If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know that I was in Montreal last week. I’ve only been to Montreal 3 times in my life, but I’m already attached to the city. I don’t really remember much from my first trip when I was a kid except for walking on cobblestone streets. In February, my boyfriend (Vince – not sure if I’ve really mentioned his name before…) and I went together for the first time and we both fell in love with it. A fun fact about my boyfriend is that his favourite comedian is Tom Segura. Lucky enough for Vince, Tom was performing at Just For Laughs in Montreal on the night of his birthday. We got two tickets and decided to make a trip out of it!
Vince and I took the train from Toronto to Montreal with Via Rail, which is a lot more comfortable than taking the bus. The tickets were pretty cheap since we booked them 2 months in advance. The Wi-Fi is horrible, but seats are pretty comfy. Once we got out of the train station, we called an Uber to bring us to our Airbnb in the Mile End. In February we stayed at Hotel William Gray in Old Montreal, but this time we wanted to try out a new neighbourhood. I found this loft in the Mile End and fell in love with it immediately. Check in was super easy and it looked just like the photos.
My fave little corner of our Airbnb
After getting settled in, we decided to walk down Boulevard St. Laurent and stopped by some cute shops. Here are a few that you should definitely check out:
- Lowell – Leather bags and local apparel
- Les Étoffes – Modern, minimal clothing
- Boutique Vestibule – Cute home decor
- V de V – More cute home decor (we have one in Toronto on Ossington)
- Ruse Boutique – Cool vintage finds
- Ibiki – Unisex clothing store that reminds me of New York
Cute corner in Lowell
We eventually made our way to Le Majestique for dinner. Vince is allergic to fish, so this wasn’t the best spot to pick. However, there’s a bunch of cute spots in the area that you could go to.
After that, I was exhausted and took a nap while Vince did some work. If you’re less of a grandma than me, grab a drink at Bar Waverly. When I woke up, I was craving junk food, so we walked to Nouveau Palais. We shared a poutine and mac and cheese, then topped it off with chocolate chip cookies + milk (a real item on their menu).
It was Vince’s birthday and lucky for him, he had an online exam for summer school that morning, or so we thought. We got up at 8:30, he was at a cafe for 9, and realized he couldn’t do the exam till noon… We met up at the cafe Brooklyn and had some delicious pain au chocolat for breakfast. When it was finally time for Vince to do his exam, I met up with my friend Karine for lunch at Larry’s. We shared: beef tartare; chicken, sumac, and fennel; cucumbers, onion and dill; and figatelli, potatoes and mint. After that, we got soft serve sorbet at Kem CoBa; I got a mix of Mint and Mango (melts fast, would suggest getting it in a cup!!)
Our lunch at Larry’s; a corner of La Montréalaise
We also went to some cute boutiques on Rue Saint Viateur:
- Annex Vintage – Vintage and locally-made clothes
- Sunrise Cafe & Collections – Cafe with cute clothes and home decor
- La Montréalaise – Very aesthetic clothing store
After that, Vince and I picked up a bagel at St. Viateur Bagel (a Montreal classic). Then, we went back to the loft and got ready for the comedy show! Vince and I went to Kampai Garden for a pitcher of lime mojito and some pork dumplings. Then, we had front seats to the funniest comedy show I’ve been to. Tom Segura is coming to Toronto in September and I highly recommend going (check out his Netflix specials before getting your tickets to make sure it’s your cup of tea)
The show ended around 9PM and we were starving, so we headed back to the Mile End. I’m picky with restaurants and didn’t settle for something just okay. Luckily we stumbled onto Maïs (translation: Corn) and had a delicious Mexican meal. They have a small patio looking onto the street where we ate tacos and drank margaritas. It’s safe to say we were exhausted and went to sleep at 11:30.
Breakfast on our third morning was at Cafe Olimpico; nothing like a classic cappuccino and marble loaf to start the day! Our plan was to walk to Dinette Triple Crown and have a picnic in the park. They give you everything you need: basket, blanket, cutlery… Of course, we would walk for 20 mins in the heat and be greeted with a CLOSED sign. They took a couple days off and were re-opening on the weekend. From there, we walked to the Jean Talon Market and picked up some food.
If you read my last blog post, one of my current muses (and friend) is Sarah Babineau. Thankfully our schedules worked out and we grabbed coffee at Café Ferlucci. Sarah, Vince, and I chatted over lattes and a delicious chocolate chip coconut cookie.
For dinner, we went to our favourite restaurant in Montreal: Foiegwa. We went in February and were looking forward to that meal for 6 months. We got the same mains as last time (#noragrets): cheeseburger and “Homemade spaghetti with butter & black truffle, 64° egg, Parmigiano Reggiano”. Tastes even better than it sounds. After that, we were in a food coma for the rest of the night. However, if you want to grab a drink after the meal, there’s a speakeasy bar next-door in an alley called the Atwater Cocktail Club. They serve fancy drinks on beautiful pink couches; a must if you’re in the area.
For our last day, we wanted a good brunch, so I asked Sarah for a recommendation. She told us to go to Arthur’s Nosh Bar and it did not disappoint! We got a seat at the patio before the lunch rush and obviously started off with some Aperol Spritz. Then, we shared latkes, I got perogies with date jam and sour cream; Vince got a smoked turkey bagel.
My sister was in Montreal at the same time, so we dropped off our luggage at her hotel and headed to Old Montreal. We stopped by the boutique Off The Hook and walked around for a bit. The walk came to an end when we got swarmed by winged ants (we are not bug people…). We walked back to the hotel and almost missed our train, but at least we made it!
There are certain cities that are really nostalgic to me and Montreal has become one of them. I feel at home and I find it’s more laid back than Toronto. Vince would move there in a heartbeat, so we’ll see what happens. But for now, I’m back to Toronto and getting ready to move in the next couple of weeks!
Let me know some of your fave Montreal spots so I can check them out next time I’m in the city!