If you eat meat, Schwartz’s Deli should be on your food radar if you ever make it to Montreal. Billed as the oldest deli in Canada, Schwartz’s as long been known for their Montreal Smoked Meat.
Walking north up St Laurent Blvd, you know you’re getting close when you start to smell that famous smoked meat odor, as well as see a lineup of people filling the sidewalk. The lineup seemed to move at a steady, but slow pace. Totally reasonable if you ask me. If you’re in a hurry, there is a separate door for take out.
Unless you’ve arrived in a big group, you’re likely to be seated with strangers when you finally make it in. This adds to the experience, so be friendly and get to know your table mates. The crowded, historic establishment is a steady buzz of people ordering and then enjoying their smoked meat. The menu is simple, and while it offers you some non-smoked meat options, I say you should order a sandwich or, like me, a platter of meat which comes with a stack of light rye bread so you can make your own sandwiches. Add a giant pickle and a side of very delicious vinegar coleslaw to the mix and you find yourself in deli heaven. My tip, always order a medium fat plate. You get the right mixture of lean cuts and fatty cuts.
You’d be hard pressed to be disappointed after a meal at Schwartz’s, and you’ll likely roll out about 25-30 minutes later a few extra pounds heavier.