Montréal serait la quatrième ville francophone au monde après Paris. En 2011, la ville comptait 1 649 515 habitants dont 53% de sa population était de culture et de langue française, 13% était de culture et de langue anglaise et 34% était d’une autre culture, ce qui fait de Montréal une des villes les plus multi-culturelles et cosmopolites au monde.
Montréal may be an hour’s flight from NYC, but it feels worlds away with its dreamy cobblestone streets and la langue française.
Here, it reveals the sights, shops and smoked meats that make this Canadian city so merveilleuse!
Let me tell you what you could do when you visit for the first time:
Get a change of scenery a few blocks north of the St. Paul at Le St. Martin Hotel Particulier, located just east of the McGill College campus.
Once you’ve checked in, hop on a BIXI or take the Métro to the best (and first) breakfast spot in town: Beauty’s Luncheonette, a circa-1942 diner in the Plateau neighborhood made famous for its appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover. Get the Beauty’s Special — a Montréal-style sesame bagel lightly toasted with lox, cream cheese, tomato and onion — paired with one of their colorful smoothies.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s no need to leave the Mile End district in search of some of the city’s best eats. Home to both the historical Jewish quarter as well as Little Italy, the Mile End has since become the artistic (read: hipster) hub of Montréal. Grab a seat with the cool kids at Lawrence, a British-inspired brunch spot with a surprisingly solid dinner menu. Share a healthy mix of starters — new garlic with goat’s curd, corn soup with smoked sturgeon and gnocchi with chanterelles and sage — plus a glass of French wine from their expertly-curated list.
Continue the night around the corner at Dieu du Ciel, the brewpub offshoot of the eponymous brewery located in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. After a few saisons, head back downtown to dance the night away at Société des Arts Technologiques [SAT] on Boulevard Saint-Laurent, a nonprofit center for art and music that hosts DJed parties from the likes of Kygo, the Magician and Flying Lotus.
On Sunday mornings, there’s no better place to be than the Mile End’s Marché Jean-Talon, the year-round farmer’s market housed in an open-air arcade and surrounded by brick and mortar food (and beer) purveyors. Stock up on picnic supplies — including the city’s famously unpasteurized, raw milk cheese — and quell your appetite with a couple of Prince Edward Island oysters (with varieties including “the Phat Bastard”) at La Boîte aux Huîtres.
Before heading to faire du-pique nique at the Parc du Mont-Royal, it’s time to stock up on the city’s most beloved carb: the bagel. Montréal bagels are smaller and sweeter than the traditional New York style — which means it’s totally PC to eat more than one. Local adoration is divided between St. Viateur and Fairmount Bagel, which are conveniently located within a couple blocks of one another (for prime taste-comparing).
Once you’ve stocked up, it’s on to the park. Join hundreds of other Montrealers on the grassy slopes overlooking Sir George-Étienne Cartier, where Tam Tams, a drum circle bringing music lovers of all backgrounds, beats from noon until sundown each week.
For dinner, it’s off to the city’s up-and-coming Little Burgundy neighborhood, popularized in recent years by the arrival of rustic-chic restaurant Joe Beef. And even though the farm-to-table spot doesn’t take itself too seriously (there’s a Foie Gras Double Down on the menu after all), don’t expect to just waltz right in: reservations are required weeks in advance. If you can’t make it inside, try your luck at Liverpool House, its sister restaurant next door, or Vin Papillon, the charming wine bar down the street.