poutine long weekend in montreal

A Long Weekend in Montreal

In Food Tripping, Montreal by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch14 Comments

We love Montreal. A long weekend in Montreal is just to enjoy the city – eat, drink local beer, walk and check out art.

Pin Weekend in Montreal

poutine long weekend in montreal

As we bit into the crunchy yet soft boule from Le Fromentier, we enjoyed a tangible memory of our recent visit to Montreal.

It’s no surprise that we love Montreal. There’s just something about the city that speaks to us. Is it the food, the walkability, the architecture, the markets or the French sensibility? Why pick one – we love it enough to have visited Montreal four of the past five years.

We decided to drive up to the Québécois metropolis for the long Thanksgiving weekend. The long, yet achievable one day drive is just over eight hours from our home city of Philadelphia. Since this fourth visit was to be relatively short, we decided to mix up the trip with some returns to tried and true favorites as well as some new spots.


We like to try different hotels. We’ve stayed at a fancy chain hotel (the Omni Hotel Mont Royal), a B&B (Anne Ma Soeur Anne) and a boutique hotel (Hôtel Chez Swan). This time, we stayed at a new hotel called Zero1, right near Chinatown. It was affordable, comfortable and well positioned for walking.


We’ve had some great meals in Montreal during past visits, and this visit was no exception.  In previous post we wrote about our three dinners: an old favorite, Au Pied de Cochon, plus two new favorites, Park and Pastaga.

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Montreal – Eating and Walking

However, during the days, we did lots of walking and, of course, eating.  On previous visits, during warmer weather months, we enjoyed climbing Mount Royal, but on this visit we spent most of our time walking around the city.  We missed the lovely hike through the park but, luckily, there was lots of interesting architecture and street art to enjoy.

Montreal Street Art Long Weekend in Montreal

Montreal Street Art

Boulangerie Guillaume

We tried a new bakery, Boulangerie Guillaume, in the Mile End neighborhood. The chocolate almond croissant, cheddar fig fougasse and cappuccinos were outstanding at this bustling little bakery – a characteristic of Montreal that’s indebted to French culture.

Cheddar Fig Fougasse Long Weekend in Montreal

Cheddar Fig Fougasse

Chocolate Almond Croissant Long Weekend in Montreal

Chocolate Almond Croissant


We always enjoy shopping in the Mile End neighborhood, and a highlight was our visit to L’Emouleur, where we got to see and try some amazing knives. It’s no surprise that many top chefs in Montreal are customers at this store.

Patati Patata

Patati Patata hit the spot when we were jonesing for Montreal’s signature street dish – poutine. For the few who aren’t familiar, poutine consists of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. This hipsterish little spot didn’t disappoint, and we enjoyed our poutine with additional toppings of hot dogs and roast beef.

Patati Patata Long Weekend in Montreal

Patati Patata

Poutine with Roast Beef Long Weekend in Montreal

Poutine with Roast Beef

Bières et Compagnie

Montreal has many bars, but one of our favorites is Bières et Compagnie. We are huge fans of Unibroue, and this bar always has several on tap. What a treat to have a pint of Maudite in the middle of the afternoon for happy hour prices. Yes, we hit this spot twice on this three-day trip.

Beer at Bièrs et Compagnie Long Weekend in Montreal

Beer at Bièrs et Compagnie

Cheers! Long Weekend in Montreal


Les Chocolats de Chloé

Another favorite is the chocolate shop, Les Chocolats de Chloé. After drooling over the freshly made hand-dipped chocolates, we bought a six-pack of chocolates to share. We could have easily had one of each flavor.

Les Chocolates de Chloé Long Weekend in Montreal

Les Chocolates de Chloé

Chocolates Long Weekend in Montreal


Musee des Beux-Arts

We always like to check out art.  This time, we visited the Musee des Beaux-Arts, a/k/a the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where we enjoyed the comprehensive Impressionism exhibition featuring hundreds of paintings and sculptures from the Sterling and Francine Clark collection. The vastness of the Impressionist art as well as the story behind the collection reminded us of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Beaux Art Museum Long Weekend in Montreal

Beaux Art Museum

History of Impressionism Exhibit Long Weekend in Montreal

History of Impressionism Exhibit

Renoir's The Onions Long Weekend in Montreal

Renoir’s The Onions

Degas' Little Dancer Long Weekend in Montreal

Degas’ Little Dancer

Jean-Talon Market and La Fromagerie Hamel

Our visit to the Jean-Talon Market had a different vibe compared to our previous springtime visits. As we perused the aisles filled with apples and root vegetables, we lamented the sparsity of maple products due to an apparent bad maple season. We opted for a snack of cheeses which you could never find in the U.S.A. – four-year aged Comté and unpasteurized Brie de Meaux at our favorite Montreal cheese shop, La Fromagerie Hamel.

Jean-Talon Market Long Weekend in Montreal

Jean-Talon Market

Jean-Talon Apples Long Weekend in Montreal

Jean-Talon Apples

Fromagerie Hamel Snack - Cheese Pictured: Four Year Old Comté Long Weekend in Montreal

Fromagerie Hamel Snack – Cheese Pictured: Four Year Old Comté


The Plateau neighborhood is great for shopping, Portugese food and smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s. For lunch at the legendary Jewish eatery, we shared a medium smoked meat sandwich, french fries and a big pickle. We chose the medium fat meat option, which is somewhere between lean and fatty. The perfectly seasoned meat satisfied our decadent food urge with its old school flavor and unctuous, melty texture.

Schwartz's Deli Long Weekend in Montreal

Schwartz’s Deli

Smoked Meat Sandwich Long Weekend in Montreal

Smoked Meat Sandwich

French Fries Long Weekend in Montreal

French Fries

Starch for the Road – Fairmount Bagels and Le Fromentier

The weekend flew by, and we ended our visit by picking up snacks for the road at Fairmount Bagels and Le Fromentier. Our last stop was at Cafe Starbucks for some caffeine.

Fairmount Bagel Long Weekend in Montreal

Fairmount Bagel

Le Fromentier Pastries Long Weekend in Montreal

Le Fromentier Pastries

Le Fromentier Boules Long Weekend in Montreal

Le Fromentier Boules

Lucky or smart, we bought an extra boule for the freezer. We were quite happy as we ate it this weekend. Sigh, we miss Montreal already.

Boulangerie Guillaume is located at 17 Avenue Fairmount Est, Montreal, QC H2T 1C7, Canada.

Patati Patata is located at 4177 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2W 1Y7, Canada.

Bières et Compagnie is located at 4350 St Denis St, Montreal, QC H2J 2K8, Canada.

Les Chocolats de Chloé is located at 546 Avenue Duluth East, Montreal, QC H2L 1A9, Canada.

Schwartz’s is located at 3895 St Laurent Boulevard, Montreal, QC H2W 1L2, Canada.

Fairmont Bagel is located at 74 Avenue Fairmount Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2M1, Canada.

Le Fromentier is located at 1375 Avenue Laurier Est, Montreal, QC H2J, Canada.

Check out our Montreal dining experiences:

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  1. Sounds like you had a great time!

    I studied at McGill during the 80’s and although there are many new places to eat and drink many of the old greats are still there. I recently went back to visit a friend and did a mini pub crawl to see Benelux (new to me), Dieu Du Ciel (new to me), and Le Cheval Blanc (it was there in the 80’s). All great places worth the visit.

    So many new food joints as well that I would need many more visits to try them all… Not that that’s a bad thing. 😉

  2. Thats it! We are gonna gas up the car & go.
    The Montreal tourism board owes you one.

  3. OMG, that chocolate almond croissant, I have to try that one. I have tried chocolate croissant and almond croissant, and love both, but I am sure that the combination will be just double as good. Thanks for sharing those brilliant photos 🙂

    1. Author

      Montreal is one of our favorite cities in the world. You should definitely visit, but not during the winter.

  4. You guys made us miss Schwartz’s so much. We lived not far from here once upon a time. This place is a trap and it is so delicious. We loved getting poutine sometimes on the weekends after a good night on the town. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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