You are what you eat, plain and simple. But to get around being ‘plain and simple,’ you must first start with the basics — namely, the places you buy your groceries. Montreal, the land of the cheap, has a number of economical solutions for feeding yourself, yet we’ve never seen a population look so hollow. Let’s put some colour in your cheeks and some meat on your bones, and do it with class. Here, some grocers that offer luxury/organic/quality options for numerous taste.
La Canard Libéré
If you love duck in any way, shape or form, you’re sure to find exactly the cuts you need at the best-stocked duck shop in town, La Canard Libéré an expansive delicatessen that specializes solely in Pekin, Muscovy and Moulard. They house everything from whole birds to pre-BBQed wings, legs to confit, and even prepared potpies for those who remain apprehensive in the kitchen. No surprise that the staff at Canard Libere are advice-savvy — we took their suggestion for a delicious duck prosciutto, a truly mouth-watering appetizer. 4396 St-Laurent St. 514 286 1286
Fairmount Bagels [pictured]
Although the word ‘boutique’ carries with it the air of exclusivity and pretension, sometimes it boils down to bona fide quality. Hand-rolled, wood-fire bagels are undoubtedly a staple in Montreal’s European culture, but really what sets Fairmount Bagel apart is that it operates 24 hours a day. This means that not only are twenty-odd varieties of bagels always fresh, but you can get them on your way home after a long night on The Main. 74 Fairmount St. W. 514 272 0667
Deli, butcher and épicerie all in one, Chez Latina is home to imported goods as well as local cheeses, meats and produce. Whether you’re looking for key, superior ingredients for dinner or a grab-and-go sandwich for lunch, this spot successfully blurs the lines between eatery and grocer. They also have an in-house, open-concept kitchen with seating if you’d like to stay and enjoy the atmosphere — the hustle and bustle of Chez Latina is oddly calming, and we never tire of the smells of fresh pastries. 185 St-Viateur St. W. 514 273 6561
La Fromagerie Atwater
A hotspot for tourists, La Fromagerie has a certain magnetism to it that even locals can’t ignore. The shop often offers specials on cheeses, allowing for both banditry and experimentation — if you’re lucky, you can pick up several kinds of cheese for under twenty bucks. Beyond dairy, another perk is that they sell a number of locally brewed beers. Yes, we know convention calls for wine, but rumour has it Brie goes just as well with a bottle of Unibroue. 134 Atwater Ave. 514 932 4653
Image courtesy of DubyDub2009.