Montreal’s Chinatown is filled with interesting sights, smells and sounds and it’s a great place to explore, especially when traveling on a budget.
Montreal’s Chinatown (Quartier Chinois) is one of the oldest Asian communities in North America. It’s not large compared to Chinatowns in other cities, but it is an interesting neighborhood, offers affordable shopping and food, and the restaurants and shops stay open later than a lot of other Montreal neighborhoods.
There are actually a few Chinatowns in Montreal but the main one is on de la Gauchetière. This street has been turned into a pedestrian walkway and is a great place to spend some time, especially in the summer when it turns into a festive street fair.
Chinatown is a great place to find authentic Asian cuisine. There are plenty of places to find affordable and good food including dim sum and Asian pastries.
Because there are also a lot of Vietnamese-Chinese residents, there are some great Vietnamese restaurants and shops in Chinatown. There is also some influence from immigrants coming from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
As well as restaurants, visitors can find anything from fresh produce to souvenirs to kimonos, teapots and more. Many Montrealers go to Chinatown for imported items they can’t find outside of Chinatown.
A delicious and popular Chinese treat visitors can look forward to finding in Chinatown is dragon beard candy. It’s a rare and ancient confection whose recipe is 2000 years old.
Dragon beard candy is made from finely spun threads of sugar which are then wrapped around ground peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut or chocolate. There are several places to find it in Montreal’s Chinatown including Dragon Beard Candy.
Most of the Chinese markets are located around St. Lawrence Boulevard.
If you enjoy walking tours, here is an easy and free self guided walking tour of Montreal’s Chinatown.