The Best Places to Find Montreal-Style Smoked Meat in Montreal

A smoked meat sandwich from the iconic Schwartz's in Montreal | © chensiyuan / WikiCommons
A smoked meat sandwich from the iconic Schwartz's in Montreal | © chensiyuan / WikiCommons
Photo of Emily Paskevics
1 January 2018

In the world of foodie adventures, Montreal is emerging as a prime destination with its legacy of world-famous poutine, bagels, and the city’s rich immigrant heritage that offers some of the best French, Italian, and Middle Eastern cuisine on the other side of the Atlantic. Another well-known staple is Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches, and here are some of the best places to sample this deli special across the city.

Smoke Meat Pete

Diner, Restaurant, Canadian, $$$
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Smoke Meat Pete is an unexpected little spot, well off the beaten track. It’s worth it to venture over to L’Île-Perrot to this comfy and longstanding restaurant, with its atmosphere of an old-school diner, to partake in the juicy smoked meat sandwiches and well-loved fries, chicken, and ribs. Smoke Meat Pete also operates as a live music venue, so come for the comfort food sandwiches and stay for the evening blues.

Fameux Viande Fumée et Charcuterie

Deli, Restaurant, Pizzeria, Canadian, Fast Food, Vegetarian
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At Fameux Viande Fumée et Charcuterie, you can enjoy delicious smoked meat, poutine, or smoked meat poutine. This diner-style Plateau spot isn’t known for having the best service in town, but you can get comfortable in one of their cozy leather booths and enjoy your meal without much fuss. They’re also open late.

Chenoy’s Smoked Meat

Deli, Diner, Restaurant, BBQ, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Canadian
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Smoked meat sandwich
Smoked meat sandwich | © Guilhem Vellut / Flickr 
Chenoy’s, located in West Island, is a 24-hour institution of the Montreal smoked meat tradition. Operating since 1936, the portions here are generous, and the meat is lean, not overly salty and practically melts in your mouth. The BBQ chicken is among their other popular eats. You’ll find that it gets pretty busy late into the night.

Le Roi Du Smoked Meat

Diner, Restaurant, Sandwich Shop, Fast Food, BBQ, Canadian
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You can find Le Roi Du Smoked Meat in Rosemont, where it’s been operating for more than 60 years. The restaurant looks as though it’s been frozen in time—or that time has somehow passed it by—and it’s still 1954 when you walk in. Offering pizza, souvlaki, spaghetti, club sandwiches, BBQ chicken, and poutine in addition to smoked meat, stop by if you’re feeling a bit of throwback nostalgia.

Dunn’s Famous

Deli, Restaurant, British, Canadian, $$$
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Dunn’s Famous makes the bold claim of being the “best smoked meat restaurant in Montreal,” a title that several hot spots constantly vie for. The history of Dunn’s started back in 1927, and now there are 10 locations total and not only in Montreal but also in Ontario and British Columbia. In addition to great smoked meat sandwiches, you’ll also find delicious pastrami and cheesecake. It’s open 24 hours so that you can enjoy their offerings even if you get a late-night craving.

Reuben’s

Deli, Restaurant, European, Fast Food, Pastries, Vegan, Vegetarian, BBQ, $$$
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Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich | © Guilhem Vellut / Flickr
Reuben’s Deli sits in downtown Montreal. With generous portions that include chopped liver, burgers, BBQ pulled pork poutine, and even Bolognese spaghetti topped with smoked meat, and much more, you can enjoy your smoked meat in a variety of different forms—in addition to traditional sandwiches.

Schwartz’s Deli

Deli, Restaurant, Canadian, French, $$$
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Schwartz's, Montreal
Schwartz's, Montreal | © Schwartz’s Deli

No overview of the best Montreal-style smoked meat in this city is complete without mentioning Schwartz’s, which is probably the most famous spot in the city and the deli that locals will direct you to first if you mention smoked meat. Even after 70 years, there’s still a line to get in even during the coldest months—though you don’t usually have to wait long, due to the efficient and no-nonsense approach to seating and serving. Order the classic: medium cut meat, a cherry cola, french fries, and a pickle.

The Main Deli Steak House

Restaurant, Dessert Shop, Deli, European, Mediterranean, Steakhouse, Fast Food
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The Main sits right across the street from Schwartz’s, and these two delis are famous competitors on the Montreal-style smoked meat front. You can’t go wrong with either choice—or try both delis and take your side in the rivalry. At The Main, you’ll find more of a sit-in and slower-paced dining service, with a wider variety of menu items that include potato latkas and verenekes.

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