The 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.)
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 with wine pairings.
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 include classics like sesame seed and poppy seed, as well as sweet options like chocolate chip and blueberry. Its chief rival is St-Viateur Bagel, which has been around since 1957 and 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).
Chao Phraya is popular with locals and visitors alike who rave about the papaya salad, dumplings with peanut sauce and other dishes from the lengthy menu. Dating back to 1988, it was one of Montreal's first Thai restaurants.
Restaurant Damas is a treat for those who love Middle Eastern cuisine. You can opt for the tasting menu, which offers a "traditional Syrian gastronomy experience," or order a la carte from menu items such as fattet makdous (eggplant stuffed with lamb) and moujaddara (braised lentils). There's a full range of hot and cold mezze dishes as well.
Editor's Note: IndependentTraveler.com is published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc., which also owns Viator.
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