Once again, Caribou Gourmand is bringing its highly anticipated weekend maple brunch. The menu consists of cabane à sucre-inspired dishes laden with maple syrup, such as the “La Cabane plate” with an 8-hour braised ham, maple sausage, maple bacon, baked beans, maple scrambled eggs, creton, fruit ketchup, artisan sourdough bread and potatoes. Pick and choose among all the dishes available and create your perfect sugar shack brunch. Some vegetarian options are available. (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from March 11th to April 16th).
Le Richmond is bringing this year again its highly anticipated weekend maple brunch for two weekends only, March 25the and 26th and April 1st and 2ndThis year’s menu starts with 5 dishes to share such as smoked maple trout and homemade maple cheddar pork sausage. That course is followed by a choice of main meal and dessert, of course. End your sugar shack experience on their terrasse with maple taffy, a kids’ activity (meeting farm animals) and an adult one (mulled wine or Canadian whiskey on ice). Reservations are highly recommended.
The Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth’s indoor market Marché Artisans is offering a sugar shack brunch every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until April 10th. A traditional menu, a vegetarian one and a kid-friendly one will be served, and maple taffy is included in all of them, of course. The brunch is also available for pickup or delivery.
Griffintown’s Instagram-ready Perles et Paddock sugar shack brunch is back in all its sweet glory this year. The elevated 3-course maple menu includes dishes such as pea soup with smoked veal tongue, baked beans with smoke lion’s mane mushroom, and house made maple smoked ham. They also offer vegetarian options.
Old Montréal’s Terrasse William Gray is celebrating sugar shack season through the month of March with your choice of a maple dowsed brunch or dinner in its clear and heated frameless geodesic domes. The 4-course brunch menu offers elevated version of classic sugar shack dishes while the 5-course dinner menu is creative and elegant. Reservations are recommended.
The Society of Arts and Technology’s FoodLab restaurant is creating a multi-sensory sugar shack experience from March 30 to April 29. The 3-course menu can be enjoyed in a forest installation inspired by the maple harvesting process. An “organic chandelier” will have maple syrup flowing from it and the experience will be complement by a unique sound and visual environment. Reservations are a must.
Festivals and celebrations
Promenade Wellington’s Cabane Panache, the trendiest sugar shack in town, is planning on “transporting you back to the good old days of big feasts and long evenings” for its 11th edition this spring. A dozen Verdun restaurants will be cooking up a storm inspired by the traditional Québec feast. Benelux Brewery is creating a maple-smoked porter beer and the SAQ will be serving cocktails made with Coureur des bois maple spirits. A line up of musicians will keep this green and eco-friendly party swinging. (March 23 to 26, 2023)
If a real sugar shack experience is what you’re after, be sure to check out Sucrerie de la Montagne in February, March and April. Named a Québec heritage site and situated amid a 120-acre forest of century-old maple trees atop Mont Rigaud (an hour away from downtown Montréal), this place will make you feel like you’re experiencing the authentic Québécois tradition of “sugaring off.”
For another authentic experience of Québec sugar shacks, visit the Apple Sugar Shack of Labonté de la Pomme. Known as the first apple shack in Québec, this family-run establishment located 45 minutes outside the city offers menus influenced by its specialty apples. In March and April, choose among several formulas: a traditional dining room meal, a take-out or delivery option or a faster and less elaborate on-the-go one. Vegetarian menus are available.
The Cap-Saint-Jacques Sugar Shack has the advantage of giving you all the feel of a “real” sugar shack but is only about 30-minutes from downtown Montréal. Enjoy a classic sugar shack menu in an ancestral home in the middle of a maple grove. A ready-to-eat menu is also available. On every weekend until March 26, 2023.
Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Ste-Hélène Bistro-Terrasse transforms into an urban sugar shack every Saturday and Sunday until April 16. Enjoy a 3-service meal with all the classics such as pea soup, omelette, baked beans and maple ham. Reservations are recommended and bookings for groups of 25 or more are possible during the week.
The maple experience at home
Chef Martin Picard runs what is perhaps the most famous sugar shack in Québec. This season, his Au Pied de Cochon sugar shack is already fully booked for the season. They are, however, offering a gargantuan feast to celebrate the season at home. The generous box for 2 contains such delicious items as a maple brioche, a foie gras and pistachio cake, and a glazed ham with apple sauce.
Édouard & Léo are neighbourhood butcher shops from the team behind beloved restaurant Hoogan & Beaufort. They are offering a sugar shack box to go for 4 to 6 people. In it you’ll find maple sausages made from Quebec pork, a maple glazed ham cooked on the bone, marinated yellow beets, an old-fashioned meatball stew, baked beans, pork rinds, and a blueberry pudding chômeur. Some items can also be purchased separately.
Markets and shops
Montréal’s public markets are going on a great "Sugar Tour" celebration! It starts at the Jean-Talon Market on Saturday March 18 with maple product tastings, alcoholic maple beverages, inflatable games for children and an outdoor terrace. The Maisonneuve Market takes over on March 25th with maple tastings, barbecues, drinks and stroytelling. And finally the Atwater Market on March 26 will be offering maple taffy on snow, inflatable games for children and sugar shack music. Click here to view the entire programme.
Maple stands abound at all Montréal’s public markets starting in early March and until late April so stock up on your yearly supply of maple syrup, which you can purchase directly from the producers.
Domaine des 15 lots’ maple farm is located in the Appalachain Mountains but lucky for us city dwellers, they have a store full of all things maple on Ontario Street, where they sell their exceptional syrups as well as a large selection of maple products and pastries made by their inhouse chef. They also offer maple syrup conferences and tastings every Saturday.