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A Long Weekend in Montreal

A long weekend in Montreal is just enough to enjoy the best things to do in the city – eat, drink local beer, walk and check out art.

Hot Dog Poutine in Montreal Canada

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As we bit into the crunchy yet soft boule from Le Fromentier, we enjoyed a tangible memory of our 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 Canada for the extended 2012 Thanksgiving weekend. The long, yet achievable one day drive was just over eight hours from our home city of Philadelphia.

Since this fourth visit was relatively short, we decided to mix up the trip with some returns to tried and true favorites as well as some new spots.

Hotels

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

Restaurants

We’ve had some great meals in Montreal during past visits, and this visit was no exception. We had excellent dinners at an old favorite, Au Pied de Cochon, plus two new favorites, Park and Pastaga.

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Montreal

Montreal Street Art
Montreal Street Art

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.

Boulangerie Guillaume

Cheddar Fig Fougasse
Cheddar Fig Fougasse

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.

Boulangerie Guillaume is no longer new and has moved to a larger location at at5134 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2T 1R8, Canada.

L’Emouleur

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.

L’Emouleur is located at 1081 Laurier Avenue O, Outremont, QC H2V 2L2, Canada.

Patati Patata

Patati Patata in Montreal Canada
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.

Poutine with Roast Beef in Montreal Canada
Poutine with Roast Beef

This hipsterish little spot didn’t disappoint. We enjoyed our poutine with additional toppings of hot dogs and roast beef.

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

Bières et Compagnie

Beer at Biers et Compagnie in Montreal Canada
Beer at Biers 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.

Cheers to a Long Weekend in Montreal
Cheers!

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.

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

Les Chocolats de Chloé

Les Chocolates de Chloe in Montreal Canada
Les Chocolates de Chloe

Another favorite is the chocolate shop, Les Chocolats de Chloé. After drooling over the freshly made hand-dipped chocolates, we bought a half-dozen chocolates to share during the weekend.

Chocolates
Chocolates

We could have easily had one of each flavor. We settled for just the six.

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

Musee des Beux-Arts

Beaux Art Museum in Montreal Canada
Beaux Art Museum

We always like to check out art when we travel. This time, we visited the Musee des Beaux-Arts, a/k/a the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Renoir's The Onions
Renoir’s The Onions

We enjoyed the museum’s comprehensive Impressionism exhibition featuring hundreds of paintings and sculptures from the Sterling and Francine Clark collection.

Degas' Little Dancer
Degas’ Little Dancer

The vastness of the Impressionist art, as well as the story behind the collection, reminded us of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Musee des Beux-Arts is located at 1380 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada.

Jean-Talon Market and La Fromagerie Hamel

Jean-Talon Market in Montreal Canada
Jean-Talon Market

Our visit to the Jean-Talon Market had a different vibe compared to our previous springtime visits.

Apples at Jean-Talon in Montreal Canada
Jean-Talon Apples

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.

Cheese at Fromagerie Hamel in Montreal Canada
Fromagerie Hamel Snack – Cheese Pictured: Four Year Old Comté

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 is located at 7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada.

Schwartz’s

Schwartz's Deli in Montreal Canada
Schwartz’s Deli

The Plateau neighborhood is great for shopping, Portuguese food and smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s.

Smoked Meat Sandwich at Schwartz's in Montreal Canada
Smoked Meat Sandwich

For lunch at the legendary Jewish eatery, we shared a medium smoked meat sandwich, french fries and a big pickle.

French Fries at Schwartz's in Montreal Canada
French Fries

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

Fairmount Bagels and Le Fromentier

Fairmount Bagel in Montreal Canada
Fairmount Bagel

The weekend flew by, and we ended our visit by picking up snacks for the road at Fairmount Bagels and Le Fromentier.

Pastries at Le Fromentier in Montreal Canada
Le Fromentier Pastries

Lucky or smart, we bought an extra boule for the freezer. We choose to think we were both.

Boules at Le Fromentier Boules in Montreal Canada
Le Fromentier Boules

Sigh, we miss Montreal already. Perhaps it’s time to start planning our next long weekend in Montreal. We already have some great tips on what to do in Montreal when we return.

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.

Plan Your Montreal Stay

Click here to research rates for hotels in Montreal.

If you want access to a kitchen, click here to find an Airbnb apartment.

Hungry for More in Montreal?

Check out the iconic Montreal restaurants that you cannot miss.

Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Annika

Sunday 17th of August 2014

What a delicious trip you had! I'm glad you have tried poutine too. I'm not a huge fan but it's just something you gotta try when in Québec!

Lesh

Tuesday 12th of August 2014

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. :)

Nick

Tuesday 5th of August 2014

I've always wanted to visit Montreal. I think I need to go just to get one of those smoked sandwiches from Schwartz's!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

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

Susan Moore

Sunday 3rd of August 2014

I will be in Montreal in a couple of weeks - so looking forward to the food and visiting the Museum of Fine Arts again. I love Montreal!

Kristin

Sunday 3rd of August 2014

I love Montreal, I'll probably be road tripping up there again soon, will keep this guide handy.