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There are many world-class Jewish delis in Montreal, a city where smoked meat sandwiches are a must-try foodie experience. Jewish culture in the city is integral to its past and present, with particular roots in the Mile End, Outremont, and Côte Sainte-Luc neighborhoods. Here is a sample of some of the best, and most famous, Jewish delis in Montreal.
If you’re interested in time travel, then head over to Wilensky’s in the Mile End. This deli has been operating since the 1930s, serving up the famous Wilensky special (grilled salami on a kaiser roll, and don’t forget mustard!) with a hand-mixed old-fashioned soda. The décor makes it feel like a museum, which adds to its charm, and the prices are budget-friendly. Wilensky’s was listed in Travel + Leisure magazine’s “Best Sandwiches From Around the World” in 2012, and the little deli has also been featured in The Mind of a Chef PBS series with Anthony Bourdain and David Chang.
Casual and quick, Reuben’s Deli sits in downtown Montreal. On the pricier side of the city’s Jewish delis, portions are generous, and you can enjoy items such as chopped liver, juicy burgers, BBQ pulled pork poutine, Bolognese spaghetti topped with smoked meat, and more. Unusually, despite the emphasis on smoked meat sandwiches, there are also vegetarian options here.
Located in the Outremont neighborhood, Lester’s is another great choice if you don’t want to wait in line but still want a retro-themed Jewish deli experience. Whether you go for some smoked meat poutine, a brisket sandwich or, of course, a smoked meat sandwich, you won’t be disappointed. Rumor has it that Leonard Cohen was a regular at this spot.