Take a culinary tour of Montreal’s Chinatown

A walk along the pedestrian zone on de la Gauchetière Street and around the corner on Boulevard Saint-Laurent lets you discover the traditions and festivals of the Chinese community while enjoying this bustling neighbourhood, with its many restaurants, bars and grocery stores where old and new stand side by side. Here are our suggestions for drinking and eating Chinese food in Montreal.

Chez Chili

1050, rue Clark, Montréal, QC H2Z 1K2

At the intersection of Sherbrooke and Clark Streets, Chez Chili serves cuisine from three Chinese provinces – Sichuan, Hunan and Dongbei – as well as dishes with Mongolian and Korean influences. The food is delicious and original and the service (in French) is friendly and efficient. Such generous and tasty portions are best shared as a group.

Dragon´s Beard Candy

52 de la Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H2Z 1C1

Continuing along de la Gauchetière, not far from Chez Chile, you will come upon a small shop that sells a classic Chinatown treat: Dragon's Beard Candy. According to legend, the recipe for this flaky, powdery sweet was invented specially for the Emperor of China more than 2,000 years ago. In Montreal, the candies are made by hand by "Mr. Johnny" from corn syrup, rice flour jelly, icing sugar, peanuts and sesame seeds: a delicacy to savour as it melts in your mouth.

Bar Le Mal Nécessaire

1106, boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2Z 1J5

Located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, down a staircase lit by a neon green pineapple, Le Mal Nécessaire is an exotic tiki-inspired cocktail bar. Those who wish to accompany their drinks with a light meal of Chinese food can order dumplings from the restaurant upstairs, Fung Shing. A quick glance at the menu of Le Mal Nécessaire reveals multiple influences: Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the Caribbean, China... The rather sparse decor consists of two main elements: a countertop bar at left, flanked by high stools, and on the right, three circular, straight-backed wooden benches, similar to those seen in Mexico.

Luwan Bar

1050 rue Clark, Montréal, QC H2Z 1K3

Luwan is becoming the new headquarters for Montreal night owls who enjoy dancing to DJ sets of the best hip-hop and RnB. Retro decor (comfortable seating, hardwood floors and exotic wallpaper) lends a special character to this festive cocktail bar, whose owner, Raphael Kerwin, is also the manager of the Blue Dog Motel on the Main. A DJ theme night, "Big Fridays in Little China," is held every Friday.

Restaurant la Maison Kam Fung

1111, rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal, QC H2Z 1Y6

This restaurant is tucked away on the second floor of a Chinese shopping mall, at the end of a corridor lined with various shops. Maison Kam Fung has become a Montreal institution for Chinese dim sum (steamed dumplings, fried calamari, baby squid in garlic, pork ribs, etc.); it also serves fine Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine.

Hui Tack Wing Ginseng & Tea Inc

1063 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2Z 1J6

You can make surprising discoveries in this Asian herbalist shop. Hui Tack Wing is full of plants, leaves, dried herbs and roots, stored in bulk in apothecary jars or drawers. You will also find an impressive variety of Chinese herbal medicines, sold in many different forms, from powder concentrates to pills.

Epicerie Kien Vinh

1062, boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2Z 1J5

Have you ever done your grocery shopping at a Chinese supermarket? At Kien Vinh grocery store on St. Laurent Boulevard, you’ll find a wide variety of oriental foods unavailable in conventional supermarkets. Exotic fruits are particularly abundant. There is also a selection of fresh and dried noodles, dumplings of all sorts, shrimp, balls made from squid and other seafood, many kinds of sauces (chili, soy, fish sauce, etc.), spices, vegetables and many other Asian cuisine staples.

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