I’m often asked why I choose to go to Montreal over and over again. I think that’s an easy answer. It’s a 55 minute flight from NYC and it’s being out of the country without the long travel hours. Plus it’s aesthetically charming, has the sweetest people and beautiful food. My list of to-do’s will always grow but here’s a snapshot of my top 5. Contact me for additional suggestions.
- Eat. Let’s start with my favorite thing to do here. Chef Chuck Hughes is innovative time and again in all his restaurants. My two favorites are Le Bremner and Garde-Manger. Maison Publique and Le Vin Papillon also never disappoint. LOV is a great option for lunch and for vegetarians. Modavie in the old port never disappoints and has live jazz nights. There is wild game in the winter and seafood all year around. I try something unique each time and the service is friendly and fun.
- Stay. I don’t doubt there are probably great Air B&B options but if I can get a hotel I’m swinging that way. I like being taken care of from time to time :) My favorite area is the Old Port because you can walk around easily in this quaint part of town. The Inter-contentinental and Park Hyatt are close by and you can’t go wrong with the Marriott on (St. Catherines) or the Omni Mont Royal. I recently stayed at Hotel Nelligan on Rue Saint Paul and I can’t rave enough about it. The service, rooms and ambience is pure bliss. Hotel William Gray is another one I may try next time.
- Do. There is something here to suit every taste. Art galleries. Museums. Boat rides in the summer. Outdoor eating and cocktails in the summer. Montreal Jazz fest in July. Indoor shopping malls in winter. Ski resorts are a short drive away. Cirque du Soleil was founded here in Montreal and the first time I saw their show (Luzia) was here. It’s a children-friendly city as well as a perfect destination for groups, couples and the solo traveler. Try some maple syrup while you’re at it because it’s delicious.
- Poutine. Yes an entire section dedicated to poutine. I love French fries more than anything and they are an entree in Canada. It’s brilliant. The traditional poutine is French fries with cheese curds and gravy. However, most restaurants now have their own variation with smoked meat, bacon, breakfast poutine, lobster poutine (heaven), and some other yummy ones. It’s not the same as disco fries. It’s just not. Have fun with it.
- French. Everyone is pretty much bi-lingual here. However, they usually start by speaking French. It’s not required as a visitor but isn’t it nice to try? It’s fun and seemingly polite to greet them and then switch to English if you feel uncomfortable. That’s the whole point of getting away for me. Try something new and be a little uncomfortable. We can always go back to our comfort when we go home right?