My best friend lives in Montreal and I always use her birthday as an excuse to visit this beautiful city. Over the past couple years I have visited a bunch and accumulated a list of some of my favorite things to do. I decided to record what we did this weekend and recommend some other local favorites!
This time my train got in quite late so I just headed straight to my friend’s apartment but in the past we would have met for a later dinner or drinks.
We woke nice and early Saturday to make use of the beautiful day ahead of us. We started by heading up the Little Italy and the Jean Talon market. I would recommend getting the 24 transit pass, it is only $10 and gets you all across the city.
After getting bagels we walked over to Rue St. Laurent to pop in and out all the cute boutiques this area is known for. We wanted to buy everything, there were so many amazing clothing and interior boutiques. Our favorite was Boutique Vestibule but pretty much every store is worth going into.
After a good deal more wondering ( and munching on bagels as we walked) we decided it was time to sit down so we stopped into Darling, an adorable cafe/restaurant. The restaurant is full of greenery and a good mix of students studying with coffees and large groups of friends catching up over wine and food. This felt very Parisian to me, equal amounts of coffee and wine ( and frites!). We settled for a rose cidre.
Once we felt sufficiently relaxed we set off for our next stop: Old Montreal! We came down to specifically go to this new cafe Crew, which is a cafe/shared working space housed in a beautiful old bank building. We both had a bit of work to do and figured this beautiful setting was the best place to do it.
If you haven’t been to the Basilica, you should do this while in the area. It is absolutely stunning!
After dinner we headed around the corner ( we went to the Escondite on Drummond) to the famous Cloakroom bar. The Cloakroom is a speakeasy style bar, you enter through a nondescript door on the street and then have to push a secret door ( the part of the wall with the mirror) to get into the actual bar. This bar is small ( like seats 10-12 people small) so make sure to get here early and don’t come with a large group. The Cloakroom is everything I like in a bar: amazing service, a great playlist, an intimate but chatty environment and delicious drinks! This bar doesn’t have a menu but instead you tell the bartender your preferences and they dream something up for you. You can also order the classics but it is way more fun to be surprised with something new. I request a fresh gin drink and was given a London Calling which was perfectly sweet and bitter and fresh like rain. My friend asked for something like a Pimm’s Cup and was given a gin/aperol drink with bright cucumber notes. Two delicious and very original drinks.
And because the fun never stops in this city we continued our night at Foonzo, a dive bar with super cheap drinks, old arcade games and tons of board games.
One of my other favorite things to do in Montreal is go to Bota Bota, a Scandinavian style spa on the river.
The walk up Mont Royal is must do in Montreal when the weather is nice. The walk to the top is pretty easy and the view is incredible. Bring a picnic and make a full excrusion out of it.
Hope you take the time to enjoy this beautiful city!