Creole cuisine in Montreal: our picks!

Mylène Augustin

A suburb-to-city transplant and lover of all things Montréal, Mylène never stops rediscovering new neighbourhoods thanks to the inquisitive eyes of her two children. This talented multihyphenate chose writing as the common thread for her professional activities, from writing content to film production to support with screenwriting.

A staple of the Haitian and Jamaican communities, Creole cuisine isn’t limited to griot, jerk chicken and sticky rice, which are enthusiastically devoured by Montrealers. Its spicy, warm flavours transport us from the Greater and Lesser Antilles through Central America to tropical lands where influences of African, French, Spanish and Indian culinary traditions blend deliciously together in every dish.

On the go

Creole cuisine is often served as street food, even if some dishes require several hours of preparation or cooking.

Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul - 2517 Jean-Talon Street

At Sissi & Paul, sisters Elsi and Pauldy are in charge of the kitchen while their children take care of serving customers. This welcoming family has been sharing their love of Haitian cuisine with patrons for seven years. There’s no dining room here, so your orders of goat or lambi (a dish of conch, a large sea snail known for its succulent flesh) are takeout only. Perfect for savouring at home with your own family!

Casserole Kréole - 151 de Castelnau Street East

While Hans and Kenny are both Quebec-trained chefs, the owners of Casserole Kréole opted to put their culinary talents to the service of West Indian cuisine and serve up signature fare from their native Haiti. Originally a catering service, their eatery is located a few steps from Jarry Park and the Jean-Talon Market. For an impromptu picnic, we recommend the delicious griot or shredded chicken sandwiches. Some vegetarian options are also available.

Lloydie’s - 66 Saint- Viateur Street West

At both its Mile-End and Saint-Henri locations, Lloydie’s boasts a clientele of regulars who come for the family-style Jamaican cuisine. It also draws passers-by attracted by the playful and colourful storefront, along with a few curious folk looking to taste its fall-off-the-bone oxtail, macaroni pie or intriguing jerk chicken poutine for the first time. Lloydie’s Saint-Henri restaurant offers a typical Jamaican brunch that will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. You can also pick up some of their traditional chicken, beef or vegetarian patties, sold frozen and ready to go. 

Reinvented family recipes

Trained around the world, master chefs of Creole cuisine add their distinctive, refined touches to recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next.

Kamúy - 1485 Jeanne-Mance Street

The restaurant run by internationally renowned chef and owner Paul Toussaint, who helmed the now-defunct Agrikol, offers a seasonal menu of small sharing plates that showcase Haitian classics and other Colombian- and Guadeloupean-inspired creations. Dig into a basket of cod “fritay” and marinades, a jicama salad and jerk shrimp in this eatery surrounded by large bay windows in the heart of the Place des Festivals. The works of art that adorn the space and the music reflect the spirit of a traditional Caribbean market.

The chef’s signature cuisine is also available at Time Out Market’s Paul Toussaint counter in an equally tasty comfort food version.

Palme - 1487 Sainte-Catherine Street East

Chef Ralph and his partner Lee-Ann offer a menu inspired by their many travels to lands of warm breezes and palm trees. The culinary offerings include a variety of poke bowl type dishes with a Caribbean twist, infused with the heat and colours of the tropics. In summer, you can order a tropical picnic basket, which includes everything you need—even the BBQ!

Kwizinn - 4030 Wellington Street

Located in the heart of Verdun, on Wellington Street, Kwizinn restaurant is a lively spot that invites you to savour Cajun-influenced Haitian cuisine and sip on exotic fruity cocktails to the strains of konpa and merengue. If not for the grilled lobster tail poutine that reminds us that we are in Québec, you’d be forgiven for believing you were somewhere far away, on the shore of a sun-drenched Caribbean island...

Latin flavours

Let’s not forget that Creole cuisine also has roots in the culinary traditions of both the former Spanish colonies of the West Indies and Latin America.

Mojito & Margarita - 3127 Masson Street

Bursting with freshness and vibrant colour, their Cuban and Mexican dishes are first a feast for the eyes that are sure to light up your appetite. This is street food with a gourmet flair—including eight varieties of tacos on corn or wheat flour tortillas—along with a selection of rustic dishes such as the must-try Picadillo cubano (Cuban hash) served with plantain and Creole red bean purée. Wash it all down with a juice or tropical cocktail and a creamy dulce de leche for dessert.

Bocadillo - 3677 Saint-Laurent Boul.

Shredded beef, black beans, rice, fresh white cheese and fried plantains: the national dish of Venezuela is the perfect mosaic of Creole flavours. Another Venezuelan staple, arepas, or corn cakes stuffed with a variety of fillings, are offered in more than 15 generously loaded meat and vegetarian choices. At both Bocadillo Bistro in Little Italy or Bocadillo Plateau in the neighbourhood of the same name, a meal ends with a caramel flan or decadent tres leches sponge cake.   

Acajou Br - 3425a Saint-Denis Street

This eatery features authentic Afro-Brazilian fare, such as shrimp and chicken with coconut milk, ginger and cashew nuts. On Wednesdays, the house offers free forró  classes. The atmosphere is festive, and all that dancing is sure to work up your appetite! Be sure to try the feijoada, a hearty Brazilian beef, pork and black bean stew served with cabbage and farofa, a crunchy condiment made from manioc flour.

 

 

A celebrated cuisine!

Every year, the city of festivals shines the spotlight on art in all its forms, including gastronomy. Creole cuisine, among others, is given pride of place during the Haiti on Fire! and the A Taste of the Caribbean festivals. These offer an opportunity to get out of your culinary comfort zone and discover a variety of dishes, sometimes offered in a tasting formula. The Martinique Gourmande Festival brings together about 30 of the city’s restaurants and bars, which display the colours of this island in a celebration of its culture and tropical flavours.

To discover other great spots, check out our article on Caribbean restaurants to try in Montréal!

 

Mylène Augustin

A suburb-to-city transplant and lover of all things Montréal, Mylène never stops rediscovering new neighbourhoods thanks to the inquisitive eyes of her two children. This talented multihyphenate chose writing as the common thread for her professional activities, from writing content to film production to support with screenwriting.

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