Take Out


This unassuming shop has been producing Montréal's best bagels since 1957. Remaining faithful to the eastern European traditions its original owner employed, the shop still rolls its bagels by hand and bakes them in a wood-burning oven that never goes cold. Subscribing to the idea of doing well what you know best, the shop also crafts only sesame seed and poppy seed bagels. Patrons clamor for the fresh, chewy treats as if there were no other flavors. And topped with a bit of cream cheese, these bagels will have you believing that no other option is necessary.

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la Maison Cakao

Follow your nose to the east end of the Plateau for a pure, unadulterated chocolate experience. Proprietress of pleasure, Edith Gagnon is a master chocolatier who imports her goods from the French Maison Barry-Caillebeau, and mixes them with an eye, and palate, to decadent taste combinations like the ganache made fragrant with bergamot. Even the humble brownie is elevated in the hands of this artisan. Bonus: the crafty wrappings make delightful gifts.

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A Montréal classic, Fairmount Bagel founder Isadore Shlafman has been baking these original bagels since 1949. Their hand-rolled, blanched bagels are baked in a wood-fired oven to create a chewy bagel that is sweet, dense with a larger hole than New York bagels. There are 20 varieties for choose from ranging from plain to sesame seed to spelt and chocolate chip. The store sells all the other fixings for a bagle breakfast including smoked salmon, cream cheese and butter. It's also open 24-7 so you can pickup warm bagles anytime and head back for breakfast in bed at your hotel.

Local Expert tip: Try either Fairmount or St-Viateur bagels and decide which has the best bagel in Montréal.

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Boulangerie Premiére Moisson

Presenting 40 artisan breads and an eye-popping array of gorgeous pastries, not to mention the coffee, this boulangerie is as much a delight for the nose as it is for the stomach. Light lunch options include sandwiches and salads, leaving plenty of room for the divinely crafted and presented chocolates. Try the caramels or the Valrohna for the ultimate decadence. A wide selection of pies, too – pure, sweet heaven!

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If you're in the market for a pick-me-up or just want a place to relax and indulge yourself, head over to Calories. This sweet shop provides indication of its temptations without apology. For years now, the place has been turning out homemade desserts and pastries – rich, flaky delicacies that patrons can't seem to get enough of. Whether you opt for cheesecake, a slice of moist cake or a fruit-topped confection, you'll revel in the pleasure it provides. A selection of beverages, including beer, is available, and you'll find sandwiches and appetizers if you need something to balance the sweetness of dessert. Popular with everyone, including calorie-immune college kids.

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La Brioche Lyonnaise

Linger and people-watch while enjoying a croissant and a cup of café au lait in any one of the seating areas of this charming dessert shop. Full meals are available, but many just enjoy favorites such as the Marie Clair pastries, delectable cakes, tarts or the caramel mousse with pears. Stone walls and lace curtains only add to the comfortable vibe that draws students, shoppers and theater-goers.

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Wilensky's Light Lunch

This Montréal favorite has been serving sandwiches to hungry diners since 1932. The classic sandwich is simple but oh-so-tasty: slices of bologna and salami on a hard-to- categorize bun, with mustard. You can get cheese on that, but otherwise your options are pretty limited. Get a cherry cola or a frappe (egg cream, milkshake) to wash it down. Super fast and cheap, it also happens to be the former hangout of noted author Mordecai Richler.

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Cakes, pies, mousses, coffees, even hard-to-find candies are some of the delightful offerings at this sweetshop near downtown. Sandwiches are also featured on the menu.

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Café Santropol
Photo courtesy of Photo Courtesy of Cafe Santropol

Decorated like your favorite eccentric aunt's living room with mismatched furniture and sly knick-knacks, this iconic eatery is famous for its sky-high sandwiches. Towering classics include the Killer Tomato (cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic spread, basil and fresh tomatoes) or the St-Urbain Corner (chicken, cream and cottage cheese, honey, nuts and olives). Also on the menu are fresh salads, delicious soups, and the best cup of free-trade coffee in town. If it's warm enough, eat out on the backyard terrace, a total jungle oasis in the heart of the city.

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Chez Schwartz Charcuterie

It's got no décor, it's tiny, it's crowded, the wait staff is crabby and you'll probably be elbow to elbow with a hungry stranger. All will be forgiven once you bit into your smoked meat sandwich. It's one of Montréal's claims to fame. Nobody does smoked meat like Schwartz's. They've got the art of smoking, curing and spicing the beef brisket so it creates one incredible sandwich. Don't bother asking for a menu here – there isn't one. Just order the usual smoked meat sandwich, fries, pickle and cherry coke. Don't be discouraged when you see the long lineups – it moves fast.

Local Expert tip: If you're in a rush, use the take-out counter next door.

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