At this time of year, Montrealers are typically headed to the airport in large numbers for summer vacation. But this year is markedly different, with the government continuing to urge Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel. As a result, Montréal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport’s food and beverage landscape looks quite different. Several of the highlights from previous years have been shut down — with only a handful of options in each of the airport’s main halls.
In the past, this guide provided direction on the best bets for eating on premise; this time, the barometer is much lower. This is simply a list of the select few places — no matter how mass-produced or unappealing — that are still serving, should you find yourself in need of some sustenance before or after a trip.
It’s divided into four sections — the public area (open to non-travellers), and then Canadian, international, and United States departures. Spoiler: the last of these has been scrubbed of nearly all dining options.
- Java U: Montreal-based café chain with breakfasts, soups, sandwiches and wraps, salads, and pastries — better than most other coffee options [Near United States check-in]
- Paramount: A Canadian chain doing a range of Lebanese-leaning options like shawarma, falafel, and salads [Near international and domestic security]
- Subway: Its former spokesperson Jared Fogle may be in prison, but this sandwich chain is still something that exists [International arrivals]
- Tim Hortons: The cheapest thing in the airport — burnt hair-tasting coffee, doughnuts, and pastries in every iteration of “maple” [Domestic arrivals]
Restricted Zone: Canadian Departures — Gates 1 to 51
YUL Pizza: Pizza, breakfast pizza, salads, and snacks, all served relatively quickly [Gate 1]
Starbucks: Tall, grande, venti — you know the drill [Gate 1]
Tim Hortons: See above [Gate 1]
Pork & Pickle: Perhaps the best bet on this list — a Southern barbecue spot, or at least the airport chain version of it. Expect lots of smoky meat (ribs and brisket), and generally heavier comfort fare like burgers, and mac and cheese [Gate 1]
Bistrot MTL: It actually leans more towards a casual café than formal bistro food, but there’s pasta, soup, crepes, and more [Gate 48]
Ryu: Sushi, smoothies, and poke bowls from a Montreal staple [Gate 49]
Camden: Health-food oriented fare that can also cater to plenty of allergies and intolerances: think sandwiches and salads [Gate 50]
Archibald: A decent bet as far as airport eats go, featuring burgers and breakfast poutine [Gate 51]
Restricted Zone: International Departures — Gates 51 to 68
YUL Pizza: See above [Gate 51]
MTL Bagel: Fairmount bagels served up in sandwich form with classic toppings — it’s tough to screw that up [Gate 52]
Java U: See above [Gate 53]
U-Bar: Standard airport bar with cocktails, and pub-leaning food such as pizza [Gate 53B]
Bistrot MTL: See above [Gate 59]
Restricted Zone: United States Departures
While the Canada–US land border remains closed to non-essential traffic, travellers are still able to fly south. But with air travel still at a low, so are dining options in this part of the airport. All that’s open is Urban Crave Express, where you can get sandwiches, snacks, or salads, and Starbucks, both by Gate 74.