Montréal has a Jewish community consisting of about 90,000 people, and is one of the largest in North America. Originally settling here in the late 1700s, as fur traders and merchants, the Jewish community quickly grew with families immigrating from Europe to join their relatives. Today, there are 22 Jewish day schools in Québec, and Montréal has a booming Jewish culture, with the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Foundation for Yiddish Culture, Canadian Zionist Federation, as well as many singles groups, Kosher restaurants, and historical tourist sights.
Thanks to the city’s extensive Jewish community, there are some of the best Kosher restaurants and dishes in the world served in Montréal. What is important to remember is that there is a difference between Kosher restaurants (which must be certified and cater to those following strict Jewish rules), and Kosher-style restaurants (foods that could be produced as Kosher, of course not including forbidden animals, or both milk and meat).
Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen, aka Schwartz’s Deli, is one of Montréal’s greatest Jewish claims to fame. Started in 1928 by Reuben Schwartz, they use age old family recipes, with meat covered in their blend of spices and herbs left to marinate for 10 years, and smoked fresh daily. Celebrities from all over the world have come to enjoy Schwartz’s Deli – there was even a musical made about it, ‘Schwartz’s the Musical’, based on a novel by journalist Bill Brownstein, ‘Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen: The story’.
There is no other city in the world that loves their smoked meat so much they would make a musical out of it!
A Few Kosher Restaurants to try:
- Chez Benny – 5071 Chemin Queen Mary, Montreal
- Moishes Steak House – 3961 Saint-Laurent, Montreal
- Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen – 3895 Boulevard St-Laurent, Montreal
- For a list of restaurants certified by the The Montreal-Kosher Certification Agency click here.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia