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Mile End’s guide to New York & Montreal

Feasting is our column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.

We love delicious smoked meat here at The Manual, and we think you guys can agree with us. There are many places that do it well, but we can’t deny our love for the traditional Jewish delicatessen, especially in cities that are known for them like New York and Montreal. Which is why we’re so in love with Mile End, a Jewish deli that’s committed to breathing new life into old-world traditions with locations in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

From smoked meats and fish to pickled goods and freshly baked breads, Mile End has been feeding hungry New Yorker’s the Jewish comfort foods of owner Noah Bernamoff’s Montreal youth since 2010. Because these guys have such great taste, we wanted to know some of their other favorite spots when they’re not getting down on matzo ball soup and smoked meat poutine. So Noah and co-owner Joel Tietolman gave us the inside scoop on their picks for date night, noodles, great cocktails and more in both NYC and Montreal. Check out their recommendations before your next visit to these two great cities.

Noah Bernamoff, Mile EndNOAH

Best place for date night
Montreal: Vin Papillon
Small plates and natural wines from Dave, Fred and Vanya of Joe Beef. Enough said.

New York: Lucali
Best pizza in NYC, candle lit room, BYOB (Jay-Z and Beyonce also do date night here)

Best place to take the parents when they’re in town
Montreal: Milos
Classic, straightforward, high quality seafood, very expensive

New York: Russ & Daughters Cafe
A fresh take on familiar Jewish appetizing. Food for the soul

Best place for a fancy cocktail
Montreal: Nora Gray
Sexy room, delicious food and probably the best bartenders in the city

New York: Grand Army
Because of Damon Boelte, space cowboy and bartender

Best outdoor dining
Montreal: Liverpool House
Amazing food served among raised beds filled with vegetables

New York: Frankies 457
Super chill and comfortable, tucked away under the F train

Best place to see a show
Montreal: La Sala Rossa
Perfect acoustics for an old marxist meeting hall

New York: Bowery Ballroom
Super professional production yet a small and intimate venue

Best bagels
Montreal: St-Viateur Bagel
One of the oldest and still the tastiest

New York: Black Seed
Because it’s the best, no further explanation needed

Best noodles
Montreal: VIP
It’s dirty and smells like old oil, just like a noodle shop should.

New York: Biang!
Hand-pulled and done up real nice even though it’s in Flushing

Best coffee shop
Montreal: Cafe Myriade
First cafe in Montreal to really care about coffee as a premium beverage

New York: Stumptown on West 8th
It’s beautiful and you can order a pour-over of nearly every coffee that Stumptown roasts.

Best doughnuts
Montreal: Saint Donut
Because it’s my old roommate’s company and she makes whiskey donuts.

New York: Dough
So light, so fluffy

Related: Celebrate National Doughnut Day with America’s Best

Best butcher shop
Montreal: Boucherie Lawrence
All grass-fed, always local

New York: The Meat Hook
Because Brent and Ben are the best dudes and always know how to have fun.

Best burger
Montreal: Moishes Steakhouse
Charred on the steak grill, served plain

New York: Prime Meats
Blend of funky dry-aged trim, served a proper medium-rare

Joel Tietolman, mile endJOEL

Best place for date night
Montreal: Garde Manger
It’s the right blend of ambiance and great food where you don’t necessarily have to leave feeling stuffed like some of Montreal’s other notable dining establishments. It’s in magical old Montreal, so a romantic walk along the old port or the cobblestone streets is in your future after dinner.

New York: Lucali
Amazing Neapolitan style pizza usually made by the owner Mark himself in an insanely hot wood burning oven. They only serve pizza and calzone with a few daily fresh toppings. The interior is so charming, and you might be dinning next to Jay-Z & Beyoncé who also like this spot for dates! It’s BYOB, which keeps the date cheap in case the pizza is better than the date. I had my first date here with my fiancé – trust the power of a great pizza pie and some Lambrusco.

Best place to take the parents when they’re in town
Montreal: Schwartz’s Delicatessen
Nothing is more Montreal than a smoked meat sandwich, and Schwartz’s has barely changed in 75+ years, so you can’t beat the vibe. Really, just take anyone here!

Mile End
Image used with permission by copyright holder

New York: Carbone
Simply put, they aim for a certain kind of American-Italian dining experience, and there could not be a higher level of this example. Familiar and comfortable dishes prepared to the highest standard and a service level that is second to none.

Best bagels
Montreal: St-Viateur Bagels
Get it hot (24 hours) and rip and dip into Liberté scallion cream cheese. Don’t just try sesame, the poppy are outstanding as well.

New York: Black Seed / Smith Street Bagels / Bagel Hole
I’m biased but also not the only one who thinks the best bagels in NYC these days are made by our team at Black Seed Bagels. I’m even starting to like them better than the ones I grew up with from Montreal, and that’s saying a lot. For a pure NYC bagel shop, I really like my local spot in Cobble Hill, Smith Street Bagels, as well as Bagel Hole in Park Slope.

Best coffee shop
Montreal: Café Olympico
Located in the heart of the Mile End area, this coffee shop was originally a hang out for older Portuguese gentleman in the area, but now you can find it filled with hipsters. Also, the people watching is amazing if you can snag a seat outside.

New York: Stumptown on West 8th
Amazing coffee in a completely beautiful interior. If you are a coffee geek, check out the pour over/tasting room in the back.

Best burger
Montreal: Mister Steer
They make amazing, almost spherical juicy little burgers with steer meat and fresh cut susie q fries (curly fries). Get the twins – one burger topped with cheese and a second topped with bacon.

New York: Prime Meats
The burger is huge on flavor and size, and I think I enjoy it more every time I have one.  Those Franks (the owners) might have made a name for their Italian food next door at Frankies, but their burger is outstanding.

To learn more about Mile End and check out their menu, visit

Amanda Gabriele
Amanda Gabriele is a food and travel writer at The Manual and the former senior editor at Supercall. She can’t live without…
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