal, and maybe pick some up to take back with you...but call first, because they run out.

      1. none of these suggestions are truly great

        check out bottega. i also recently enjoyed the pizza at pop!

        12 Replies
        1. re: celfie

          I haven't seen "white pizza" (which is what the thread'er is asking for) at Bottega's...and Pop makes one but adds cheese. Typical white pizza comes without cheese. Then again, it's a matter of preference. White pizza, with the "light chewy crust" which is what Judy is looking for, is often best in Bakery's, or traditional Italian Restaurants that have mastered the art by now. They're not as fancy looking, but the dough is divine.

          1. re: Pixie Muse

            this person mentioned wanting to find non-traditional pizza. no where is more traditional than napoletana. it is set in an old world motif and the pizza is exactly what you would expect from such a restaurant. bottega is very contemporary and their pizza is unlike any in montreal. for a memorable pizza, bottega is the place to go. i like napoletana just fine but it's nothing special.

            1. re: Pixie Muse

              I just wanted to pipe in and say Bottega is a great place to start as mentioned above. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe this is the place where the cook imported a 900 pound (or something heavy!) cooking oven constructed from Vesuvian volcanic rock that is used to cook pizza in Naples. Chowhounders please correct me about that if I'm wrong but I seem to remember this in a short CBC program about pizza in Montreal. Also, I second Pizza Amelio in the McGill ghetto for non-traditional (pizza with smoked meat on it--where else but Montreal would this be popular?!). Armenian pizza is popular here but I'm not sure where to get it these days....

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              Bottega
              65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

              Amelio's
              201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA

              1. re: deborahm

                white pizza to me, means no red sauce but we love various specialty cheeses (fontina, asiago, etc) not the basic mozzarella.

                1. re: JudyDenver

                  trust us, there is nothing else as good as bottega in montreal. montrealers often lament the lack of good pizza. I agree that Amelios is good but in my opinion it is not worth sending a tourist there.

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                  Amelio's
                  201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA

                  1. re: celfie

                    I believe F&F used to make a white pizza. But I would not go out of my way to eat there.

                    Bottega is pretty good, but traditional as well (and a tad expensive for pizza) IMO. I find Magpie on Maguire (just off Fairmount) pretty good too and they usually feature a more unusual pizza every week.

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                    Bottega
                    65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

                    1. re: estilker

                      The more I read reviews on other threads about Bottega's and Napolitana's, I don't think the dough from either place is what I am searching for. I really don't care if it's authentically Italian but certainly not soggy, brady or soft andloaded down with sauce and heavy toppings.

                      My all time favorite: light, chewy crust with garlic oil olive glaze, gorgonzola, hazelnuts and pears--with arugula salad on the side.

                      I really hate a traditional red sauce pizza with heavy cheese and greasy meat. I have been making pizza for 35 years and am still perfecting my dough. (and getting close) I am a real pizza snob with very high expectations. I am usually disappointed but am willing to try something new.

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                      Bottega
                      65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

                      1. re: JudyDenver

                        Without a doubt Montreal is not the place to come to be impressed by pizza, especially if you're an afficionado. A lot of food is done well here, but there's a legacy of pizza NOT being one of them. Moreover, I find that the uniquely Montreal-style pizzas are exactly what you're NOT looking for. I find Napolitana's is not really this - it is more traditionally Italian (with thinner crust) - but even so it will probably disappoint. Unless you're really set on having some here, I'd maybe save this meal for something else.

                        1. re: Fintastic

                          I agree, Montreal is not a pizza town. And like JudyDenver I feel the best pizza I can here have is at home.
                          So I would skip out of pizza and have french bistro food instead.

                          1. re: estilker

                            I lived in Chicago for 10 years and lived all over North America. People believe that pizza is what they grew up calling pizza. In Montreal that might easily have been the Pizza Plus from Piazza Tomasso or Luigi's pizza which was very much an Italian bakery pizza like Marguerita (ST Urbain and Beaubien excellent pizza by the way).
                            My favourite pizza in Chicago was at De Medici in Hyde Park which is totally unlike either Chicago deep dish or regular Chicago pizza.
                            When I moved from Montreal to Toronto in 1970 I had Pizza at Cammara Bakery on Dufferin it was a revelation unlike Montreal or New York pizza the crust melted in your mouth and the paucity of topping rather than overwhelming the pizza blended perfectly with the crust to make something that still makes a visit to Toronto worthwhile even though the quality is not the same as 40 tears ago and the bakery has been replaced by a giant pizzeria.
                            Around Boston the brick oven pizza is excellent and the banana and ice cream dessert pizza still sticks in my mind. California ingenuity and the middle eastern variations add more variety and excellence to my pizza memories. To say their is not some of the best pizza in the world in Montreal is to limit your appreciation of what pizza can be and is. Pizza pre-dates tomatoes and pasta so pine nuts and olive oil is more tradition than tomato sauce and mozzarella.
                            A well made crust whether using the finest xx Italian flour or some mideastern Zataar on flat bread and the toppings of your choice can make a world class pizza. I remember the Boston Pizza in Peace River Alberta made as good a Feta and spinach pizza as well as anyone.
                            When visiting Montreal I take adults to Vinizza in the JTM for pizza but if the grandchildren are about I go to Amelio's on Milton. In either case I know I will get a quality crust and fresh toppings.

                            -----
                            Amelio's
                            201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA

                  2. re: JudyDenver

                    Amelio's has a great 5 cheese white pizza..not to mention it's a bring your own wine. Just avoid going at peak weekend hours because the line gets long.

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                    Amelio's
                    201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA

                2. re: Pixie Muse

                  I have had white pizza at Bottega, which I think refers to the absence of tomato sauce and cheese. They have several options I believe. My fav has arugula and cherry tomatoes

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                  Bottega
                  65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

              2. Vinizza in the Jean Talon market makes outstanding individual brick oven pizza. Very traditional high end Italian pizza using only the freshest and finest ingredient on a fine delicate crust. Truly the Un-American pizza.
                Things like fresh varietal mushrooms and artisanal cheeses. As I recall between $15-20 per pizza. Get there early for lunch or supper always packed.

                1. I'm not sure this is exactly what you are looking for but the restaurant Jane has a white pizza and its really tasty. My only issue with Jane is the crust is really thick.
                  I have also had really good pizza at Magpie but again I'm not sure they have white pizza or exactly what you described.
                  I also agree that Bottega is very good pizza. Its light and definitely not topping or sauce heavy..

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                  Jane
                  1744 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H3J 1M3, CA

                  Pizzeria Magpie
                  16 Rue Maguire, Montreal, QC H2T 1B9, CA

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: jarschef

                    Are their distinct differences in the crust between
                    Vinizza, Bottega and Prato? I have no clue how to decide on which one to try--everyone has such a different idea of what is great.

                    I have never been wild about the pizza baked in a wood burning oven (like all in Nice, France) that has burned spots on the top and dry on the bottom. When sliced, the dough is limp and soggy in the middle and the toppings slide off.

                    Certainly using the finest Italian ingredients helps, but technique is so critical. I recently offended an owner of a pizzeria in Cannon Beach, Oregon. He proclaims to use the best flour, technique and brags about his experience--but the crust was tasteless and boring and the pizza was $32! I posted my negative comments on tripadvisor and he attacked me for my negative review.

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                    Bottega
                    65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

                    1. re: JudyDenver

                      Bottega is Neapolitan VPN style. Vinizza is more Roman thin crust style. Prato is North-American thin-crust. Both Bottega and Vinizza have wood burning ovens, and i believe Prato has a coal-fired oven.

                      My experiences at Bottega were hit and miss, and I haven't gone back in years. I found Vinizza good, but not enough to justify the price. Prato is okay, but I'm not wild about it. Like many have posted before, Montreal is just not a pizza town. When I do eat pizza I do it for comfort, so a place like Amelio's does the trick for me.

                      s for white pizza, not everyone defines white pizza as a white sauce pizza. For most people, white pizza means focaccia, so make sure you ask before ordering.

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                      Bottega
                      65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        I would like to avoid a red sauce--that's my idea of white. Thanks for defining all 3. I must admit after all of these discussions that I am not very enthused to embark on a pizza seach. Sounds like I may be disappointed.

                        1. re: JudyDenver

                          Magpie or Jane. Otherwise, don't bother with pizza here. The last pizza I had at Bottega (a few weeks back) was very disappointing - definitely not even close to the quality it was when they first opened.

                          But we have tons of other great food options in Montreal.

                          And if you/re REALLY willing to drive anywhere for good pizza, it's 1 1/2 hours to Burlington, Vermont, where you'll find American Flatbread - which sounds like it's exactly what you're looking for (and currently my gold standard for pizza).

                          1. re: cherylmtl

                            Yes Cheryl, I agree completely. Bottega's is not impressive..
                            I love American Flatbread in Vermont!! Delicious :)

                            1. re: cherylmtl

                              It is very frustrating to read about gold standards for a food that has so many peoples and places claiming its origin. Its kind of like Chinese dumplings which origins in China but whose exact constituents are found accompanying the dead to their new resting place in Egypt's pyramids.

                              I have no doubts you found your bookmark pizza in Burlington, living on the Vermont border I have found the quality of baked goods in Vermont to be a cut above anything else in North America. This comes as no surprise Vermont being the home of King Arthur flour and with regard to pizza it is where at the home of King Arthur flour we obtained our pizza pan that put every other pizza pan to shame. Burlington is a great food town and the quality of its food is second to none but Montreal is a city and presents visitors with a myriad of food options to my palate both good and bad.

                              In the words of Jesse Winchester who lived in Montreal for a very long time "Some prefer the taste of smokey whiskey others say that tea is to strong." I would prefer if you said American Flatbread in Burlington Vermont makes your favourite white pizza. Not everything can be put in a top ten list and I am totally p------ off at shows like Iron Chef not everything can be a competition. It would take a lifetime to sample the variety of pizza available in Montreal. Montreal has some of my favourite pizza and some of my least favourite pizza, end of story.

                              1. re: Moedelestrie

                                I didn't say it was THE gold standard - I just said that it was MY gold standard for pizza. Not white pizza, just pizza. Period. Not sure what you're so annoyed about. It's my opinion, and I believe I'm allowed to have it...

                                1. re: cherylmtl

                                  Everyone is allowed an opinion and I respect yours except when you state that great pizza does not exist in Montreal. Italian oo pizza flour, real Italian Deli, artisanal Italian cheese and freshly picked clusters of a variety of mushrooms do exist in Montreal but they are expensive and pizza is not normally a luxury food. They all exist in close proxmity to JTM and Vinizza uses all of them but that might not be your cup of tea.
                                  By the way next time you are in Burlington pick up a bag of King Arthur pizza blend flour for yourself or someone who makes pizza to me the right flour can make all the difference. I am sorry if you thought I was picking on you I am just frustrated by a food culture that has become competitive as opposed to simply appreciative of the wealth of styles and flavours that have so enhanced my life. Food should bring us together not tear us apart not all of us can afford $100 for four pizza but doing the best with what you got should be cause for celebration.

                                  1. re: Moedelestrie

                                    Sorry if you misunderstood me -and in re-reading my posting, I guess I wasn't exactly clear...I didn't say that great pizza does not exist in Montreal - what I meant was that the OP won't find what she's looking for in great pizza in Montreal (outside of Jane and Magpie), but she will at American Flatbread. Too early, not enough coffee...
                                    I have been using King Arthur flour for years, although for pizza I use Italian 00 flour mixed with King Arthur.

                                    1. re: cherylmtl

                                      I just looked at the menu at Rockie Mountain Flatbread and it looks very much like Vinnizza except with two sizes of pizza for those who wish to forego the salad and get a bigger pizza. The pizzas do have a West Coast feel as opposed to traditional Italian but it seems 25-30 per person without drinks would be the norm.
                                      My wife and I are pretty frugal and spent a great deal of time baking pizza with our Chicago grandsons. You can imagine the horror I felt shelling out $80 for a pizza that could not measure up to what we could do at home. Just to let you know I am much more comfortable in Burlington than I am in upscale Montreal pizzerias but the younger grandson's college tuition is a good salary in Vermont. I guess I am sounding like my father but I don't feel old but it is strange when what I paid for a pizza for six with soft drinks doesn't come close to paying the tip.

                                      1. re: Moedelestrie

                                        As a tourist, is it worth a nice trip from Montreal to see Burlington, Vt and have pizza at American Flatbread or should we just give Vinnizza a try or save that sightseeing time to spend more time in Montreal?

                                        1. re: JudyDenver

                                          As a Vermonter who loves Montreal, I'd say maximize your time in Montreal and save the Green Mountain State for its own visit. Both are wonderful experiences that deserve several days. American Flatbread will be just one of your fine food experiences when you get here.

                                          1. re: vermontreal

                                            As an exMontrealer living on the Quebec /Vermont border I would say for foodies both Vermont and Montreal are worth at least several months if not a year. Montreal is known as a good food city a well deserved reputation but other than dairy products Vermont is unknown but the quality of food in Vermont is second to none Vermonters generally know their food and I have very seldom met with disappointment.

                      2. re: jarschef

                        Jane's pizza crust is thick, but it's different(that's what I've been hearing). My only issue with pizza at Bottega & Magpie is that they fall apart very easily. Of all the pizzerias that have opened up in Montreal in recent years, Restaurant Jane might be producing the most interesting pizzas(different crust, different topping offerings). Although I haven't tried Jane's pizza yet(I just heard about their interesting pizzas very recently).

                          1. re: wattacetti

                            has anyone tried it Ive been meaning to ask since I saw the episode...

                              1. re: BLM

                                On the subject of Vermont/Quebec visits, I could not agree more with the other Chowhounders who say the food culture there is exceptional and worth its own extended visit. I just returned from the North East Kingdom and I found some of the freshest, most unpretentious and local organic foods that made even tavern meals in places like Waterbury scrumptious. I have never been in a region of North America where community supported agriculture was so widespread. While this might be beyond the scope of the posting topic, if you are looking for a day trip in Vermont over the border to take in landscape and some local foods, I might even recommend getting suggestions to local farmer's markets or co-ops to get organic cheeses, honey, etc. Fellow Vermont Chowhounders, am I wrong about it being worth a short day trip across the border?

                                Also, I still stand by La Bottega as a place where I've enjoyed the pizza. Can't remember if they have the white variety or not. Also, while you're in Montreal why not stop by Qunicaillerie Dante, the famous kitchen store near Jean-Talon market where the owners own a cooking school that is close to Little Italy where you can talk to staff--the owner's son, Stefano Faita is a Montreal pizza/cooking afficianado: http://www.ecolemezzaluna.ca/page/5/c...
                                Why not ask them--the most Italian cooking store in the city--where to get the best white pizza? They're bound to have lots of ideas.............

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                                Bottega
                                65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

                                1. re: BLM

                                  Shut Up and Eat has a great review on this resto Yum....

                            1. re: jarschef

                              Jane's white pizza was listed in today's Montreal Gazette paper, as one of fave dishes of the chef/owner of the Taco Truck.

                            2. I don't get why Vinizza is getting so much hype. My wife's family decided for all of us to go there for her birthday about 2 years ago. It was pretty bad for the money. We all left hungry and my father in law who eats like a bird was starving when we got home, it was pretty funny and we all still laugh about it, but im tired of all these so called Italian restaurants opening up and giving you 2 spoons of food and charging a hell of a lot of money. If your Italian, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Anyone can charge 12 bucks for a 4 inch sausage and some peppers thrown in a 4oz glass. One of the worst places i have been.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mike2000z28

                                I was at La Bottega again last night. I don't know what other people's "gold standards" are but I think it would be crazy to discourage people from trying pizza in Montreal, including at La Bottega or Napoletana (i've only been there once years ago but it was great).

                                Bottega was packed, I didn't have a reservation so there was a wait but we were attended to politely by staff who thanked us for our patience. It's an authentic Napoli style pizza with a crust that is crispy on the outside and still quite soft and doughy on the inside but not chewy. Nothing fell apart (it's a thicker dough), plus it's not heaped with tomato sauce--there was nothing soggy about it. I believe you can order a 'white pizza' (if the option on the menu doesn't include San Marzano tomatoes then I believe what you'll get is a pizza without the tomato base--perhaps others here can verify). I ordered the Caprese so I had sauce but I saw others coming out of the kitchen that did not. I agree with people above that it's a tad on the expensive side (1 glass of wine, 1 bottle of fizzy water, 2 appetizers, 1 pizza to share, 1 cappucino and 1 dessert to share: $75 after taxes) but the service I received was very good and swift, and I chose one of the more expensive specials for starters. Good wine list. Anyway, just thought I'd share my very recent experience. The menu is online and you could always call to verify the white pizza mystery. Petite Italie in the summer is wonderful and I wouldn't discourage anyone from out of town from going there or to some of the other places suggested above by others....

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                                Bottega
                                65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA