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Layers of smoked meat between rye bread on a whites plate.
Smoked meat at Schwartz’s
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Where to Eat Smoked Meat in Montreal

11 fantastic delis and restaurants where you should try Montreal’s most iconic sandwich

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Smoked meat at Schwartz’s
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Montreal’s smoked meat is a culinary icon: Whole brisket brined up to two weeks in a spice mix, smoked, steamed, and stacked high on light rye with a dash of yellow mustard.

And the hot tip? While it’s certainly a worthy choice, Schwartz’s is not the only eatery in Montréal to serve up a delicious smoked meat sammie. Here are 11 delis to get your fix — in geographic order, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Smoke Meat Pete

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283 1ère Ave, L'Île-Perrot
QC J7V 5A1, Canada
(514) 425-6068
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Nestled off Highway 20 in Île Perrot, west of Montreal, Smoke Meat Pete might be a little out of the way, but it is well worth the trip. Founder Peter Varvaro worked alongside his father (also Peter Varvaro, who founded Main Deli) for two decades before he set off on his own to start his own venture. While it’s off the beaten path for tourists, many consider it the best in town, and it has garnered a loyal following for its signature thick, tender, and well-spiced slabs of smoked meat. There’s also live blues after 7 p.m. every night. And if you’re lucky, you might just catch Pete himself on stage.

2. George's

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3750 Boulevard Saint-Martin O, Laval
QC H7T 1A7, Canada
(450) 681-9248
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Having opened a little over two decades ago, this no-nonsense Laval deli hasn’t been around quite as long as many of the city’s other historic venues, but eponymous owner George worked at Schwartz’s for over 30 years before opening up this spot. Their brisket is dry-rubbed with a house spice mix, aged and smoked onsite, and the results are as tasty as ever.  

3. Zytynsky's Deli

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3350 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal
QC H1X 1G5, Canada
(514) 722-0826
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Those living in Rosemont are fortunate to have this Polish-Ukranian neighborhood deli and grocer all to themselves. Founded by a sausage-maker nearly a century ago, it’s a quaint little place for hard-to-find eastern European groceries and fare. At the sandwich counter, their smoked meat comes with a slice of Swiss cheese and swipe of Dijon mustard in a challah bun (egg twist bread) — somewhat of a departure from the other smoked meat sandwiches on this map, but nonetheless tasty.

4. Le Roi du Smoked Meat

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6705 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal
QC H2S 2M6, Canada
(514) 273-7566
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Lipstick red booths. Retro diner fare. Visiting Le Roi du Smoked Meat tucked along the old St Hubert Arcade is like entering a time warp. They may not brine their own brisket, but it’s one of few places dishing up solid smoked meat in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie area, and it’s almost worth it for the vintage interior alone.

5. Deli 365

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365 Rue Bernard O, Montréal
QC H2V 1T6, Canada
(514) 544-3354
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While it’s much shinier and more modern-looking than any other restaurant on this map, youthful Deli 365 offers up a hefty menu of kosher food from schnitzel sandwiches to falafel. The smoked meat is a solid bet too, with well-spiced fatty meat, and thick, casse-croûte style fries on the side. —Tim Forster

6. Lester's Deli

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1057 Avenue Bernard, Outremont
QC H2V 1V1, Canada
(514) 213-1313
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This family-run diner has been serving smoked meat to the Outremont neighborhood for nearly 70 years. Little has changed over the years; the walls are adorned with memorabilia and kitschy knick-knacks. Their smoked meat is tender and decently marbled with a punchy kick of spice. There’s also other Jewish delicacies such as lox, smoked onsite, and karnatzel (a Jewish garlicky dried beef sausage); Lester’s also has an airport outpost.

7. Schwartz's Deli

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3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2W 1X9, Canada
(514) 842-4813
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Wildly popular with a snaking lines out the door most days, this 90-year-old Jewish deli is a legendary culinary institution in the city. In 1928, it firmly established itself as a kosher deli using Romanian smoking techniques. It’s since changed hands a number of times (Celine Dion is famously a stakeholder), but the quality of its spiced smoked meat has not declined. To avoid waiting with the tourists, order from the takeout counter next to the restaurant, or come at off-hours (or in winter).

8. Main Deli

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3864 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2W 1Y2, Canada
(514) 843-8126
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If you find the hoards of tourists at Schwartz’s discouraging (and the cramped space quite stressful), skip across St-Laurent and slide into a booth at Main Deli, just as the poet Leonard Cohen used to. Its smoked meat is wonderfully moist with peppery undertones, though restaurant no longer smokes their meat onsite after the original owner Peter Varvaro passed away in 2013.  

9. Dunn's Famous

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1249 Rue Metcalfe, Montréal
QC H3B 2V5, Canada
(514) 395-1927
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Dunn’s Famous opened around the same time as Schwartz’s in 1927, but only started focusing on Montreal-style smoked meat in the ‘70s. Today, it’s one of the rare local delis to have become a chain, expanding to encompass multiple locations across Quebec and Ontario, plus one in Vancouver — despite the corporatization, it’s still quite serviceable, and open 24 hours to boot.

10. Reuben's Deli & Steakhouse

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1116 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal
QC H3B 1H4, Canada
(514) 866-1029
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Reuben’s can seem rather touristy with its prime downtown location and kitschy theatre-style lights, but it has kept up the quality. The smoked meat is still hand-cut — if you’re famished (and quite brave), try tackling the massive 10 ounce Famous Super Sandwich, or even more tremendous one pound Big Bang Sandwich. The combo comes with a pint of house-brewed pale ale. Open until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays, it’s also a good spot after a night out on the town, or a match at the nearby Bell Centre.

11. Snowdon Déli

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5265 Boulevard Décarie, Montréal
QC H3W 3C2, Canada
(514) 488-9129
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Opened in 1946 in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood by three brothers returning from the war, Snowdon Deli is an underrated local gem. It serve some of the best smoked meat in town, their brisket infused with a mélange of spices that imparts a bold peppery and garlicky flavour. The rest of the menu is extensive, with over 100 Jewish delicacies such as chopped liver, matzo ball soup and latkes (potato pancakes). 

1. Smoke Meat Pete

283 1ère Ave, L'Île-Perrot, QC J7V 5A1, Canada

Nestled off Highway 20 in Île Perrot, west of Montreal, Smoke Meat Pete might be a little out of the way, but it is well worth the trip. Founder Peter Varvaro worked alongside his father (also Peter Varvaro, who founded Main Deli) for two decades before he set off on his own to start his own venture. While it’s off the beaten path for tourists, many consider it the best in town, and it has garnered a loyal following for its signature thick, tender, and well-spiced slabs of smoked meat. There’s also live blues after 7 p.m. every night. And if you’re lucky, you might just catch Pete himself on stage.

283 1ère Ave, L'Île-Perrot
QC J7V 5A1, Canada

2. George's

3750 Boulevard Saint-Martin O, Laval, QC H7T 1A7, Canada

Having opened a little over two decades ago, this no-nonsense Laval deli hasn’t been around quite as long as many of the city’s other historic venues, but eponymous owner George worked at Schwartz’s for over 30 years before opening up this spot. Their brisket is dry-rubbed with a house spice mix, aged and smoked onsite, and the results are as tasty as ever.  

3750 Boulevard Saint-Martin O, Laval
QC H7T 1A7, Canada

3. Zytynsky's Deli

3350 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H1X 1G5, Canada

Those living in Rosemont are fortunate to have this Polish-Ukranian neighborhood deli and grocer all to themselves. Founded by a sausage-maker nearly a century ago, it’s a quaint little place for hard-to-find eastern European groceries and fare. At the sandwich counter, their smoked meat comes with a slice of Swiss cheese and swipe of Dijon mustard in a challah bun (egg twist bread) — somewhat of a departure from the other smoked meat sandwiches on this map, but nonetheless tasty.

3350 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal
QC H1X 1G5, Canada

4. Le Roi du Smoked Meat

6705 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal, QC H2S 2M6, Canada

Lipstick red booths. Retro diner fare. Visiting Le Roi du Smoked Meat tucked along the old St Hubert Arcade is like entering a time warp. They may not brine their own brisket, but it’s one of few places dishing up solid smoked meat in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie area, and it’s almost worth it for the vintage interior alone.

6705 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal
QC H2S 2M6, Canada

5. Deli 365

365 Rue Bernard O, Montréal, QC H2V 1T6, Canada

While it’s much shinier and more modern-looking than any other restaurant on this map, youthful Deli 365 offers up a hefty menu of kosher food from schnitzel sandwiches to falafel. The smoked meat is a solid bet too, with well-spiced fatty meat, and thick, casse-croûte style fries on the side. —Tim Forster

365 Rue Bernard O, Montréal
QC H2V 1T6, Canada

6. Lester's Deli

1057 Avenue Bernard, Outremont, QC H2V 1V1, Canada

This family-run diner has been serving smoked meat to the Outremont neighborhood for nearly 70 years. Little has changed over the years; the walls are adorned with memorabilia and kitschy knick-knacks. Their smoked meat is tender and decently marbled with a punchy kick of spice. There’s also other Jewish delicacies such as lox, smoked onsite, and karnatzel (a Jewish garlicky dried beef sausage); Lester’s also has an airport outpost.

1057 Avenue Bernard, Outremont
QC H2V 1V1, Canada

7. Schwartz's Deli

3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada

Wildly popular with a snaking lines out the door most days, this 90-year-old Jewish deli is a legendary culinary institution in the city. In 1928, it firmly established itself as a kosher deli using Romanian smoking techniques. It’s since changed hands a number of times (Celine Dion is famously a stakeholder), but the quality of its spiced smoked meat has not declined. To avoid waiting with the tourists, order from the takeout counter next to the restaurant, or come at off-hours (or in winter).

3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2W 1X9, Canada

8. Main Deli

3864 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Y2, Canada

If you find the hoards of tourists at Schwartz’s discouraging (and the cramped space quite stressful), skip across St-Laurent and slide into a booth at Main Deli, just as the poet Leonard Cohen used to. Its smoked meat is wonderfully moist with peppery undertones, though restaurant no longer smokes their meat onsite after the original owner Peter Varvaro passed away in 2013.  

3864 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2W 1Y2, Canada

9. Dunn's Famous

1249 Rue Metcalfe, Montréal, QC H3B 2V5, Canada

Dunn’s Famous opened around the same time as Schwartz’s in 1927, but only started focusing on Montreal-style smoked meat in the ‘70s. Today, it’s one of the rare local delis to have become a chain, expanding to encompass multiple locations across Quebec and Ontario, plus one in Vancouver — despite the corporatization, it’s still quite serviceable, and open 24 hours to boot.

1249 Rue Metcalfe, Montréal
QC H3B 2V5, Canada

10. Reuben's Deli & Steakhouse

1116 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H3B 1H4, Canada

Reuben’s can seem rather touristy with its prime downtown location and kitschy theatre-style lights, but it has kept up the quality. The smoked meat is still hand-cut — if you’re famished (and quite brave), try tackling the massive 10 ounce Famous Super Sandwich, or even more tremendous one pound Big Bang Sandwich. The combo comes with a pint of house-brewed pale ale. Open until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays, it’s also a good spot after a night out on the town, or a match at the nearby Bell Centre.

1116 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal
QC H3B 1H4, Canada

11. Snowdon Déli

5265 Boulevard Décarie, Montréal, QC H3W 3C2, Canada

Opened in 1946 in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood by three brothers returning from the war, Snowdon Deli is an underrated local gem. It serve some of the best smoked meat in town, their brisket infused with a mélange of spices that imparts a bold peppery and garlicky flavour. The rest of the menu is extensive, with over 100 Jewish delicacies such as chopped liver, matzo ball soup and latkes (potato pancakes). 

5265 Boulevard Décarie, Montréal
QC H3W 3C2, Canada

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