Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Montreal

This weekend, we are heading to Montreal for a three-day vacation. It's only an hour away but I've never been, and I'm planning on spending the large majority of my time eating poutine (which is quickly becoming my favorite food). So far all we have planned is walking, poutine-eating, and a stop at IKEA on the way home.

Have any of you been? I would love to hear your recommendations before we go! What are the best places to eat, drink and walk in Montreal?

Photo of Montreal by Jackie Rueda on Flickr


  1. Hi Katharine,
    You should definitely walk around the Old Port, the Plateau (Prince Arthur Street and Avenue Duluth are both nice), and Mile End. If it were warmer I'd recommend going up to the cross at Mont-royal. Premiere Moisson and Patisserie Kouign Amann both have great croissants and pains au chocolat/chocolatines. If you want to try poutine, La Banquise and Patati Patata are good places, and Schwartz's is famous for Montreal's smoked meat. Au Pied du Cochon is also famous for upscale Quebecois food. Good Asian places are Qinghua Dumpling and Le Roi du wonton (both downtown near Concordia University).

    Have a good trip! Bon voyage!

    1. Michelle,
      Thank you so much! We have a reservation at Au Pied de Cochon already, and I will add the rest of your recommendations to our itinerary!

    2. Not a problem at all, Katharine! I hope you had a great trip! :)

  2. Everyone goes to Place Jacques Cartier and Rue Saint Paul in the old city. That's the tourist heart of Montreal, because you'll seriously think you are in Europe. Super pretty, with cobblestone streets and cathedrals and the like. Makes up for the shitty t-shirt shops.

    The best non-tourist neighborhood is Le Plateau, which is about a mile inland from the old city. Take the subway to Station Mont-Royal or Station Laurier, and walk along Rue Saint Denis. There's nothing touristy there, but it's interesting if you want to see the more local version of Montreal. Tons of indie shops, some chains, occasional second-floor thrift shops, and lots of cafes and restaurants. And they assumed we spoke French at the beginning of every interaction, which was fun. (Then they heard our American accents trying for continental French accents, which gave away our tourist status; though apparently since we were so polite, they assumed we were "English," their term for Canadians who don't speak French natively.)

    The top of Mount Royal is worth visiting. It's a pretty park, with a great view of the city and a nice lodge. Don't try to walk or bike up the hill. Take a bus or drive -- there were a couple bus lines when we were there that left Le Plateau and took us right up to the top.

    Since Dan's an urban planner, he takes a million photos whenever we go anywhere; here are his Montreal sets, if you want to spoil yourself for the prettiness.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/beyonddc/sets/72157623333797099 - Old City
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/beyonddc/sets/72157623333622885 - atop Mont Royal
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/beyonddc/sets/72157623333579127 - I think all Le Plateau
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/beyonddc/sets/72157623458346710 - all transportation, all the time. (Bixi is the same as Capital Bikeshare, if you've used that before; a day membership for getting around is only a couple bucks each, and they have excellent bikeways and cycle tracks.)


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