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AFAR Explorer’s Montreal

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Avenue Duluth E, Montréal, QC, Canada
One of the first things I learned about Montreal while attending McGill University is that the tourists head to the Old City and western parts of town, while the locals go east. Vieux Montreal, while quaint and cobblestoned, is an overpriced...
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2049 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K8, Canada
Outrageously good craft beer and the best nachos in Montreal. A tidy little patio with views of one of Montreal's more eclectic neighborhoods, plenty of Canadian tuxedos, and a disturbing number of toque wearing folk. Good times had by all. I'm a...
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29 Laurier Avenue, Montréal, QC H2T 2N2, Canada
I never pass up an opportunity to sample fresh concoctions at my favorite Montreal brewpub. The atmosphere is lively, the servers extremely knowledgeable, and the snackables extraordinary. I'm a huge fan of Peche Mortel (Imperial Coffee Stout),...
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1012 Avenue du Mont-Royal E #101, Montréal, QC H2J 1X6, Canada
You know how they say that Montreal is a happy mixture of North America and Europe? Well, if there's one place in the city that's truly unique, and not influenced by any other colony, it's Plateau Mont-Royal. Located just a few minutes north of...
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312 Rue du Square Saint Louis, Montréal, QC H2X 1A5, Canada
The Carré Saint-Louis (also known as St. Louis Square) is one of Montréal's most important literary streetscapes. Famed Québecois poets Émile Nelligan and Gaston Miron called this home. Brightly painted Victorian/Second Empire graystone rowhouses...
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1300 Avenue Laurier E, Montréal, QC H2J 1H3, Canada
This place is nothing short of a local institution. Bo-Bec has served countless cones and ice cream sandwiches since it opened in the late 1980s, but the owner never changed the warm, genuine smile he offers every customer who walks in. And that...
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Avenue Laurier E & Rue de Mentana, Montréal, QC H2J, Canada
If you only have a day in the city, go to Mont-Royal park for the views. But if you have more time, I strongly suggest you also visit Laurier Park, just a stone throw's from Laurier metro station. It's the park Montrealers enjoy the most. Mature...
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112 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2T 1N8, Canada
We all know the 21st century hasn't been very kind to the music industry as of yet. But that doesn't stop À Paul Boutique from being quite successful, although I suspect people go more for the interaction with the exuberant owner and the cute shop...
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1266 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2J 1Y4, Canada
People who haven't heard of macarons by now probably live under a rock. Not just yet another French dessert to travel across the pond, macarons are a delightful bite-size sandwich-like treat, with a thin, crusty envelope and a flush, jam-like...
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1045 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2J 1X7, Canada
Chez Baptiste has been open since 1922 and although it recently underwent a rejuvenating identiity change, it still holds that old-world mystique that only places this old can have. Times have changed. Fashion has changed. Residents have changed....
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56 Rue Saint Viateur O, Montréal, QC H2T 4K6, Canada
You better have more than just $20 in your pocket when you visit Annex Vintage because it's assuredly going to cost you more than that - not necessarily because it's an overpriced place, but because the items are so thoroughly curated and well...
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65 Rue Saint Viateur E, Montréal, QC H2T 1A7, Canada
Welcome to the teeny-tiny atelier of the Montreal-based brand, famous for their iconic crew-neck sweatshirts with a bow. Talk about a souvenir shirt that is neither cheesy (looking at you, moose t-shirts found everywhere in Old-Montreal) nor...
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5326 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1A5, Canada
Although Montreal's Mile End neighbourhood is rife with hip and fashionable restaurants and cafés, this one is different. This salon de thé plays in another league, where lines are blurred between tradition and modernity, and where everyone and...
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160 Rue Saint Viateur E #105, Montréal, QC H2T 1A8, Canada
Did you know this is a Montreal-based brand? This menswear maker, specializing in shirts and suits hip professionals actually like to wear, has conquered indie circles all over the world with its web store, but over the past couple of years it has...
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1619 QC-138, Montréal, QC H2L 3A7, Canada
Perhaps due in large part to the city’s notoriously harsh, never-ending winters, Montrealers have a profound appreciation of their green spaces, always jumping at the chance of spending a couple of hours outdoors, basking in the sun. The...
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451 Avenue Duluth E, Montréal, QC H2L 1A6, Canada
Where in Montreal can diners hope for an affordable meal that isn't drenched in oil or entirely free of flavors? At L'Gros Luxe, that's where. This stylish neighborhood watering hole may look like a hip, Victorian-inspired and overall super cool...
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5171 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1R9, Canada
The perfect mix of a restaurant and a drinking spot, Hotel Herman on Boulevard Saint-Laurent in Mile End is ideal for either a three-course feast or a quick glass with a side of nibbles. The kitchen specializes in sophisticated, fresh dishes like...
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252 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2W 1E5, Canada
What makes Réplika stand out from the rapidly growing Montreal indie coffee-shop scene is that it offers all things Turkish. People come here not only to gorge on Turkish goodness, but also to enjoy the plentiful sun, the ample seating space, the...
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3670 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2V4, Canada
Yes, there is Old Montreal and the shops of rue Sainte-Catherine. But Montreal is much more, especially in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, a place famous for its alternative atmosphere. Here you find tons of street art, each piece more...
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34 Avenue Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M1, Canada
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Wilensky’s is sort of an institution in the Mile End. Family-owned since its opening in 1932, the place is famous for its extremely cheap snacks, no-nonsense approach, and retro decor. Pressed tin ceiling, Kik Cola clock, ring-up cash register,...
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3424 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2X 2H5, Canada
$$$$
A Montreal favorite, this wine bar is known for its elegant food and drinks— and comes recommended highly by Ritz-Carlton concierge Simon Bajouk. The wine selection is vast and the staff is extremely helpful in guiding visitors to something that...
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219, ave. Mont-Royal Ouest, Montréal, QC H2T 2T2, Canada
$$$$
With a playful menu divided into sections named "warm-up," "game," "set," and "match" sections, Le Filet volleys some exceptional dishes at guests. Opened in 2011, the restaurant specializes in seafood but does an equally good job with meat...
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3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2W 2M4, Canada
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L'Express, on rue St-Denis in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, opened in 1980 and has about it the air of a beloved institution. Indeed, with its timeless style, it feels even older than it is. This popular spot serves classic renditions of...
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1196 Voie Camillien-Houde, Montréal, QC H3H 1A1, Canada
Not unlike the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Empire State Building in NYC, the Mont Royal acts as a natural landmark for orientation-challenged travelers. The "mountain" (some would call it a big hill) overlooks the entire city and offers...
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4631 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1R2, Canada
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What started out as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it hole in the wall became a full-blown hype restaurant where masses gather to celebrate the joys of vegan cuisine. Thanks to the savoir-faire of brothers Michael and Liam Makhan, eating healthy can be...
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201 Avenue Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M8, Canada
Arts Café is pretty much what every coffee shop should be about: beautiful design, delicious food, and quality coffee prepared by competent baristas. Trust me when I say that after visiting Arts Café, most other places will pale in comparison. The...
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5135 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1R9, Canada
With local brands like Barilà, Betina Lou, Uranium and Eve Gravel, Unicorn is probably the one-stop shop for all things Montreal designers. The shop itself, cleverly located on Montreal's biggest shopping street and in the heart of hipster, artsy...
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1499 Avenue Laurier E, Montréal, QC H2J 1H8, Canada
The atmosphere alone in this Iranian restaurant is a wonderful introduction to any day. The sunny, high-ceilinged space on Avenue Laurier Ouest is decorated with nice wooden furniture and traditional Middle-Eastern patterned pillows, for your...
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4869 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2V 4E7, Canada
This favorite spot turned what used to be a dismal block on Avenue du Parc into a happening strip, inspiring a wave of restaurants and businesses to open around it. The bar’s stylish interiors are characterized by narrow, long tables for intimate...
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4105 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Y7, Canada
This handsome resto-bar on Boulevard Saint-Laurent trades in a fantastical aesthetic reminiscent of old timey circuses featuring mustachioed acrobats in striped leotards. The interior is panelled wood with a stuffed dear head and a long pale-wood...
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1302 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2J 1Y5, Canada
This fine dining establishment on Avenue du Mont-Royal is simple sophistication personified. From the look – muted black-and-white décor, bare bulbs, shiny wood banquettes – to the food, all is economical and judicious. The kitchen is just as...
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4234 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Z3, Canada
This inviting bar on the Plateau is open every day of the week and serves a nice selection local brews, but most days (as in 300 a year) it also offers live music for your listening pleasure. The raised stage at the back of the long space projects...
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19 Rue Prince Arthur O, Montréal, QC H2X 1S4, Canada
Kitsuné recently opened. It's a beautiful space decorated in recycled wood and vintage lighting fixtures. The coffee is excellent and the space inviting.
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1546 Avenue Laurier E, Montréal, QC H2J 3W5, Canada
This is one of the few cafés in the area that resists the urge to transform into a hipsters-only kind of place. Montreal Café is relaxed and eclectic, both in its decor and its clientele, but it never disappoints. Besides the delicious brownies, I...
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1432 Rue Mackay, Montréal, QC H3G 2H7, Canada
The epitome of the indie coffee shop in Montreal, Myriade is a long-loved spot for hipsters, indie music connoisseurs, and lovers of good coffee. Although the indoor place is relatively small, the outdoor deck makes up for it if you are quick...
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The intersection of St. Laurent and Fairmont is an intersection of awesome—Cafe Sardine, Boulangerie Guillame and Lawrence are all right beside each other on the east side. Further west, you'll stroll to find Fairmont Bagel and Drogheria for...
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5201 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 2L9, Canada
This famous and beloved dinner spot emblematic of Mile End is so popular for brunch, you’ll have to leave your name at the door and go for a walk around the neighborhood until they call you for your turn. It’s worth the wait, though; their...
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3418b Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2X 2H5, Canada
The long space is decorated with vintage accents and has a beautiful albeit tiny front window that you can sit at and do some people watching while sipping on a great latte.
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65 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2S 1R1, Canada
Although it would be easy to walk past Café Odessa and not notice it at all, locals know that this is one of the few detours that are actually worth it. With its refined and tasteful decor reminiscent of seaside Russia, with miniature sail boats...
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200 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T3, Canada
Coffee in Old-Montreal used to be a sad affair ruled by international chains that shall not be named; that was until Tommy opened its doors and blessed the tourists and workers of the area with its delightful espresso shots. But despite the fact...
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260 Place du Marché-du-Nord, Montréal, QC H2S 1A1, Canada
Finally, a decent coffee shop in Montreal's busiest farmer's market! Café Saint-Henri was long-awaited and, fortunately, doesn't disappoint; it features a very bright, elegant decor with plenty of seating and friendly service. Not to mention the...
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1001 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2Z 1J4, Canada
While the map says it's located in Montreal's Chinatown, do not let yourself be scared of labels. The area is more of a melting pot of several Asian cultures rather than the Chinese alone—luckily for us, if I do say so: the more the merrier! Pho...
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1127 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2J 1X9, Canada
The Montreal bagels at one of the best known bagel shops in the city, St. Viateur, lived up to the hype. Although the actual shop had no seating and was a hole in the wall, the bagels were delicious. Montreal bagels are distinctive in that they...
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1425 Rue Jeanne-Mance, Montréal, QC H2X 2J4, Canada
Ask any Montrealer the question "Which is the fanciest restaurant in town?" and chances are Toqué! will be a frequent answer. Indeed, quite fancy. But also quite expensive. Luckily, chef Charles-Antoine Crête, once mentored by Toqué's Normand...
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1126 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2J 1X8, Canada
I'll be honest—these are the first macarons I have had in my life. Not being an authority on the delicate little bundles, I can't say how these compare to what you'd find at other bakeries in the city, but from a dessert perspective these were...
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4175 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Y7, Canada
Not to be mistaken for the popular izakaya of the same name (and same owners) down the street, on Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Avenue des Pins, this Big In Japan is on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Rue Rachel. You may not notice the...