The plan was to go on a quick vacation to some place warm to celebrate the New Year; however, at the very last minute, plans fell through for Kristen and Manny’s trip to Miami. Of course, we couldn’t just stay home this year; the travel bug had already set in and there was no turning back. K quickly searched for affordable and close places to go for New Year’s. Flights to Montreal were one of the cheapest out of all the major cities. Although only a 6-hour drive from NYC, with only a few days to soak it all in, we decided that a flight was the better way to go. The flight to Montreal was so quick that we actually spent more time on line waiting for TSA than in the air!
We asked around to all our friends and family who had visited Montreal for recommendations on the hot spots to be and where to stay. Everyone raved about the Old Town…so, we began our search looking for some quaint, boutique hotels. Of course, being that it was a last minute booking, most, if not all, of the hotels were booked. Thanks to Expedia, we still managed to snag a room at the Embassy Suites in Old Montreal. Not the boutique hotel we were hoping for, but in a great location and for a great deal! Booked! The flight and hotel were booked and the plan had quickly gone from a hot New Year’s to a cold one.
We had heard about how great Montreal was for foodies and couldn’t wait to see if the rumors were true. With a mini-vacation of only 4 days, we quickly made a list of the top spots to go for eating, history, culture, warming up, and some fun. Unfortunately, there were no hockey games being played at home while we were in town. Bummer! Nevertheless, we made some reservations at a few places…and as for the rest, we would rely on spontaneity and wherever the wind would take us!
The best and more is what Montreal delivered. We couldn’t believe it! We fell in love at first bite and every place we went to after that just seemed to get better and better. There was poutine, fois gras, fig, cheese, oysters, wine, espresso, and even some Portuguese chicken! It was freezing outside so most of the trip was spend walking very quickly to the next spot to get a warm drink or another glass of wine, which for us, is no problem. The time we did spend outside was taking pictures of the Old Town covered in snow…so incredibly picturesque. We kept saying how we felt like we were somewhere in Europe! With the majority of the locals speaking French, we were not too far off!
By the time we could finally catch our breath and take a break from eating, the New Year was here and it was time to go home. The trip was a great preview…but only the beginning of our love affair with Montreal. Although goodbyes are always bittersweet, we love leaving a place wanting more…and we will most certainly return. Who would have thought a slice of Europe is on this side of the pond and only 6 hours away?! We can’t wait to go back in warmer weather and for a longer stay to enjoy Montreal to its fullest!
Day 1: Love at First Snowy Sight!
By the time we reached our maximum altitude, it was time for the descent into Montreal. We arrived in the later evening, just in time for our first gastronomic experience in this city we had so longed to visit. After checking into the hotel, we made our way to the streets. Although shocked by the bitter cold, from the beginning, we were enamored with the street lights glistening on the snow-covered city and the overwhelming feeling of old European charm… all just an hour from NYC. We kept asking ourselves… How have we never been here? Alas, we made it! And we knew this would be the first of many love affairs with Montreal.We took a short walk from our hotel into the heart of the Old Town in search of a classic restaurant that came highly recommended: Gibby’s, a notable steakhouse in Montreal’s Old Town. It was recommended to us by M’s Mom, and she assured us we would have a divine experience.
Gibby’s is full of that old world charm and personality. Tucked away in a stone-clad archway, you will find the portal which will transport you to another world. Just through an archway off of Place d’Youville, you will find Gibby’s entrance. From the moment we arrived, we basked in the warmth of this resto….we were dazzled the incredible hospitality. Fear not if you don’t have a French word in your vocabulary…Montrealers are truly bilingual…amazingly proficient in both French and English as their dual mother tongues. However, we have found the experience is always taken to the next level when you can say even just a handful of words in another language. It instantly creates a level of respect and a bond that can’t help take your overall experience far beyond.
Our server was kind, humorous, and efficient. He highly approved our wine choice, a St. Emilion Bordeaux, and we think it even increased his level of respect for us! He made a round of suggestions and left us to deliberate over the extensive menu. How does one decide? In the meantime, we were given delicious fresh bread and all of the necessary acroutrements and then some… Bites of crunchy bacon to smear on top of the creamy Norman-style butter and some olives and pickles to munch on while you’re selecting your entree.
To start, we couldn’t resist ordering the mussels, as well as some spicy chorizo with mango chutney. Chutney is underrated, and it is just so darn good, especially when paired with a salty and spicy counterpart. Yum. As we tend to order more food than we are capable of consuming, we were trying to be more responsible and so we decided to order an entree to share….especially after our bread, snacks, and starters… So, when in a steakhouse…Eat Steak! We went with the Petit Filet Mignon, which came with a salad, rice, and potato. Wow. Still so much food! Can one person really ingest all of that on their own. We barely did between two!
Of course, there is always room for dessert! We went with the oh-so-French Hot Apple Crôute… a homemade apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream and warm caramel. It was to die for. We left not one bite behind! We were already completely blown away with the cuisine Montreal had to offer… and it was only the beginning!
We walked as slowly as possible back to the hotel (after some wine, it felt much warmer!). We snapped some photos of quaint back streets, French signs, and the snowy scene. We couldn’t wait for morning and to make the most of our day in this incredible city!
Day 2: All Roads Lead to Poutine!
Since the Embassy Suites offered a complimentary continental and made-to-order breakfast, we thought we should try it… even though we were thinking about how many pastries lay atop bakery counters around the city. We figured, that could always be lunch! And in an effort to get to quite a few sites in on our first full day, we decided we could eat at the hotel and be off on our way more quickly to make the most of the day. The breakfast was FINE. But it’s equivalent to any New York diner’s fare, and although that has its time and place, that is not the food for which we travel. Alas! we tried, as one never knows…
Our first stop was just around the corner from our hotel at the neo-Gothic basilica, Notre Dame. Upon entering the church, any onlooker would be completely speechless at the architecture, ornate art from floor to ceiling, stained glass, and the sapphire-blue light beaming from behind the altar. The organ will blow your mind…whether or not you appreciate music. The 5,772 pipe Casavant organ is perhaps the centerpiece of this great cathedral, in addition to the oldest church bell on the continent (really!), the Gros Bourdon. The stained glass, which sends bursts of magnificent color bouncing from wall to wall, depicts the history of Montreal, contrary to the typical biblical scenes often portrayed.
It is certainly a special place in the heart of Montreal’s Old Town and one of the city’s crown jewels. It is worth a guided tour to learn the full history. Tours are only $5 and are offered on the hour and half hour from 9am to 4:30pm. The guides talk passionately about the basilica’s, and Montreal’s, history.
After our tour of the basilica, we took a stroll down to the St. Lawrence River, through the Old Town, to the Science Museum. (We are truly looking forward to a return in spring to thoroughly enjoy the streets of Montreal in the warmth!) In our best down coats and warmest boots, we made our way to the Science Museum, where we would spend many hours! With so many hands-on exhibits and a cafe, this is perhaps one of the best harbors around from the bitter-cold. Although jam-packed with inquisitive tots, adults can have equally as much fun here (beware: there are A LOT of children). But, we made our way around without feeling we were impeded by too many tykes.
We loved the interactive room where we had a virtual opportunity to make the world more “green” and save cities and humanity through series of simulations where we had to make executive decisions. Tornados, solar power, stop motion animation, and electrical circuits are just a few of the hands-on exhibits that Montreal’s Science Centre has to offer.
We also especially loved the “music room” where we got to create some new rhythms and beats! And of course, what would any trip be without Manny finding something outrageous to do!? M defied gravity on the “Zoom!” He rode a unicycle connected to 250 kilos beneath it across a tight rope over the width of the museum. “Science” says that it’s impossible to tip over. Insane! K watched from afar and happily took pictures. She wanted to keep both feet on the ground!
After we had our scientific fill, it was back out onto the bone-chilling streets in search of the next safe-haven and some snacks. As we headed towards the Old Town’s main drag, we recognized a familiar place, even though we had never been… Montreal Poutine! It called out to us as a saving grace and we were so excited for this stop. Only a bit before our arrival and a few tweets about our spontaneous trip, Montreal Poutine began following us on Twitter. We recognized their sign immediately and knew we had to try out this spot, especially after following their quick-witted and passionate tweets about Poutine.
But what IS Poutine???? It is a typical, yet simple Montreal dish that will blow your mind (Well, at least at Montreal Poutine it will!). Although New York diners offer gravy fries, poutine takes it far beyond with fresh cheese curds (if you’ve never had cheese curds, that is reason alone to try this!!), and succulent gravy, atop perfectly fried potatoes… it will melt in your mouth! We also saw lots of variations on Poutine…instead of gravy, sometimes you might see Marinara sauce. Also, smoked meat in Poutine is very common in Montreal. Perhaps the richest of them all is Poutine topped with Foie Gras. Wow! Strangely enough, Poutine didn’t feel heavy despite its ingredients…it left us feeling warm and satisfied. So if you feel Poutine is the same as some gravy fries and not something you’re missing, you are painfully mistaken! It will change your life! Thank you, Montreal Poutine, for opening up Pandora’s Poutine Box. We will never be the same!
We were seated in the very casual (and very cold!) main room of Montreal Poutine. They have a seemingly lovely terrace, which is probably one of the best spots in the warm weather. We kept our jackets on inside and ordered a round of wine, a goat cheese salad, and the “regular” poutine, which is made up of perfectly cooked, skin-on French fries, appropriately doused in a flavorful gravy, topped with fresh cheese curds. Wow, wow, wow! Its greatness is inexplicable. Although we came for the poutine, the goat cheese salad was also incredible, and perhaps one of the greatest we’ve had to date….including all those we had in France! Thick medallions of goat cheese melted on fresh slices of baguette topped our mixed greens and veggies. Brilliant.
Although unbelievably stuffed, it was only right that we complete the experience with sweets! We ordered the Beaver Tail…a thin slab of fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and probably containing more butter than K would like to know. But it was yet another comfort food…and simply delicious.
After our Poutine initiation, we decided to continue along Rue Saint Paul, the Old Town’s main drag, to walk off our lunch. We passed specialty shops and countless restos (this is the only way Montrealers refer to restaurants!), so reminiscent of Europe. We were in love! As the later afternoon approached, we decided to make our way back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and check out the hotel’s complimentary “aperitif hour”. An array of generic snacks, but potent vodka sodas made it a quick, worth-it stop.
Then, we were off to one the best meals to date. It was back to Rue St. Paul for our evening! We made our reservation at Bocata just shortly after our flight reservations. K came across it in a search for some notable restaurants, and once we perused the menu, we were sold! We walked back down to Rue St. Paul, which is also THE oldest street in Montreal, to the most perfect little resto full of warmth, charm, and sultriness. The stone walls and mantles lined with candles and a year’s worth (or more) of dripping wax paired with the red hues that lit the space also gave a completely sexy ambiance that is so telling of the food porn that Bocata distributes.
Our server greeted us with the utmost sincerity and spoke with passion about the menu and the experience in which we were about to partake. First…the cocktails! Manny started off with the speciality cocktail of the evening: vodka with raspberry liqueur and fresh thyme. K started with some Prosecco with a splash of the raspberry liqueur. We perused the menu and grappled with our options. Everything sounded incredibly mouthwatering. Since Bocata’s dishes are meant to be shared, we decided to started with 3 plates and take it from there. We tried to select an array of options so we could truly sample all that Bocata had to offer. The dishes that made the cut: Roasted Duck Breast [Parsnip and Foie Gras Purée with Sweet & Sour Cranberry Sauce], Mountain & Sea [Pistachio Butter Poached Lobster, Glazed Short Ribs, & Celery Root Purée], Chorizo Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato & Fennel Soup. It was hard to choose the star of the show! The Mountain & Sea was succulent and the flavors complemented each other incredibly. The Grilled Cheese was hearty and perfect for the season. The Duck was perfectly cooked and so juicy and flavorful. The parsnip and foie gras purée took it to the next level! With every bite, the experience kept climbing the ladder and certainly made it to the “Top 10.” The true test always lies in the dessert. As soon as we looked at the menu, we both knew the Homemade Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramelized Bananas and Fleur de Sel Caramel was the one. It was perfect, down to the last bite. We never wanted this moment to end!
Despite our long day chock-full-o food, drink, and culture, we felt we could make it to one more stop… Earlier we had passed an attractive jazz joint called Le Piano Rouge (also on Rue St.Paul), and since it was on our way back to the hotel, we figured it was a must. The theme of the evening was Motown, and although not huge fans, we do love live music, and so we knew we’d have a great time. The centerpiece, besides the band, is no surprise… a grand, red piano! We entered just in time for a little Otis Redding mashup with some Justin Bieber. THIS was entertainment! We were overwhelmed by the talent, charisma, and absolute fun at Le Piano Rouge. We made it just in time for the last set and a nightcap before calling it a night and heading back to the hotel to get our beauty rest before another jam-packed day.
Day 3- When One Door is Locked, There Is Always An Open Window To Eating!
On this bitter cold Friday, we decided to head a bit out of the city to visit Montreal’s Holocaust Memorial Center. Although K always had a fascination with WWII and the Holocaust, it now holds an even more special place in her heart after spending 5 weeks studying about the legacy of WWII in France last summer. Now more concerned and interested about the plight of French Jews, K wanted to see what other information and resources there were in other parts of the world (that which is often left out of American textbooks).
After 3 subway tranfers, and almost an hour on board, we knew we were not in Kansas anymore. We got out of the subway and re-entered the Siberia-like climate, disoriented, instantly freezing, and feeling totally lost. We walked a while on a residential road after putting our faith in a sign with an arrow pointing somewhat in the direction of the Memorial. We suppose this is what a tourist might feel like after they’ve just gotten their bearings in Manhattan, and then hopped a train (after several connections) to visit a museum in a suburban town on Long Island (however, never in such bitter cold!).
Alas, we found it! After about a 15 minute walk that felt like a decade, we reached the double doors only to find….they were locked. Of course! It would be that kind of day! When K a referred back to her travel guide on her iPhone, she realized that she failed to scroll completely to the bottom…. Closed some FRIDAYS from November to March. Well, guess what day it was? Two morals of this story: Use the bathroom before long journeys where there are no bathrooms AND always scroll to the bottom!
Fortunately, as we made our way back to the subway station, we passed one of the ubiquitous Tim Hortons chains, and decided to grab a hot chocolate and make a pit stop. For those of you who have never been to Canada, Tim Hortons is equivalent to Dunkin Donuts, but with a slightly better quality. Nevertheless, it had just what we needed: a restroom and some hot cocoa!
After our quick break we decided it was time to go to the Biodome. We quickly checked that they were open (didn’t want to make that mistake again!). So, we jumped back on the subway and headed to the dome. We got off at Viau metro station and walked a couple of minutes and got right on line. At first, we were a little turned off by the swampy smell and all the screaming kids, but it was too cold to wander around outside trying to do something else; plus, M really wanted to see what this place had to offer. It cost $17.75 each just for the Biodome access (on warmer days, there is an option for the nature package, which grants you access to the Biodôme + Insectarium & Botanical Garden). The Biodome consists of 5 American Ecosystems: the Tropical Rainforest, Laurentian Maple Forest, Gulf of St. Lawrance, Labrador Coast, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. You will need to have some layers on that are easy to take off and put back on when walking from one climate to the other. Throughout each area you will find the animals that inhabit each climate and read information about every one of them. Watch out for the Labrador Coast, as the birds that are flying around have no problem showing off how much they love humans. We walked through this very quickly and with our heads covered…though, this didn’t help; the droppings still managed to hit K’s arm! Ugh! Out of all the zones, our favorite by far (and seemingly, everyone else’s) was the Sub-Antarctic Islands. This is where you will find the Penguins from ‘Happy Feet’ hanging out! We were so content to just sit and stare at them for a long while. We began to narrate stories of each one and what was going on as they pushed each other, jumped and splashed around in the water, and when they hopped back up onto the snow. They are just too funny not to sit for a while and enjoy in amazement.
The activity for the day was done and just in time for happy hour. As we were walking down Rue St. Paul (clearly, this is our favorite) we came across Les 3 Brasseurs (The Three Brewers). This chain of microbreweries is great place to go and taste some local beer and nosh on some tasty bar snacks. The atmosphere is great here: copper tanks, stacks of barley, aged beer barrels, and European décor. All in all, a great place to hang out. We started off with a pint of the Amber and the Blonde and, of course, some Poutine. After we devoured the Poutine, we ordered a flight of beer, which is offers a healthy sampling of all Les 3 Brasseurs has to offer: blonde, amber, brown, white, wheat and the special, seasonal brew. (Note: we could have done without the wheat; it was a bit sour.) At this point, it was time to go back to the hotel and hit the reset button before dinner.
We decided dinner was going to be in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, which is known for its stellar restaurants, bars, and nightlife. The guys over at Bocata gave us a long list of suggestions in this much-raved-about ‘hood. After some of our own research, we stumbled across the praised Chez Chose. It sounded like an absolutely perfect place for us. The menu, which is written on a blackboard, offered all local and seasonal dishes. (We couldn’t wait!!) We walked into the cozy and quaint restaurant and we were seated by Monsieur Robert Martin, who also happens to be the father of Chez Chose’s Chef Marie-France Desrosiers. Monsieur Martin seated us, and then shortly returned with the handwritten menu. He explained every dish with the utmost passion…it made us want everything! But we had to somehow make our final choices. Monsieur Martin encouraged a bubbly aperitif as we deliberated our selections. Our final menu selections included: the Potage du jour [Butternut squash with scallions and a touch of cream]; Salade du moment [Arugula with candied wlnuts and peanuts]; Poisson du jour [Trout]; and the star of the show: La Chose de la Chef - A plate of 3 meats: Lamb, Pigeon topped with foie gras, and Black Pudding with caramelized apples. We also selected a bottle of St. Emilion to complement our dinner selections. Wow! Wow! Wow! Our mind was blown with every bite. The quality, care, and passion that went into these dishes were so evident. The flavors were exquisite and we were so unbelievably grateful for this experience….which quickly made our “Top Five.” This meal would, undoubtedly, go down in history. Thank goodness for this last-minute, spontaneous find. Life, now, felt complete. Merci Chef Desrosiers for your brilliance and Monsieur Martin for your passion and making our experience exceptional. This is a must during your trip to Montreal….We would certainly make a trip back solely to have another truly special experience at Chez Chose.
For our final day, we headed back to the Plateau Mont-Royal area. It’s known for great places to have brunch, have some drinks, and there are plenty of shops to buy a few things before the next meal.
Les Folies was first on our list. This place felt like we never left New York. You could find it on a corner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A hip, French café that offers great dishes, some good cocktails, and a Mimosa kit for four if you are in the mood. We had to keep it simple. There was almost no more room left after all that we had been eating. So, we got some coffee, the Gratin du Chef [potatoes, spinach, goat cheese, egg on top] and Eggs Benedict Florentine [spinach, goat cheese, herbs]. Everything was extremely fresh and super tasty. The cost was fair and our server was very friendly. We savored our bites before heading out on our walk around town for some window shopping (which turned into some shoe shopping for both of us). Our shoes were soaked from the last couple of days walking around in the snow we had to upgrade to last the rest of the trip. Dry feet equals a better trip. So after we strapped on our new kicks, it was time to hit the park for some tobogganing.
Tobogganing was so much fun, flying down a massive hill, screams and smiles of joy the whole way down. Too bad we were not the ones on the toboggan! Turns out that finding a place to rent a toboggan close to the park was not at easy as we thought. We just stood by watching those who brought their own sleds, running up the hill for another try. Next time we know, stop at a sporting goods place and pick up a sled!
At this point, we figured it was an opportune time to walk over to Romados, famous for their Portuguese Rodizio Chicken. We had heard about this place from our friends at Bocata, as well as on TV. The people raved about it, but could the chicken be as good as the Rodizio in Mineola back at home? It was time to see. WARNING!! Get here early, or order by phone and then come and pick up. The wait is long, and by long, we mean two hours. We arrived about 1 hour and 30 minutes before closing time with about a dozen or more people on line ahead of us. We thought, “Okay, we are in good shape. This line is not too bad.” Wrong! There are 2 lines: those who ordered by phone 2 hours ago and those who just thought they could walk in. We were one of those people who thought on New Year’s Eve we could just grab a half chicken and fries and walk out, no problem. There were orders of 10 whole chickens at a time being wrapped up and sent out the door. Meanwhile, our “walk-ins” line had not moved and it just kept getting longer behind us. We almost left after 45 minutes of not moving , but someone on line had said this was normal and that it’s “the real deal.” So, we decided to suck it up and stay on line. At the 2 hour mark we had only moved up 5 spots and M started to listen to the Portuguese that was being spoken in the back behind the counter and realized that they were almost out of chicken and the only thing left was steak. How could this be?? NO! We wanted chicken. “O, pa como estás?” (Hey buddy, how’s it going?) M had to bust out his Portuguese and started talking to the cooks asking them about where they were from back in the old country and how great this trip had been. He had to do something to score some points for the chance of getting one of the last chickens. Well, it must have done something because as soon as the last batch of chicken came out, M’s newfound friends quickly took one out, threw the special sauce on it, and handed it over. We grabbed a seat at 1 of 4 high tables they have and the test was on. YES! It was as stellar as everyone said, and yes! it was better than back at home (Gasp!). It’s all in the sauce! Succulent. Spicy. Incredibly flavorful. Who would have thought that speaking Portuguese would come in handy on this trip? Amazing!
For celebrating New Year’s, Montreal has an endless amount of choices. There are plenty of clubs and resturants that offer prix fixe meals, all around $150 to $200 Canadian Dollars per person (the exchange is very close). In the Old Town, you will find most peeople crowded around outside by the stage listening to the live band playing some hits and local music. Then, comes the big Fireworks Show over the St. Lawrence River, and then back to some bars for some after hours partying. We will keep our NYE experience vague, as all good things must come to and end… NYE is a hard night to find a wonderful, authentic meal for a decent cost in any big city. We were overwhelmed by our impeccable culinary experiences throughout our 4 days, and it was only a matter of time we would be disappointed….and that is how we felt during our NYE “Food Factory” affair. We left dinner quickly and headed out to see some fireworks before spending a few hours on the dance floor at an Old Town club.
The next day came and we left early to catch our plane back to New York. Although NYE wasn’t everything we hoped it would be, we recapped our days in Montreal and agreed how blown away we were by everything. It couldn’t all be perfect! Otherwise, we might have been ready to pack our bags and relocate to this grand city for a while. Instead, it was time to sit back in our seats and talk about when we could plan to go back in springtime or summer and enjoy even more of what this truly amazing city has to offer. À bientôt, Montréal!
- Embassy Suites (Old Montreal, 208 Rue Saint Antoine Ouest. Great location and value! www.montreal.embassysuites.com)
- Old Montreal (Full of Old World charm and feels like Europe from corner to corner. Get lost in some of the little back streets… you will end up finding great little specialty shops, cafes, and more! Strolling here is much easier in warmer weather, but there are plenty of places to pop into to warm up before heading back out onto the streets.)
- Plateau Mont-Royal (Definitely the funkier, younger part of town. Super chic shopping and restos…you will end up here for a lot of meals. We suggest sleeping in the Old Town and strolling there by day…and then make your way over to this fashionable, artsy, and hip ‘hood for dinner and nightlife.)
Shopping and Markets
- Les Cours Mont-Royal (High-end boutiques, as well as cafes and restaurants housed under one roof. 1455 Peel Street. Downtown Montreal. www.lcmr.ca/english)
- Basilique Notre-Dame (Neo-Gothic Church will take your breath away. It is a must-see. Take one of the tours to learn an in-depth history. www.basiliquenddm.org/en/)
- Biodôme (Multiple ecosystems under one roof. A great harbor during cold weather days. 4777 Ave Pierre-de-Coubertin. www.biodome.qc.ca)
- Centre des Sciences de Montréal (Tons of interactive exhibits for all ages. Will keep you busy and entertained for hours! www.centredessciencesdemontreal.com)
- Centre d’Histoire de Montréal (Offers 300+ artifacts which illustrate Montreal’s history, in addition to videos and narrations. Old Town. Place d’Youville. www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/chm )
- Holocaust Memorial (Provides many powerful exhibits; records from pre-WWII of Jewish history. Check hours. www.mhmc.ca)
- Hôtel de Ville (City Hall. Ornate and beautiful architecture. Old Town. www.ville.montreal.qc.ca)
- Musée des Beaux-Arts (Oldest Fine Arts Museum in the country. Artifacts from Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Far East, as well as European and Canadian artists. Offers art from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Classical, and Contemporary works. www.mbam.qc.ca )
Food and Drink
- Bocata Bar à Vin (Wine Bar featuring remarkable small plates. Old Town. 310 Rue St. Paul Ouest. bocata.ca.oprettet.nu )
- Chez Chose (Contemporary French Restaurant this is sure to knock your socks off. Plateau Mont-Royal. 4621 Rue St. Denis. www.wix.com/philipsc/chezchose )
- Gibby’s (Traditional French Steakhouse. Old Town. 298 Place d’Youville. www.gibbys.com )
- Les Folies (Burger Joint and Brunch spot with fresh and delectable options. Plateau Mont-Royal. 701 Mont-Royal Est. www.restofolies.ca)
- Les 3 Brasseurs (Microbrewery with great local beer and tasty bar snacks. Old Town. 105 Rue St. Paul Est. www.les3brasseurs.ca)
- Montréal Poutine (The poutine from this local joint will change your life forever. Fresh, tasty, and consistent. What are you waiting for?! Old Town. 161 Rue St. Paul Est. www.montrealpoutine.com)
- Romados (Portuguese Rotisserie and pastry joint. The chicken is certainly the star of the show…complement it with fries and rice. Don’t forget a few pastries for the road! Plateau Mont-Royal. 115 Rue Rachel Est)
- Le Piano Rouge (Jazz Bar with great live music and cocktails. 22 Rue St. Paul Est. www.pianorougelounge.com)