weekend wanderlust: montreal
Published Jun 17, 2016 4:00 AM
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text & photography by SHANI SILVER
Every now and then I find a city I know I’ll come back to forever. They’re not your typical destination cities, but maybe that’s what I like about them–a sense of underground awesome. Pittsburgh is without a doubt my new favorite don’t-tell-anyone-how-cool-it-is city, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it go the way of Austin and Nashville soon–really soon. Before it does, my list of must-see moments in Pittsburgh follows here, along with images I snapped along the way, and I really had to narrow it down.
Hotel Le Germain
2050 RUE MANSFIELD, MONTRÉAL, QC H3A 1Y9, CANADA
I’ve been to Montreal before, and what I’ve learned is that it’s smart to pick a hotel that’s central. You’ll be traveling all over the city, and it’s nice to find a place to crash that’s easy (and quick) to get to no matter where you end up. Hotel Le Germain is perfect if you’re looking for a little bit of (affordable) luxury. If you’re the kind that likes collapsing into a huge, fluffy bed at the end of a long day, stay here.
Rooms run around $230 (CAD) per night and breakfast, wifi, and Molton Brown bath products are free.
4524 BOULEVARD SAINT-LAURENT, MONTRÉAL, QC H2T 1R4, CANADA
As you start to indulge in all of Montreal’s outstanding restaurants, you’re going to notice that they all get their bread from the same place: here. Hof Kelsten is a bakery (boulangerie) creating some of the most perfect breads and pastries I’ve ever tried.
You’re looking at the best croissant I’ve ever had. (And I’ve been to Paris).
1844 RUE AMHERST, MONTRÉAL, QC H2L, CANADA
Sometimes I feel like every new place I try in Montreal ends up on my “must-do” list, but Agrikol really does. A Hatian restaurant that’s as worth visiting for the food and cocktails as it is for the decor, I can’t think of a better place to be after a long day of being a proper tourist.
this cocktail was inspired by Brooklyn, of course i had to order it.
Notre Dame Basilica
110 RUE NOTRE-DAME O, MONTRÉAL, QC H2Y 1T2, CANADA
This is the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen, period. If you find yourself in Old Montreal, missing this would be heartbreaking. There is so much to see, your eyes almost can’t take it all in. Fun fact: Celine Dion was married here.
The Urban Forest
BETWEEN SHERBROOKE STREET WEST AND PRESIDENT-KENNEDY AVENUE MAY 22-OCTOBER 2, 2016
Some of my favorite travel moments are happy accidents. Such is true of The Urban Forest, which I stumbled upon one morning in a search for coffee. The public art installation features “trees” which are essentially tree-like metal structures with ribbons as “leaves.” In addition to faux foliage, you’ll find picnic tables aplenty, where locals are encouraged to enjoy lunch or a break from their workday outdoors
SO much better than sad desk lunch!
9 FAIRMOUNT AVE E, MONTREAL, QUÉBEC H2T, CANADA
My favorite thing to do while traveling, without question, is to get recommendations from people in the restaurant industry. Servers, bartenders, restaurant owners and the like are the absolute best people to ask for advice of an imbibing or indulging nature. That’s how I found Larry’s. A server I spoke to at Liverpool House (one of my favorite places in the world) suggested Larry’s and if he hadn’t I’d have likely walked right by. I’m so glad I didn’t. Whatever the servers there recommend, order it.
I love this tile!
Montreal is a city of amazing food and wine, and you should indulge in all of it, but if you don’t get a little exercise, the city might overwhelm you. Mount Royal is literally a mountain in the center of the city. It’s lush and green and full of healthy people reminding you how much you love mountain biking. You can walk up the mountain at your own pace, but there are also off-road trails that will get you to the top a little faster, where the view is well worth the effort. Tip: Bring water!
This mountain is home to a LOT of raccoons, but I sadly didn’t spot any.
Le Vin Papillon
2519 RUE NOTRE-DAME O, MONTRÉAL, QC H3J 1N4, CANADA
A rule that exists around Montreal is that in many establishments, if you’re ordering a drink, you also have to order food. That’s how I came to meet this little miracle. I simply intended to have a glass of wine with a friend, as we had dinner plans later (at Nora Gray–which you must also try), but the rules meant we had to order at least something to eat. This is a rye eclair with carrot in the middle that has been magically transformed to taste like pastrami. I don’t understand it, you won’t understand it, but you MUST eat it.
5001 RUE NOTRE-DAME O, MONTRÉAL, QC H4C 1T2, CANADA
Also recommended to me by the staff at (multiple) other restaurants, Bar Loïc is probably my favorite find of the entire trip. If you’re there in summer (and really that’s when you should go to Montreal), sit outside on their beautiful, ivy-laden terrasse.
I didn’t get too many photos that do it justice, I was far too busy having a good time. 😉