Some questions

Can you order poutine with the sauce and curds separately? I mean not dumped on top of the potatoes, which is such a waste of crispy fried potatoes.

What’s the French term for beer samplers (a tray of several small beers together)? I may not want to order a whole glass straight away.

And tipping. This is one of the most distressing things for us. (Why does the goverment inflict this on people, especially tourists?) I guess we just add extra 15% to the before tax? 15% is a “safe” amount as I’ve read it could be 10-20%.

What services do not “require” tipping?

How much to tip a taxi ride? I will have to take a taxi from the airport (YQB) to the lodging as there’s no public transport. Some say they were told the price AND how much tip to give.

I am highly sensitive to noise so eating out will not be 3 times a day but I am in Quebec and Ontario mostly for craft beers, wines and cheeses so I still have to go to the pubs. Some pubs and restaurants have sadistic music level which is normal, apparently.

What if you sit at the bar? I’ve read you also have to tip the bartender for each and every beer, is this right? (I think this is more an American thing)

Can you drink alcohol at the market? Say you buy some food and sit down at a public table inside the market to eat and want to have a beer with your food.

And tipping if you buy from a market food stall?

That’s all for now. Thanks!

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Hello Presunto,

  1. Yes but its not poutine. Fries with sauce is a “Frite sauce”. You can ask for fries and sauce on the side. You can buy cheese curds at most corner shops or grocery shop. Actually, one of the legend of poutine is a guy buying a “frite sauce” and dumping a small bag of cheese curd on top of it.

  2. Samplers: its usually called “format de dégustation” (tasting format). Not all bars will do it but most microbrewery will. Just ask them for a tasting selection (small glass) and they should understand.

  3. Standard is 15%. 10% if you had a problem (you waited or are unhappy with an aspect of the service). 20% if you are a regular and the waitress calls you by your first name or if you are very very very happy with the service (joyous waiter giving you advice and making your life wonderful). To get 25%, you usually have to get out of the kitchen in flames and serve the client with your last dying breath with the stiff uper lip of an english gentleman.

I usually take the total amount of the bill (say 30$), do 10% of that (3$), half that amount (1.50$), add that amount to the 10% (4.5$).

Usually you tip if you require the service of someone. So, no tipping for counter service but tip for table service, tip for the busboy at hotel, the cleaning maid, taxi, if a teenager puts your groceries or your item in your car for you… I can’t find any other areas but there could be.

Taxi is weird. I try to give 15% but I don’t take the taxi enough to know.

I tip the bartender for each beer. I usually give a buck but I try to ask for a tab (he will ask for your credit card as a safekeeping) and that way you can tip 15% at the end.

Technically I believe you can drink alcohol outside if the bottle is in a paper bag but we are pretty permissive so I don’t think you are going to have problem with a beer or a glass of wine on a public table in a market. Its more in the street that the rule applies usually (i.e: not an eating area)

You don’t need to tip if you shop, go at a stall or buy from the counter. Usually you tip if you get table service and a bill at the end.


Thanks a lot, CaptainC!

Haha… brown paper bag. It’s so glaringly obvious. I’ve found some info about public drinking in Montreal. With a “meal” then it’s OK, apparently.

If I sit at the bar and pay the bartender straight away for every order, how much tip in total do I give? ?% plus a dollar for each beer?

Also, is there something decent to eat at YYZ? Not sure which terminal but I’ll be arriving from Reykjavik. I’ve checked the airport website but there’s mostly fast food, is this correct? I can’t bring any food, have a 4 hour layover after a 6 hour flight. I think I would be a bit peckish.

The queue outside Schwartz’s is crazy at anytime of the day. I still want to try, just to compare with Deli Sokolow.

If you pay a tip for each beer you don’t need to leave a tip at the end.

Its pretty simple actually. A pint of beer will run you between 6-8$ depending on where you order it and when. Lets say you sit at the bar and order a 7$ pint of beer .

Your first option is to wait for the bartender to give you the pint, you pay with 10$, the bartender gives you 1 2$ coin and 1 1$ coin and you leave the 1$ coin on the bar. That’s your tip. That way the bartender comes back. What I do is tip 1$ regardless of the cost of the drink. Its just more efficient.

Your second option is to ask the bartender “can you run me a tab?” and he’ll usually ask for your credit card, add up the beers you take during the night and you pay at the end. Contrary to Americans, we’ll also run a bill for separate parties and you can pay separately so you don’t need to haggle amongst yourselves. At the end of the night if you took 6 pints you’ll pay something like 42$ and you’ll leave a 6.30$ tip.

If you take the first option, you don’t need to pay a tip at the end since you tip each time you order.

I’m sorry but I don’t know Toronto’s pearson airport very well (that’s YYZ… did you mean YUL?) I’m afraid I don’t eat a lot in airports.

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Got it. Thanks!

Maybe you could copy and paste this in your Montreal thread so other clueless tourists could read, too.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr