Written by Dahlia Merlo on 17.11.17

Montreal is (in our opinion), the greatest city on Earth. We know, we’re a little biased. That being said, it is also the home of so many ingenious culinary innovations that are now household staples. We were surprised ourselves by some of the items on this list (we cheated a bit and some are Quebecois, but who cares, right?). Curious? Check out 11 foods we bet you didn’t know originated in Montreal.

Peanut Butter Dumplings

peanut butter dumplings

Nope, these bad boys are not actually Chinese. You likely wouldn’t even find them if you travelled to China. These are a Chinese-Canadian tradition found only in Quebec. More commonly known as Hunan Dumplings, they debuted in Montreal in the 80s at Le Piment Rouge. They are inspired by a dish cooked in Szechuan, Southwest China, where the pork dumplings are topped with a mix of chopped, roasted peanuts, chili oil, and Szechuan peppercorns.



Now we’re cheating a little bit, since tourtière is a Quebecois dish, and not exclusive to Montreal. But this dish has been around since the 1600s. They’re usually filled with ground pork, beef, veal, or game meat, and are traditionally eaten on Christmas and New Years. We love a good tourtière so much though that we’ll eat it at any time of year.

Smoked Meat


Although you definitely know that smoked meat is a Montreal specialty, did you know that it originated in Jewish delis in Montreal? That’s why no one can beat our smoked meat! The best way to enjoy it is on rye bread with mustard, and a classic dill pickle on the side.


decarie hotdog

You’ve all gone to La Belle Province or to Décarie Hot Dog and ordered a steamy. It’s the superior way to eat a hotdog, amiright? They’re so Montreal that they’re even referred to as Montreal Hot Dogs. The best way to eat it is all dressed, Montreal-style, with mustard, chopped onion, and coleslaw. No ketchup or relish in our all dressed dogs.

Peanut Butter

peanut Butter

Our favourite breakfast condiment originated in Montreal! You’re welcome, world. Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented the recipe for peanut butter in Montreal in 1884, as a mixture of milled roasted peanuts and sugar. Fun fact: peanut butter was initially a food popular with wealthy people, as it was mainly available at expensive health care institutes.

Orange Julep

orange julep

Montreal is the only place in the world with Gibeau Orange Julep’s unique recipe. Although it is similar to Orange Julius, it’s just not quite the same thing. The restaurant opened in 1932 and had 9 locations all over Montreal (bet you didn’t know that!). Today, there is only one that remains, and it’s our iconic large orange-shaped restaurant.

Tire d’érable (Maple taffy)

tire sur la neige

Canadians are known for maple syrup production and have graced the rest of the world with the delicious sweet treat. But what is unique in Canada, especially in Quebec and Ontario, is the popular tire d’érable. Available only during maple season, Montrealers flock to their local cabane à sucre to try the delicacy. It’s made by boiling maple sap past the point of it being maple syrup, and then it is poured over snow, cooled down, and picked up with a wooden popsicle stick. Don’t get it stuck in your hair!

Sushi Pizza

sushi pizza

Although the origins of sushi pizza are debatable, but a Japanese sushi chef at Atami Sushi claimed that she invented the dish in 1992. Avocado, sliced salmon, tuna, or crab meat sits on top of a crispy rice patty and it’s always a favourite among sushi lovers.

All Dressed Pizza all dressed pizza dominos

Try ordering an all dressed pizza anywhere other than Montreal. You’ll get confused stares and the classic “what?” before you have to explain exactly what you want. That’s because the all dressed pizza is actually the Montreal Pizza. Onions, green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, and cheese: that’s what makes up this delicious pizza. Good luck finding it anywhere else!

Kraft Dinner

Love it or hate it, Kraft Dinner is made in Montreal, so we have to have a tiny soft spot for it (we’re talking to you, pasta purists!). Kraft Dinner’s humble beginnings started during WWII when food had to be rationed and families had to rely on meatless dinners. Thus, Kraft Dinner was born at the opportune time. Kraft Dinner is also considered the national dish of Canada (please, world, don’t equate our cuisine with KD), and it’s manufactured and packaged right here in Montreal!



No Montreal foodie list is complete without the mention of poutine. It emerged in the 1950s in Quebec and funny enough, it was mocked and not perceived to be the delicious dish we have all come to love today. Quebecers were even stigmatized using poutine in the past. Such a drastic change from today, where poutine is a Quebec delicacy and people all over try to replicate it!

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