Eating Our Way Through Montreal

This guest post comes to us from Rachel Reynolds, KCRW’s Music Publicity Director.

Olive Sandwich from Olive & Gourmando in Montreal


I had dreams of going to Paris this year. When those were dashed, and I found out my friends were getting married in Montreal early summer, I decided that would be my culinary adventure of the year. When I travel, I mostly want to eat and walk, taking it all in as I go. Montreal is an ideal place to do this.

I had my first food experience as soon as I got out of the cab from the airport. Stopping at our hotel, the driver opened his trunk and insisted on giving us sesame bagels he had just purchased from Fairmount, one of two of the city’s most famous bagel makers. It was slightly sweet and thinner than NYC style.

I had two of my best meals on my first full day, exploring the city with fellow KCRW staffer Mary Chellamy. I frequent SoCal farmer’s markets but the Jean-Talon Market (which has it’s own stop on the Metro) is on a whole other level and the smoked salmon crepe, with the creamiest goat cheese I’ve ever tasted, was out of this world.

Later that night we took the advice of Midtown Lunch-er Zach Brooks (who wrote this piece for Serious Eats) and made a late reservation (the only one we could get) at L’Express, It was a small bistro with a great vibe located in a hipster neighborhood. They brought a giant glass jar of gherkins to the table and I ordered a scallop special that was heavenly. After dinner we walked off some of the meal, venturing to a great dive bar called Snack and Blues. It’s just what it sounds like. There are various sweet and salty snacks, which the owner refilled throughout the evening and, of course, great music for a bar hang selected by a DJ in a booth made of records.

Rachel's Trout Sandwich

That was just day 1! On day 2 we hit Old Montreal and a relatively new bakery called Olive & Gourmando. It was packed, but don’t be scared away by the line – my smoked trout sandwich and cauliflower soup was well worth it, even though I couldn’t come close to finishing it.

The wedding reception was also in Old Montreal at a Spanish tapas restaurant called Bocata. It’s only been open a year and a half, but the cave-like walls, candles and general warm vibe fit right in to the historic part of the city, just blocks from the Notre Dame. Starting with oysters and charcuterie, and moving through a “surf and turf” of lobster and ribs as well as a grouper filet, everything was delicious.

After sampling tasty treats throughout the trip, we actually decided that our favorite sweets and croissants came from a chain – Au Pain Dore — and every time we told the local this we didn’t get chastised so I guess it’s an acceptable preference. Trust me, we tried many others.

Rachel in Montreal

On our last full day, we ventured to a small island where they put on a mini electronic music festival called Piknic Electronik during Sundays in summer. You can bring food and wine like the Hollywood Bowl and find your spot of grass to camp out. Our friend Julien picked up an array of cheeses and a baguette from Jean Talon and it really doesn’t get much better than that.

  • CA to NYC

    Please fact check your writing… Olive & Gourmando has been around at least 10 years…

  • I like the astronomical connections through and also the description inside the penultimate paragraph is so attractive!

  • need to do first? Most entrepreneurs are so overwhelmed with their online business plans that

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually one thing which I think I would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very wide for me. I’m looking ahead to your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the hold of it!

  • Wow, incredible weblog structure! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog glance easy. The whole glance of your website is wonderful, as neatly as the content material!

  • Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  • This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing site that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free

  • I was reading through some of your blog posts on this internet site and I believe this site is rattling informative! Keep on posting.

  • Proper balance of diet is essential for human body to keep the body safe and smart. In our day to day to life we have to take our diet properly by which we can maintain healthy life. Junk food, oily food and sugar should be avoided for better health. Eating simple food is the best way for keeping the body fit.