We love Montreal. A long weekend in Montreal is just to enjoy the city – eat, drink local beer, walk and check out art.
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.
- How to Spend a Long Weekend in Montreal – Eating and Walking
- Boulangerie Guillaume
- Patati Patata
- Bières et Compagnie
- Les Chocolats de Chloé
- Musee des Beux-Arts
- Jean-Talon Market and La Fromagerie Hamel
- Starch for the Road – Fairmount Bagels and Le Fromentier
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Starch for the Road – Fairmount Bagels and Le Fromentier
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: