Portuguese chicken in Montréal
Unlike the little villages that pepper Montréal where one can find an abundance of local ethnic specialties – dragon’s beard candy and dim sum in Chinatown and fresh cannoli and pizza in little Italy, you can smell the grilling of Portuguese chicken from almost any corner of town.
There are certain things that we Montrealers like to call our own; bagels, smoked meat, potholes, our European sophistication and now added to the list, Portuguese chicken. The greatest thing about Montréal’s Portuguese chicken is that you can find a spot in any neighborhood – the smell is distinctive – just follow your nose.
Ask any local where you can score some great chicken; more often than none, you’ll be pointed in the direction of Rôtisserie Romados in Little Portugal. This mainstay of Portuguese chicken has been perfuming the neighborhood with wood charcoal smoke for over 20 years. On a good day, the line at Romados can reach out the door. If it’s a full chicken, half, quarter-leg, quarter-breast, no matter that fraction of a chicken floats your boat, their signature Portuguese piri piri (spicy) sauce will be offered, and the answer should always be yes. Sitting on a stoop or taken home and plated, for under ten clucks ($10), you’re walking out of there with a container full of chicken, a pile of French fries and green stuff (salad) to make your mom happy. – 115 Rachel Street East
Other casual spots include Jano (3883 Saint-Laurent Boulevard), take out counter Coco Rico (3907 Saint-Laurent Boulevard), Chez Doval (150 Marie-Anne Street East) as well as Galo (1979 Graham Boulevard) – great family style eateries.
From the ultra-casual to fine dining, the frango scene in Montréal is diverse. Restaurant Helena – headed by executive chef, Helena Loureiro (also of Portus Calle) serves a crispy cornish hen that sees a two-day brine, plated with traditional piri piri sauce and homemade seasoned potato chips. Inspired by her mother’s recipe, she puts her signature refinement on our famous Portuguese chicken. – 438 McGill Street
Known for their famous seafood menu, Ferreira Café also serves their version of a classic Portuguese chicken. They offer a piri piri grilled Cornish hen served with organic green salad and homemade French fries. Ferreira Café recently announced their new venture of a grilled Portuguese chicken restaurant located in the heart of downtown Montréal. – 1446 Peel Street
If you’re looking for a place to eat, and find yourself in a random part of town, follow your nose, chances are you’ll find Portuguese chicken being grilled.
Jason Lee, blogger
Jason is a food eater and picture taker. As the blogger behind Shut Up and Eat, he covers everything food, from recipes to reviews. Jason has vowed that he will not stop until he has officially eaten his way across Montréal. It’s a big claim, and it’s one he’s making.
To see the list of our regular contributors, click here.