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Montreal?

Steve R.

10+ Posts
Here's an easy one, since I think that some of you live in the area. We're driving from NYC and have rented an apartment in Montreal for the month of May. Although we almost went back to Paris or Rome or Florence or Provence or... well, you know... I was embarrassed that I've never been to Canada. Really. Never. Except when I was in college and went to see Niagara Falls from the USA side then went across the border for maybe 2 hours. And, given my state of mind, I don't remember any details anyway. Its time to remedy this and visit our friendly neighbor to the North.

So... I've done due diligence on food boards, TripAdvisor and with friends but figure you all will have some great, interesting ideas for things to see in and around the city. We already have plans for a 4 day weekend in QC, so ideas for there are welcome as well. Nice neighborhood restaurants would be appreciated as well for both cities and the surrounding neighborhoods. As I said, we're driving (yes, our rental has a garage space and we'll spend most of our time walking and Metro'ing). Thanks.
 

Cameron

500+ Posts
Like you, I've never been to Canada. I've gone to Paris for the last 13 years! I'm also looking at Montreal and Quebec City. From North Carolina, there's a two-hour direct flight!

I don't know yet if I can squeeze it in this summer, but I'm doing my research, too. I'm going to follow your post to see what's said.

My other Slow Travel friends have told me to make sure I go to Quebec City, a three-hour train from Montreal.
 

Steve R.

10+ Posts
I think that, if the apartment we rented this past May in the 11th was available this May, we would’ve gone back to Paris. But spending the month in Montreal (& a little in Quebec City) will keep our French somewhat in practice & give us a whole new area to explore. Let’s both hope that some recommendations are forthcoming.
 

Mark

100+ Posts
We were there for 5 nights a few years back. Hear are some of the things we did
Harbor Cruise
St. Patrick's Basilica
Christ Church Cathedral
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Chalet Du Mont-Royal
St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel
Not sure if we we went to all of the churches they were on my itinerary though
Old town of course
Restaraunts we enjoyed
Auberge St Gabriel
Europea
 

Steve R.

10+ Posts
Thanks Mark - much appreciated. Although several of the places you mention were already on my list, you've given me others that I did not know about. That's great.
 

Christian

10+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Montréal is my hometown and it's really a great city! I may be biased, but hey. It a big North-American city, but has a different "feel", somewhat more European. You'll see. If you have questions, let me know, but for now, I will copy/paste restaurant suggestions I gave a colleague recently for his first visit in Montréal:

OK, for breakfast, I strongly recommend one of these:
  • L’Avenue, at 922 Mont-Royal Ave. East. Usually a line up, but that’s a good sign!
  • Beauty’s, at 93 Mont-Royal Ave. West. – an institution.
  • La Petite Marche, at 5035 St-Denis Street – amazing brunch for $15 which comes with fresh fruits and a side mushrooms sautéed in red wine!
Those are pretty well all in the same area. It’s my neighborhood, so that’s why I’m sending you there!

Smoked Meat: Schwartz’s (3895 Saint-Laurent Blvd.). It’s not world-renowned for nothing. There is nothing like it. Period. And don’t go to the other places (like Ben’s). It’s just not the same. That area is also pretty good for restaurants (Portuguese and Spanish). Greek restaurants are on Duluth and Prince-Arthur Street. The best one in my opinion is Le Jardin de Panos at 521 Duluth Street, and it’s BYOB!

Right now, the restaurant scene is really hot in the part of Montreal called Griffintown and the nearby Petite-Bourgogne neighborhood. I would recommend the great Marché Atwater as a starting point, then walk along Notre-Dame Street, which is full of restaurants, some famous, such as Joe Beef, le Boucan Smokehouse or Liverpool House. There is great list of restaurants from that neighborhood here: https://www.restomontreal.ca/s/?restaurants=Griffintown+Montreal&d=145&lang=en

I’ve heard a lot of good about Les Enfants Terribles but I haven’t been yet. It’s at the top of Place Ville-Marie, so you get a view of the city as well. The menu looks pretty good too: https://www.jesuisunenfantterrible.com/en/

Another institution is L’Express, at 3927 St-Denis Street. It’s very French! If you’ve been to Paris, it really feels like a Parisian bistro! Great steak-frites!

I always try to hit one of the great restaurants on Laurier Street West (a few block between Saint-Laurent Blvd. and Parc Ave.). Great brunch at Toi & Moi Café, amazing dinners at Lemeac or Chez Lévêque (been there many times for their incredible Christmas brunch!).

I would avoid Old Montreal for food, because it’s usually overpriced, but it might have changed – I haven’t been there in ages. It’s still worth going just to see Old-Montreal, because it’s really beautiful (you MUST go inside Notre-Dame Basilica!). Note that there is a LOT of construction in Montréal right now. There is a huge transit project that is affecting the area around Ste. Catherine and McGill College and it will be a mess for a few years, unfortunately. The good news is that once completed,, the street will be mostly traffic free and completely redesigned. A new Time Out Market (sort of like a food hall) has recently opened in that area, but I haven't checked it out yet.

I hope I was able to help! :)
 

Steve R.

10+ Posts
Christian: thank you very much. That was very helpful & exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. Several of the places you mentioned, like Lemeac, have also been highly recommended by friends whom I trust & you've just re-confirmed that I should make sure we eat there. And, of course, Schwartz's, L'Express & Joe Beef are all high on our list as well, as are the markets. Others you recommend, like Le Jardin de Panos will now be added. I did not know about www.restomontreal.ca and have now included it on the list of links like eater.com, timeout.com, resy.com and several food boards' Montreal pages. I'm guessing that we'll eat well.
As we will have a car, are there any sites/sights out of the city or in adjacent areas that we should go to? I think we've found an interesting looking abbey and maybe a winery that we'll try to visit during the month, but we'll hopefully have time for exploring further so ideas would be welcome. Additionally, we're bringing our tennis stuff so, if by any chance you know of places that will welcome us, please let me know.
Again, thanks.
 

Christian

10+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I don't play tennis, but I know of two parks that have courts: Park Lafontaine in the "Plateau" and Park Jeanne-Mance at the foot of Mount Royal. They charge $13 an hour and reservtions can only be made by phone (Lafontaine: 514 872-3626 and Jeanne-Mance: 514-872-5520).

You say you rented an apartment for the month of May. Is it for the entire month? Where will you be located? If so, I would definitely suggest you go to Quebec City for an overnight!! Not too far from Montréal would be Mont Tremblant (Saint-Sauveur). It's quite nice!
Montréal's subway system (or métro) is great. It's entirely underground, crosses both shores (Montréal is an island) and is beautiful and clean (and supposed to be the only one in the world that runs on tires!).
 

Steve R.

10+ Posts
Thanks again. We’ve rented in the high rise building next to the Bell Center & will be there the entire month. During th month, we plan to go to QC for a four day weekend. As with NYC, we plan to leave our car in the provided garage space and walk, metro & taxi our way around when exploring & eating in the city. Thanks for the tennis info.
 

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