Saturday, July 6, 2019

Favorite Places in Montreal

Matthew is Concordia bound!
So, my son is moving to Montreal to go to Concordia University. While this might freak some parents out, I'm totally looking forward to visiting Matthew in his new adopted home!

My friend, Frank Douma, asked for some recommendations for his trip, and here's what I came up with. This is just a start, for sure!

La Banquise
994, rue Rachel Est
Montréal, QC H2J 2J3
The first time I ate here, my (then brand new) friend, Ligia Peña, brought Jim, Chris and me to have poutine as part of our "intro to Montreal" tour. Ligia spoiled us for all other poutine.

La Fromagerie Atwater
134 Atwater Ave
Montreal, QC H3J 2J4
La Banquise Poutine
Another Ligia recommendation, although it took us a few more visits to get here. I could spend hours at this cheese shop, and our cheesemonger, France (really, that was her name), was incredibly patient, packaging up kilos of cheese in a way that we could take it through customs and security at the airport.

Hand Roll at Au Pied de Cochon
Au Pied de Cochon
536 Avenue Duluth E
Montréal, QC H2L 1A9
If you want a hugely indulgent meal, go here. You must like foie gras and really rich food. I love how unpretentious this place is, and the food is really amazing.

Joe Beef
2491 Notre-Dame West
Montréal, QC H3J 1N6
Finally made it to Joe Beef. The key is to put yourself on the waiting list for a reservation as soon as you can and do it for every day you are in Montreal. And be prepared to change your plans! This place was worth the hype. Our server was very gracious and really felt like our hostess, and the food was exceptional.
(Strangely enough, I was not as enamored with their sister restaurant, Liverpool House, but that could be because we were sitting next to a really boorish guy that time.)

Horse tenderloin at Joe Beef
1101 Rue de Bleury
Montréal, QC H2Z 1N1
Hip place for seafood. Get as much as you can handle from the raw bar, as they have some hard to get items that are very fresh. Also, check out their cheeky humor at the restrooms.

Kinton Ramen
Various locations
This is Matthew's favorite ramen. I expect when we say that college students live on ramen, Matthew's experience will be very different. He likes the days when they have karaage ramen on special.

Chocolate. Need I say more?
Maison Christian Faure
Two locations
Incredibly indulgent and 'grammable desserts.

Montreal-style bagels
I am location-agnostic on this. I know locals have distinct loyalties to their bagel shops, but I'm not that nuanced yet. I even had one at the airport that I thought was great.

Other Things to do in Montreal
Notre-Dame Basilica
Visit during the day and in the evening if you can, because Aura, their evening multimedia display, is worth it.
Notre-Dame Basilica during Aura

Montreal History and Archeology Museum
I've been here four times and I still discover something new. Great multimedia displays to help you learn some history of Montreal.

Cirque du Soleil
If you're in Montreal in June or July, check out the way that Cirque du Soleil was designed to be seen--under the big top, by the Old Port. If you've seen Cirque in Vegas, or in their traveling shows, you still must see a show at the "mother ship."

Montreal Amphi-Bus Tours
Growing up in Wisconsin, these were the "Ducks" of Wisconsin Dells. The tour in Montreal is a great way to see a little of the city and get on the water if you are visiting in the summer.

Mount Royal
The namesake of Montreal, it's worth a jaunt up to Mount Royal to check out the view and visit the big cross.

Montreal Jazz Festival
If you're in town at the end of June and beginning of July, the Jazz Festival is totally worth it. The acts on the free stages are incredible, and the ticketed shows are amazing too.

There are so many things I haven't done yet in Montreal, so I'm looking forward to more reasons to visit!

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