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Elena/Matthew Perrin

12 Excellent Panettone Purveyors Serving Up Sweet Bread in Montreal Right Now

It’s that time of year again

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The appeal of panettone — much less where to procure the best one — can be a divisive topic among family and friends. There are those who insist they “just don’t get it,” while some start stocking up as soon as the holiday sweet bread hits shelves come mid-fall. Others, still, maintain that they have no qualms with the idea of a boxed, cellophane-wrapped Italian dessert, but would much prefer a slice of pandoro, the star-shaped, powdered-sugar-dusted cousin of the panettone. Even once you think you’ve found the right person to share in your panettone passion, chances are, there’s one more knotty conversation to be had: dried fruit or not?

In this guide, we feature Montreal restaurants, cafés, counters, and bakeries that either carry a handpicked selection of imported panettoni (that’s the plural form in Italian) or their own creations. There are other spots, such as Fruiterie Milano and Berchicci in St-Leonard, that boast elaborate displays of brightly hued packages, but picking one from from the many that line their shelves can feel like a shot in the dark for anyone without a cognoscente in tow. The establishments on this list have done the bidding for you.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Bête à Pain (multiple locations)

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114 Rue Fleury O, Montréal
QC H3L 2T6, Canada
(514) 507-7109
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Check off classic, chocolate, or lemon panettone for dessert on La Bête à Pain’s comprehensive holiday takeout menu. It comes courtesy of Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione, household names in Montreal, where they own several beloved restaurants (Impasto, Gema, Vesta, Chez Tousignant), and a three-year-old line of specialty grocery products, called Aliments Faita Forgione, of which the panettone is a part. Also available at IGA and other independent shops, like Quincaillerie Dante.

2. Baristello Jarry

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709B Rue Jarry E, Montréal
QC H2P 1W2, Canada
(514) 272-2113
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This traditional Italian coffee shop run by former Caffé San Simeon barista Piero Corrado Ciampoli is carrying a selection of imported panettone, including from small Sicilian bakery Fratelli Sicilia run by brothers Salvo and, coincidently, another Piero. Opt for the salted caramel panettone, or a strawberry one, made with fruits grown in the slopes of Mount Etna.

3. Café Vito

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151 Rue Villeray, Montréal
QC H2R 1G4, Canada
(514) 564-3131
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On the corner of Villeray and Casgrain, a couple blocks east of Jarry Park, lies Café Vito, a diminutive coffee shop, hangout spot, and, this time of year, reliable panettone purveyor. According to the café’s social media accounts, supply is already running thin, so best to try and get your hands on a fluffy Fiasconaro dome soon. (The Nero Sublime variety is packed with a specialty cold-pressed chocolate from Modica, Sicily.)

4. Automne Boulangerie

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6500 Ave Christophe-Colomb, Montreal
QC H2S 2G8, Canada
(514) 274-8111
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The hype surrounding this Petite-Patrie bakery run by award-winning baker Julien Roy is entirely warranted, and now that Automne has come out with its own raisin-studded panettone, it may well be among the most coveted on this list. Traditional panettone gets its height from sourdough starter, not commercial bakers yeast, and if the loaves of fermented dough that Automne has been churning out since 2016 are any indication, they’re adept at using it.

5. Café San Gennaro

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69 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montréal
QC H2S 1K7, Canada
(514) 273-6868
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Little Italy cafè and pizza shop San Gennaro takes a page from the birthplace of panettone with a window display of neatly stacked boxes reminiscent to those seen in Milan at this time of year. They’ve got much-loved panettoni from the likes of BreraMilano 1930, Amarena Fabbri (baked by Cova Pasticceria, one of Italy’s oldest bakeries), and even Dolce & Gabbana. Might as well grab a slice of al taglio potato pizza and a pistachio bombolini while there.

6. Boulangerie les Co'pains d'abord

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418 Rue Rachel E, Montréal
QC H2J 2G7, Canada
(514) 564-5920
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Pastry chef Eric Goeury is the driving force behind les Co’pains d’abord’s popular panettone, this year available online for delivery across Canada. Pick between the standard version bedecked with citrus and raisins, or one laced with dark, milk, and Valrhona concentrate chocolate.

7. Arte & Farina

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1256 Rue Ontario E, Montréal
QC H2L 1R6, Canada
(514) 999-8922
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Armed with years of culinary training in Italy, where he was born, Sandro Carpene doesn’t shy away from blending traditional craftsmanship with local ingredients. Classically flavoured panettone is in the offing, but so is a more home-brewed take, featuring Quebec maple syrup, and a chocolate one made in partnership with Café Olimpico.

8. La Panzeria

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4084 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal
QC H2W 2M5, Canada
(514) 806-1897
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This traditional Apulian restaurant specializing in Southern Italian specialties like panzerotti, focaccia barese, and orecchiette is also a great spot to pick up some imported Italian goods. Among them right now are both panettone and pandoro infused with custard made from an herbal liqueur called Strega (Italian for “witch,” referencing ancient folklore of witchcraft in the town of Benevento).

9. Hof Kelsten

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4524 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2T 1R4, Canada
(514) 649-7991
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Since opening Hof Kelsten to the public in 2013, Jeffrey Finkelstein has gathered praise for his now-legendary babka and challah bread, as well as his gravlax, chopped liver, and other deli grub. But come December, he moonlights as an Italian baker dishing out some of the city’s most sought-after panettone, in gift-worthy wrapping.

10. Caffe Un Po' Di Piu

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3 Rue de la Commune E, Montréal
QC H2Y 0B1, Canada
(514) 861-8686
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From the same people who brought you Olive & Gourmando, Caffe Un Po’ Di Piu on de la Commune has been wowing diners with Italian fare since opening in 2018. In light of dining room closures, it has been growing its grocery offering with gourmet Italian vinegars, jars of marinated veggies, artisanal pastas, and — you guessed it — panettone. It carries the Borsari brand, which strikes a good balance between quality and price, with the classic running at $32, and a highly recommended chocolate and pear option for $35. Pick it up in person or order online.

11. Dispensa

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696 Rue William, Montréal
QC H3C 1N9, Canada
(514) 690-1425
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This tiny Old Montreal grocery store/takeout counter succeeds on all fronts: its lunch sandwiches and calzones are a marvel, its prepared meals and imported pantry goods are a boon come dinner time, and its espresso (hot or iced) ranks high in the city. For the holidays, it imports a nice selection of specialty panettoni from trustworthy brands like Fratelli Sicilia, DiStefano, and Fratelli Costa. It’s now open on Saturdays until Christmas.

12. Elena

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5090 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal
QC H4C 1T1, Canada
(514) 379-4883
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Elena’s nearly 25,000-strong Instagram following have been watching intently as Willow Cardinal perfected the restaurant’s panettone over the past several weeks. Available online, the tall sweet bread is naturally leavened with the same sourdough culture used for its famed pizza, and is freckled with dark chocolate, orange zest, amaro-soaked cranberries, and finished with a chestnut-almond crumble up top.

Elena/Matthew Perrin

1. La Bête à Pain (multiple locations)

114 Rue Fleury O, Montréal, QC H3L 2T6, Canada

Check off classic, chocolate, or lemon panettone for dessert on La Bête à Pain’s comprehensive holiday takeout menu. It comes courtesy of Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione, household names in Montreal, where they own several beloved restaurants (Impasto, Gema, Vesta, Chez Tousignant), and a three-year-old line of specialty grocery products, called Aliments Faita Forgione, of which the panettone is a part. Also available at IGA and other independent shops, like Quincaillerie Dante.

114 Rue Fleury O, Montréal
QC H3L 2T6, Canada

2. Baristello Jarry

709B Rue Jarry E, Montréal, QC H2P 1W2, Canada

This traditional Italian coffee shop run by former Caffé San Simeon barista Piero Corrado Ciampoli is carrying a selection of imported panettone, including from small Sicilian bakery Fratelli Sicilia run by brothers Salvo and, coincidently, another Piero. Opt for the salted caramel panettone, or a strawberry one, made with fruits grown in the slopes of Mount Etna.

709B Rue Jarry E, Montréal
QC H2P 1W2, Canada

3. Café Vito

151 Rue Villeray, Montréal, QC H2R 1G4, Canada

On the corner of Villeray and Casgrain, a couple blocks east of Jarry Park, lies Café Vito, a diminutive coffee shop, hangout spot, and, this time of year, reliable panettone purveyor. According to the café’s social media accounts, supply is already running thin, so best to try and get your hands on a fluffy Fiasconaro dome soon. (The Nero Sublime variety is packed with a specialty cold-pressed chocolate from Modica, Sicily.)

151 Rue Villeray, Montréal
QC H2R 1G4, Canada

4. Automne Boulangerie

6500 Ave Christophe-Colomb, Montreal, QC H2S 2G8, Canada

The hype surrounding this Petite-Patrie bakery run by award-winning baker Julien Roy is entirely warranted, and now that Automne has come out with its own raisin-studded panettone, it may well be among the most coveted on this list. Traditional panettone gets its height from sourdough starter, not commercial bakers yeast, and if the loaves of fermented dough that Automne has been churning out since 2016 are any indication, they’re adept at using it.

6500 Ave Christophe-Colomb, Montreal
QC H2S 2G8, Canada

5. Café San Gennaro

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

Little Italy cafè and pizza shop San Gennaro takes a page from the birthplace of panettone with a window display of neatly stacked boxes reminiscent to those seen in Milan at this time of year. They’ve got much-loved panettoni from the likes of BreraMilano 1930, Amarena Fabbri (baked by Cova Pasticceria, one of Italy’s oldest bakeries), and even Dolce & Gabbana. Might as well grab a slice of al taglio potato pizza and a pistachio bombolini while there.

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

6. Boulangerie les Co'pains d'abord

418 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2J 2G7, Canada

Pastry chef Eric Goeury is the driving force behind les Co’pains d’abord’s popular panettone, this year available online for delivery across Canada. Pick between the standard version bedecked with citrus and raisins, or one laced with dark, milk, and Valrhona concentrate chocolate.

418 Rue Rachel E, Montréal
QC H2J 2G7, Canada

7. Arte & Farina

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

Armed with years of culinary training in Italy, where he was born, Sandro Carpene doesn’t shy away from blending traditional craftsmanship with local ingredients. Classically flavoured panettone is in the offing, but so is a more home-brewed take, featuring Quebec maple syrup, and a chocolate one made in partnership with Café Olimpico.

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

8. La Panzeria

4084 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2W 2M5, Canada

This traditional Apulian restaurant specializing in Southern Italian specialties like panzerotti, focaccia barese, and orecchiette is also a great spot to pick up some imported Italian goods. Among them right now are both panettone and pandoro infused with custard made from an herbal liqueur called Strega (Italian for “witch,” referencing ancient folklore of witchcraft in the town of Benevento).

4084 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal
QC H2W 2M5, Canada

9. Hof Kelsten

4524 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1R4, Canada

Since opening Hof Kelsten to the public in 2013, Jeffrey Finkelstein has gathered praise for his now-legendary babka and challah bread, as well as his gravlax, chopped liver, and other deli grub. But come December, he moonlights as an Italian baker dishing out some of the city’s most sought-after panettone, in gift-worthy wrapping.

4524 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2T 1R4, Canada

10. Caffe Un Po' Di Piu

3 Rue de la Commune E, Montréal, QC H2Y 0B1, Canada

From the same people who brought you Olive & Gourmando, Caffe Un Po’ Di Piu on de la Commune has been wowing diners with Italian fare since opening in 2018. In light of dining room closures, it has been growing its grocery offering with gourmet Italian vinegars, jars of marinated veggies, artisanal pastas, and — you guessed it — panettone. It carries the Borsari brand, which strikes a good balance between quality and price, with the classic running at $32, and a highly recommended chocolate and pear option for $35. Pick it up in person or order online.

3 Rue de la Commune E, Montréal
QC H2Y 0B1, Canada

11. Dispensa

696 Rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1N9, Canada

This tiny Old Montreal grocery store/takeout counter succeeds on all fronts: its lunch sandwiches and calzones are a marvel, its prepared meals and imported pantry goods are a boon come dinner time, and its espresso (hot or iced) ranks high in the city. For the holidays, it imports a nice selection of specialty panettoni from trustworthy brands like Fratelli Sicilia, DiStefano, and Fratelli Costa. It’s now open on Saturdays until Christmas.

696 Rue William, Montréal
QC H3C 1N9, Canada

12. Elena

5090 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H4C 1T1, Canada
Elena/Matthew Perrin

Elena’s nearly 25,000-strong Instagram following have been watching intently as Willow Cardinal perfected the restaurant’s panettone over the past several weeks. Available online, the tall sweet bread is naturally leavened with the same sourdough culture used for its famed pizza, and is freckled with dark chocolate, orange zest, amaro-soaked cranberries, and finished with a chestnut-almond crumble up top.

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

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