I passed Schwartz’s Deli along the way, a Jewish restaurant famous for its smoked meat, which inspires fierce loyalty in its ethnically diverse patrons. Even the waiters come from all backgrounds. At lunchtime, customers line up out the door, and inside tables are shared.
At Rachel Street, a small detour two blocks to the west, is Mission Santa Cruz, a Portuguese Catholic church, which is brightly decorated every August 15 to celebrate the Assumption of Mary. Back on St. Laurent at Marie-Anne Street, there’s a Portuguese quincaillerie (hardware store) and Parc du Portugal across the street.
Continuing up St. Laurent, I reached Mile End, where many of Montreal’s first Jewish migrants settled. Distinct Montreal-style bagels—far superior to New York–style bagels!—are baked here at two iconic spots, Fairmount Bagel and St. Viateur Bagel.