When it comes to cosmopolitan vacations, there are certainly countless guides out there, but we believe the best way to see a city is through the eyes of a local.
That’s why we’ve interviewed Casa de Suna’s own, Anna, to talk us through all of the places we can’t miss when visiting Montreal. Read on for some insight into the city and her comprehensive guide.
For a girl’s trip…
Start your day at…
Arthur’s, a Jewish deli serving classic food in a stunning contemporary space. There are no reservations, so try to arrive on the early side. September Surf Cafe, a surfboard-shaping studio turned coffee shop, is also a unique brunch experience with an extensive coffee menu.
During the day…
Head to Pilates with Genevieve Roy, owner of Linear Pilates, followed by a juice or some vegan fare at Rejuice. Then, indulge in some retail therapy at Canadian landmark Holt Renfrew (and, if you’re traveling with an especially fashion-forward group of girls, you can’t miss a trip to Ssense). Later in the afternoon, head to the Lachine Canal to rent a boat and then enjoy some cocktails.
Enjoy a girls dinner at…
Gia, an intimate Italian-inspired restaurant in Saint-Henri that seats about 55, is a new go-to. Liverpool House, the sister restaurant of Montreal mainstay Joe Beef, offers up delicious food in a lively atmosphere. You also can’t go wrong with Stem Bar, which describes itself as a restaurant, kinda (it’s a wine bar above all else), but don’t be fooled–everything they serve, especially their burger, is delicious.
For a couple’s trip…
Start with a brunch at…
Olive + Gourmando, for incredible pastries and some of Montreal’s finest coffee. For a sit-down meal, pop into classic bistro Leméac for some of the best brunch the city has to offer.
For a family trip…
Start your day at:
Beauty’s, a Montreal classic since the early 1940s, recently revamped but with a menu as timeless and comforting as ever. For early morning hunger pangs, pick up bagels from the iconic St. Viateur, sure to satisfy even the pickiest palates, which opens at 6am. If your kids are slightly older, don’t miss a stop at Schwartz’s Deli, the oldest deli in Canada, known for their sandwiches and smoked meats.
To keep the kids occupied…
The options are endless. For those previously unaware of Montreal’s topography, the city’s mountain, Mount Royal (known to locals as “the mountain”) sits right in the city–no long drive or train travel required for access. It’s an easy enough hike for the whole family and the top brings majestic views of the entire city. If your kids can bike, don’t miss the opportunity to bike along the canal.
Montreal is a family-friendly city and there are endless options. From McKiernan (another spot from the restaurateurs behind Joe Beef et al), purveyors of excellent schnitzels and much more, to Pichai for Thai food to Kazu for Japanese. For little ones with more limited palates, the pizza at Elena is delicious.
How many days would you recommend spending in Montreal?
A long weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, is the perfect amount of time.
What’s your favorite neighborhood?
If you’re visiting, you must take a walk around the Old Port. My personal favorites are Saint-Henri and The Plateau.
Describe the culture in a few words.
Montreal is a very multicultural city but, of course, it’s predominantly French. It definitely has a European flair to it.
What time of year is best to go?
I personally love summer and fall in Montreal. The winter is beautiful, and there are lots of outdoor activities, but I’d probably avoid coming in January or February, because of how cold it tends to get. Last winter, we got down to -23°C (-9.4°F).
Describe the loyal style. How do people dress on a daily basis?
Montreal is one of those cities where you’re free to dress up or down. Style here is very personal, and you’ll see a variety of different tastes displayed throughout the city. It’s very inspiring!
Activities for all seasons…
In the summer:
– Grab a coffee and croissant in the morning
– Bike ride along the canal
– Stop at the market and pick up fresh ingredients for a picnic with friends in the park
In the fall…
– A walk on the mountain
– Apple picking
In the winter…
– Ice skating
– Unwind in a cabane à sucre (literal translation: sugar shack) for some maple-infused delicacies
In the spring…
– Stroll through the Old Port
– Pop into some galleries or a museum (The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is Anna’s favorite)