I had 36 hours in Montréal this week (most of which was spent in an office for work), but I did my best to see (and eat!) as much as possible in my downtime. This was my second time in Montréal, but the first time I really felt like I was able to get out and explore the city on my own. I also chose to stay in Old Montreal so I was close to the action. Sure, it’s a bit touristy, but the streets are beautiful, and if you get up and walk around early, you’ll beat the crowds and have the streets to yourself. I love how European Montréal feels, from the architecture to the food to the language. Let’s just say my camera and my stomach got quite the workout while I was there!
LUNCH + DINNER
Looking for a great dinner spot? I had an amazing meal at Bocata on Rue Saint-Paul. If you are in the mood for something a little on the heavier side, try their signature pasta dish – the cacio e pepe with summer truffle. It was to die for! For lunch, I enjoyed the primavera crepe at Creperie Chez Suzette (also on Rue Saint-Paul).
COFFEE + PASTRIES
Coffee and I are best buds all day every day, so whenever I travel somewhere new, I try to try several different coffee shops and find my favorite. My favorites from my time in Montréal are:
1. Cafe Olimpico (Rue Saint-Vincent): their iced coffee is essentially a slushie, but it was delicious. I am a black coffee drinker, so I was worried it would be pretty sweet – luckily that wasn’t the case! They also make a delicious croissant, and it’s a great spot if you’re looking to set up shop and get some work done.
2. Mlle Catherine (Place Jacques-Cartier): their iced coffee was more like an iced latte, but it was super strong and extra delicious. A little more expensive than I’d imagined ($5 CAD), but totally worth every cent. It’s a small shop, so be prepared to take your coffee on the go.
3. Cafe Van Houtte (Rue Saint-Paul): their iced coffee was pretty standard, but the winner here was the canele. I believe it’s a chain, but totally worth popping in for a pastry – everything looked delicious!
4. Xavier Artisan (Place d’Armes): I decided to switch it up here and try a cappuccino. Consider yourself warned – the “medium” was what I would consider to be a large, so if you’re not looking for a big serving, order the small. They also serve sandwiches, ice cream, and pastries here. The perk of this place was that they have outdoor seating in the Place d’Armes, so you can enjoy a coffee while looking out at the Basilique Notre-Dame!
WHAT TO SEE
I basically took myself on a walking tour of Old Montreal, starting at the Place d’Armes and Basilique Notre-Dame. Then I walked down Rue Saint Sulpice to Rue Saint-Paul. Head right down Rue Saint-Paul past the famous Le Petit Dep (it has a beautiful light green facade). Walk down to Rue Saint-Pierre to the Centre d’historie de Montréal. Head along the water up towards Place Jacques-Cartier, the Archives de Montréal, and ultimately the Marche Bonsecours.
Have questions? Or have recommendations of your own? Let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.