This my first visit to Montréal and I was oh so excited as I’ve heard a lot of beautiful things about this city. Here is a short diary of my trip and I hope you’re able to draw out some of these when you plan your own adventure to Montréal.
I highly recommend staying in Old Montréal. This part of the city has its origins as a French settlement founded in 1642. The French influence is on full display with cobblestone streets, European stone buildings and heritage sites. The language is dominantly French and it exudes a grandeur found only in Paris. Situated on the edge of the St Lawrence River and Old Port, this little town has a smattering of luxury and quaint hotels, galleries, cute cafes and charming bistros.
La Grande roue de Montréal
One of the best vantage points in Montréal is the La Grande Roue de Montréal. The wheel offers a panoramic view at 60m above the ground of the whole of Montréal. You have some pretty amazing views of the port, the river, Old Montréal, the main CBD and even the far lying mountains!
Here are some of the views from above on the Ferris Wheel:
If you’re in a French settlement, then you’ve got to acquaint yourself with the cafe scene. Here are some lovely spots to unwind and get your caffeine hit.
This place is just the definition of the Montréal cafe scene, gorgeous aesthetics, beautiful vibes and delightful cuisine. Stop by, snare a table, gaze at the beautiful people, eavesdrop on the conversations around you and do enjoy a delicious creamy avocado toast and matcha while you’re there.
Here’s a little review of my visit to Tommy: The creamy avocado, the touch of salinity, the hit of the chilli, the tartness of the lemon, a little oil and the crunchy toast prove to be an assiette of pleasure. The crumbs of the toast melded with avocado are to be felt and savoured. The bitterness of the matcha and silkiness of the milk flow onto the palate to nurse my jetlag.
The waitress dazzles me with her charm and conversation as the gentle summer breeze wafts through the café to stroke my hair. The leafy interior proves an allure to the eyes but also calms the soul. The hum of surrounding conversation adds to the rhythm of the afternoon and I desire for this moment to linger a little bit more.
Le Petit Dep
This spot is a cafe / convenience store with a gorgeous turquoise-green exterior. It is fitted with vintage objects, quirky hanging lamps and gorgeous wooden floors. You can peruse the shelves which are stacked with colourful sweets, candies and chocolates. Do make your way to the counter and select a pastry and order a coffee and stay for a while.
I have a chocolate croissant and coffee as I escape the rain.
There’s a beautiful dining area in the corner with greenery, antique mirrors and marble tables.
If you’re in the mood for something a little healthy, then Côté Cuisine in James Perse is a decent cafe for a healthy lunch and some coffee (or matcha).
Restaurants / Bars
Montréal is a culinary town and there is nothing more magical than it’s french influence cuisine and locally sourced produce. There’s no shortage of fine restaurants in this city and some pretty out of the world culinary moments to be experienced. Here’s where I dined during my stay.
If you’re into Japanese cuisine, look no further than Park Restaurant. Chef Antonio Park is a genius at crafting fine Japanese fusion fare. Nothing could be more satisfying than a night of indulging in fresh sashimi and perfectly constructed maki rolls in a beautiful zen environment.
For indulgence, go no further than Liverpool House. Liverpool House is a rustic bistro with beautiful rich indulgent French cuisine – it’s got a hip & charming Montréal bistro setting with fine seafood, rich steaks, gourmet delicacies. I had their Lobster Spaghetti which is an absolute must when dining there – a cult classic.
You can check-out my review of Liverpool House here.
Terrasse William Gray
If beautiful views, leisurely sipping of libations and the flow of Montréal breeze takes your fancy then head to the rooftop bar at Hotel William Gray and grab a table by the window and spend the whole day there. It’s just oh so beautiful.
Lucille’s Oyster Dive
If you’re into casual seafood dining, then make your way to Lucille’s Oyster Dive. It’s a lovely quaint seafood place that offers decent value fresh oysters, lobster rolls and the like. On a decent day their outdoor terrace is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day.
I’d order some lovely oysters to kick-off and then go for their lobster rolls – the epitome of comfort dining.
In Old Montréal, there’s beautiful French Bistro which does some pretty classic French dishes at a decent value. The wine list is pretty extensive too, so grab an amazing glass of wine and sip it while tucking into Mussels and Fries.
My Video Diary
It’s impossible to capture the magic of Montréal in just pictures, so here is my video diary of my time in the beautiful “France” of North America.
The background tune is “Open Your Eyes” by Snow Patrol. I do not own any rights to the song
Montréal is a mix of North American modernity and European joie de vivre. There’s plenty of culinary indulgences, artistic cafes and beautiful sights to be enjoyed. It touches your inner most soul and steal’s a little bit of your heart for safekeeping in anticipation of your return.
It’s just so unbearable to leave you Montréal, but I’ll be back soon enough!