Montreal is a foodie destination with a culinary culture made up of many delicious dishes loved by both the locals and visitors. The eateries offer something for all to please their palates. Smoked meat is one of the best dishes that put Montreal as a diner’s city.


Smoked meat in Montreal traces its roots from the Jewish migration who came from eastern Europe. Some accounts report that Benjamin Kravits from Lithuania who together with hid wife began serving smoked meat and founded Bens De Luxe Delicatessen and Restaurant in 1910.

Other accounts credit the birth of smoked meat in Montreal to Aaron Sanft from Romania and Reuben Schwartz who founded Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen which is now the oldest deli in the country.

How it is made

The Montreal; smoked meat is made using the entire brisket including the fatty muscles. In earlier days, the meat was dry-cured, rubbed with spices and salt before being pilled in barrels to marinate for one month. The meat was thereafter smoked for about 10 hours.

Today, marinating is done using nitrate or aromatic brines. The meat is then spiced with coriander, peppercorns, garlic, and mustard seeds.


The typical Montreal smoked meat is mostly served as a sandwich piled high in between rye bread. The meat can be fatty or lean depending on part of the brisket you get. Here are the codes to use to make a specific order.

Lean: dry and flat meat sliced from the brisket.

Medium: a mix of lean and fatty pieces of meat cut from the middle of the brisket.

Old fashioned: a mixture of medium and fatty pieces cut from a thicker part of the brisket.

Where to eat
  • Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen
  • Lester’s Deli
  • Jarry Smoked Meat
  • The Main Steakhouse
  • Snowdown Deli
  • Reuben’s

Among other diners and chain restaurants.

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