Our first stop on our second day in Montreal was the famous Schwartz’s Deli for lunch. When we arrived, there were couple of people ahead of us waiting to be seated but we were seated within 10 minutes of standing in line. The tables at Schwartz’s Deli is communal seating so be prepared for that. Even though the seating is communal, people seemed to be focused on their food and not chit chatting with strangers.
My parents and I were sat together with the people ahead of us in line at the same table. The waiter, who was the same person who sat us, came by to take orders starting with the people closest to the aisle. When it was our turn to order: I ordered 3 smoked meat sandwiches, 1 order of coleslaw, 2 pickles, 1 order of French fries, and 3 diet cokes. The overstuffed Montreal style smoked meat sandwich was served with mustard already on it. The pickles were HUGE. If I had known how big the pickles were, I would have ordered only one of them. The fries were ok. Nothing special, just your typical french fries. The coleslaw was just AWESOME. Its hard to describe what makes it AWESOME, but lets just say we ordered a second plate of it.
The Montreal style smoked meat was good and I thought it was better than pastrami. I would describe the Montreal style smoked meat as milder and leaner than pastrami or even corned beef. Both my parents wondered how they were going to finish the overstuffed sandwiches but both of them including myself cleaned our plates. Schwartz’s has been featured on both Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern’s shows and there are pictures of them and other celebrities that have eaten at Schwartz’s Deli covering the wall.
Before you visit Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal, remember to stop by at the ATM. Schwartz’s is a cash only establishment. When I checked online the night before, there were conflicting information going around regarding Schwartz’s accepting credit cards or not. After having lunch personally at Schwartz’s Deli, and after being told personally by our waiter, “Cash Only” when my dad pulled out his credit card, I can confidently confirm that Schwartz’s Deli is still cash only.
When we walked outside after finishing lunch, there was a line starting to form along the wall. Daily long lines at Schwartz’s Deli is common so we lucked out big time by only having to wait 10 minutes for a table when we arrived. Schwartz’s Deli is definitely a place you must try when your in Montreal. Just be prepared for long lines, sitting with complete strangers and bring cash.