Springtime in Montreal

Sometimes when you travel to a new city,  you overwhelm yourself with making sure you experience everything it has to offer.  Other times you settle in, use the local bike rental system, and explore it with the laid-back sensibilities of a Canadian.  Montreal is a great city to roam around in and their Bixi City Bike rental makes it incredibly easy to feel like a local.  

Call-outs on neighborhoods to explore:
Mile -Ex - nobody likes being called a hipster but, TBH MileEx is even described by the locals as the Bushwick of Montreal.

The Plateau -  Classic Montreal and a must visit because of its beautiful row houses, quaint streets and outdoor cafe style dining.

Mile End - will be glad to know it has been referred to as the "Brooklyn of" Montreal by multiple sources.  Shops, restaurants, and great people watching.  

Lastly, visit every park and green space you can find.  

Food:
Majestique - 4105 St Laurent
The Plateau                                                                                                                                 

Awesome innovative food that is ridiculously good and well priced.  Also yummy cocktails

http://www.restobarmajestique.com/

http://www.restobarmajestique.com/

Dinette Triple Crown - 6704 Rue Clark
Mile Ex                                                                                                                                         

Amazing BBQ joint, but the best part is you can order a picnic basket to go, which includes a red checkered blanket, and the prerequisite mason jars for drinks. Get the Arnold Palmer (it is the best Arnold Palmer you will ever have) and then take the picnic basket to the park across the street.  It is good food and a great experience.  

http://www.dinettetriplecrown.com/

http://www.dinettetriplecrown.com/

Larry's -9 Fairmount Ave E,
Mile End                                                                                                                                               

Go for breakfast, order scrambled eggs, have your mind blown, and then get toast and the little pancakes.  This is the epitome of simple food done extremely well.

Patati Patata - 4177 St Laurent Blvd    

The Plateau                                                                                                                                  

Poutine is classic Montreal eats.  It is comfort food but Patati Patata is a good example of a local dive doing it right. 

pic via: Norman Spencer

pic via: Norman Spencer

Fairmont Bagels - 74 Avenue Fairmount
Mile End
I'm a New Yorker, so NY bagels are everything to me, but Montreal folks take their Bagel making seriously too.  There are two classic and rivaling Bagel shops in the city. Fairmont and St. Viateur.  Fairmont has delicious bagels and Parc Lahaie is a great spot to enjoy those bagels and it is just a block away.

http://fairmountbagel.com

http://fairmountbagel.com

Chill:
Bota Bota
This ferry-turned-spa is a relaxing way to warm up on a cold rainy Montreal day.  Set on the water with views of downtown Montreal. Bota Bota has five decks, two saunas, a eucalyptus steam bath, outdoor whirlpool baths, a relaxation area, and a restaurant.

 

Drink:
Le Mal Necessaire - 1106 B St. Laurent
Awesome Tikki Bar with good music and killer drinks.  This basement bar in China Town, feels a like you have stumbled into a secret spot.

Shop:
Monastiraki - 5478 Blvd. Saint Laurent
Mile End
This is an awesome art curiosity shop.  Art bookstore, zine shop and it is full of flat files of affordable art.  Found art, art prints, screen prints, and illustrations.

Jamais Assez -
In Mile End
This home goods and design shop is full of Scandi and mid-century style.  Add some Danish design to your home.

Boutique Vestibule
In Mile End
This lifestyle shop is full of home goods, a florist, and clothes.  It is a little precious and beautifully curated.

Ex Voto - 6534 Blvd.Saint Laurent
Fantastic vintage shop in Mile EX - great pins, patches, and I scored a motorcycle jacket and some art.

Boutique Unicorn - 5135 St Laurent Blvd.       

Mile End                                                                                                                                                 

This little shop is an all in one destination allowing you to get an entire outfit, from your bra, comfy t-shirts, jewelry, cute shoes, and the perfect pair of wide leg pants.  It was a fave from my trip.

Ruse Boutique - 5141 Saint-Laurent       
Mile End                                                                                                                                                

A mix of old and new this vintage shop has seriously good finds. It will become the vintage shop you wish was in your city, but you will take the trip to Montreal to get a score.

To Do:
21 Balancoires
(swings)
Downtown Montreal's 21 Balancoires is a seasonal interactive public art piece. The swings light up and play a cord as you swing, this way you and the strangers you are swinging alongside can make beautiful music together.   
Running April 10, 2017, to May 28, 2017

Bixi Bikes
Is the city bike of Montreal but the drivers are respectful of cyclists so you have an amazing carefree ride.  Get day passes and just cruise around everywhere.  This is a great way to go park hopping and ride through some of the magical neighborhoods.  

Park Du Mont
Is a big park on top of a hill, and it is classic Montreal.  This park is great for people watching, picnicking and is a perfect stop for a break from your bike ride. If you like a bit of parks and rec history this park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park in NY and Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Parc Outremont
This is a small hidden secret of a park. Nestled in a gorgeous neighborhood it is a small green space, surrounded by beautiful Victorian Houses. This park was made for sitting on a bench and watching the world go by.

Montreal is incredibly charming, the people, the food, the beauty and ease of the city makes it a prime candidate for weekend exploring. Enjoy it!