Shoulder season, with its wallet-friendly fares and pre-winter weather, it makes Montréal a perfect choice for your next food-focused getaway. We’ve put together recommendations on where to stay and what to eat.
Montréal is an amazing place to be in the summer with endless festivals to choose from, sweaty bumping night clubs to cue up for and a distinctly European feel oozing from the parks and beer gardens. For some, the heat, hordes of tourists and high season pricing makes shoulder season (September – November) a better-timed travel option — particularly, if food is the focus of your fancy.
A food-focused getaway is only made better by selecting a comfortable place to rest your head — especially after a full day of winding your way through cobble stone streets peppered with boutiques, restaurants and artists studios.
Hotel Monville is located in the International Quarter, between Old Montréal and the Business Centre, making it a perfect home base for those looking to be steps from great food, sights and sounds. At less than year old, the modern contemporary design is fully immersed in digital technology with an automated check-in kiosk, an entertainment centre in each room for streaming content, a signalling valet to bring up your car, and a robot delivering up locally-sourced food to your door. Yes, a robot.
Developed by the California firm Savioke, the robot is a playful addition to the Hotel Monville team, offering a glimpse into the future. Worry not technophobes, friendly humanoid staff are also available at all hours.
With reasonably priced rooms, access to a fully provisioned gym (complete with all the newest workout equipment) and a rooftop deck with city views (which frequently hosts group yoga sessions), you can’t go wrong at making Hotel Monville your go-to home base while in town. Photos courtesy of Hotel Monville.
Where to eat:
The Green Panther (La Panthère Verte): If you ask any of the locals (and we did), they will say The Green Panther has the best falafel in town. So, we had to find out for ourselves. As it turns out, the locals were bang on. Besides the scrumptious falafel, The Green Panther offers a full range of local, organic and sustainably-produced Middle Eastern fare.
Chocolates Geneviève Grandbois: At the tender age of 20, the self-named chocolatier began her passion with chocolate and hasn’t looked back since. Her chocolate creations are known around the globe and have garnered her respect in a perfectionist industry. A piece of the salted caramel or a chunk of the dark chocolate with a glass of red is a must try.
St-Viateur Bagels: There are two camps in Montreal, St-Viateur Bagels and Fairmount Bagels. Both spots offer handmade bagels cooked in a wood fire oven to the beat of one thousand dozen a day. For us, St-Viateur came out on top, because of the signed epic William Shatner photo on the wall and their bagels’ chewy-sticky texture. Order up a fresh hot sesame seed bagel with a square of cream cheese from both spots and decide for yourself. Just be careful who you share your thoughts with on the best bagel in Montréal. The locals are very passionate about which bagel shop is best!
Drogheria Fine: Located on Fairmount Street, with legendary Kem Coba Ice Cream on one side and Fairmount Bagels on the other, Drogheria Fine offers up mouthwatering gnocchi in Chinese style take-out containers. At only five bucks, you get unparalleled fresh delicious pasta at a great price. Not to mention, premium handmade olive oil and tomato sauce available to purchase. This spot is a must visit at any time of the year.
Boucherie Lawrence: Rue St-Laurent is home to Boucherie Lawrence, a butcher shop that offers respectfully-raised land creatures converted into edible morsels. The neighbourhood mainstay prides itself by work with small independent producers from Quebec as well as a handful of international purveyors. Visit their blog to learn more about the families and animals that produce the life-giving proteins that land up on your charcuterie board.