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Poutine, Smoked Meat & the World's best Bagels

While you're in Montréal, indulge in at least a couple of Québec staples. Though you'll find them dolled up on some menus, these are generally thought of as the region's basic comfort foods:

  • Poutine: French fries doused with gravy and cheese curds. Its profile has risen outside of the province in recent years, and a four-page essay in The New Yorker magazine in 2009 posited that the "national joke" may be becoming a national dish. It's a perfect symbol, wrote Calvin Trillin, "for a country that prides itself on lumpy multiculturalism -- whatever impact it has on another point of pride, the national health-care system."
  • Smoked meat: A maddeningly tasty sandwich component particular to Montréal whose taste is similar to pastrami and corned beef.
  • Cretons: A pâté of minced pork, allspice, and parsley.
  • Tourtière: A meat pie of spiced ground pork, often served with tomato chutney.
  • Queues de Castor: A deep-fried pastry (the trademark chain originated in Ottawa) the size of a man's footprint served with your choice of sweet or savory toppings. The name means "beaver tails."
  • Tarte au sucre: Maple-sugar pie, like pecan pie without the pecans. A French-Canadian classic.
  • Bagels: Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, with just a touch of sweetness. Join the national debate and choose your favorite between two longtime bagel rivals, St-Viateur and Fairmont.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.