[Updated July 2017]
Plateau, Mont-Royal, and Mile-End are hip and local neighbourhoods which are central as well. Plateau is the closest south, towards downtown, and Mile-End is the most north of the 3, right before you hit Little Italy. Lots of students and artists live in the Plateau and Mont-Royal, whils Mile-End is a traditionally Jewish neighbourhood which the hipsters and tech/startups have infiltrated. Try finding accomodation via homegrown startup Sonder, or get $40 off your first Airbnb stay here.
Montreal’s subway system has won lots of awards, but I generally prefer the bus. If it’s rush hour you definitely want to opt for the “metro” to skip traffic.
You know the public bike share cities that more and more cities have? It (BIXI) originated in Montreal, New York, Chicago and several cities have adopted it and white labeled it e.g. “Citibikes”. I really enjoy getting around Montreal by bike, and it helps that they have quite a number of bike lanes! Note: BIXI is not available in the Winter, otherwise every last Sunday of the month they have Free BIXI Sundays.
- Cafe Osmo in the basement of Notman House, which is home to many startups.
- Crew Collective & Cafe in the Old Port. A beautiful converted bank by the folks behind Crew and Unsplash, who have offices there as well. Very dark though.
- Temps Libre, a free coworking space in the Mile End.
- GAB in Plateau/Mont-Royal goes for I think $2/hour or $12/day.
- WeWork now has 2 locations in Montreal, one right downtown in Place Ville Marie, and one by the Bell Centre.
- Schwartz’s for smoked meat
- Montreal bagels from St Viateur and/or Fairmount. There’s a massive rivalry here.. I say try both and decide for yourself 😉 Both of their original locations are on parallel streets in the Mile End; the 2 main streets in the Mile End which they’re named after. Open 24/7.
- Poutine from La Banquise. They have all sorts of poutine – smoked meat poutine, vegan poutine.. Expect a line – even in the dead of Winter – if you head there right after the bars/clubs close. If you’re in pinch, Poutineville, Frite Alors, or even McDonalds could do as well.
- Au Pied du Cochon (Quebecois) and Joe Beef are institutions
- L’Gros Luxe for bloody cesears and tacos (very affordable, multiple locations)
- Moishes for steak. They have special deals after 9pm on Wednesdays-Saturdays. Other (nicer) restaurants do as well.
- Vegan: Lola Rosa, Aux Vivres, Green Panther
- Jean Talon Market (I love to get crepes and oysters here)
- Atwater Market (Try Satay Brothers!)
- Rooftop bars e.g. Hotel Nelligan and Auberge du Vieux-Port
- I have so many more: from brunch to ethnic cuisine – tweet me if you’d like to know!
- “Hike” (walk) to the lookout terrace on Mont Royal. When it’s warm there’s Tam Tams at the bottom of the mountain, by the Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier monument. Tam Tams is an African drum circle + tightrope walkers + handicraft stalls + larping + people smoking weed. Across the street there are volleyball courts too.
- Stroll along Rue de la Commune in the Old Port, wander through the cobblestone streets, check out Notre Dame Basilica.
- Bota Bota, a floating spa in the Old Port.
- Check out one of the many festivals: Igloofest in the Winter, Completment Cirque and Just for Laughs in the Summer.
- A Habs game!
Cover photo credit: Samantha Fu