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The Bar-B-Barn is a great family restaurant that's become a Montréal fixture since it opened its doors in time for Expo '67. They attract a large business clientele for lunch. The menu features three sizes of ribs and barbeque chicken: "whole hawg," "half hawg," and "baby hawg." Great place for that ravenous appetite. This is a Montréal favorite!

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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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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.

Local Expert tip: No alcohol is served but there are great fruit drinks.

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Magnan Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Photo Courtesy of Magnan


This blue-collar diner/tavern on the other side of the Lachine Canal is famous for its tender and succulent Roast Beef. Locals have crossing over to rue St Patrick since 1932 to eat here so it's a bit of a landmark. There's also pretty decent ribs and seafood on the menu –particularly the lobster – along with a good selection of local beers. Top off the meal with the classic pudding chomeur or a piece of pie. Although you'll see pictures of celebrities and politicians, old and new, the atmosphere remains down to earth and unassuming.

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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.

Read more about La Brioche Lyonnaise →


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Longueuil


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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Longueuil


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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Longueuil


Considered by locals to be one of Canada's best steakhouses, Moishes has been serving delectable steaks since opening in 1938. Should you not care for steak, other choices include salmon, char, veal and lamb. Each charcoal broiling comes with signature Monte Carlo potatoes or hand cut french fries. Great service from the waitstaff, and the wine list is thoroughly impressive, garnering a Wine Spectator award.

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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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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.

Read more about Wilensky's Light Lunch →


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