A Quincaillerie is a hardware store, but this is no ordinary hardware store. On one side of the family-operated shop you'll find hunting gear and rifles and such, but the other side is all cookware. It's a familiar haunt for the city's chefs and amateur cooks, who browse the aisles for the most cunning kitchen gadgets and then stay to trade secrets with with the owners. Cooking demonstrations (like "How to Make the Perfect Pasta") are also part of the charm. Whether you're in to canning, sausage-making or anything else culinary, this is the place to not only find the proper tool but also to learn better techniques.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: Since 1956 they've been supplying Montreal with hard to find cooking appliances mainly from Italy.
Sherel's expert tip: Check their recipes and how-to tips at their website.
An entire store fervently devoted almost entirely to olive oil. There are bottles of varying grades from Spain, Italy, Chile and Australia. A tempting selection of olives, vinegars and items made with olive oil are also on offer. You can sample most anything, and if you're unsure what to buy, the staff is not only friendly they are extremely well-versed in the merits of just about every oil in the store. They offer free classes as well! Weekly online specials show up offering package or bundle specials of two or more items and are worth considering as they are often greatly reduced overstock.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: Since they specialize in one ingredient products - olives, they are the last word on all things olive.
Sherel's expert tip: Check their website before heading out to buy for the best deals.
Presenting 40 artisan breads and an eye-popping array of gorgeous pastries, not to mention the coffee, this bakery 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 Valrhona for the ultimate in sweet decadence. A wide selection of pies, both savory and sweet, can be consumed on site or taken home flash frozen and served fresh from your oven. Organic ingredients figure prominently in all teh soup and salad options too and the meats are all naturally cured.
Montréal's Laurier Avenue East has more than its fair share of specialty food shops and gourmet cafes, and Le Fromentier offers what many consider to be the best breads and pastries not only in the neighborhood, but in the entire city. The shop features standards throughout the week and several daily specials. Along with swoon-worthy chocolate croissants, buttery brioche, baguettes and cinnamon raison bread, you might find unique loaves flavored with squash, cumin, cranberries, nuts, olives, and a host of other wonderful ingredients.The cheese hails primarily from Quebec, France and Italy while all their sweets and pastries are produced on site.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: It's a gourmet bakery that also carries good cheese, charcuterie and sandwiches.
Sherel's expert tip: Great stop over for lunch
For over half a century, this wonderful shop has supplied Montréal cooks with an inspirational inventory of gourmet and hard-to-find ingredients. Rare spices, the finest extra virgin olive oils, exquisite chocolates, specialty teas and coffees, jams and jellies, mustards, Québec cheeses and meats the list goes on.The shop also offers sandwiches and such, to go. Plus, the store stocks a good selection of high-end coffee grinders, pepper mills and other kitchen gadgets. As might be expected, gourmet products from France figure prominently here too. Gourmet Laurier is one of the rare stores to obtain Puget oils, imported lentils from Le Puy and Lustucru pasta, along with Van Houtte coffee.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: It's a one-stop shop for those hard to find gourmet treats.
Sherel's expert tip: Save time by checking here first for rare ingredients.
Another of Montréal's famed chocolatiers. Chloé creates luscious ganache centers with intense flavors like anise, honey, raspberries, Earl Grey tea, and passion fruit, all covered in the smoothest Valrhona chocolate. You can also choose chocolate-covered marshmallows, salty-sweet caramels, and plain bars, all of which are worth every calorie and every penny. Unlike the other shops who also produce handmade chocolates, Chloe does so in an open concept boutique with her kitchen in plain view in the trendy Plateau area of Montreal. While large corporations compromise on ingredients, Chloe and other Montreal Choclatiers stay true to the purest (and most expensive) ingredients so the customer is never disappointed.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: Customers can watch their favorite chocolate creations being created while they shop.
Sherel's expert tip: Be sure to try the ganache and chocolates filled with balsamic reduction and chopped figs.
A long-time favorite with Montréal's cooks and foodies, Arthur Quentin has everything you need for your kitchen. From the practical items you use every day to smart gadgets you didn't know you needed; from fine crystal, flatware and china to pots and pans; from tablecloths to mortar and pestle sets. Plus, there's a nice section devoted to accessories that can be used throughout the home, such as rugs, cushions, candle holders, frames and vases. The website also contains an impressive collection of articles and tips on how to achieve the perfect, artful table including proper setting, design and lighting too.
Owned by the De Vienne family (much revered among Montréal's foodie circles), this Jean-Talon Market enterprise is illuminating to say the least. The specialty here is olive oils and spices, and it's virtually a given that you'll find some you've never heard of before. Rare Indonesian spice blends, obscure but must-have herbs from Africa it's a treasure trove of scents and flavors. The owners are impressively knowledgeable, and you are welcome to taste before you buy. Weekly web specials are worth investigating before heading out to shop and include accessories like bamboo knives along with a good assortment for everyday use oils along with specialty items.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: It's where you'll find oils and condiments you can't get elsewhere.
Sherel's expert tip: Spend more than $60.00 online for free shipping in Canada.
The finest ingredients and carefully chosen flavors are the hallmarks of Chocolats Geneviéve Grandbois. Sometimes, the combinations might sound a bit strange the Monte Cristo is infused with cigar leaves, Balsamico is made with 25-year-old balsamic vinegar, Truffe blanche with white truffle oil but the final product always works.A sublime caramel filled chocolate (enhanced by fleur de sel) is one of the top sellers; other options include a top-of-the-line Amedei Chuao collection, an amazing chai chocolate, and one filled with passion fruit and coconut milk. Divine! Genevieve is also the author of "Passion Chocolat",leaving little doubt as to her qualifications.
For the chef on your list, or for yourself or anyone interested in food, a visit to Librairie Gourmande is a must. This "thinking person's" guide to all things culinary, the bookstore specializes in cookbooks, with a huge selection in both French and English. Books about food, books by and about famous chefs, and books devoted to every imaginable cooking style and cuisine. The store regularly schedules author readings and presentations as well, so check their calendar. Conveniently located in the Jean Talon Market in north Montreal,this popular local spot also features culinary events such as beer and wine tastings and pairings.
Recommended for Gourmet Stores because: It's a one-stop shop for culinary reading and shopping for hard to find material.
Sherel's expert tip: Best times for browsing are weekday mornings.