For a completely trendy and totally instagrammable day, there’s no better place than le Vieux! We have compiled some of the prettiest corners and most stylish addresses in the neighbourhood for this tour; beauty and fun await!
Starting off at Saint-Paul Street, once you enter Maison Pepin, your eyes won’t know what to look at first. Take your time in discovering each marvel to be found here. This store was created to offer a constantly evolving stock of home décor. Nothing stays forever, which makes each visit new and astounding. You absolutely need to drop by their magnificent interior courtyard, it’s a true jewel in le Vieux! This far-flung road seems to hide a million stories, and we love imagining what secrets it could tell.
Once you open the door to Maison Christian Faure, you will be immediately enveloped by the delicious smell of fresh croissants. Their melt-in-your-mouth vienoisseries and their masterpiece pastries are sugary beauties and almost impossible to resist. With their vivid colours, subtle notes of flavour, and delicate balanced taste, all that is good can be found here. The Maison is situated on Place Royal, which is itself a wonderful place for pictures. Known for its carefully maintained buildings and storefronts, the equilibrium struck between the old stonework and modern signage is a happy marriage. Le Petit Dep, Tommy , and even Wolf and Workman are all good examples of this.
Continuing toward the east, you should find the side street adorned with magnificent arches draped with pretty red flowers. Surely you have come across this gem on social media at some point or another; this is Saint-Amable Street and it is well worth the detour. It is a little ways away from Place Jacques-Cartier, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, so it’s not surprising that it has become the fashionista mainstay for taking some incredible photos.
It is on this same street that you will find the charming boutique, Atelier b. Here, everything has been smartly crafted and carefully hand-picked. Here you can find their clothing collections for women, men, and children, all made with durable materials in a minimalistic style. You can also find a bunch of products (including sky-scented candles, superb jewelry, and really practical bags) that respect the boutique’s values: local-made goods, crafted with care. Atelier b has a peaceful energy that is worth just existing in as long as you can.
Traverse Place Jacques-Cartier to reach Mlle Catherine for a lovely, delicious ice cream cone. Honestly, the biggest challenge here is deciding whether you want to take a few pictures, or if you’re going to eat it straight away! Make some time to stop in at the neighbouring store (also owned by the Mlle Catherine proprietors) Boutique Bonjour Montréal, to uncover some treasures that will really turn some heads! From body care and household items, to zero-waste clothing, there is something here for all tastes in this boutique, made beautiful in a way that only a local savoir-faire could make possible. And while you’re in the area, enjoy this emblematic part of le Vieux: Place Jacques-Cartier. We would also recommend seeking out the tables in the shade of the nearby Place de la Dauversière.
Climb back up to Notre-Dame Street and do a little window shopping as you walk back toward the west. Pass by Place d’Armes where you can’t miss some of the city’s first skyscrapers. The Aldred Building is worth checking out, as well as the New York Life Insurance building’s clock, which reflects the moon and the sun as they rise and fall. Continue your trek until you reach the restaurant Mélisse. When they created this place, they paid particular attention to all the necessary elements to make a fully harmonious culinary experience: their décor and terrace are welcoming and on point, their plating presentation is perfect, the flavours are delicate, and their wine choices are downright delectable.
Resume your walk back the way you came, toward the Grande Roue de Montréal. If it’s a particularly hot day, we would recommend walking the route that takes you near the First Parliament building, and seek out the shade of Place d’Youville. Look around a bit here, there are some pretty clothing stores and decorations. You could also stop by Smoothies & Limonade at the Old Port for a refreshment and a picture in front of their amazingly retro booth. We love the raspberry lemonade they have, but there are so many other great choices on the menu! Not far from there, stand the Old Port summer boutiques, identifiable by the red shipping containers; it’s a shopping destination in and of itself! Clothing, jewelry, hats, nice straw baskets, snacks, popcorn, and much more – this is one of our favourite things to do in summer.
La Grande Roue de Montréal is right across from here, and is beautiful at all times of day. In only three years, this attraction has become a Montreal staple. We love photographing it, because it’s a key element of le Vieux, and we love its impeccable curves. It also offers an amazing view over the city and the buildings of the historic neighbourhood. Plus, the cabins all have AC!
To put a good cap on the evening, take yourself to Nhậu Bar. We can all agree that the Hà terrace is the stuff of dreams, but the complete change of scenery that Nhậu offers is truly worth your time. Push open the front door, which incidentally was directly imported from Asia, and you will be transported into a mesmerizing universe. Its soft ambiance given off by the skillfully hung lanterns, combined with music that perfectly encapsulates the bohemian spirit of celebration and travel, invites you to a place beyond their walls. Good to know: you can order some of the appetizers from Hà to snack on, and their many times over award-winning signature cocktail, the Pandan Sour, is a must. We can’t stress that enough.
And when the day is done, you can still revisit this trip through your pictures. But don’t hesitate to come back again! There are definitely some pretty places in the neighbourhood you didn’t see this time that you can come to shop or photograph next time you come around!
© Photo Credit 1: Le Petit Dep
© Photo Credit 2: Maison Christian Faure
© Photo Credit 3: Boutique Bonjour Montréal