Aromas and influences from around the world
“Montreal is the new food capital of North America,” declared food writer Alan Richman in a 2016 article in the American magazine Town and Country.
With 14 James Beard Foundation Awards for journalism over the course of his 40-year career, it’s a safe bet he knows what he’s talking about.
Richman’s not the only one who’s heaped praise on Montreal’s culinary scene. The Guide du Routard travel guide also gave it rave reviews, placing it on par with that of other major world cities, including New York, Paris and London. This prestigious travel publication especially lauded Montreal’s gastronomy for its diversity.
Routard also commended Montreal’s fusion cuisine for its skilful combination of flavours from immigrant communities with those of regional products. The city’s organic and vegan offerings were described as “far more imaginative than in Europe,” while its various ethnic cuisines—those that remain uninfluenced by cultural crossover, with authentic flavours, including, incidentally, traditional Quebec fare—also got the thumbs up from the guide’s travel specialists.
From a statistical standpoint, the range of culinary options available is also impressive. With more than 7,000 restaurants on the island, Montreal boasts about one restaurant for every 340 residents.
If Montreal’s gastronomic hallmark is diversity, this can mainly be attributed to the influence of talented chefs of different nationalities who proudly showcase their native cuisines whenever they don their aprons. And if the statistics on the restaurant-reservation site OpenTable are anything to judge by, these chefs are hot tickets: 21 of Montreal’s eateries were ranked among Canada’s top 100 restaurants.