This past August a friend’s husband organized a two hour walking food tour of Mile-End. Me being Mr. Food Blogger thought what can I possibly learn while walking from one restaurant to the next in Mile-End? I’ve seen it all before, this won’t be that cool. It turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Going a food tour of one of the city’s most colourful neighbourhoods allowed us to experience some food that we hadn’t yet tried but it also taught us a little about this charming little hood. The experience is set up by a company called Local Montreal Food Tours and they do guided tours of Old Montreal and Mile-End both during lunch and at night and they even have a special tour for bachelorette parties and a tour dedicated to brewpubs.
Our tour began with a stop at La Panthère Verte where we tried the most amazing falafel of all time as well as glass of organic craft beer. If you haven’t tried their falafel I beg you to drop whatever you’re doing and go get one. They are delicious. Our second stop was a chocolate tasting at Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois. We sampled two different types of chocolate and the term “hot mouth” was coined. That has nothing to do with the official tour and mentioning without context is a little useless but I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to see the words written in front of me. You never know what will happen when you get a gang of friends together who haven’t seen each other in a while.
Moving on, we learned a little about an Irish church that looks like a mosque before heading to St-Viateur Bagel. Montreal is famous for plenty but our bagels are our one of our proudest achievements. St-Viateur along with Fairmont offer plenty of choice when it comes this squishy delight. We tried an “everything” bagel (or an all dressed bagel if you come from Montreal) and it was so good that it was worth the hours of poppy seeds stuck in my teeth.
Next we tried some delicious homemade gnocchi in a tomato sauce that I still dream about. You’ll find people that live in the area lined up for this sauce. They bottle it so you can enjoy it at home but to really experience the Mile-End vibe, you might want to enjoy it in the alley next to the shop. At the time I wished I had kept some of my bagel so I could use it to sop up the rest of my sauce. You live, you learn I guess. We finished off the tour at Kem Coba, the very famous ice cream parlour that’s had a line up down the street ever since it opened. We tasted a homemade blend of ice creamed berries and vanilla, it was excellent.
So, three reasons to do a food tour of Mile-End:
- You learn a little about the neighbourhood. It was fun acting like a tourist in my town.
- You get to try some foods that you might not normally go for. I still think about that pickle infused falafel.
- It’s a relatively inexpensive way to spend some quality time with friends in a fun part of town. The best part about playing a tourist for a few hours is when it’s all over, and you go back to being a local, you know which bars are the best to end the day in.