If there’s one thing Montreal’s French heritage contributes, it’s the lack of any sort of aversion to carbs. While other cities in Canada may have more of a “gluten = bad” attitude, Montreal embraces bread with fervour. From heavy hitters like Guillaume and Hof Kelsten, to neighbourhood gems like Joe La Croutê, you’re often no more than a couple of blocks from a stellar loaf. You know it’s all good because it’s virtually impossible not to tear into it on the walk home from the boulangerie.Read More
14 Great Bakeries for Bread in Montreal
1. La Bête à Pain (multiple locations)
With both the original location in Ahuntsic, and newer one in Griffintown, owner Marc-André Royal and his team have some serious chops in the bread-making department. Their baguettes are close to perfection, with the ideal ratio of crust to crumb. But other loaves like the fougasse, multigrain, and the levain are all winners, too. There’s a Laval location coming soon, too.
2. La Meunerie Urbaine
NDG might not have the plethora of boulangeries that the Plateau and Mile End do, but La Meunerie Urbaine, with a Pain Dans Les Voiles connection, has baked its award-winning baguette for the neighbourhood since 2017. Plus they grind all of the Quebec wheat for their bread by hand to keep it fresh as can be.
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3. Le Pain Dans Les Voiles
As the name implies, bread is what puts the wind in the sails of Le Pain Dans Les Voiles. The creativity of its offerings shows a clear ability for Voiles’ bakers to be inspired by bread: sesame and tamari baguette anyone?
4. Joe La Croute
If you’re up around the Jean Talon Market, there’s one place to stop for your daily loaf of bread: Joe La Croûte. The offerings change from day to day (and are typically detailed online), but staples throughout the week include their baguette, as well as a selection of individual buns filled with everything from spinach and cheese for those who crave savoury, to chocolate and pear for those who crave sweet.
5. Chez Fred
Baguettes are a staple, but NDG’s Chez Fred is worth checking out for its viennoiseries, since it’s touted as having some of the best croissants in the city. Fun fact: it’s founded by a Parisian lawyer turned baker.
6. Boulangerie Cheskie
This Mile End Jewish staple offers up an abundance of Kosher breads and pastries for anyone in need of a sweet treat. Challah is the default offering, but it’s tough to leave without getting a sampling of babka, especially the chocolate one that is essentially like a fudgy brownie wrapped up in layers of tender dough. It’s open unreasonably late, too — 11 p.m. most nights.
7. Automne Boulangerie
The brainchild of chef Seth Gabrielse and renowned baker Julien Roy, this bakery is making it their mission to source, use, and promote local grains. Almost all of the flour they use is both primo and from Quebec, and they keep their ingredients to a minimum, so you taste the integrity of the grains. In other words, it’s truly superb bread.
8. Farine & Vanille
Offering a succinct but well-executed selection of bread and viennoiseries, Farine et Vanille brings some diversity to Mile End’s carbohydrate selection. Try Mexican-inspired sweets like the concha, a shell-shaped sweet bread, or go savoury with the garlic and coarse salt twist.
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This spot on St. Laurent between Laurier and Fairmount is a mecca for bread in the area; walk around and you’ll see many a Mile Ender toting a baguette in its signature yellow bread bag. The selection is vast and it opens from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, so you’ve got a full 12 hours to get your fix.
10. Hof Kelsten
Baker and owner Jeffrey Finkelstein has made quite the name for himself making loaves from challah to rye. Stop in for lunch and enjoy a coffee and a sandwich made from the freshest of breads (bonus: each sandwich has its bread selection tailored to the fillings). Indulging in one of the giant chocolate babka isn’t a bad idea, either.
11. Boulangerie Les Co'Pains d'Abord (multiple locations)
With locations on Mont-Royal, Rachel, and Masson, Boulangerie Les Co’Pains d’Abord has been supplying the Plateau with bread since its first location opened in 1999. There’s no lack of selection with everything from baguette to batard on offer.
12. Mamie Clafoutis (multiple locations)
A small Montreal chain that isn’t too commercialized, Mamie Clafoutis offers consistently delicious breads across its six locations, in both traditional and more creative forms. Mamie is quite the all-rounder, offering a solid array of sandwiches and sweets alongside its fresh loaves.
13. La Fabrique Arhoma
Arhoma is somewhat of a Montreal success story when it comes to bringing artisanal bread to the masses. What started as a tiny boutique in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve in 2007 has become a familiar brand that you can find in many grocery stores across the city. Not only is it convenient, it’s guaranteed to be better than the other mass-produced white loaves at your disposal.
14. Merci La Vie
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For those who aren’t afraid to drive a bit out of the way in search of incredible bread, look no further than Merci La Vie in Prévost, just past St-Jérôme. Having gained quite the cult following of Montreal chefs and food writers, you know it must be good when industry folk want to make the trip. The cheese and potato bread is one of the best things you’ll ever put in your mouth, no exaggeration.