Montreal's culinary king crowns Toronto best food city in Canada

Montreal chef David McMillan has broken ranks with la belle province to crown Toronto as Canada's greatest food destination.

Joe Beef’s David McMillan loves Toronto's lavish food scene, says Montreal has fallen off

Prominent Montreal chef David McMillan (left) shown with Joe Beef co-owner Frederic Morin. McMillan says the best food in Canada right now comes from Toronto. (The Canadian Press)

A prominent Montreal chef has broken ranks with la belle province to crown Toronto as Canada's greatest food destination.

David McMillan, chef and co-owner of Montreal's iconic Joe Beef restaurant, called in to CBC Radio's Metro Morning from his hometown to heap praise on Toronto's diverse, lavish restaurant scene and Ontario farm products.

"I've been looking at beef, cheese, chickens, rabbits, lamb, my god," he said. "I want to cook there!"

In a recent column for Foodism magazine, McMillan described taking increasingly frequent trips to the 416 to eat, citing Bar Raval, Bar Isabel, Rodney's, Oyster Boy and the Black Hoof as some personal favourites.

But what about Montreal, home to famous restaurants like Martin Picard's Au Pied de Cochon and Daniel Boulud's upscale Maison Boulud, not to mention enviable cheap eats like smoked meat and poutine?

"There haven't been many new restaurants. As far as competition, there hasn't been much growth," said McMillan.

David MacMillan is the chef and co-owner of Joe Beef, a popular restaurant in Montreal's Little Burgundy neighbourhood. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

"I'd say these days it's a hard city to live in. There's definitely corruption, definitely crumbling infrastructure, definitely lots of mismanagement of public funds, but not really incredible growth over the years."

Meanwhile, he said, Toronto has been gaining momentum.

"I'm generally impressed about the wealth and the richness of the restaurants," he said. "It's a really beautiful thing to see."

With files from Metro Morning