Canada’s Smoked Meat

272 MILES | 4 hr 46 min | by Michael Stern

Made from a cured and smoked brisket, the smoked meat of Quebec is a cousin of the pastrami found in U.S. delis. It is luxuriously fatty, packed with spice, and so fragile that it demands careful hand-cutting. Here are a couple of top sources in Montreal and a few along the byways of the province.



The window of Schwartz's, opened in 1928, is filled with smoked meat – piles of whole brick-red briskets packed with coarse, black spice. The line nearly always stretches out the door. The countermen assemble each sandwich with meat piled so high that the bread perched atop one half tumbles off as you seize the other half to eat.


Snowdon Deli

Snowdon Deli is a full service delicatessen where you can eat some great sandwiches. Snowdon offers corned beef in addition to regular smoked meat, and if you get the latter you have a choice of regular or old-fashioned. Old-fashioned is radiant with exotic spice. You have another important decision to make: fatty, medium or lean.


Chez Micheline

Chez Micheline is a humble snack bar serving excellent poutine, les hot dogs "Michigan," and a big bowl of comfort called nouilles chinoise. All tables are outdoors.


Casse-Croûte du Vieux Moulin

This ragtag, eat-in-the-rough casse-croûte (snack bar) serves exemplary poutine and the bunned sandwich known as guedille. French fries are superb.


Le Roy Jucep

Laying claim to being the place where poutine was invented, Le Roy Jucep offers not only a dozen different variations on the signature dish of Quebec, but also pizzas of all kind, hot dogs and hot dogs 'Michigan' (chili dog), and its namesake beverage, Orange Jucep (like Orange Julius).