Everything you need to know about poutine

Jason Lee

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.

This article was updated on March 13, 2020.

If you could name one food that is synonymous with Québec cuisine, it would arguably be poutine. Considered a national treasure by those from La Belle Province, this humble dish is so much more than just French fries topped with fresh squeaky cheese curds and covered in brown gravy.

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History

The history of poutine is widely argued about. There are two main claims to the origin of poutine that all stem from the same region of Québec.

1)The first claim comes from Warwick. In 1957 a regular at Le Lutin Qui Rit restaurant named Eddy Lainesse once asked for cheese curds to be mixed with his order of fries. Perplexed at the request, owner Fernand Lachance exclaimed: “Ça va faire une maudite poutine!” Translation: “It will make a damn mess!” Brown gravy was later added and a 1957 menu from Le Lutin Qui Rit lists a poutine as one of the food options for a squeaky 35 cents.

2) The second claim to the origin of poutine comes from Drummondville at a restaurant called Le Roy Jucep. In 1950 the owner Roy began selling a dish called patate sauce. Patrons started adding their own cheese curds to it. When the “cheesifying” of this dish became popular, the restaurant added this unique concoction to the menu. Roy is recognized and certified by The Canadian Intellectual Property Council as the official inventor of poutine.

Now that you know where poutine came from, where do you go to have it? From high-end fine dining to casual, poutine finds itself on menus in all sorts of establishments across the city.

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Fancy fries

Visit Le Garde-Manger for chef Chuck Hughe’s lobster poutine. Not only is it a coveted menu item at his hip and trendy Old Montréal eatery, but it was instrumental in defeating chef Bobby Flay when he competed on Iron Chef America. Chef Martin Picard’s version of the poutine at Au Pied de Cochon features foie gras. Freshly cut French fries fried in rendered duck fat and squeaky cheese curds topped with a generous lobe of foie gras covered in a luscious duck liver gravy.

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More is more

Building off the traditional recipe, places like La Banquise (open 24 hours) offer variations with toppings that go far beyond just cheese curds. Meanwhile, Poutineville has a “create your own” menu where you can devise your own signature poutine by selecting toppings from a list.

Coffee and curds

Poutine isn’t something most people would consider eating first thing in the morning. And yet, consider Fabergé’s breakfast poutine with caramelized onions, bell peppers and bacon dressed with hollandaise sauce and topped with an over-easy egg. Or Burger Bar Crescent’s “hangover poutine” featuring wild mushrooms and truffle oil. These mouth-watering options may have you changing your mind on your way to brunch.

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Regardless of where creativity may take the humble poutine, there’s no getting away from the classic. Here are some of the city’s best, from traditional, to outlandish, to vegan and vegetarian!

Broue Pub Brouhaha – multiple locations

Chez Claudette – 351 Laurier Avenue East

Chez Tousignant – 6956 Drolet Street

Chez Ma Tante – 3180 Fleury Street East

Decarie Hot Dog - 953 Décarie Boulevard

Deville Dinerbar - 1425 Stanley Street

Dunn’s Famous – multiple locations

Frite Alors - multiple locations

Hippi Poutine – 3482 Saint-Denis Street

Resto Le Hachoir – 4175 Saint-Denis Street

La Belle Province – multiple locations

La Belle et La Boeuf – multiple locations

Lola Rosa Parc – 4581 Parc Avenue

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Restaurant Maam Bolduc – 4351 De Lorimier Avenue

Ma Poule Mouillée – 969 Rachel Street East

Mister Steer – 1198 Saint Catherine Street West

Montréal Pool Room - 1217 Saint-Laurent Boulevard

Montreal Poutine- 181 Saint-Paul Street East

Gibeau Orange Julep – 7700 Décarie Boulevard

Paulo & Suzanne – 5501 Gouin Boulevard West

Paul Patates – 760 Charlevoix Street

Patati Patata – 4177 Saint-Laurent Boulevard

Mange-Moi – 35 Mont-Royal Avenue East

Greenspot – 3041 Notre-Dame Street West

TABOO Cuisine Rebelle – multiple locations

Jason Lee

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.

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