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Where to drink, eat, swim and shop in Montreal

Heading to Montreal this weekend? Here is where to eat, drink, shop and relax. And do it all on a Bixi. They are everywhere and in this city, Bixis work.

Where to brunch?

Lawrence
This is fancy brunch for serious food lovers. Check the menu. Arrive early! 
5201 Blvd St. Laurent

Laika
Named after the first dog on space, and with a space-like interior, this place has been a longstanding favourite on St. Laurent. Sit on the street or chill out inside. There’s a nice magazine store right beside Laika…for a side of reading with your croque-madame.
4040 Blvd St. Laurent

Bagel Etc

The name says it all. You know what to expect.
4320 Blvd St. Laurent

Beautys
This is one of those Montreal institutions that people have been raving about for decades. That’s probably because it’s been around since 1942. Classic diner with lox and cream cheese exactly how you want ’em.
93 Mont-Royal West

Where to cheap eat?

Patati-Patata
Say it five times FAST! Small, loud and a whole lotta flavour. Hamburgers, poutine or go for the fried fish supper; it pleased me so.
4177 Blvd St. Laurent 

Euro Deli
Where cool kids sip espressos and you can curb your hunger with a plate of pesto pasta. 
3619 Blvd St. Laurent

Arapera du Plateau 
A vibrant Venezuelan resto where staff shout Spanish, walls are painted bright yellow, samba blares and delicious food is good value. Avacados, peppers, chorizo…..bueno-bueno!! 
4050 Rue de Bullion

Santropol

Do you like cream cheese? A cute garden terrace? Sandwiches spilling over with fresh vegetables? Go here.
3990 St. Urbain

Frites Alors 

While the rest of North America makes a mess with ketchup, Quebecers are loyal to mayonaise. And Frites Alors has about a dozen tasty mayo combos to choose from. If you are looking for reliable grub to satisfy the gang and wanna test out poutine, go here.

Many locations.

Prato Pizzeria
Lovely family restaurant with wood oven fired pizza. A terrific spot to enjoy a nice meal that won’t break the bank.
3891 Blvd St. Laurent

Where to find a sumptuous dining experience? 
If you manage to sneak in some time for an exquisite meal, here are five options that will not disappoint. Menus available in links below. Mmmmm. Bon Appetit!

Le Comptoir
St Joseph & St. Laurent 
4807 St. Laurent

Le Bremner
Old Montreal
361 St. Paul East

Pinxto
Plateau, Montreal
256 Roy Street

Lawrence
Mile End, Montreal
5201 St. Laurent, N. of Laurier

La Prunelle
327 Duluth St. East
*Apportez Votre Vin!!

Where to drink?

Tokyo
Looks like a club, is a club, but they also have the best roof terrace. If you feel like gazing at sexy young things, go here. Also good for dancing after dancing. 
3709 Blvd St. Laurent

Korova 
If you like hanging at Sweaty Betty’s, Camp 4 or Ronnies Local; you’ll like this place. Like ’em on Facebook.
3908 Blvd St. Laurent

Blizzarts
Nice locals getting tipsy and dancing as their best friend DJs. Is it time to meet your dirty Montreal lover?
3956A Blvd St. Laurent

Le Sainte Elisabeth
We don’t have a courtyard terrace as beautiful as this. Tangled vines, cobblestone, candles: This is romance! Crap website but trust us, it’s pretty. Exterior, if you get stuck indoors you might as well go to a Firkin.

Reservoir (Beer) 
For beer lovers who want a nice side of charcuterie with their pint. Sophisticated and geared at the thirty and forty-somethings.
9 Duluth St. East 

Dieu du Ciel
Local brew-pub in Mile End. Always packed with an assorted crowd. A good spot for 3pm slow beers. My boyfriend, Jamie Drummond, loves beer more than most; he quite enjoyed this spot. Watch his interview with the brewmaster here.
29 Laurier West

Elses
Sweet bar tucked away on Roy street. For when you want to gather with four close friends and chit-chat over slow wine and spicy samosas. Perhaps a little more poetic than the rest of the venues I have listed.
156 Roy St. East

Where to shop?

U&I
Designers you love like Acne, Commes Des Garcons, Engineered Garments, Levi’s Made & Crafted. Think Jonathan and Olivia but not as pricey.
Old Montreal: 215 Saint-Paul West
Plateau: 3650 St. Laurent

Francois Beauregard
Local designer who makes simple and classic cut dresses and shirts that fit perfectly.  Staples that feel so good and have brilliant CPW.
3636 St. Laurent

Lola and Emily
It’s like apartment therapy and a dream closet in one pastel perfect store. Feminine fashion and pom-poms. Free People, Fillippa K, Ca Va de Soi; a mix of international labels and Quebec talent. #enchanting
3475 St-Laurent

Unicorn
This is worth the trek north to Mile End. See what Lindsay had to say about it here.
5135 St. Laurent

Citizen Vintage
Best vintage in Montreal can be found here! Half way between Plateau and Mile End. See our interview with owners, plus pics that will make you want to go.

Kitsch & Swell
I just think this is the most fun store ever. 1970s Playboys, Tiki-bar crap, garage sale jewelry, weird posters, odd puzzles, retro Michael Jackson stuff: get lost for awhile. FUN!
3968/3972 St. Laurent

Where to hang?

Tam Tams
For a change of scenery, hit the base of Mt. Royal (Avenue Parc, South of Mount-Royal) late Sunday afternoon and watch the most eclectic assortment of people smack drums, blow horns and jiggle. If the noise is too crazy, take a hike up the mountain. But be warned, men are peeing everywhere.

Secret Pool 
Need a refreshing break from Osheaga? There is the most divine “secret pool” dripping with the hottest twenty-somethings located behind McGill hospital off Pine Avenue. If I tell you exactly how to get there, someone will get really angry. Instead, I’ll direct you to this post by Tourisme Montreal. Just make sure to bring $5, cash.

Square Saint-Louis
I FUCKING LOVE THIS SQUARE! I could sit here for days. I did. For meditation, smooching, coffee break or really great people watching: this charming square is so special, as are the neighbouring streets with old architecture. Like, 1867. Go! Wander! Spy! Dream! Factual info here.

Parc La Fontaine
It’s like our Trinity-Bellwoods but with a giant pond. Picnic?

Where to bagel?

If you want to stock up on bagels before your ride home, then you should head to Mile End and either hit St. Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel. There are lotsa cute cafes to hang out in to soak up the Mile End vibe. I don’t have the energy to ignite a debate on which legendary bagel house is better; suffice to say, they both rock.

To market! To market! 
If you do have some spare hours before getting on a train or plane, both the Jean-Talon and Atwater market are so incredibly wonderful. Snack, shop or just soak up the sights, sounds, smells and EFFERVESCENT CITY LIFE!! Warning: You will have multiple #foodorgasms.

~ Jen McNeely

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