First of all have you guys downloaded google trips yet? I’m the kind of person who likes to have a slight amount of planning done when I go on a trip so that I don’t waste my time wondering around eating mediocre meals. My tried and true strategy has been to save places I want to visit in google maps and then download the map offline. Google trips takes it one step further and collects all of your already saved pins and creates day plans for you based off of your selected options. It also stores all of your reservations and is filled with all kinds of useful information like nearest pharmacies, transportation methods and currency information. Anyway it made this trip a breeze you should try it out!
If you asked me what my favorite part of Montreal was, apart from getting to spend the weekend with some of my best friends, I would definitely say how nice the people where. I don’t think I had one unpleasant interaction with anyone in the city. If you were to walk into a busy restaurant in the US with out a reservation on a Saturday night you’d be lucky if you got a table in under an hour and with only the minimal amount of side eye from the hostest. In Montreal we walked into bustling well reviewed restaurants with no reservations and once the owner himself rearranged his bar so that we could have a place to immediately be seated. From our Uber drivers to our bartenders, everyone was incredibly accommodating and willing to go out of their way to help us and I really think the people of Montreal are what made this trip so great.
So with comfort of the kind people of Montreal we felt more than safe touring around the city and checking out some of the best restaurants, bars and sights. Here are a couple of stops I would definitely consider adding to your list if you’re planning your escape to the land of maple syrup and friendliness any time soon.
See & Do
Bota Bota is a spa on a boat anchored in the Old Port of Montreal. This was the perfect activity for a chilly day in Montreal. The spa has 5 decks with a variety of temperatured pools, saunas and steam rooms. The coolest part of this place was the backdrop on one side you have a view of the port and on the other side a mysterious old run down building. Sounds kinda creepy I know, but the setting itself lended to some magical relaxation. They also have a restaurant on site and little nap pods. You could spend all day there or 3 hours for about $60.00.
Jean Talon Market
A huge farmers market in Montreal located near Little Italy. We wondered around this market one afternoon where we bought fresh fruits, ate a crape, and met a man who let us sample a lot of sparkling wine.
A store in which I could have easily spent my entire pay check. Lowell makes these amazing leather bags in all different shapes and colors. Their store is beautiful and carries a range of accessories and well curated goods for men and women.
Along the St. Lawrence river is Old Montreal, the oldest part of Montreal with parts dating back to New France. There is a lot to see down in this area, historic churches, lots of shopping and beautiful scenery. You could spend a couple of hours walking around down here.
Eat & Drink
Holy 12 course meal. Maison Publique served us some of the best french food I have had. We ordered the Chef’s tasting menu which was an incredible deal for how much food we got. The restaurant itself is small and cozy so I had no problem with being there for 3 hours as we dined.
This is the restaurant we walked into completely unannounced and were treated like queens. Damas serves vibrant Middle Eastern cuisines featuring Syrian dishes like Fattet Makdous, my favorite of the night, an Eggplant stuffed with lamb layered with tomato sauce, nuts, pita, yogurt sauce, coriander and ghee. The flavors of everything we ate were amazing and definitely inspiring me to learn more about middle eastern dishes.
If you are looking for something a little lighter in downtown Montreal I’d check out LOV Restaurant. Serving a vegetarian menu that seems very Cali inspired, this place is like an instagramers dream.
If you get to go to Montreal and Melbourne Cafe is still operating consider yourself very lucky. What was meant to only last as a pop up restaurant hasn’t been able to close because it became so popular. Try the cereal milk latte and the avocado toast.
Sparrow is a vintage looking bar serving dinner and a delicious brunch. This area of town has a lot of cute shopping in it too so if you do end up having to wait for a table there is a lot to see near by. If you go for brunch don’t pass up the mini doughnuts.
Vices & Versa
For local micro brews and a chill pub atmosphere this place is great! I don’t know much about the Montreal beer scene but all the beers I had were delicious and this place has a huge list to choose from.
Dieu du Ciel!
A relaxed local micro brewery with light snacks. This neighborhood pub is another restaurant that went out of their way to fit our large party. You would think that a little neighborhood bar would turn their noses up to tourists but it was quite the opposite experience.
If you are down in Old Montreal hop into Tommy for a quick coffee break. I could live in this coffee shop, or at least if I did live in Montreal I’d try my best to go here very often. With tall vaulted ceilings and a huge hanging plant structure as the center piece this place is just gorgeous.