Wilensky's Light Lunch (casse-croûte Wilensky), styled in its exterior signage as simply Wilensky to conform to one interpretation of Bill 101, is a lunch counter located at 34 Fairmount Avenue West in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Opened in 1932 by Moe Wilensky, the restaurant was immortalized in Mordecai Richler's novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Scenes in the film version of the book were shot in the restaurant.[1]

Wilensky's Light Lunch
Wilensky's storefront
Location within Montreal
Restaurant information
Established (1932-05-15) May 15, 1932
Food typeLunch counter and soda fountain
Dress codeCasual
Street address34 Fairmount Avenue West
Postal/ZIP CodeH2T 2M1
Coordinates45.523302°N 73.594932°W / 45.523302; -73.594932


Wilensky's is most famous for its Special: a grilled salami-from-beef and bologna-from-beef sandwich with mustard on a kaiser roll, pressed flat from the grill — mustard is compulsory, as a sign in the restaurant announces.[2] Though recognized as part of Montreal's Jewish community the restaurant, like most Canadian Jews, does not keep kosher. Their soft drinks are still mixed by hand.[3]


The restaurant was originally located at the corner of St. Urbain Street and Fairmount Avenue in Montreal's Mile End district. It moved to its current location in 1952 [1] and was run by the founder's widow Ruth Wilensky (until 2012), his son Asher, daughter Sharon and granddaughter Alisa.[4][5]

Wilensky's Special

The famous Wilensky's special sandwich is a grilled bologna sandwich. It was included in Travel + Leisure magazine's May 2012 edition's article about the 'Best Sandwiches From Around the World', written by Jonathan Gold.[6] It was also featured in the second episode of The Mind of a Chef PBS series with Anthony Bourdain and David Chang.[7]

See also


  1. Brownstein, Bill (2007-05-13). "Yes, there's something truly special about Wilensky's". Montreal Gazette. Canwest. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  2. "Famous Montreal eatery Wilensky's marks 75 years". CTV News. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  3. Kaell, Hillary (2003-03-10). "Nausea? What's A Little Nausea?". McGill Daily. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  4. "Bill Brownstein: Wilensky's puts on its party hat to celebrate 85th birthday". 12 May 2017.
  5. Sietsema, Robert (November 2010), "The Inspiration for Mile End's Ruth Wilensky Sandwich", The Village Voice
  6. Travel + Leisure, "Best Sandwiches From Around the World" page 10; The Wilensky’s Special, Montreal. May 2012
  7. Eater, "Watch Aziz Ansari, David Chang, and the Joe Beef Guys in The Mind of a Chef", 9 November 2012
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