Written by Lexa Naguib on 28.01.14

In a city known for its reputable culinary scene, one can expect to be faced with quality and variety when attending a festival that embraces food. Check out our guide for the Food & Drink festivals held in our favourite city.

Mondial de la Bière (June 11 – 15)

Every summer for the past 20 years, Montrealers and tourists have taken pleasure in experiencing the Mondial de la Bière, which they have affectionately nicknamed the Beer Fest. This five-day event, which takes place downtown, gives visitors a chance to get a taste of the world, through the native beers of several countries. Stop by this summer and taste beer from Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, Belgium Germany, Canada and many more. Information concerning locations is available at http://festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca/.

Taste MTL (November)

Taste MTL, also known as Montreal’s Restaurant Week, is an opportunity for all to discover the fine foods offered by some of Montreal’s greatest restaurants. During the festival, participating restaurants set a fixed price menu, allowing diners to feast at a fraction of the usual price. Barocco, Le Boucan and Miso are but a few examples of the 128 restaurants that took part in last year’s Taste MTL. Head to the next edition of the festival and taste the best of Montreal.

Happening Gourmand (January)

Happening Gourmand is a three-week festival that takes place in Montreal’s Old Port. During this period, seven of the best restaurants in the Old Port slash their prices and set a fixed price menu of about $25, allowing you to experience fine dining without putting a strain on your wallet, especially after the hectic holiday season. Some of the participating restaurants include Méchant Boeuf, Modavie and Suite 701.

Omnivore Food Festival (August)

The Omnivore Food Festival, brought to us by Luc Dubanchet (a food critic from France), is a celebration of culinary novelty. There are three main events that take place during the festival: the Cooking Demos by international and local chefs at the SAT’s Foodlab, the Maudits Soupers, where international chefs are invited to cook alongside local chefs in their respective restaurants and finally, the Omnivorous Party, held in 2013 at the Society of Arts and Technology, where the chefs whip up some bouchées on the spot for guests to enjoy.

Montreal’s Little Italy Pizza Week (October)

This week long festival celebrated its second edition in September of 2013. During Pizza Week, participating restaurants offer discounts on select pizzas; some even create special flavors for the occasion! Pizzeria Napoletana created a delicious mozzarella, tomato, burrata, arugula and prosciutto pizza, which was available for the duration of the festival. Other participating restaurants included Bottega, Gigi’s and Cafe International.

Le Burger Week (September)

Le Burger Week in is an interactive festival during which 30 Montreal restaurants compete for a chance to win the title of the ”best burger”. During this week, Montrealers are invited to visit participating restaurants, try the different burgers (all priced at $10) and then vote for their favourite at http://leburgerweek.com/. Gourmet Burger and Les Enfants Terribles (Outremont) also made it to the Top 3, with the winner of the 2013 edition being Restaurant Diablos BBQ, scoring a total of 7450 points for their Cheesus beef burger. Diablo uses baked Halloumi cheese in a daring attempt to replace the traditional bun. In between you can find a chicken fried triple A beef patty, cooked and battered just right. Add to this monstrosity white wine cream cheese and sour cream cheese sauces, crunchy bacon, and smoked ketchup.

La Poutine Week (February 1 – 7)

Created by the same team that brought us Le Burger Week, La Poutine Week, like its precursor, invites 30 restaurants to take part in the challenge of creating the best poutine in Montreal. Last year’s competing restaurants included Paulo & Suzanne, BurgerBar and Macaroni Bar. The ultimate winner, with 1187 votes, was Poutineville on Ontario St., with their homemade General Tao Poutine. Stay tuned to find out which restaurants will be competing for the 2014 title of the best poutine and vote for your favorite at http://lapoutineweek.com/.

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