September 21, 2022  •   7 min read


Note: this post has been updated as of May 28, 2024

 

Montreal – Canada’s mini France. Stepping into the Old Port of Montreal is like transporting yourself to a quaint French town, where you truly feel like you’ve left North America and entered a beautiful historic village.

This city is known for its amazing food, gorgeous architecture, shopping, and fun nightlife. With an eclectic mix of cuisines and cultures, Montreal is the best place for a quick weekend getaway.

Find amazing croissants, Mont-Royal park, sustainable boutiques, and some of the best vegan sushi there is!

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W H E R E  T O  S T A Y

Sonder Apollon

A chicer alternative to Airbnb, Sonder is a hotel alternative that aims to inspire and delight, fulfill needs without sacrificing style, and most importantly, deliver seamless, personalized experiences. With accommodations in over 40 cities in 10 countries, Sonder helps you roam like home in an elevated yet relaxed way. Walking distance to all the sites, boutique shops and global cuisine, this minimal accommodation will be the perfect sanctuary after a busy day.

Address: 300 Rue Saint-Sacrement  + many other locations in the city

Photo courtesy of Sonder Apollon

Hotel William Gray

This beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Montreal’s picturesque Old Port is the perfect balance between modern design and historic architecture. The two historic buildings that the hotel occupies date back to the 18th century. What’s remarkable is that of all the buildings remaining from the period before 1800, these two structures are rare in that their exterior appearance has been virtually unchanged. With a commitment to waste reduction, water conservation, energy saving. the prioritization of local food suppliers and fair-trade teas, Hotel William Gray is a hotel you can feel good about.

Address: 421 Rue Saint-Vincent

Photos courtesy of Hotel William Gray


 

W H E R E  T O  E A T

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Sushi Momo

For the plant-based sushi lovers (and meat-eaters alike), this upscale fusion restaurant is an absolute must. With a range of incredibly diverse and unique ingredients, each roll is a culinary piece of art. With an impressive tasting menu, your experience at Sushi Momo will most definitely make an impression. You’ll wonder how meatless sushi could possibly taste this amazing!

Address: 3609 Saint Denis St

Photo 1 Courtesy of Sushi Momo and Photo 2 Courtesy of Laura G. Diaz

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Loam

Stepping into Loam is like walking into a mini jungle oasis. With it’s lush greenery, moody atmosphere, and delicious cuisine, Loam completely reflects its name. With a menu made of meticulous seasonal products that have been carefully selected by local producers, Loam’s creative and vibrant fare make it a great place for brunch or dinner. 

Address: 400 Notre-Dame St

Photos Courtesy of Loam

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India Rosa

Founded by the Sandhu family, India Rosa is an ode to their heritage, with a modern twist. A unique Indian restaurant that embodies the modernity and festivity of Montreal, India Rosa offers up delicious neo-Indian cuisine that will have your taste buds dancing. Here you can find an inspired Tapas menu, fun cocktails, and an environment that feels fun, funky, and creatively Indian.

Address: 1241 Mont-Royal Ave E  | 1050 Rue Wellington

 

Photos Courtesy of India Rosa

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Olive et Gourmando

A bustling bakery and cafe that is as inventive as it is generous, Olive et Gourmando opened its doors in 1998 by two cooks who are purists when it comes to the ingredients they use. With a mission to make excellent daytime food, their take-out counter and restaurant alike boast truly incredible food. Don’t miss their authentically French pain au chocolat and croissants!

Address: 351 Saint-Paul St W

Photo 1 Courtesy of Olive et Gourmando

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Maman

This NYC-founded French cafe and restaurant now has a home in Toronto and Montreal, and for good reason! Maman serves family-inspired recipes, bringing childhood favourites from the South of France to life. Their delicious salads, warm quiche, signature chocolate chip cookies, and array of warm drinks makes it the perfect spot for a casual, yet elegant bite.

Address: 1524 Notre-Dame St W

Photos Courtesy of Maman

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Tommy Cafe

Tommy Cafe + Apéro is a neighbourhood coffee shop and bar, with three locations in Montreal. Tommy Cafe balances a blend of modern design, mid-century furniture and Victorian architecture. With lavender matcha lattes on the menu, freshly baked pastries to choose from, and gluten-free / vegan options available, it’s a great place for brunch or a quick bite.

Addresses: 200 Notre-Dame Street W | 151 Saint-Paul Street W | 1302 Ave du Mont-Royal E

Photos Courtesy of Tommy Cafe

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Cafe Olimpico

One of Montreal’s best kept secrets, Cafe Olimpico has three quiet locations across the city, specializing in authentic Italian coffee. Opening its doors in 1970, the original cafe was a place for gathering, and a place to enjoy respite from the world, with a simple cup of steaming, traditional coffee. It still carries the values with which it opened – family, community, authenticity, generosity – and continues to be a place for quiet reflection and lively conversation.

Address: 124 Rue Saint–Viateur O | 419 Rue Saint-Vincent | 1333 BD Robert-Bourassa 

Photos courtesy of Cafe Olimpico

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Cafe Cosé

For an aesthetic and cute cafe hang, Cafe Cosé is a great place to spend a few hours – whether you’re alone and catching up on work/reading, or with a friend or two. From a delicious Asian-inspired beverage menu (Hojicha tea, Vietnamese egg coffee, Matcha latte), to baked goods made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, this light and airy cafe will be the perfect chill spot.

Address: 1883 Rue Centre

Photo 2 courtesy of Cafe Cosé

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Crew Collective

Located in a gorgeous heritage building that was once the Royal Bank of Canada in the Old Port of Montreal, Crew Collective is a stunning cafe, as well as coworking space. With beautiful meeting rooms that carry the aesthetic of the old bank + all the modern amenities, this space is stimulating, unique, and just architecturally beautiful. Weekends get very busy, so try to go on a weekday.

Address: 360 Rue Saint-Jacques

 

Photo 2 courtesy of Crew Collective

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Sunday Cuisine and Cafe

A fairly new eatery to have opened, this beautiful spot is located right beside Cafe Cosé. With a gorgeous and bright interior design, Sunday Cuisine and Cafe has delicious, healthy eats that are lovingly prepared and presented. With a big communal table down the center, as well as booths lining the left wall, this space feels expansive, and perfect for a group, or a solo cafe day. I loved both the Tofu Wrap and the Kimchi Bowl.

Address: 1905 Rue Centre

 

 

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Micro Espresso Cafe

Micro Espresso Cafe is a specialty coffee roaster based in the Old Port of Montreal (and another location in NDG). This little cafe has a mission to make great coffee accessible to everyone. Many places don’t live up to their ratings, but Micro Espresso’s 4.9 stars on Google are well-deserved and completely accurate. Whether a hot coffee or an iced one, you can’t go wrong here. Their walk-up window is also a super cute and convenient touch.

Address: 417 Rue Saint-Pierre, Suite 102 | 5707 rue Sherbrooke O

Photos courtesy of Micro Espresso

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La Traite

Located outside of Montreal (closer to Quebec City) is La Traite, a restaurant in Wendake, which is an urban reserve of the Huron-Wendat peoples. This restaurant offers up a unique dining experience, with dishes inspired by traditional Indigenous fare. We got the Gatherer’s Platter, which included fried bannock, Chicoutai butter, mixed maple nuts with cedar salt, smoked tofu and a “3 sisters” salad – squash, beans and corn. The restaurant and hotel are situated on the gorgeous Aikawenrakh river, so definitely go for a post-meal walk in the forest.

Address: 5 Otironta, Wendake

Photos courtesy of La Traite

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Other Notable Eateries:

St Viateur Bagels | Authentic Montreal Bagels
LOV | Gluten-Free & Vegan 
Mandy’s | Fresh Salads

 


 

W H E R E  T O  S H O P

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Naif

Naif is a beautiful shop dedicated to natural materials, sustainable practices, and that refined yet casual French-girl style. You can find everything from day dresses and skirts, to lounge pants and comfy sweaters here, all made with intention and excellent tailoring. As far as sustainable boutiques go, this one shouldn’t be missed!

Addresses: 227 St. Paul St W | 826 Mount Royal Ave E | 227 St Viateur St

Photos courtesy of Naif

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Maison Pepin

Maison Pepin is a lifestyle shop in the heart of Old Montreal, founded by siblings Lysanne and Paul Pepin. Lysanne being an artist, and Paul a photographer and graphic designer, their eye for design is evident in their highly curated selection of sustainably-made home goods. They aim to bring a refined, yet effortless look to your home, taking inspiration from Moroccan and Scandinavian influences. Here you’ll find a mix of linens, kitchenware, and curated vintage treasures, all displayed with natural elements woven in. Maison Pepin’s famous, gorgeous brick alleyway and attached cafe are not to be missed.

Address: 378 Saint-Paul St W

Photos courtesy of Maison Pepin

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La Canadienne Shoes

Ethically and sustainably-crafted, La Canadienne Shoes will meet all your footwear needs. From boots to sandals, loafers to sneakers, these gorgeous, handmade pieces are high-quality and expertly crafted in both Canada and Italy. Currently it is shop by appointment only at their Montreal locations.

Address: 1400 Rue Sherbrooke O | 273 Av Laurier O

Photos courtesy of La Canadienne Shoes

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Maktaba Bookshop

Maktaba is a concept bookshop and boutique, nestled in a heritage building in the Old Port of Montreal. “Maktaba” means both “library” and “bookshop” in Arabic, and this beautiful community shop is an artist-run, deeply-rooted space invested in representation and culture. With a purpose to cultivate and share knowledge, inspiration and imagination, Maktaba expands outside of just being a retail space, with programming that includes book launches, readings, screenings, and cultural events.

Address: 165 Rue Saint-Paul O

Photo 1 courtesy of Maktaba


 

W H E R E  T O  V I S I T

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Musée des Beaux Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a bold, innovative museum that is welcoming to all disciplines of the visual arts, history and science. It’s the biggest museum in Montreal, and is one of the country’s most visited art institutes. Look out for special exhibits by visiting artists, and take in the gorgeous architecture of the place.

Addresses: 1380 Sherbrooke St W

Photo courtesy of Musee Des Beaux Arts

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Les Bleuts du Vire-Crêpes

Located a few hours outside of the city, this gorgeous little blueberry farm is a must-visit if on the way to Quebec City. With an active blueberry farm and fields to roam, a gift shop, bakery and ice creamery, Les Bleuts du Vire-Crêpes is a pit stop that will be well-worth it. We had the fresh blueberry and vanilla ice cream, and it was unreal! Their freshly-made blueberry donuts are also not to be missed.

Addresses: 975 Chem. Vire-Crêpes, Saint-Nicolas

Photos courtesy of Les Bleuts du Vire-Crêpes

 
You might also like: The Sustainable Guide to Vancouver

Some of these eateries were in collaboration with Forage & Sustain. With stringent requirements, I only work with brands whose visions and ethos align with my own. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

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