Montreal is a beautiful city with amazing architecture. I highly recommend walking around Old Montreal, it's incredible. Montreal is the second most populous city in Canada and one of the most bilingual cities, with 56% of the population able to speak both English and French. It is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. Not knowing French, we were concerned we may have trouble communicating, but everyone we encountered spoke English and almost all the menus at the restaurants we visited were available in English.
That being said, it's home to some fantastic food and drink. Kyle and I visited for the first time this summer and I can't believe it took us this long to make the trip. Here are some of our favourite places...
Kitsune Espresso Bar (pictured above)
This was our favourite coffee shop of the trip. They serve Dispatch Coffee Roasters and the space is super cool and trendy.
Garde Manger | Le Bremner
We couldn't make a trip to Montreal without visiting one of Chuck Hughes' (Canadian chef and TV personality) restaurants. Lucky for us, we got to visit both! They're both located in the beautiful Old Montreal, so it's great area to walk around if you have to kill time waiting for a seat. Both restaurants are lively and energetic, you can tell the staff enjoy their jobs. The food is out of this world, it was so good we forgot to take pictures! They focus on seafood (the lobster poutine was amazing) but everything on the menu is delicious. Make sure you try the beef tartare.
Pullman Wine Bar (pictured above)
We enjoyed an amazing wine flight, giant green olives with candied lemon (I love olives and these were so delicious) and a venison tartare. The space is comfortable and spacious, but feels cozy.
Pikolo Espresso Bar (pictured above)
The coffee is great and the space is comfortable and trendy. Kyle said it was the best espresso of the trip. However, it was extremely warm (we went in the summer and apparently coffee shops in Montreal don't believe in AC!), so if you're hanging out for a bit I would suggest an iced drink!
This is a one of a kind establishment, and my favourite stop of the trip. The late nineteenth century building houses a high-end tailor shop, with an on-site barber shop and a cocktail bar featuring signature drinks. When we went, it was in the evening so only the cocktail bar was open. There's no signs, so if you're not looking for the address, it's easy to miss. When you walk in the door, still no sign, just large wooden panels and mirrors, it feels like a large dressing room. Straight ahead there's a large wooden door with a ledge, push it, and it opens to a low-lit, intimate cocktail bar. There's no menu, but the servers are helpful and personable and will "tailor" a drink to your liking. All the drinks are served on a scrap piece of cloth to fit with the tailor theme - and the drinks are DELICIOUS. This was the coolest experience, I highly recommend you visit this spot!
Cafe Myriade (pictured above)
Located in the basement of a Club Monaco, this is a really cool space. They serve 49th Parallel Coffee and also offer baked goods from local bakeries. It's a great spot to grab a coffee and peruse the clothing at Club Monaco, as well as the other shops nearby.
Soupesoup (pictured above)
I was anticipating this spot the entire trip! I purchased a cookbook a couple years ago, Soupesoup by Caroline Dumas, and fell in love with the recipes. They are the inspiration for many of the soups and scones at Anchor. Then I found out she also has cafes in Montreal, this was one of them. Of course I had to order a scone - and it did not disappoint. It was served fresh out of the oven (lucky me, it was still warm), buttery and oozing with raspberries. We also tried the carrot cake, and that was delicious as well. I recommend this stop for lunch, order a bowl of soup and a scone, and you will thank me later.
Montreal is a great city and I cannot wait to go back!