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Montreal

montreal bagel bagelsThe predominant cuisine in Montreal is (unsurprisingly) French, but in recent years the city has seen an increase in other options from around the globe. For the best value, look for the table d'hote menu -- a fixed-price menu of two to four courses offered at many restaurants across the city. Local specialties include poutine, a dish of French fries covered with gravy and cheese curds, and Montreal-style bagels -- not to be confused with their New York brethren. (Bagels made in Montreal are smaller and sweeter, with a crispier crust.)

Finding the Best Restaurants on the Road

Modavie offers mouth-watering French bistro cuisine in a beautiful setting overlooking the waterfront and the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal. Be sure to sample the well-stocked wine bar. There are live jazz performances every night.

Chef Normand Laprise whips up an ever-revolving array of gourmet dishes at Toque!, one of the city's most popular spots to splurge. For a truly indulgent meal, treat yourself to the seven-course tasting menu.

New Yorkers square off over pizza, Philadelphians over cheese steaks -- but the big food rivalry in Montreal is between two popular bagel joints. Fairmount Bagel, founded in 1919, claims to be the first bagel bakery in Montreal; offerings there include classics like sesame seed and poppy seed, as well as more adventurous flavors like sun-dried tomato and pesto with black olive. Its chief rival is St-Viateur Bagel, which has been around since 1957 and now has multiple locations around the city. Which place makes the better bagel? Try them both and see for yourself!

The Stash Cafe is a Polish restaurant tucked away in Montreal's Old Town. It's a perfect spot for a warm and hearty lunch when there's an autumn nip in the air outside. Try the pierogi or the golabki (cabbage rolls stuffed with pork and rice, accompanied by potatoes and vegetables).

Restaurant Julien, located in the heart of downtown, is a bustling favorite of Montrealers who come for French favorites like beef tartare, a Julien specialty. Not up for raw meat? The seafood dishes, such as the excellent lobster and mango salad, are always a good choice. In the warmer months you can dine outside on the garden patio.

Vegetarians and the travel companions who love them will enjoy Commensal, which has two Montreal locations. Graze on a little of everything in the hot and cold vegetarian buffets -- and don't forget dessert. Recently added is a separate "flexitarian" buffet that includes shrimp, crab and chicken options.

Chao Phraya is popular with locals and visitors alike who rave about the papaya salad, peanut butter dumplings and other dishes from the lengthy Thai menu. Dating back to 1988, it was one of Montreal's first Thai restaurants.
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