Exploring the fine food shops
These gourmet meccas are where you’ll find exotic jams, syrups, maple butter, honey, homemade ketchup, vinegars, crackers, condiments, sauces, spices and marinades. Only the very best quality, of course. One of our favourites is Alexis le gourmand, which is located in a massive industrial-looking garage. We’re also weak in the knees (or taste buds) for the scrumptious selection of artisanal products—most of which are made in Montréal—at Magasin général de Castelneau. To find flavours from all four corners of the world under a single roof, head to Fouvrac. Meanwhile, you can take your tummy on a trip to France at Gourmet Laurier or La Vieille Europe, or head instead to Italy by stopping in at Milano, Pasta Casareccia or The Italian Pantry. Discerning palates will be pleased by Les 5 saisons or Les Touilleurs. And finally, if microbrew is more up your alley, make your way to La Maison des bières, a beer-centric convenience store/boutique with more than 400 products that have been carefully categorized for your convenience.
Looking for a place where you can grab a coffee, a bite to eat and some edible souvenirs? You’re in luck, because there are a number of good options in town. There’s Fou d’ici in Quartier des spectacles (check out their drool-worthy gift baskets), Le Richmond Épicerie italienne in Griffintown, Olives et café noir in La Petite-Patrie, La Boutique Arhoma in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, the oh-so-delicious Première Moisson chain in the Plateau and elsewhere across the city. Downtown, there’s the 100% made-in-Montréal Au Sommet Place Ville-Marie, while Old Montréal is home to Le Cartet, Le petit Dep and Chez l’Épicier, a restaurant with a selection of local products. If you’ve got a green streak, you can stock up on fair-trade and organic items at Bio Terre and Rachelle-Béry.
This little piggy went to market
To truly immerse yourself in Québec food culture, there’s no better place than the city’s public markets. This is often where the best finds are hiding. Time to go hunting for tasty treasures! You never know what you’ll find!
Succumb to the sweets
If you’ve got a sweet tooth (or two!), you’ll find heaven in the baskets offered by Mlles Gâteaux. They’re filled with an assortment of products like salted caramel spread, blueberry and juniper berry jam, maple granola, hot chocolate mix, and Mlles’ signature herbal teas. There’s no resisting the gorgeous gift boxes of macarons at Point G, or the candies at Nougat et Nectarine, or the sinful shortbread and caramels at La Cardeline, or the jams at Empoteuses, or the goodies at l’Atelier du Caramel, or the artisanal cookies at Boulangerie de Froment et de Sève. Did we miss anything? If you want to wash down your desserts with some tea, we recommend David’s Tea or Camellia Sinensis.
Did someone say speciality shops?
Butcher shops and cheese shops often sell outstanding products ready to take home in attractive and convenient packaging. We love the selection at Bleu & Persillé, Fromagerie Beaubien, Yannick Fromagerie, La Boucherie Lawrence, Maître Boucher and Ils en fument du bon.
Classes and guided tours
While you’re in town, why not treat yourself to a hands-on epicurean experience?
Ateliers et Saveurs is a cooking school that offers really fun classes, while thematic tours are offered by the aptly named Local Montréal Food Tours, as well as VDM Global, Fitz Montréal Bike Tours, Spade & Palacio and Tours de la Table. This is a great way to discover some of the city’s best-kept food secrets.
Sometimes great food is best paired with the comfort of your sofa. On days like that, you can always get your shopping done on the Terroirs Québec website. Montréal residents also have a wide range of food subscriptions available, such as the fresh produce baskets from Lufa Farms or cooking kits from Cook It, Kuisto, Missfresh and Marché Goodfood. Appetizing monthly boxes from Food Trip To… will take your recipe ideas off the beaten track. And finish it all off with a tea box set from T-Surprise or Hestia.