Just a quick reminder that these “Current Crush” posts are here so I can share a few of my latest coups de cœur with you. Some of these spots may be new, some a bit more honed but they’re all fantastic and definitely worth a visit. Enjoy the November edition!

9 Fairmount East / 514 802 8899
Tuesday to Saturday: 6:30pm – 11pm

iwashi izakaya montreal © Will Travel for Food

Iwashi izakaya’s ramen soups and fried chicken in the comfort of my kitchen

Did you know that for a few weeks now, Café Sardine – one of my favourites in Montreal – becomes a Japanese izakaya at night? I’ve always loved the industrial vintage decor and the atmosphere at this tiny 20-seat establishment and I love that it has another incarnation after the caffeine-addicts are done for the day. I haven’t been to Iwashi izakaya yet (sardine translates into iwashi in Japanese) but I have tried their ramen soups and fried chicken from the very limited take-out menu. I can’t wait to go and try chef Hachiro Fujise’s (formerly of Toronto’s Guu) other fare soon, as it all looks absolutely delicious!


252 Rachel East / 514 903 4384
Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm / Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

turkish cafe replika montreal © Will Travel for Food

A cup of Turkish coffee and a tahini pastry at café Replika

The smell of Turkish coffee brewing is the smell of home to me since my parents indulge in a delicious, black cup at least twice a day. It is widely consumed throughout the Mediterranean, from Greece all the way around to Egypt, including most Arab countries. I had my first taste of it as a child in the form of a cookie dipped in the dark, strong brew and fed to me by my grandfather. Perhaps this early start is the reason why I love coffee so much today. However, I did spend several years not liking the Turkish version because it was too strong and too muddy but I now order it whenever I come across it on a menu, which is why I was more than happy to dive into a nostalgic cup one grey November afternoon not too long ago at Café Replika. The space is large and airy with plenty of comfortable couches to sink into. They offer Turkish coffee as well as an array of your regular brews such as lattés and espressos. They also offer quite a few sweet and savoury snacks with a definitive Turkish flair like the scrumptious tahini pastry I tasted. Try the börek – a flaky dough stuffed with spinach and cheese – or simit, the Turkish version of a bagel and one of the old country’s most popular street foods.

PS: If it’s your first time ordering Turkish coffee, you’ll have to decide whether you want it bitter, sweet or “medium”, which is the way I order it. Also, word to the wise, stop drinking before reaching the end of the cup or you’ll find yourself with a mouthful of coffee “mud”! Turkish coffee is brewed with the grounds in it and it is not filtered so the grounds are actually poured with the coffee. You’ve been warned!

This address has been added to my map of Montreal’s best independent cafés. You can also follow my twitter list of Montreal independent cafés here.


FCO DI FIUMICINO – Pizza al metro. Gelateria. Birra
451 Viger / 514 861 3636
Monday to Friday: 10am – 8pm

FCO pizza © Will Travel for Food

Pizza at FCO di Fiumicino in Montreal

When I came back from Italy a few months ago, the foods I missed the most were the incredible pizze and the luscious gelati. It was hard to find those same flavours in Montreal, which in a way is perfectly normal. A dining experience depends so much on a sense of time and place that even the exact same pizza slice eaten at Campo De’ Fiori in Rome or at Square Victoria in Old Montreal would taste completely different. And so I kept looking until I walked into FCO di Fiumicino one day and saw the incredible array of al metro pizze (meter-long pizza sold by the slice). The toppings change every day and include some classic ones as well as some more creative ones, all created by the experienced Italian pizzaiola and baked in the imported Italian pizza oven. The result is definitely one of the best pizzas in Montreal and the closest ones you’ll find to the Eternal City’s slices. The Old Montreal space is small and is furnished with one large communal table as well as some counters along the windows. FCO offers a few Italian drinks as well as the Italian beer Moretti. FCO’s other specialty is their incredibly creamy gelati, of which several flavours are available every day. It’s nice to know that one can indulge in a bit of La Dolce Vita right in the heart of Old Montreal.


4500 Parc Avenue / 514 508 4776
Monday to Wednesday: 7am – 7pm / Thursday to Sunday: 7am – 9pm

la ruche patisserie montreal © Will Travel for Food

Pâtisserie La Ruche

Pâtisserie La Ruche has been open for about 3 months now, right on the corner of Parc and Mont-Royal avenues. All clad in recycled wood and bright yellow accents, the decor is rustic urban, warm and bright. Inspired by bees and honey, the pastry store specializes in sweet and savoury pastries, from flat breads to delicious sweet confections. A honey comb is displayed on their counter as an homage to their name (la ruche or the hive) and to their partner, Anicet honey, one of the best in the province. This family affair has dad, mom, the three sisters and one brother working passionately to bring you the best. I tried their carrot cake and their crispy ricotta and honey treats and they were both excellent.


1333 University / 438 881 2701
Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday: 10am – 6pm / Thursday, Friday: 10am – 9pm

christophe morel chocolates montreal © Will Travel for Food

The new Christophe Morel chocolate boutique

Just in time for the holidays, my favourite chocolate maker in Montreal now has a retail store! If you’ve never tasted Christophe Morel’s chocolates, it’s time to get yourself some holiday joy and catch up! His award-winning chocolates are delicate, refined and come in several formats from bars to boxes of stuffed individual chocolates to chocolate-covered nuts and fruits. My favourite is the limited-edition Peru Pure Nacional bar which is pricey but so worth every cent! This year, Christophe will also be taking orders for Christmas logs (bûches de Noël) and from having had the privilege to taste one of his bûches, I can assure you that they are absolutely delicious.


201 Fairmount West / 514 274 0919
Monday to Friday: 9am – 9pm / Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 5pm

arts cafe © Will Travel for Food

Brunch at Arts Café in Montreal

I have often walked by this spot without stopping and it’s always been extremely busy, especially for weekend brunches. I finally visited a few weeks ago and I discovered a cute, eclectic spot frequented by Mile-End hipsters in search of good fare. I was especially pleased to see that they serve 49th Parallel coffee, a brand that I particularly enjoy. They also serve breakfast every day until 11:30am, which is rare in the city. The food is creative, vegan and vegetarian-friendly and locally sourced for the most part.

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