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The smoked meat at Smoke Meat Pete
The smoked meat at Smoke Meat Pete
Smoke Meat Pete

The 50 Most Iconic Meat Dishes in Montreal

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The smoked meat at Smoke Meat Pete
| Smoke Meat Pete

Weeks ago we asked readers to submit their iconic Montreal meat dishes to launch The Five Days of Meat good and proper. Responses covered a broad spectrum of Montreal dining: butchers, delis, diners, greasy spoons, steakhouses and white tablecloth institutions. When all was said and done, submissions were whittled down to a tidy 50. These Montreal classics come from places, often family-owned, that have stood the test of time in defiance of trends and continue to serve regulars — and new customers — on a nightly basis. With that, we give you the epic map of iconic Montreal meat, presented in alphabetical order. Feel free to chime in with your suggestions and thoughts in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Dic Ann's

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The dish: the Hambourghini (regular Dic Ann's burger with a slice of pepperoni). Dic Ann's unusual style of hamburger (pressed flat, meat-sauced) gets pimped up to next level status with pepperoni. Open since: 1954.

Chez Ma Tante

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The dish: stimé hot dogs. When someone writes the book on Montreal casse-croûtes this place will have its own chapter. Open since: 1971.

Boulangerie Friulano

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The dish: Italian deli sub. Raffaele Ferre was possibly the first baker in Montreal to extol the beauty of genuine pizza al taglio with his original shop at Ste-Catherine and de Bullion in 1953. The slab pizza is duly killer at Friulano but the meat-packed cold subs are also imperative. Open since: 1972.

Decarie Hot Dog

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The dish: stimé hot dogs. A poster child Montreal hot dog joint that isn't out to impress anyone with anything other than straightforward greasy spoon goods. Open since: 1969.

Le Bifthèque

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The dish: bone-in prime rib. This randomly-located butcher shop and steakhouse close to Trudeau Airport came back from the brink of bankruptcy in 2012 with the original owners—the Seltzer family—at the helm. Open since: 1980. Update: Bankruptcy did finally claim the restaurant in 2015.

Andalos

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The dish: sfiha (Arab or Levantine flat bread with ground lamb). Andalos undertook a sterile makeover to handle the bakery's booming wholesale business a while back but it's still well worth a detour, even if the gritty charm has been scrubbed cleaned. Open since: 1991

Rib 'N Reef

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The dish: beef in all forms (tableside tartare, ribeyes, prime rib). Don't let the exterior or Decarie expressway location fool you - this is one of the swankiest steakhouses around. And they've been doing it for well over half a century. Open since: 1960.

Gibeau Orange Julep

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The dish: burgers and hot dogs. A singular Montreal landmark built by Hermas Gibeau to serve his trademark orange drink. Gibeau's original restaurant on Sherbrooke Est was torn down in 2009 after 80 years in business. Open since: 1932.

Caribbean Curry House

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The dish: goat roti. This Côte-des-Neiges Trini roti shop spices and stews morsels of toothsome goat meat and wraps them in a flaky, unleavened naan-like pastry. Glorious. Open since: 1980.

Snowdon Deli

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The dish: smoked meat and other assorted Jewish deli meats. Brothers Abe and Joe Morantz opened this quintessential delicatessen after returning home from the war. Another brother, Phil, joined them two years later. Open since: 1946.

Côte St-Luc BBQ

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The dish: half chicken dinner or hot chicken sandwich. This Montreal classic is "the only restaurant that offers maple char grilled chicken carefully roasted in our authentic brick ovens." Open since: 1953.

The dish: The Creation, a BLT with a fried egg, all-beef salami and cheese on a bagel, challah, pumpernickel, or rye. Tony "Man of Grease" Koulakis died tragically in 2013 but his beloved N.D.G. eatery lives on. Open since: 1967.

Chalet Bar-B-Q

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The dish: half chicken dinner or hot chicken sandwich. Plump birds slowly roasted over hardwood charcoal in custom brick ovens that pre-date V Day. Open since: 1944.

Momesso's

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The dish: sausage sub. Alessandro Momesso left Italy for Montreal in 1951 with notions of becoming a professional footballer. Son Sergio would go on to play hockey for the Montreal Canadiens. Open since: 1978.

Méli Mélo

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The dish: griot. Lines snake around the block for the meaty Haitian grub on offer at this grocer slash food counter. Open since: 1984.

The dish: kebabs. Daou's claim to fame is that it catered Celine Dion and René Angélil's famously lavish wedding but the day-to-day reality is that this is just a solid neighbourhood place for killer kebabs. Open since: 1975.

Marven's

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The dish: mixed grill platter (chicken, lamb chops, pork chop, quails, veal chop). Marven's wins the prize for most gargantuan portions. The most unassuming restaurant on this list is still run by the same family. Open since: 1976.

Tripolis

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The dish: lamb chops, quails, Greek sausage. This homey spot in the heart of Park Ex is always crowded. Ask for the lamb ribs. Open since: 1985.

The dish: charcoal grilled lamb chops, veal chops and chicken. Most Greeks decamped Park Ex for Laval years ago but Panama is one of a few consistent family-run tavernas left in the old neighbourhood. Open since: 1989.

Village Grec

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The dish: souvlaki. A more upscale outpost of Village Grec exists in Laval, naturally, but the original is a meat must. Open since: 1977.

Le Roi du Smoked Meat

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The dish: smoked meat. Is the best in Montreal? Nope. But arcaded St-Hubert wouldn't be the same without Abe Kligman's time warp of a diner. Open since: 1973.

Le Paris Beurre

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The dish: côte de boeuf à l'os. Le Paris Beurre gets short shrift from a lot of non-Outremont dwellers but this bistro has, in due course, become a meaty neighbourhood fixture. Open since: 1984. Update: Le Paris Beurre closed in December 2014, and was subsequently replaced by wine bar Les Fillettes.

Lester's

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The dish: smoked meat. For a lot of Montrealers, it's not about Schwartz's or the Main or the defunct Ben's. Lester's is where they were weaned on smoked meat and other Jewish delicatessen exemplars. Open since: 1951.

Royal Sous-Marins

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The dish: the Royal Special (steak, ham, pepperoni, capicolli). The neighbourhood has changed dramtically in 65 years but this place hasn't. Thank God. Open since: 1950.

Wilensky's Light Lunch

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The dish: the Wilensky's Special® (all-beef salami and all-beef baloney grilled on a pletzl roll with mustard). As much museum as lunch counter, with the feisty Ruth Wilensky still on the premises at 95 years old. Open since: 1932.

La Binerie

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The dish: ragoût de boulettes, fèves au lard. No-nonsense, rib-sticking Québecois fare is what you'll get at this Montreal institution. Open since: 1938.

Tous Les Jours

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The dish: burgers. "Steerburgers" over charcoal on the same grill for close to four decades now. A Plateau classic. Open since: 1975.

Chez Doval

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The dish: charcoal grilled chicken. Gruff service is part of the charm at this neighbourhood standby in Little Portugal. Open since: 1974.

Romados

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The dish: Portuguese rotisserie chicken. The first name in Montreal chicken sells upward of 600 birds a day. Open since: 1994

Au Pied de Cochon

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The dish: Duck in a Can. You can toss the foie gras poutine and Plogue à Champlain in the mix too, of course, or just about any menu item from Martin Picard's game changer of a restaurant. Open since: 2001.

L'Express

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The dish: tartare or onglet. Or the ris de veau, bone marrow or quails. Hard to go wrong at Montreal's bellwether bistro. Open since: 1980.

Moishes

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The dish: New York strip. It's good former busboy Moishe Lighter pressed on and didn't heed those second thoughts he had about running the steakhouse he won from his boss in a poker game. Open since: 1938.

Coco Rico

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The dish: rotisserie chicken. The ribs and roast pork are equally addictive at this temple to meat on the Main. Open since: 1970.

Schwartz's

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The dish: smoked meat. It'll always be about smoked meat at Schwartz's but it's worth tasting your way around the menu at this Montreal landmark. Smoked turkeys at holiday time, steaks, karnatzel, kosher salami, tongue, smoked chicken and liver are some of the other meaty highlights. Open since: 1928.

The Main

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The dish: smoked meat or jumbo rib steak dinner (20 oz. rib steak with liver and hot dog, coleslaw, pickle and french fries). Peter Varvaro grew up immersed in the Jewish delis of the Main. His untouched paean to that culture is alive and well. Open since: 1974. Update: Varvaro's legacy may no longer be so alive and well.

Slovenia

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The dish: sausages. Slovenia has reams of meaty delights behind its steamy butcher shop counter. Flip a coin. Open since: 1980.

Montreal Pool Room

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The dish: stimé hot dogs. Granted, Montreal Pool Room isn't the same since it cleaned up its act and moved across the street after a century on the west side of the lower Main. No matter, the steamies and fries haven't changed all that much. Open since: 1912.

Reuben's

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The dish: Famous Super (smoked meat) Sandwich. Above and beyond smoked meat, steaks are aged a minimum of 28 days and hand-cut on site at this Downtown Montreal constant. Open since: 1976.

Mister Steer

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The dish: Mister Steerburger. Downtown Montreal's stalwart burger, tenderly sandwiched between strip clubs. Open since: 1958.

Le Mas des Oliviers

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The dish: tête de filet for two. Owner Jacques Müller is old school in the best possible frogs'-legs-and-snails way, especially when it comes to meat. His menu at Le Mas des Oliviers keeps it classic with the likes of ris de veau braisés au porto, l’entrecôte grillée à la moëlle and carré d’agneau à la provençale. Open since: 1974.

Bar-B-Barn

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The dish: the Whole Hawg rack of ribs. Other chicken and rib joints have seemingly supplanted Bar-B-Barn but we can still hear broadcaster Ralph Lockwood exhorting us to go. Open since: 1967.

Gibby's

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The dish: filet mignon. The original Gibby's still operates up north and the Old Montreal location looks much as it did forty years ago. Open since: 1972.

Green Spot

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The dish: hot dogs. Very little has changed about this Saint-Henri diner in almost 70 years. Open since: circa 1947.

New System Bar-B-Q

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The dish: half chicken or steak and pepperoni sub with smoked meat. What would Saint-Henri be without New System orange delivery cars zipping around all over the place? A lot safer, perhaps, but less interesting, undoubtedly. Open since: 1948.