Montreal is definitely added to the list of my favorite cities for a number of reasons. The food, the architecture, the people... where do I even begin? There are tons of things to do, see and eat in this historic city. Although it is only an hour and a half away from NYC by plane, Montreal seems worlds away from your traditional American city. The french speaking locals totally add to this feeling of being "almost European." This definitely influenced my decision to explore this destination in just 3 days, and I do not regret it one bit!
Day 1: Old Montreal
Exploring Old Montreal was definitely one of the favorite parts of my trip. We started off with an amazing breakfast/brunch at Olive et Gourmando, which was about a 5 minute walk from our Airbnb. I had a delicious hot chocolate, and ricotta and toast, while my friend had a cappuccino and "poached egg on your face" panini. Both dishes were to die for and warmed us up for our walking tour of the rest of Old Montreal. Next we wandered the streets, taking in the the architecture, and entering a few random stores, until we made it to the Place d'Armes and the Notre Dame Basilica. The Basilica is absolutely gorgeous, and a must-see while in Montreal. We walked to the Montreal City Hall, which is free to enter, and has a few exhibitions for tourists to see, before heading to Place Jacques-Cartier and Bonsecours Market. The market contains many boutiques and restaurants, and has plenty to see when wandering around. After buying 6 bottles of maple syrup, we made our way to the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, which was only a few minutes walk from the marketplace. This is a sailor’s church, and there are a number of little boats with candles hanging from the ceiling. We wandered around the Old Port for a little, before taking an Uber back to our Airbnb, because it was so cold! After a nap, we decided to walk to get dinner at Pizza Il Focolaio, which has pizza, calzones and so many options for both. They even have non-dairy cheese.... though I did not try it. Next we walked down Saint Catherine Street to Papparoti for some dessert and coffee. We ordered a coffee bun to share, which definitely satisfied our sweet tooth then headed out for a drink. 4e Mur is where we ended our night with delicious drinks and some snacks. Though we weren't able to try the secret menu this time (you have to figure out the password), we still had a great time.
Olive et Gourmando
Old Montreal Architecture
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal
Montreal City Hall
Place Jacques Cartier
Pizza Il Focolaio
Day 2: Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mont-Royal, Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Mile End
Our second day started off with buying a weekend subway/bus ticket and heading to get some breakfast. For breakfast we ordered bagels from St-Viateur Bagel. I had a bagel with cream cheese, while my friend had smoked meat and mustard on a bagel. Next we boarded the 11 Bus to get to Mont Royal Park and the Chalet de Mont-Royal. It was great to take in the fall foliage and the views of the city from the park. Everyone was out on this beautiful but cold day. We got back on the bus to head to the breathtaking Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal, which is the largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph in the world. There were many floors to wander through, and plenty of views to take in. I was truly in awe of how large one of the chapels were in this church. Once again we boarded the bus, but this time we headed to Saint Laurent to view some of the street art and get some lunch at Schwartz's. We waited on a long line to get their world famous original smoked meat, pickles and cream soda. It was worth the wait! To satisfy our sweet tooth, we had tea/coffee and dessert at Mamie Clafoutis. After a nap, we headed back out for some light dinner and drinks at Dieu du Ciel Montreal Brewpub. They had a great selection of beers, wine and food items. For round two, we ended up at Bar Waverly in Mile End, where the place was lively and the drinks were cheap. We stopped off at Fairmont Bagel before heading home for the night. They are open 24 hours!
Chalet de Mont Royal
L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal
Saint Laurent Street Art
Day 3: Brunch in Old Montreal, Saint Catherine Street, Poutine in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Bagels in Mile End
On our final day in Montreal, Sunday, we woke up early to pack before heading out for brunch. We walked about 7 minutes to Maison Christian Faure in Old Montreal, just before brunch was about to begin. Our waitress let us order a pastry and drink while we were waiting for brunch to officially start at 11AM. I had hot chocolate, a chocolate croissant, a cannelle and brunch sur la planche. This was truly an extravagant and high quality meal. Next week took the bus to Saint Catherine Street to walk off some of the food we just ate. We wandered through very nice stores, until we came across an Arcade. Amusement 2000 Plus was a really fun and random place to spend some time. Mario Kart kept us occupied for a while. Unfortunately, we had to return to our Airbnb to gather our things as our checkout was at 2PM. Next we took the train to get to La Banquise because you have to get Poutine while in Montreal. The line was here long here as well, but still was worth the wait. They have a lot of options for poutine, burgers and even have vegetarian options. After our delicious and filling meal, we took an uber back to Fairmont Bagels. We were barely able to fit out bagels into our carry-on bags to bring home. Finally, we headed to the airport with our bagels.