Main Deli Steak House

The Main Deli Steak House, also known simply as Main Deli is a delicatessen and steakhouse located in Montreal, Quebec. The restaurant was established in 1974 by Peter Varvaro and presently located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard right across the street from their main business rival, the famed Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen. The two restaurants are often compared against each other in their patronage and the flavours of their Montreal-style smoked meat.[1]

Main Deli Steak House
Restaurant information
Food typeKosher style delicatessen and Steakhouse
Dress codeCasual
Street address3864 Saint Laurent Boulevard
Postal/ZIP CodeH2W 1Y2
WebsiteMain Deli Steak House (official site)

Varvaro is Italian in background, but grew up immersed in the Jewish language and culture.[2] The deli remains a family business, and two of Varvaro's children have opened their own smoked meat restaurants in the suburbs of Montreal. Some of the regular clients of the Main Deli in the past included Stanley Lewis[2] and Leonard Cohen[3] as well as Celine Dion, who has gone on to become their competition as one of the owners of Schwartz's.[4]


The Main Deli's main offering is smoked meat, which they cure and smoke in the back of their restaurant. Whole beef briskets are cured with brine and their own spice mix consisting of black pepper, garlic, coriander, mustard seed, and other ingredients found in Montreal steak seasonings. The meat is then smoked in a smoking oven and steamed to completion.[5] Peter Varvaro, the owner and maker of the smoked meat at the Main Deli indicates that while the spice mixture is important, it's the method of smoking and cooking the meat that contributes to its flavours and textures.[2]

The restaurant is also well known for their smoked meat poutine and smoked meat burger.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sax, David (2010-10-01), Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, Mariner Books, ISBN 0-547-38644-3
  2. ^ a b c Pope, Jeanne (2006), "Birth of the Smokemeat", RCI Vision, CBC Radio Canada
  3. ^ Langlois, Christine (October 2009), First We Take The Main (PDF), Reader's Digest
  4. ^ WYATT, NELSON (March 11, 2012), "Celine Dion: Montreal's Schwartz's will go on", The Chronicle Herald, archived from the original on 2012-03-14, retrieved 2019-11-27
  5. ^ a b Catucci, John (2013), "Evelyn's Memory, The Main, Dangerous Dan's", You Gotta Eat Here!, Food Network Canada

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 45°30′57″N 73°34′39″W / 45.515925°N 73.577582°W / 45.515925; -73.577582