Montreal has always been considered the crossroads of the old and new world, a place where tradition meets avant-garde in all aspects of culture, joie de vivre and, most importantly, food. Scattered around the city are a handful of restaurants that not only focus on local terroir cuisine, but offer a nod to the province’s culinary heritage…
Located in the Plateau Mont Royal neighbourhood sits a tiny diner that’s been serving up traditional Quebecois cuisine since 1938. La Binerie has a menu that hasn’t changed much in their 75 years of business, a menu that focuses on hearty traditional meals that stick to your ribs and would sustain any working man throughout the day. Their specialties include pâté chinois (a local version of shepherd’s pie), homemade creton (a spiced pork spread similar to rillettes) and the quintessential tourtière (a meat pie that is traditionally made with beef or veal during the holidays, though La Binerie serves it year round).
Also in the Plateau is none other than the wildly popular – mainly due to the equally wild front man Martin Picard – Au Pied de Cochon. Specializing in foie gras, Chef Picard’s team celebrates this local export while featuring Quebec ingredients and tradition on their menu. Their hallmark is the foie gras poutine – a giant lobe of foie gras sitting atop fries cooked in duck fat, fresh cheese curds, drizzled with gravy and foie gras sauce – a light meal option to say the least. With locally sourced ingredients, the Potée du PDC, is a stew that combines porky goodness (belly, sausage and chop), homemade blood sausage and vegetables all cooked in a cast iron pot with a sauce of rendered duck and pork fat.
Restaurant Mâche, located in the Latin Quarter, is a quirky and fun spot that bills itself as a great place for classic Quebecois comfort food. With a blackboard that features pâté chinois, burgers and poutine, these dishes are comforting no matter where you’re from. Mâche lists various different types of shepherd’s pie, from the traditional ground beef and corn, to the more adventurous like pulled pork and cheese, a spicy merguez and even a vegetarian variety.
For a complete Quebecois dining experience, Sucrerie de la Montagne (located 40 minutes west of Montreal) invites you to step back in time and experience what it was like to dine at a traditional sugar shack.