Why Montréal just might be my new favorite food city

• In partnership with John Reamer and Associates

Montréal has been on my travel list for years because of its European culture and diversity, primarily. Why I didn’t assume that came with some of the best cuisine, I don’t know.

When the words “Montreal” and “food” pop up in the same sentence, you’re generally talking about three things: poutine, bagels and smoked meat. And while I like all three of those things in theory, none of them have the power to motivate me the way, say fresh seafood, perfect pho or epic pastas might. Poutine, frankly, sounds like something I might have come up with at age 12. Smoked meat …so like, pastrami? As for bagels, well, I was arriving directly from New York.

So what a surprise it was, then, on my first morning on the island city, when I procured a “tout garn” (everything) cylinder from the famed St.-Viateur shop, that I found myself wondering if I had ever actually eaten a bagel. Well, not a Montréal bagel, anyway.

Don’t get me wrong: I love New York bagels. The crisp exterior, soft interior is one of the perfect textures of all time. Or so I thought.