Best Poutine In Montreal
Prepare to get hungry. Putting together this Best Poutine In Montreal list rekindled the YAHglobal foodie team's relationship with their personal gym memberships to shed excess weight within days of sampling (indulging) some of the best poutine in the world. Yeah, that's right, the world. You see, poutine, a concoction that combines medium to thick cut french fries with a topping of cheese curds and brown sauce or gravy, was invented in the Canadian province of Quebec. It sounds like a simple recipe and we suppose it is but often the best things in life are found within the basics; Mac'n'Cheese, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Peanut Butter & Chocolate, so on and so forth.
Several small communities within the province claim to be the first to put this dish and moniker together and there is no end in sight with regards to resolving the debate so its best left to the historians of etymologists to decipher. For those of you simply looking for a plate of the best poutine around, regardless if you consider yourself an aficionado or a first timer (where have you been?) Montreal is a safe bet in your search for the fries, cheese and gravy combo that will leave you rubbing your belly faster than thanksgiving turkey dinner. While many eateries are a safe bet in this city, we did our best to put together a list of recommendations of poutine specialists for you to visit on your next eating binge through Montreal.
Best Poutine In Montreal - Bon Appetit!
994 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal
La Banquise is so renowned for the potato based "delicacy" of discussion that it shows up prominently in the Wikipedia entry for "poutine". That's akin to when someone says "There's a picture of your face in the dictionary beside the word *insert insult of choice*", except in this case its true and not an insult.
Since 1968 La Bisquise has gone from an ice cream parlor to 24-hr snack bar to a poutine destination point when it first graced their menu board in the late 1980's. In the humble beginning, there were only two staple flavors of Classic and Italian, which we still suggest you try before anything else, and has now grown to a menu unrecognizable in the world of french fries with 25 different varieties that range from the Elvis (ground beef, green peppers & mushrooms) to the Hawaii 5-0 (ham & pineapple). Our personal favorites include the Kamikaze (Merguez Sausage, hot peppers & tobasco) and of course the aforementioned Classique (you cant go wrong with the basics!). La Banquise does have more to offer than just poutine with a solid micro-brewery selection of beers and reputable breakfast, lunch and dinner options should you bypass their main menu item, but to be honest that would be like going to McDonald's and getting a salad, what's the point?
4351, Ave De Lorimier, Montréal
"The freshest curds in Montreal" is what you often hear from the locals when asked about Maam Bolduc. You wouldn't be sure how to take that if you didn't know the topic at hand but in this context you know its a good thing. When a cheese curd melts into the fries and gravy while still maintaining its form and "squeaky" texture then you know you are dealing with a master poutine maker. While the variety at Maam Bolduc isn't as vast as La Banquise, their classic version is neck and neck for the best dish of its kind in Montreal although the ingredient list for the Poutine Bourguignonne (beef, onions, mushrooms, wine, and garlic) makes it pretty much impossible to resist on a subsequent visit. Another big recommendation includes the 3 Cheese which includes blue cheese serving as a perfect complement to the mountainous curds already piled on high. The atmosphere at Maam Bolduc, near LaFontaine Park, is kept at a mellow neighborhood type pace with a setting perfect for multi-generational family units while still maintaining that hip image the city is known for.
4177 St Laurent (corner of Rachel), Montreal
Patati Patata is small but NOT unassuming. What it may lack in seating area it makes up for in pizazz, from its colorful exterior to the extremely friendly, energetic and welcoming staff within, Patati Patata is a fun place to enjoy our favorite Montreal comfort food. They make a poutine gravy with red wine sauce which may be a little strong for some but a gift from the french fry heavens for others. Catholics may soon flock to Patiti Patata for what should be a variation on the traditional red wine and communion dish causing attendance to shoot through the roof. The only down side (if you can call anything here a downside) is the combination of small space and amazing poutine creates a bit of a wait. If you are anything like our dining reviewers, you purposely starve yourselves before hand which was an almost regrettable experience when waiting about 20 minutes to be seated, only to be well worth it once fork, knife and face first into the order.
Au Pied de Cochon
536 Duluth East (corner of Berri), Montreal
Au Pied de Cochon will never be favored by vegetarians with its Foie Gras heavy menu but this higher end restaurant is an alternative to the mom & pop type establishments found on this list and is a must mention when it comes to discussing poutine in Montreal. In a bold move Chef Martin Picard serves a poutine dish topped with Foie Gras and a Foie Gras sauce in place of a traditional gravy stock resulting in what can only be considered a carnivores champion dish. While most poutine seekers aren't interested in paying $23 for a french fry based meal there is a "les à cotés" version for only $7. But once again, why go to McDonald's to get a salad?
1710, Rue Saint-Denis (near Parc La Fontaine), Montreal
Frite Alors! is a popular Beglian themed chain of bistro-styled restaurants that are known to sling a great poutine. Although we rarely place franchises on our Top Local lists Frite Alors has earned its place among the best poutine spots in Montreal based on location convenience, friendly service, cosmopolitan atmosphere and of course taste. The reasonable price is in line with most chain based eateries and proportionate with respect to size and value. Their "regular" french fry and sauce options border on "unfair" if one is to attempt to pick just one, but the topic here is poutine so let's get to our recommendation; the Poutine La Boucane (with bbq smoked cheese), which has us second guessing our assertion that the classic is always the best option.