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Where to Find Montreal’s Finest Zeppoli to Celebrate San Giuseppe

Pick up the traditional Italian pastry and new riffs on classic recipes to celebrate Saint Joseph’s Day

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With Montreal’s Saint-Patrick’s Day parade cancelled for a second year in a row and many of the city’s coronavirus restrictions on gatherings still in place, March is shaping up to be markedly toned down this year. But there is one holiday, La Fiesta di San Giuseppe, also known as Saint Joseph’s Day, that can still be celebrated as it should be — with zeppole in hand.

Though Saint Joseph’s Day officially falls on March 19, its distinguishing pastry, the zeppole, a small, deep-fried ring-shaped indulgence traditionally crammed with ricotta and powdered with sugar, can be found in Italian bakeries and restaurants across the city up until Easter, or in some cases, even until the end of April. In other cases, calendar-marking and queue-waiting for a one-day event are part of the experience, so plan judiciously.

Approaches to the Italian pastry differ, in shape (circular ring vs. ball-like fritter), cook (deep-fried vs. baked), filling (ricotta, custard, nutella, pistachio, tiramisu, limoncello, etc.), topping (to cherry or not?). And the list of variations on the original — widely attributed to an early 1800’s baker from Naples — gets longer by the year. See some of them listed below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gema Pizzeria

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6827 Rue Saint-Dominique, Montréal
QC H2S 3B1, Canada
(514) 419-4448
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For the seventh year running, Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione’s supremely popular Little Italy pizzeria Gema will be cranking out perhaps the city’s most sought-after zeppole in a one-day, high-intensity affair, known to generate queues snaking down Saint-Dominique. Mark your calendars: They start at 10 a.m. on March 19 and go on for as long as quantities last.

2. Pasticceria Alati-Caserta

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277 Rue Dante, Montréal
QC H2S 1K3, Canada
(514) 271-3013
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In business since 1968, Little Italy’s vaunted Pasticceria Alati-Caserta is now run by a new generation, but its operation (and sweets) are just as impressive. Every year, the bakery produces hundreds of zeppole, both fried and oven baked, and this year is no different — except for some new flavours, like limoncello ricotta and gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) cream.

3. Café San Gennaro

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69 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montréal
QC H2S 1K7, Canada
(514) 273-6868
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San Gennaro’s baked-daily zeppoli filled with pastry cream are available until Easter, meaning diners have about three more weeks to enjoy a slice of al taglio pizza with one of these indulgences for dessert. Better yet, add a couple pistachio and nutella bomboloni to the order.

4. La Cornetteria

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6528 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2S 3C6, Canada
(514) 277-8030
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Though perhaps best known for its wide selection of cronuts, cannoli, and bomboloni, come spring La Corenetteria is a necessary stop on any zeppole pilgrimage. Crisp, heavy with ricotta, and yet somehow still airy — it’s a difficult equilibrium to master, and yet La Cornetteria has done it right once again.

5. San Pietro

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1950 Rue Jean-Talon, Montréal
QC H2E 1T8, Canada
(514) 722-1388
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This Rosemont bakery has zeppole seekers covered with flavours ranging from classic ricotta, to hazelenut, and tiramisu, available beyond Saint-Joseph’s namesake holiday, up until Easter. While there, get a slab of fresh tomato pizza and a spinach stuffed roll to go.

6. Boulangerie Pâtisserie La Conca D'oro

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2550 Rue Jean-Talon, Montréal
QC H2A 1T9, Canada
(514) 728-2756
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Piped with ricotta, nutella, custard, and more, the zeppoli at this 50-year-old family-run establishment on Jean Talon East are a long-standing tradition. Available for takeout or delivery with Uber Eats up until Easter.

7. Antonietta

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6672 Avenue Papineau, Montréal
QC H2G 2X2, Canada
(514) 729-2633
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Papineau pizzeria Antonietta is taking pre-orders until March 17 for its homemade, deep-fried zepolli. Pick-ups for boxes of 1, 6, or 12 (for $5, $24, or $48) will be on San Giusseppe’s day proper, and the day after. Message or call to reserve yours — it’ll pay off.

8. Café Dei Campi

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1360 Boulevard Rosemont, Montréal
QC H2G 1V4, Canada
(514) 563-0649
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Beloved vegan Italian sweets purveyor Café Dei Campi will be selling its zeppole this Friday to Sunday in honour of Joseph, the patron saint of workers. Pre-ordering isn’t mandatory, but highly recommended.

9. Elena

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5090 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
QC H4C 1T1, Canada
(514) 379-4883
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Elena’s resident pastry chef Michelle Marek is at it again, this time with an alluring pistachio-prominent creation. The pizzeria’s zeppole is loaded with a cream made of the nuts, and topped with a cascade of them, too. Available from Friday to Sunday.

10. Pâtisserie & Boulangerie Italia

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5540 Rue Jean-Talon, Saint-Léonard
QC H1S 1L9, Canada
(514) 259-0746
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Operating out of this Saint-Leonard pastry shop, Sisterly Sweets has developed somewhat of a reputation for its worth-the-trip confections, including its take on the deep-fried choux pastry dessert. They’ve got a nice selection of flavours, but ricotta-filled, and cherry-topped is where it’s at.

11. Parma Café

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1202 Rue Bishop, Montréal
QC H3G 2E3, Canada
(514) 879-0000
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With multiple locations across Montreal, casual Italian eatery and coffee shop Parma Café ensures its raved-about, chocolate chip-dotted zeppoli are never too far out of reach. Get them, any (or every) day, up until Easter.

12. Clarke Café

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2483 Rue Centre, Montréal
QC H3K 1J9, Canada
(514) 938-5554
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Clarke Café caters to those who believe zeppoli deserve an entire season, not just one saintly day: It’s powdered sugar-dusted treats are available at its Centre street locale until the end of April.

13. Rita

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3681 Rue Wellington, Verdun
QC H4G 1V1, Canada
(514) 419-1942
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Hankering for a zeppole in the Verdun area? Rita is among the more recent additions to the city’s zeppoli scene, but their version — piped with a pastry cream flavoured with cherries, mascarpone, and cinnamon — already feels indispensable.

14. Arte & Farina

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1256 Rue Ontario E, Montréal
QC H2L 1R6, Canada
(514) 999-8922
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Italian pastry chef and Arte & Farina owner Sandro Carpene does it again, bringing his culinary know-how to the mighty zeppole. This year, he’s also selling Colombo, a traditional Easter sweet bread containing citrus peels and almond custard — perfect for anyone still daydreaming of panettone.

1. Gema Pizzeria

6827 Rue Saint-Dominique, Montréal, QC H2S 3B1, Canada

For the seventh year running, Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione’s supremely popular Little Italy pizzeria Gema will be cranking out perhaps the city’s most sought-after zeppole in a one-day, high-intensity affair, known to generate queues snaking down Saint-Dominique. Mark your calendars: They start at 10 a.m. on March 19 and go on for as long as quantities last.

6827 Rue Saint-Dominique, Montréal
QC H2S 3B1, Canada

2. Pasticceria Alati-Caserta

277 Rue Dante, Montréal, QC H2S 1K3, Canada

In business since 1968, Little Italy’s vaunted Pasticceria Alati-Caserta is now run by a new generation, but its operation (and sweets) are just as impressive. Every year, the bakery produces hundreds of zeppole, both fried and oven baked, and this year is no different — except for some new flavours, like limoncello ricotta and gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) cream.

277 Rue Dante, Montréal
QC H2S 1K3, Canada

3. Café San Gennaro

69 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montréal, QC H2S 1K7, Canada

San Gennaro’s baked-daily zeppoli filled with pastry cream are available until Easter, meaning diners have about three more weeks to enjoy a slice of al taglio pizza with one of these indulgences for dessert. Better yet, add a couple pistachio and nutella bomboloni to the order.

69 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montréal
QC H2S 1K7, Canada

4. La Cornetteria

6528 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2S 3C6, Canada

Though perhaps best known for its wide selection of cronuts, cannoli, and bomboloni, come spring La Corenetteria is a necessary stop on any zeppole pilgrimage. Crisp, heavy with ricotta, and yet somehow still airy — it’s a difficult equilibrium to master, and yet La Cornetteria has done it right once again.

6528 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2S 3C6, Canada

5. San Pietro

1950 Rue Jean-Talon, Montréal, QC H2E 1T8, Canada

This Rosemont bakery has zeppole seekers covered with flavours ranging from classic ricotta, to hazelenut, and tiramisu, available beyond Saint-Joseph’s namesake holiday, up until Easter. While there, get a slab of fresh tomato pizza and a spinach stuffed roll to go.

1950 Rue Jean-Talon, Montréal
QC H2E 1T8, Canada

6. Boulangerie Pâtisserie La Conca D'oro

2550 Rue Jean-Talon, Montréal, QC H2A 1T9, Canada

Piped with ricotta, nutella, custard, and more, the zeppoli at this 50-year-old family-run establishment on Jean Talon East are a long-standing tradition. Available for takeout or delivery with Uber Eats up until Easter.

2550 Rue Jean-Talon, Montréal
QC H2A 1T9, Canada

7. Antonietta

6672 Avenue Papineau, Montréal, QC H2G 2X2, Canada

Papineau pizzeria Antonietta is taking pre-orders until March 17 for its homemade, deep-fried zepolli. Pick-ups for boxes of 1, 6, or 12 (for $5, $24, or $48) will be on San Giusseppe’s day proper, and the day after. Message or call to reserve yours — it’ll pay off.

6672 Avenue Papineau, Montréal
QC H2G 2X2, Canada

8. Café Dei Campi

1360 Boulevard Rosemont, Montréal, QC H2G 1V4, Canada

Beloved vegan Italian sweets purveyor Café Dei Campi will be selling its zeppole this Friday to Sunday in honour of Joseph, the patron saint of workers. Pre-ordering isn’t mandatory, but highly recommended.

1360 Boulevard Rosemont, Montréal
QC H2G 1V4, Canada

9. Elena

5090 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H4C 1T1, Canada

Elena’s resident pastry chef Michelle Marek is at it again, this time with an alluring pistachio-prominent creation. The pizzeria’s zeppole is loaded with a cream made of the nuts, and topped with a cascade of them, too. Available from Friday to Sunday.

5090 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
QC H4C 1T1, Canada

10. Pâtisserie & Boulangerie Italia

5540 Rue Jean-Talon, Saint-Léonard, QC H1S 1L9, Canada

Operating out of this Saint-Leonard pastry shop, Sisterly Sweets has developed somewhat of a reputation for its worth-the-trip confections, including its take on the deep-fried choux pastry dessert. They’ve got a nice selection of flavours, but ricotta-filled, and cherry-topped is where it’s at.

5540 Rue Jean-Talon, Saint-Léonard
QC H1S 1L9, Canada

11. Parma Café

1202 Rue Bishop, Montréal, QC H3G 2E3, Canada

With multiple locations across Montreal, casual Italian eatery and coffee shop Parma Café ensures its raved-about, chocolate chip-dotted zeppoli are never too far out of reach. Get them, any (or every) day, up until Easter.

1202 Rue Bishop, Montréal
QC H3G 2E3, Canada

12. Clarke Café

2483 Rue Centre, Montréal, QC H3K 1J9, Canada

Clarke Café caters to those who believe zeppoli deserve an entire season, not just one saintly day: It’s powdered sugar-dusted treats are available at its Centre street locale until the end of April.

2483 Rue Centre, Montréal
QC H3K 1J9, Canada

13. Rita

3681 Rue Wellington, Verdun, QC H4G 1V1, Canada

Hankering for a zeppole in the Verdun area? Rita is among the more recent additions to the city’s zeppoli scene, but their version — piped with a pastry cream flavoured with cherries, mascarpone, and cinnamon — already feels indispensable.

3681 Rue Wellington, Verdun
QC H4G 1V1, Canada

14. Arte & Farina

1256 Rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2L 1R6, Canada

Italian pastry chef and Arte & Farina owner Sandro Carpene does it again, bringing his culinary know-how to the mighty zeppole. This year, he’s also selling Colombo, a traditional Easter sweet bread containing citrus peels and almond custard — perfect for anyone still daydreaming of panettone.

1256 Rue Ontario E, Montréal
QC H2L 1R6, Canada

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