At the end of May, when the city of Toronto concluded their burger week, people here in Montreal took notice. Social media discussions debated whether or not Montreal could handle a similar idea. Well, it wasn’t much of a debate since the idea was awesome. In the weeks that followed Toronto’s Burger Week, seeds of interest popped up, all pointing towards Burger Week MTL.
This week, from September 1-7, citizens of the island of Montreal are venturing to the 30-some different restaurants participating in the first ever Burger Week MTL. Each restaurant has created special burgers for the occasion, ranging from 5 dollars to 15 dollars.
When diners order the special Burger Week MTL creation, they are handed a card used to vote on their favorite selections. As diners eat burgers and check in through social media, they can earn points to win free stuff.
Celebrity judges, including athletes from the Canadiens and Alouettes, are also involved. Throughout the week, the Burger Week MTL team has driven each celebrity judge to two restaurants: the first is the celebrity choice, the second depends on which restaurant is getting the most votes from the public.
In the end, Burger Week MTL is not meant to be the definitive answer to the age-old question of the best burger in Montreal. It’s really a week dedicated to seeing the city through the buns of a outstanding burger.
That being said, the Montreal burger scene is thriving, and hopes for next year’s Burger Week are already running high. If you missed this year’s Burger Week MTL, here are five burgers that represent the city well any time of year.
L’Anecdote is a classic diner located within walking distance from Parc Lafontaine. Seeing it in person is the only way you can appreciate just how small it really is. Among the best of this restaurant’s menu is the double cheeseburger with bacon. With the inclusion of mushrooms, you’ll enjoy each and every bite.
Montreal is known for being a happening city, which requires round-the-clock service. Paulo & Suzanne, located in the northern end of the island, does just that. Their aptly named Burger Ultime showcases the variety that is on their menu. It may be a tad small, but it packs a wallop. Think of it as an upscale version of a Big Mac.
While the Mile-End part of Montreal is jam-packed with different culinary experiences, none is as truly classic as Nouveau Palais, especially since it has been resurrected by an ambitious chef and her team. The most telling signs of having a great burger is the evidence it leaves behind: juices flowing all over you, because it was cooked just about right. While they don’t want to be known strictly as a burger place, they do offer one of the strongest burgers on the entire island. And they may not be able to fight the association for long, as they opened their Winneburger food truck this year.
In 2011, the retro-chic Deville Dinerbar burst onto the Montreal restaurant scene. Their eponymous Deville Burger is a monster of a creation, boasting some of the best ingredients available — lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, pickles, Dinerbar signature sauce, cheddar cheese, and bacon on a brioche bun.
The financial district of Montreal is all about moving quick and making money. Le Gros Jambon’s menu, designed for people on their lunch hours, offers creative fare for a decent price. There is no way you can turn down their burger, with a deep fried pickle and Coca-Cola based mayonnaise. As the burger disappears, you know that you have something special.
Mr. Lew is a high school teacher from Montreal, Quebec. In 2009, after trying Montreal’s supposed best burger, he decided to see what else was out there. So, every week, a new burger was added to the Great Burger Search. Since then, Mr. Lew has tried more than 100 burgers in cities across Canada, and hopes to one day expand to the rest of North America. Since Mr. Lew is part Chinese, the search isn’t limited only to great burgers, but to other types of cuisine that makes Montreal one of the greatest culinary cities in the world.