My Montreal Favorites
Collected by Marie-Eve Vallieres , AFAR Local Expert
My love, my hometown, my favorite place in the world. Each of these places have been tested and approved by locals, and are must-dos whenever you find yourself in the city.
1260 Chemin Remembrance, Montréal, QC H3H 1A2, Canada
From the top of Mont Royal (the city's namesake), you get this view over downtown and the St. Lawrence River. Frederick Law Olmstead (the same guy who designed New York's Central Park), laid out the public park—including "the Mountain," the city's...
351 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A7, Canada
This perennially popular bakery and sandwich spot can feel somewhat out of place. With its cozy atmosphere in a plant-filled space, and its menu of warm panini, delicious sandwiches on artisanal breads, generous salads, and perfectly executed...
7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
Ville-Marie, Montreal, QC, Canada
Where North American meets Europe, and where history meets today. Old-Montreal could fool visitors into believing they've traveled halfway across the world! Cobblestone streets and old, intricately ornate buildings abound—thanks to Montreal’s...
3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada
While New York has its pastrami, Montréal is the home of smoked meat. (The preparation of both is similar: A beef brisket is cured in spices for a week, then hot-smoked and finally boiled before being served.) Though others may question the...
110 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T1, Canada
A church—or, at least, a small chapel—has stood on the site of the Basilica of Notre-Dame since shortly after Ville-Marie (Montréal's predecessor) was founded in 1642. The current building, however, dates to 1829 and was constructed in a soaring...
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Le Plateau Mont-Royal is pretty much a living postcard of Montreal’s essence: picturesque, discreet side streets, wood-paneled cafés filled with angst-ridden writers, and tiny restaurants where one cannot help but feel in luck whenever they manage...
263 Rue Saint- Viateur O, Montréal, QC H2V 1Y1, Canada
A vibrant Jewish culture didn’t just bring kosher delis to Montreal, they also brought bagels. Once again however we see Montreal in an unlikely competition with its foodie rival New York. For a true Montreal bagel experience we stopped by...
4777 Avenue Pierre-De Coubertin, Montréal, QC H1V 1B3, Canada
From the observation deck of Montréal's Olympic Tower, almost sixty stories up (574ft/175m), look down at this stingray/spaceship-inspired structure. It's the Biodôme. Originally built as the velodrome for the 1976 Olympics, it was converted in...
3800 Chemin Queen Mary, Montréal, QC H3V 1H6, Canada
Mark Twain, when visiting Montréal, wrote: "this is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window." The general vibe here is no longer very religious, though. Montréal, in fact, has one of...
1348 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2G 3A7, Canada
No visit to Montreal is complete without a good poutine, preferably late at night (it is well-known among Montrealers that poutine is the best cure for a hangover). But instead of hitting the touristy Old Port joints or the busy Banquise, why not...
1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts) is scattered across four different buildings, or pavilions. The Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion seen here is the institution's main building, with its international art collection. The other...
312 R. 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...
732 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H3B 1B9, Canada
Les Trois Brasseurs (literally The Three Brewers) formed in Northern France in the late 1980s and aimed to recreate the tradition of small-scale beer-making, all while offering tasty, local dishes. Mission accomplished! An authentic microbrewery...
138 Avenue Atwater, Montréal, QC H4C 2H6, Canada
The whole province of Quebec takes its agriculture very seriously, and consequently you can find some incredibly fresh, tasty products. The vendors at Atwater Market are passionate about what they sell, and they are more than happy to talk all...
286 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T6, Canada
Ah, The City of Saints—La Belle Ville—Canada's glorious cultural capital. There's no better place to have a Canadian experience than in this great city. And there's no better place to begin your day than the gourmet cafe, Le Gros Jambon. It all...
273 Rue Saint Paul Est, Montréal, QC H2Y 1H2, Canada
Montreal doesn't lack for atmospheric restaurants in which both the decor and the aromas entice anyone who walks by. But my favorite of them all is, without a doubt, the Usine de Spaghetti, nestled on the quiet side of the touristy St. Paul Street...
453 Rue Saint-Sulpice, Montréal, QC H2Y 2V8, Canada
The strong aroma of sugary goodness hits your nostrils the moment you set foot inside this cupcake heaven. The shop is a calm oasis in the hustle of Old Montreal—a pink oasis, that is. Finding it is easy. What's not easy is resisting the sight...
74 Avenue Fairmount O, Montréal, QC H2T 2M2, Canada
New York City vs Montreal. Oh, the debate. In the ongoing Great War of the Bagels between the two cities, Montreal has always been the favorite contender, both among the proud locals and the tourists. Let's be honest here—Montreal wins, and there...
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...
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...
4351 Avenue de Lorimier, Montréal, QC H2H 2B3, Canada
If you are moving to Montreal or spending a few weeks on the Plateau Mont-Royal, you must pay a visit to Ma’am Bolduc. Located in a graded building on the eastern, less glamorous but more authentic side of the neighborhood, the restaurant has been...
2047 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2H 1J7, Canada
Few things make me happier than a good cocktail with friends after a long, hot day. Especially when said cocktail is inventive, delicious, and massive in size. La Distillerie, with four locations throughout Montreal (my favorite being on Mont...
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...
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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