Last weekend I was fortunate enough to enjoy the wonderful sights, tastes and smells of the delightful Mile End. An area rich in food, history and art, it was an absolute pleasure to attend this food tour. Hosted by Local Montreal Tours, this three hour journey through the Mile End was both a historical and culinary delight.
Local Montreal Tours started three years ago as a small venture and has since become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. Held on Saturdays and Sundays for most of the year (except January and holidays), the Mile End Montreal Food Tour is an excellent opportunity to explore the neighbourhood and taste a selection of what the area has to offer!
For me, last Saturday was an absolute pleasure. We began our tour at La Panthere Verte (The Green Panther) which is one of Montreal’s most popular vegan restaurants. Here we enjoyed their most popular and well known dish, the Falafel Pita. A deliciously healthy lunch or dinner option, the Falafel Pita is a pocket filled with wonderful flavours such as cumin, coriander and tahini and fresh vegetables including, sprouts, cabbage and carrot. Fresh and delicious, I will certainly be back for one of these!
Next stop on our trip was the best place in the area for meats, cheese and beer! Well, I have little doubt there aren’t many places with such delights also, however I would certainly rank Boucherie Lawrence well up the list. An absolute treasure, this was my favourite stop on the tour as we had the opportunity to see and taste some wonderful Quebec products. We enjoyed pancetta, two sausage varieties, two local cheeses and a local beer. The stop was also a chance to see a huge range of local products and purchase any treats we desired.
Stop three! With a little history and storytelling on the way, we walked to an absolute Mile End icon. Wilensky’s. A local store and well known sandwich shop since 1932, this place is considered an institute. “The Special” was on the menu for us this day and it was a pleasure to bite into a little slice of history. Meat and mustard. Enough said.
Next up, was some of the most authentic and delicious tomato sauce in the entire city. Drogheria Fine on Fairmount Ave is the smallest shop a tour group has ever tried to bundle up in. But boy was it worth the cramming. Delicious tomato sauce with a hit of chilli and a plate of homemade potato gnocchi. Perfect! I even bought a jar of the sauce.
Another icon of the Mile End, stop five was St Viateur Bagels. Since 1957, these famous Mile End bagels have been in tough competition with Fairmount Bagels only a block away. Both delicious, they are a must try here in Montreal.
And finally, what would a food tour be without a sweet treat and a list of recommended local coffee shops! So to conclude the tour, we had the chance to sample a chocolate of our choice from Chocolat Geneviève Grandbois. A delicious note to end on, these handmade chocolates are a treat to even look at.
On the whole, the tour was a wonderful experience. Our guide, Anne-Marie was a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful person to show us the sights and flavours of the Mile End during this wintery day. A perfect adventure winter or summer, there is always something delicious to be discovered in this area.
Local Montreal Tours offer food, beer and city tours throughout the year. All the information can be found on their website, here. This Mile End Montreal Food Tour is $49 (plus tax) and held on weekends from 11am to 2pm.