Paradise at Montreal’s La Paryse

By: Ashley Thompson

Traveler researchers (and Francophile foodies) Ashley Thompson and Kristen Gunderson embarked on a long weekend getaway to Montreal, and offer up a few highlights as they quite literally ate and drank their way through the city. First up: A snack bar with class.

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Before my all-too-quick weekend jaunt to Montreal, I was skeptical about sampling the region’s staple snack food, poutine. French fries, gravy, and cheese curd? I now admit shamefully that I imagined white creamy sausage gravy spooned over wilted, greasy fries and clumps of gooey cheese. Boy, was I wrong.

For some of the best poutine Montreal’s Latin Quarter has to offer, La Paryse is your place. Don’t let the hole-in-the-wall (albeit eclectic and colorful!) appearance and inevitable lunchtime lines deter you. And don’t fear the poutine here. Mellow brown gravy with shredded mozzarella topped nearly grease-free fries, nothing at all like the scary concoction I had stirred up in my head.

Take the advice of our friend and host Anna, who’s living and studying in Montreal for the semester, and sample more than just La Paryse’s poutine perfection. Several dozen varieties of burgers and sandwiches greet upon entering the self-proclaimed “snack bar,” including three gourmet veggie burgers. I noshed on the delicious mushroom-flavored patty topped with finely sliced peppered potatoes, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and blue cheese, all nestled between toasted wheat buns.

As a multi-year vegetarian and a fake meat “expert,” I can say with confidence it is the best I’ve ever had. Down the deliciousness with a glass of locally made beer (Boréale pictured to the right), and you just may consider becoming a Canuck. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

La Paryse is located at 302 rue Ontario Est in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Most burgers are under $7.

Photo by Ashley Thompson