The sun is out, the snow has melted (mostly), and Mother Nature is pretty much screaming at us all to go enjoy a solid burger--a juicy patty smothered in melted cheese, all sandwiched between toasted, buttered bread--to celebrate. Montreal has a plethora of great burger spots to choose from, so we’ve narrowed it down to these six to get you started.
Dep Le Pick-Up
Your local dépanneur may not be the first spot you think of to go for a deeply satisfying burger experience, but Dep Le Pick-Up will challenge your preconceptions. The griddled patty topped with melty Kraft cheese is the stuff of drive-in nostalgia, and not at all in a bad way. It’s the type of meal you want when you don’t feel like thinking about food but just need to know that it’s going to hit the spot. If meat is not your thing, it also offers plenty of vegetarian options, including both a veggie burger and “pulled pork” made with enoki mushrooms.
Come for the burger and stay for everything else. We won’t judge if you eat your way through the whole menu. First thing’s first though: the burger. You can get it with or without cheese, as either a single (quarter pound beef) or double (half pound beef); or, go all out with the Tousignant burger, complete with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese, and homemade maple ham for that perfect sweet salty balance. Don’t forget to save room for a poutine while you’re there, or a frozen custard twist for dessert. It’s probably best to just make it your cheat day and leave it at that.
Voted by the Montreal Gazette’s food critic, Leslie Chesterman, as the best in the city, the burger at Maison Boulud is not one to take lightly. Given the hefty price tag of $28 (yes, that’s for a single burger), it has a lot to live up to, yet everyone seems to agree that it does. It’s fancy without straying too far from classic burger territory. Thoughtful condiments like onion chutney and arugula salad are sandwiched between housemade brioche buns. The real kicker, though, is the smoked suckling pig belly and Douanier cheese (a semi-soft variety out of Quebec). If you’re looking to indulge your burger craving, this is absolutely the one to go for.
This spot on Bernard in Mile End is a local favourite for late night eats, but thankfully, its burger is available for brunch and dinner too, so you can enjoy it whenever the mood strikes. It’s nothing fancy, but it is everything you want in a good burger. It’s cooked to medium and you can taste the beef, which isn’t masked by any over-the-top condiments. Even with the addition of bacon and cheese, it rings in at just under $15, and that includes a side of perfectly crispy, salty fries. The one on the late-night menu is even cheaper, although it is quite a bit smaller, which makes it that much easier to justify ordering two.
With three locations across Montreal, this burger joint first made a name for itself when NDG (Notre-Dame de Grace, that is) locals started to take note of its burger creations. With over a dozen to choose from, and the ability to make your own if nothing on the menu tickles your fancy, you’re guaranteed to get exactly the burger you want. Just choose your protein, sauces, and toppings. We’ll go for a six ounce freshly ground beef patty with secret sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, avocado, blue cheese, and a fried egg, please and thank you.
A burger list wouldn’t be complete without Uniburger, voted as Montreal’s best burger on numerous occasions, What makes it so special? Maybe it’s the Uniburger sauce, or the freshly ground Canadian beef, but likely, it’s the combination of ingredients and execution that make this burger the thing of beauty that it is. Wash it down with a milkshake and you are smooth, smooth sailing. Oh, and don’t forget a side of fries – they’re double-fried in peanut oil until ethereally crispy.