Top 5 Most Iconic Montreal Cheap Eats

They say that Montreal has the highest ratio of restaurants per capita in North America. The choices are certainly endless so where does one go when looking for the best cheap eats in the city? We’ve rounded up the top ten most iconic and affordable bites.


Nothing quite compares to biting into a piping hot bagel, fresh out of the wood-burning oven at one of the two most beloved bagel spots in the city – St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel. The crunchy, charred and slightly smoky exterior gives way to a dense yet melt-in-your-mouth interior – no cream cheese or butter required when it’s this fresh. The only catch? You won’t be able to stop at just one.

Smoked Meat

Probably the most iconic of Montreal cheap eats is the Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich. The seemingly endless line-up is part of the tradition and shouldn’t deter you from trying this delicious delicacy at least once. Skip the lean option and go for a medium fat or, if you’re feeling adventurous, full fat cut of meat.

Wilensky’s Light Lunch

Wilensky’s, a family-run lunch counter, has been serving the same exact thing since it opened in 1932. Order a Wilensky’s Special, a salami and baloney sandwich with mustard, served grilled. A word of warning: Do not attempt to change or substitute any of the ingredients. It is what it is. Order a side of sour pickles and a cherry soda and enjoy your meal on one of the rickety bar stools.


No trip to Montreal is complete without indulging at least once in the greasy concoction of French fries, gravy and cheese curds that is poutine. Late night spots like La Banquise will help soak up an evening of bar-hopping, but a local favourite is the brisket burnt end poutine at newly-opened barbecue joint, Blackstrap BBQ.


When it comes to bakeries, Montreal has come a long way in the last twenty years. Some of our artisanal bakeries are now on par with anything one would find across the pond in Paris. Baguettes, croissants and various flaky, crunchy pastries can be a great choice for a delicious and low-cost breakfast or snack.