10 years of street food in Montreal

Along the river, fruit trees, magnificent site: the flagship gathering of street trucks in Montreal, Les Premiers Fridays, will go island-hopping to celebrate its 10th anniversary! The event has a very special edition for food lovers this weekend, from August 5 to 7, at the Quai de l’horloge in the Old Port.

Since 2012 now, food trucks and restaurateurs have converged on the Olympic Park esplanade once a month, from June to October. The First Fridays now brings together more than fifty.

The first edition brought together six trucks and a maximum of 1,000 people, remembers the founder of this monthly meeting, Guy Vincent Melo. Today, up to 24,000 people will eat, drink and listen to music on First Fridays. “It’s completely stupid. It’s a dream come true,” he said of the largest gathering of its kind in Canada.

First Fridays last July. Photo: Charles-Olivier B

“Embrace culture, life”

To celebrate the first decade of First Fridays, “we wanted to do something beautiful and extravagant,” says Guy Vincent.

“We want to share our love of street food with people, offer them the best food trucks and a beautiful musical program, so that they understand that street food is to embrace culture, life. I’m super romantic saying that, but our conversation plunges me into nostalgia, and I smile, ”he continues.

On the menu: a culinary selection of best of of the most epicureans, brilliant and varied artists and DJs (including Easy Tiger, Ketsmy, Mr. Bowtie and Moses Bélanger), a host of activities for the family, such as soccer or badminton — “It’s very family-friendly, like a game of Monopoly, from 7 to 77 years old”, illustrates Guy Vincent. And the Loto Québec Fireworks will crown the festivities by lighting up the sky on Sunday.

As a bonus, those who come to feast on the weekend will automatically have the chance to win a trip for two to Venice Beach, California, to attend First Fridays in 2023.

First Fridays last July
First Fridays is an opportunity to listen to music live. Here last July. Photo: Charles-Olivier B

Turning for street food

In Mexico, country of origin of Guy Vincent Melo, street food is omnipresent. For the person who took care of the food kiosks at the International Jazz Festival and the Francos, it was insane in the past that Montreal, despite being “known for its joviality, its desire to live fully”, banned street food.

The only way to make it legitimate, to promote it and to put pressure on the City, was to create an event, he explains. What he did. And The First Fridays were a turning point in street food in the metropolis.

By celebrating the 10th anniversary of the event, Guy Vincent Melo is therefore celebrating “a journey that continues. Street food is dynamic, it is alive, there is a great effervescence. It’s something of in, fun”. Where we share much more than a dish.

August 5, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
August 6, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
August 7, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Clock Quay of the Old Port of Montreal
Ticket: $3 exceptionally in August

Epicurean programming

The special edition of the 10eanniversary of the First Fridays highlights the best of street food: Calaveras, Di Lallo Burger, Spice Bros, Le Petit Vibe, Ono Pokii, Jerry, La Cabane à Guacamole, Boom j’s, Les Jus de Bibi, La Cabane à Chichis , Armandos BBQ, Lobster box, Mignon Churros, Lucille’s, Poutine Factory, Smoking BBQ, Miss Tacos, Papi Churros, Mr, Méchoui, Au Palais des Mini Beignes, Calem, Ariz5, Camion Gelato, Maquis Yasolo, À table! Les Saveurs de la Savane, Churras BBQ, Boba Boba, Bisou Biscuit, Paella Montreal, OLAOLA, Rio Açai, IcyVibes, Voltigeurs.

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