As you make your way between tourist attractions during your stay in Montreal, one word you may overhear in a conversation between locals is ‘depanneur’. Taken from the french verb dépanner, which means to ‘quickly help out [or] to help (a person), when there’s a sudden difficulty’, a depanneur (or ‘dep’ for short) is the Quebec version of a corner store, a nearby little shop where you stop to pick up essentials at the last minute. While they’re a dime a dozen and generally generic, I have yet to find another convenience store like Munchiz Exotique.
Munchiz, located on Sherbrooke Street West in the NDG borough, flips the depanneur concept, foregoing the brands and flavors Montrealers are used to, selling rare and hard-to-find versions of everyday food items instead. While it is a small space with only a few shelves, it’s the specificity of the flavors and products which are the attraction here; a combination of retro snacks, international treats and brands rarely seen across the U.S. / Canada border. Ever dreamed of having Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a cake-icing format? In the mood for Captain Crunch or Fruity Pebbles maple syrup? Or how about cantaloupe or cheesecake-flavored Kit Kat chocolates from Japan? Munchiz’ may not have something for everyone, but its novel products make it an interesting place to browse for both tourist and local alike.