Montreal perfectly pairs music and food during the Montreal International Jazz Festival, June 26 to July 6. If you’re searching out the latest trends in seasonal cuisine or craving Quebecois comfort food, the city offers it all, whether on a silver platter or a paper plate…
World-class chefs stay hard at work throughout the festival at restaurants in Old Montreal, downtown, the Plateau and across the city. The Jazz Festival site itself hosts a variety of food options, from classic poutine to charcuterie plates of locally-raised cured meats to gourmet chocolates and ice cream. Steps away in Old Montreal, Restaurant Sinclair cooks with Jazz Fest flare, offering market-inspired $40 prix-fixe menus and a speciality festival cocktail called Clear Sangria, mixing sparkling rosé with white cranberry juice and litchi liqueur. Tapas meant for sharing keep Assommoir and Le Bocata, exciting, Les Éclusiers par Apollo creates unique dishes by the day, and chef Chuck Hughes’ restaurant Garde Manger never disappoints. Settle in for dinner and a show at Parisian restaurant-cabaret Le Balcon, where tango and flamenco dancers and a classic soul tribute complement the menu. Seafood specials light up La Société downtown, where oysters can be had for a dollar on certain nights during the festival, a delicious prelude to the restaurant’s daily tables-d’hôte. Or try Italian at Buonanotte and Restaurant Globe on St-Laurent Boulevard.
Fast and simple food also abounds in the city: find fresh and creative options served by the city’s arsenal of food trucks or walk over to nearby Chinatown for authentic Chinese dishes, dim sum, banh-mi sandwiches and pho soup, sushi, bubble tea, Szechuan specialities, and more. Pub food and casual bistros are always easy to find, as is poutine, whether Au Pied de Cochon’s foie gras variety or chosen from the extensive menu at La Banquise.
For a different kind of dining experience, climb about the Bateau-Mouche, a cruise through the waters surrounding the Old Port of Montreal – during the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the boat rocks to the beat of Brazilian-born Paolo Ramos’s band while chef Louis-François Marcotte serves festive summer dishes. Celebrate both Canada Day and the Jazz Fest at Les Temps Nouveau on July 1, when Karen Young her trio add classic jazz stylings to inventive grilled dishes and French cuisine.
At Jazz Festival headquarters in the Quartier des Spectacles, find Chef Normand Laprise’s Brasserie T, serving a seasonal gourmet menu in a cozy indoor space and outdoors on the bustling terrasse, while the nearby Foodlab creates fresh menus suited to its large rooftop restaurant – for more restaurant ideas well-suited to Jazz Festival show-going, see Tourisme Montreal’s downtown dining ideas and patio picks.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival, June 26 to July 6, 2014