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“Iconic, must visit - once” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Schwartz's

Schwartz's
3895 Saint-Laurent Blvd (North of rue Prince-Arthur), Montreal, Quebec H2W 1X9, Canada (Le Plateau-Mont-Royal)
514-842-4813
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Ranked #120 of 4,413 restaurants in Montreal
Cuisines: Delicatessen
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night
Neighborhood: Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
israel
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“Iconic, must visit - once”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Schwartz's was on my must visit list on a recent trip to Montreal. I went and it truly fits the bill - iconic, historic, atmospheric in its own way. You must go there, if only to fend off post visit incredulity on the part of kibbitzers. But for this purpose you only need to go there once. The food and most of all the smoked meat sandwich is what you would expect. It is good and does not disappoint. But as a friend and long-time Montrealer says, you can get just as good down the street or elsewhere in town without having to wait in line.
We did of course wait in line, but only for a short time. They say that timing is everything and in this case they are right. I would try to avoid coming at standard mealtimes when the line can become quite lengthy. At other times the wait is not too long.
Speaking of standard, we ordered the standard offerings - smoked meat sandwich with fries. Isn't that what most people look for at Schwartz's? And it was fine. I suggest ordering the medium fatty meat that naturally is more flavorful than the lean version. After all we're not going to Schwartz's to diet.
Service was friendly and helpful and we felt no pressure to hurry. Nevertheless, this isn't the place for a leisurely repast with wine. You want to get in there as quickly as possible, eat your sandwich and leave.
The place exists in some kind of time warp and thankfully no significant effort has been made to update the decor. Nevertheless, time and historical developments have taken most of the "Hebrew" (i.e. Jewish) out of what was in the old days one of the symbols of a vibrant immigrant. Now it's more like Montmartre in Paris - kept going for the tourists. Long may it continue.
Go visit this landmark and have your smoked meat sandwich for old time's take. But once will be sufficient.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Porto, Portugal
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“The best smoked beef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Been going there since the 80's and it never disappoints me - the smoked beef sandwiches and the strawberry cheesecake are just the best all over. It is a place to visit when in Montreal and worth every penny spent.

Visited December 2012
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Delicious hole in the wall & great service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

I loved that it was small and simple menu.
I loved that the staff were great and we got to chat with them while eating at the counter.
I loved the pickles and cold slaw and the meat sandwich.
Maybe a few more drink options could be all I suggest.

Visited August 2013
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Mississauga, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Worth a try”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I managed to drag my family to Schwartz’s on our third day in Montreal. We were actually on our way to a different dining spot when I realized the two restaurants were coincidentally on the same street. I was intrigued by the recommendations I have read about Schwartz’s so I let curiosity guide my feet. The restaurant is quite a distance from Sherbrooke station and along the way I tried to convince my family it was worth the long walk, Schwartz’s being a tourist and local destination and all that.

When the 8 of us finally got there around 1PM, the queue extended all the way to the sidewalk. We had already taken spots at the end of the line when I remembered reading about the shorter, faster route via the take-out area on the left. The queue here was significantly shorter (and indoors). We even managed to snag seats at the counter tables at the back.

We waited in line for 10-15 minutes but it was tolerable since the novelty of the place kept us entertained… from reading magazine and newspaper clippings to looking at pictures of famous patrons to watching the busy staff prepare and weigh sandwiches non-stop.

We ordered the recommended smoked meat sandwich, homemade fries and black cherry cola. Now I’m not familiar with smoked meat, but my amateur tastebuds found it good, the meat so tender and full of flavour. The fries was nothing special and the kids left most of it untouched.

The verdict? Delicious and worth a try but definitely not something I would want to eat often. If I find myself visiting the city with family houseguests (tourists) in tow, I might take them to Schwartz’s so they could try it out. But if it’s just me and my family, we’d probably eat elsewhere.

PS. I keep reading about Schwartz’s being a ‘cash-only’ establishment but we were able to pay using credit card.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great homey place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Quick service, no fussing around, good meat! Got there at 10:20 on Sunday to be told they don't seat until 10:30. We came back at 10:40 and half the place was packed already! Seemed to be lots of tourists in the joint. Plate of coleslaw was quite a bit more than I expected - should have shared it! The staff working there seem to have a good rhythm going on!

Visited September 2013
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