Montreal’s Smoked Meat Sandwiches

A foodie’s trip to Montreal would not be perfect without a smoked meat sandwich. In my case, it was 3 sandwiches in one day! After some research and differing views on where to go for smoked meat sandwich, I decided to try as many as I could. Only having 1 free day to myself during a recent work trip to Montreal, I hit up 3 different restaurants and came to the conclusion – no matter which restaurant, you can’t go wrong with a Montreal smoked meat sandwich.

  1. Smoking Meat – Vieux Montreal
    Closest to the hotel I was staying in Old Montreal, Smoking Meat is located on rue de la Commune right before the Old Port. Based on some searches, it is one of the popular and best smoked meat restaurants in the city. Despite being the most expensive sandwich of the 3 places I tried ($16 for the beef smoked meat sandwich, mini slaw on the side, bottle of water), I really enjoyed how tender the smoked meat was even though it appeared quite lean. I revisited the restaurant on the last day of my trip to purchase a $10 package of individual smoked meat, sealed and ready to heat up at home. When I got home and reheated it in hot water, it was just as soft and tender on my homemade sandwich as it was in the restaurant!
  2. Schwartz’s
    When it comes to smoked meat and Montreal, tourists and locals alike will mention Schwartz’s. This is one of the iconic delis that put smoked meat on the map. Locals will tell you its highly overrated, however tourists still flock to this famous Hebrew deli, partially owned by famous singer Celine Dion. Here I sat at the bar, thinking of famous celebrities who might also have sat in my seat. The server was nice and friendly, suggesting to order the smoked meat sandwich and mentioning sides are extra. The friendly tourists sitting next to me commented on how large the sandwich was and hope that I came hungry. I wasn’t, however wanted to try this mouthwatering sandwich. It was fattier than my previous sandwich at Smoking Meat, however super juicy and tender. The deli pickle I ordered on the side complimented the sandwich – highly recommend you order this with the sandwich.
  3. Main Deli Steakhouse
    Our current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is a visitor of Main Deli. He’s mentioned to the media to skip Schwartz’s and walk across the street to Main Deli instead. Upon entering, I wouldn’t have pictured our prime minister sitting in the leather booths eating his sandwich, however it was less busier than what was waiting across the street. The sandwich I ordered came quickly, and I decided to eat outside on their patio instead. Of my 3rd sandwich, this was less juicy than the one I had a Schwartz’s, however I enjoyed the flavours of the smoked meat and was the biggest sandwich of the 3.

Honourable mention to Poutineville, where I spent my first night’s dinner at building my own custom Poutine, which also had to have smoked meat on it!

When in Montreal, make sure you eat lots of smoked meat – you won’t find it as good in any other province in Canada. Happy 375th birthday Montreal!


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