Call it street food, street grub, or -- like those smooth and slick Montrealers call it --- cuisine de rue. But whatever the nickname, the wheels are rolling, the grills are sizzling, and hungry diners are bellying up to food trucks all over town.
While these mobile kitchens might not be new to the residents of some lucky American cities, they’re a relatively new arrival in Montreal, no thanks to strict regulations and policies. Like back home, locations can vary, but Streetfood Quest conveniently maps them out. (The website itself is French only, but it’s easy enough to navigate.) The next time you're in town and hungry, check out these pioneers that have paved the delicious way:
A roving outpost of their full-service restaurant in the Saint-Henri neighborhood, this food truck was one of the first to arrive on scene. In a few short years, locals have come to see it as a part of the area’s identity. Here, soft-shell tacos, stuffed with pulled pork and daikon, are legendary. For a meatless bite, try the spicy corn-on-the-cob.
Au Pied de Cochon
You don’t need reservations at the food truck of Au Pied de Cochon, one of Montreal’s most famed culinary institutions. Like the restaurant, the truck is focused on pork and other carnivorous delights, as the name suggests. Don’t miss classics like the foie gras poutine and suckling pig on a doughnut. Calories never count when you leave home.
Le Point Sans G
These meals on wheels are the gluten-free arrival this season. From eggplant tapenade to sweet potatoes stuffed with pulled pork, from quinoa burgers with mushrooms to mortadella grilled cheese with pistachio pesto, all the dishes here burst with flavor and not a bit of gluten.
Who says vegan food has to be boring or bland? Picture deluxe sandwiches, salads, energy boosters, and all things organic, local, and green. Raves follow the felafel, hummus, and, impressively, tempeh. (If you’ve ever had a less than perfect experience with this last difficult-to-master item, Panthère Mobile will restore your faith.)
Chef Martin Juneau of Pastaga serves up one celebrity flavor, vanilla soft ice cream, with fresh homemade toppings. Other frozen treats include sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes, and citron or strawberry Mont Blancs -- essentially slushies topped with soft ice cream.
Café Larue & Fils
Eat like a local and start (or end) your meal with a coffee served from a former 1975 Citroen ambulance, often spotted in front of Notre Dame. It's now painted a canary blue, outfitted with a great espresso maker and two handsome men. What could be wrong with starting your day like this?