When anyone mentions travelling to Montreal, the name Schwartz's Deli is sure to follow. It's a Montreal dining institution and yes, Montrealers actually eat here - even though the place is rammed with tourists. I mean what else do I want besides smoked meat and bagels whenever I come here? But first, let's set a couple things straight...
This is NOT the time to order lean meat and count calories. Go fatty or go home. You're in Montreal and this is smoked meat city people! Don't get too intimidated either by the line-up outside. We waited 20-30 minutes for a table for two, show up with a bigger group and you're looking at maybe even an hour if its the weekend. But it moves quickly!
The Holy Trinity - Smoked Meat Sandwich ($6.30), side of Fries ($2.95), Coleslaw ($2.55). The prices are ridiculously reasonable, considering the demand that they have waiting outside their door. The fries are fresh and homemade - not as crispy as I personally like them, but they do remind me of the ones at Swiss Chalet. You are also going to need a soda.
Mind the elbow space and get cozy with your neighbours in the narrow space with communal seating. The restaurant has been in the same location since 1928! So it's a little slice of Montreal history and a must-visit.
The smoked meat tantalizes us from the window (above). Each brisket is marinated for 10 days in a secret blend of herbs and spices with no chemicals added.
Yes, the line-up is always this crazy. Just look for the crowd of people and you'll know you've arrived. It's all very efficient and the smoked meat bouncer is actually happy to see you. If you can't deal with all this stress over a sandwich, hop on over next door to their take-out counter (yes there will be a line there too) and order one up to go. They even sell smoked meat seasonings, mustards and vacuum-sealed slices to take with you.
Schwartz's Deli, Montreal
3895 St-Laurent Blvd
Going to Montreal? Read more from our Montreal Travel Guide!