We’ve all been there. We’ve all needed to stuff our faces in comfort food, whether it be after a breakup or another reason among the many that break our hearts and give us reasons to be sad.
We can unanimously agree that there are just some foods that call out to us more than others when it comes to our feelings. It’s always got to be greasy or chocolatey—basically junk food.
The fact is that our bodies respond to fatty acids, which are found in large quantities in junk food. Many scientific studies that have been conducted have shown areas of our brains being affected by the intake via a change in mood or emotion. There’s the suggestion of a release of hormones, which would make sense. The participants in the study with more fatty acid consumption were later only half as sad. Half! That’s always better than feeling like our world is crumbling right before our eyes and that there’s nothing we can do about it. When we eat the 20 popular food items I’ve put together that are commonly craved after a breakup, our stomachs legitimately communicate with our brains and tell us to be happy.
Since we now have the proof right under our noses that eating greasy and extra-sweet foods will help us feel better, I think we can now breathe a little easier knowing we’re not just having crazy, seemingly endless heartbreak cravings. It’s a real part of the healing process!
Now let’s get to eating our feelings already!
20 ENDLESS POSSIBILITY POUTINES – POUTINEVILLE
We’ve arrived in a time where the whole world knows what poutine is but not yet at the point where everyone has tasted it. In Montreal, one of the biggest feasts for our greasy junk food craving is exactly that.
Poutine is the beautiful combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Different places use different cheese and flavors of gravy, but there’s only one original.
At Poutineville, you can customize every bit of your poutine. I recommend this place for a veteran, as novices must try the traditional version first.
Whatever your broken heart is telling you to choose—fries, cheese, gravy, extra toppings—you order it! So long as it’s enough to mend that thing in your chest.
19 CHOCOLATE EVERYTHING – JULIETTE ET CHOCOLAT
Next, we’ve stumbled into a dessert entry. And when I say dessert, I mean anything possible that you can think of to put some sort of chocolate or something sweet on top of—which is perfect for a heartbreak.
Juliette et Chocolat has an extensive menu with all types of desserts you can think of—perfect for healing. There are cookies, hot chocolates, mini cakes, brownies, waffles—you name it. They also have a brunch and lunch menu, but we’ll skip that since it isn’t comfort food.
This is somewhere I visit very often, even when I’m not sad or brokenhearted. My go-to is the inexpensive Intense Brownie that absolutely hits the spot every single time.
18 BURGERS BIGGER THAN YOUR FACE – LA BELLE ET LA BOEUF
La Belle et La Boeuf is famous for its ginormous burgers and mason jar liquor beverages. I’ve yet to try anything on the menu that I’ve been disappointed by… or been able to finish.
The restaurant is always busy, so you may not want to pay it a visit if you’re on the verge of tears, but I do stand by the fact that it’s the perfect comfort food. It’s the right amount of greasy provided in a great variety and quantity and best topped with a drink (which are large and diverse as well!).
I’m willing to divulge that I’ve been there with a friend a few times while we were both down in the dumps, and it did help.
17 YOUR CHOICE OF ICE CREAM – LA DIPERIE
This ice cream parlor has been opening their doors in many locations over the past few years—since 2014! La Diperie boasts more than 30 dipping flavors with a Belgian chocolate base that I’ve watched them make before, fresh on the spot. It’s no wonder their business is booming.
The concept here is that you choose your size of vanilla ice cream swirl (I suggest the mini so you can taste 2 or 3 different flavors in the same sitting!), then your dip among dark, milk, and white-chocolate-based flavors, and finish by picking a topping.
Considering that ice cream is the ultimate post-breakup snack, this is definitely a necessary destination.
16 HEARTY MAC’N’CHEESE – DRINKERIE
When I was first faced with the Mac’n’Cheese meal at the Drinkerie Ste-Cunégonde, I thought, “Why is the portion so small?” Nevertheless, it smelled so good that I just dug in. I didn’t regret my choice, and I also couldn’t finish it because it was surprisingly filling! It’s very cheesy but wonderfully nothing like Kraft Mac’n’Cheese (which I find gross) and includes bacon and a Doritos crumble-crunch.
I wasn’t going through any sad emotions at the time, but I can tell you with confidence that it would’ve absolutely made me feel better if I had been. It hit the right spot—that nice, warm spot that sends happy hormones to the brain!
15 PIES AND CAKES – ROCKABERRY
Despite the fact that Rockaberry is the place to go for a date, I’ve never been there for that, and the same goes for my acquaintances. It’s just as much a place for family and friends. It’s got specialized coffee, numerous flavors of cakes and pies, great lunch, and delicious dinner.
Usually, you don’t want to order everything in one sitting. You’d have to visit for a meal and dessert on separate days–I kid you not. Their coffee beverages are sometimes large and you’re served enormous slices for dessert, no matter what you decide on; even their meals are hugely portioned.
Dig into an apple-crumble, and let me know how your heart is doing afterward.
14 MILKSHAKES – C’CHÔCOLAT
This parlor specializes in milkshakes. When I say "specialize," I mean they concoct these out-of-this-world milkshake creations in a mason jar. C’ChôColat has every flavor you can think of, and it’s always dressed with or accompanied by the related theme. For example, they have one called the “Moulin Rouge” for a red velvet flavor, and not only does it have bits of red velvet cake in it; it’s also topped with whipped cream and accompanied by a mini cupcake. It’s like a piece of dessert art!
All in all, it just looks too good to even eat. But the healing processes demands we stuff our faces; we have to dig in.
13 PIZZA PARADISE – BEVO BAR + PIZZERIA
Bevo has amazing pizza, among other great things on their menu. The restaurant uses a wood-fired pizza oven that cooks the pizza evenly with an enhanced smoky flavor and in under 5 minutes. They’ve got many different choices on their menu and even a customization section. Their pizza is meant to be traditional, authentic, and in the same style as Southern Italy.
Did I mention already that Bevo pizza was amazing? They also prepare your meal as a single-serve, personal pizza. You order this pizza, and it looks too big, but you finish it off anyway because you just can’t stop yourself.
That’s why Bevo will make you forget all about the reason you’re sad.
12 ICE CREAM CAKE – DAIRY QUEEN
Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, namely the traditional Oreo-flavored ones, are so good. They’ve truly perfected the balance between ice cream, chocolate fudge, and Oreo crumbs.
They’ve been around quite a long time—since the summer of 1940! Just picture that—it’s a hot summer’s day in June, and it’s the last day of school. You’re glad because earlier that week your boyfriend ended things and you don’t want to have to see him every day. The last bell is still ringing but you’re already out the door, heading off with your friends to the new joint that just opened up. You’re sitting on a park bench under the blinding sun, enjoying a nice, cold DQ ice cream sundae. Life is good.
11 UNLIMITED CHEESY GARLIC BREAD – PACINI
Even though their food is filling and their portions are large, you're still provided with access to fresh, unlimited garlic bread! You can literally walk in, get seated, get back up, and have as much garlic bread as your appetizer as you desire. There’s a stand in the middle of the restaurant that’s just all one big stovetop. Pick your style of bread, smack on your garlic butter, and throw it onto the stovetop until golden. You’re guaranteed to leave there so much more than stuffed.
I don’t know what it is about bread when you’re sad, but it just fills you up in the right place.
10 EVERY FLAVOR MINI DONUTS – TROU DE BEIGNE
Trou de Beigne is a literal hole in the wall. The dessert parlor is so easy to miss that I walked right by it the first time I visited, not realizing I’d missed the entrance (twice). Then, when I finally got there, they were making the donuts on the spot! They had a set menu to choose from (that changed from time to time) and a long lineup.
The best (and most dangerous) part about Trou de Beigne is that they’re snack size, so you buy a dozen and eat them all by yourself in one sitting before you even realize what’s happened!
Best way to cure a broken heart? Lose yourself in donuts.
9 FILLING FRIED DUMPLINGS – MAI XIANG YUAN
Mai Xiang Yuan is another hole in the wall. It’s in Chinatown Montreal, near one of the entrance archways. Its name wasn’t apparent, so I had to memorize that it was “the entrance with the one broken step.” And then it moved 2 doors down (with no notice) to another indistinct location. I only knew because I recognized the servers through the window!
After a while, it wasn’t so anonymous anymore; people started lining up outside the door. For good reason, too. Their dumplings are just unbelievably mouthwatering. There’s simply no other way to describe it. I enjoyed myself every time I was there.
This restaurant’s warm, delicious dumplings have helped me through many cold, miserable days.
8 CUTE CUPCAKES – LES GLACEURS
Cupcakes are everyone’s best friends, and Les Glaceurs makes some pretty good ones. They’re large, in charge, and super sweet and dense. Your choice of many flavors, these more-than-one-bite cupcakes are filled with creams and fill your tummy to its borders.
You’ll be tempted to get a box of 6, which you can do—you’re upset, why not indulge a little to make yourself happier? But I’ll advise now that one is filling enough—two at most.
They’re also so cute that you won’t even want to take a bite!
If eating them doesn’t boost your spirits, looking at them definitely will.
7 SPOILS OF ITALY – ARTIGIANI
If your way of coping with a broken heart is to surround yourself with delicious food with recipes straight from Italy, then the right place to head is Artigiani.
The restaurant has a variety of great dishes on the menu that don't disappoint when ordered. It has a nice ambiance, wonderful service, and undeniably genius cooks in their kitchen. It even looks like an authentic gem you’d find hidden away somewhere in Italy.
My favorites here are the meatballs, the arancini, the pizza, and the pasta. Just an FYI—I basically named the majority of the items on the menu as my favorites…
Artigiani will make you believe you’ve escaped on your Eurotrip, and you’ll forget all about your problems!
6 DEEP FRIED OREOS – TABLE 51
There's only one Table 51. It’s located in Laval, so not everyone can easily get to it, but let me tell you that it’s worth it.
Their meals are great, but even if you’re going for the sole purpose of indulging in their fried Oreos, you’d have every right and reason. There’s just something about that fried goodness that not only swims deliciously in your mouth but also ends up in the right location to spread that warmth through your body and soul, making you feel happy.
This is definitely a great breakup food to stuff your face with. I’m just not sure how many you can eat!
5 SHAWARMA AND GARLIC POTATOES – BOUSTAN
Garlic potatoes, yum. Shawarma, yum. Boustan, incredible. You’ll always receive a large portion here, and it’ll be full of sauces and spices. It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods that just puts you in a better mood by the time you’re done eating it compared to when you started.
I’d never tried this style of food until my early 20s, and when I tasted it, I couldn’t believe what I was missing out on all those years.
I’ve eaten at Boustan for many different occasions, and although I've gone there with different moods, I've never left sad. Based on my feelings after each time I've finished my plate, I think it’s safe to say this food has the healing power we’re searching for.
4 COOKIE DOUGH CONES – SIMPLEMENT D LICHE
Ah, cookie dough—dancing on such a fine line between edible and not. Considering there’s raw egg in the recipe, it definitely isn’t good to eat uncooked (which we’re all guilty of doing anyway!). Simplement D Liche has found a way through this terrible reality! They’ve removed the egg from the recipe, making it safe to eat and are now serving raw chocolate chip cookie dough on colorful ice cream cones with your choice of added toppings!
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that a whole tube of raw cookie dough is a safe second on the list of go-to post-breakup snacks, so the fact that it’s safe to eat might make it number 1 now!
3 TACOS – 3 AMIGOS
3 Amigos is stuff-your-face central! Cheap burritos and tacos and large drinks that make you forget you just ate so you order more will definitely make you forget whatever (or whoever) it was that hurt you.
It’s light on the wallet, and the food is flavorful and plentiful and can support the comically large glass your drink arrives in. It’s one of those places that once you go that first time, you’ll end up with a craving for it and return another day as I did!
Not only is it a fun place to go to leave your worries behind, but it’ll also help erase whatever bad memory you have—at least temporarily!
2 STUFF YOUR FACE WITH COOKIES – FÉLIX AND NORTON
These are those large, melt-in-your-mouth cookies you’ve 100% heard about. Félix and Norton have a food truck stationed at the Old Port of Montreal where you can buy one (or three) hot off the press, which I recommend trying at least once in your life.
The best part is that they sell them in packages at many grocery stores now, so if you’re in that bummer, down-in-the-gutter brokenhearted mood where you just want to cuddle under the covers of your bed and never leave, you can devour these at your own pace from the comfort of the little nook you’ve made!
1 S’MORES ON A CAMPFIRE – COCOA 70
Cocoa 70 is a dessert parlor like the others earlier mentioned where you have an abundance of choice laid out in front of you.
You can order different styles of chocolate (Nutella, dark, milk, white) on different dishes (waffles, crepes, brownies, pizza) but their signature dish is the “Grilled Marshmallow.” The team provides you with the ingredients to make a s’more yourself (plus some nice extras) as if you’re sitting by a campfire.
They don’t only sell tasty all-chocolate-all-the-time desserts; they sell experiences, which is a surefire way to get your mind off your heartbreak and move on with a full belly.