Culinary surprises in Montreal, Canada

Overlooking Montreal

For those who have never visited Canada, it is a place filled with gorgeous architecture, good food and a nearby border. On account of these factors, it was not entirely clear that I was in another country during my first visit to Montreal in the fall of 2011. At first glance,  it resembled a number of other large cities, like Denver for example, with a large number of shopping areas, parks, and roads. I had the chance to visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral, situated up in the mountains, which has an astounding view of the city of Montreal from the top of their stairs. I did not think, however, that I would end up experiencing some of the best meals of my life in Montreal, especially a few that are dishes I have enjoyed in the U.S.

It was ironically my first meal in Canada which was by far the most memorable, and still possibly the best meal I have ever had to this day. I enjoyed a three-course lunch at the restaurant inside the Hilton Garden Inn where I was staying; this included a light vegetable-beef broth soup, a duck confit salad, and a coffee cake desert (of course not without a Bloody Mary for good measure). It has been ages since I have had any multiple-course meal, and clearly this Montreal restaurant knew what they were doing. The soup was perfectly portioned and light, which was pleasing especially for myself, since I often over-consumes appetizers and ruin the main dish. And the dessert of coffee crumble cake was particularly delightful, considering I had not had a crumble cake since I was a child. But it was the main course of duck confit that truly was an experience. I had never had duck before then, and it was soft, juicy and sweet. It went perfectly with the leafy greens it was placed next to, and I took the time to enjoy every morsel of this previously unknown dish.

I did get the chance to try a dish that is unique to Montreal, called Poutine, which consists of French fries covered in brown gravy, ground beef, and onions (if ordered traditionally), but there are a million other ways to order Poutine. I found it to be a greasy, heavy and very filling specialty, but I was determined to try some local cuisine, and I am glad I did. But I will never forget my lunch experience at the hotel, and it just goes to show you that you never know where you will have the best meal of your life.

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About Paulette Hernandez

My name is Paulette Hernandez (aka Globetrotting Foodie) and I am an intern for Marginal Boundaries. I have traveled to Bogota, Medellin, and Cisneros, Colombia a number of times to visit my family, and I have also had the opportunity to travel to Dubai, UAE and Montreal, Canada. I have always enjoyed traveling and hope to continue to do so. What I truly enjoy about traveling is all of the delicious, cheap, and readily available food! I think recipes passed down generations are the gateway into an unknown culture and that a person can learn a lot about a country’s past and present through their local cuisine. The way to my heart is my stomach, and thus I also learn the heart and soul of a culture!


  • I’ve never been myself, personally, Manuel, but both cities are now on my list :) Thanks for the info!

  • Manuel says:

    You should have gone to Quebec City to experience being in Europe inside North America. The surrounding is very different from that any city here. It’s only 3 hours more from Montreal and will only add a day more to your itinerary to explore the city itself. When in Quebec city, try Le Bouad – their escargot menu is an absolute not-to-miss dish.

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