For a true foodie, there is nothing better than discovering a new café where you can pass away the hours, tasting a new flavour of ice cream, or finding yourself enraptured by the tastes of an exquisite dish. Why not keep the pleasure going with two days devoted to your passion? Old Montreal is bursting with gourmet places that will make your knees weak and your eyes wide. Let’s go, time to scour and devour!
It is always preferable to search out a good handmade coffee over store-bought grounds, and so our first stop is Café Olimpico. If you are a regular here, they will greet you by first name and already be working on your usual. If not, you can pick your order from their European-inspired menu. After that, we’ll be checking out a really nice neighbourhood wine bar with some innovative cuisine: Loam. Whether you’re looking for brunch or a neat urban picnic, you will delight in Loam’s vibrant, flavourful dishes.
Following lunch, we’ll take some time to do a little shopping. There are numerous boutiques in Old Montreal that will wake the senses and imagination of any gourmand. We suggest Cartet for a gourmet souvenir or Maison Pépin, where table art holds the place of honour.
Now that suppertime has rolled around, we will next be dining among Dandy’s elegant and warm décor. You would be wise to opt for one of their delicious salads, but you can’t go wrong with one of their decadent sandwiches either, like their buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.
There’s nothing quite like a nice walk after a good meal! We’ll stop to do a little reading at Bertrand Bookstore, where you can purchase some inspiring cookbooks, like the one by Olive + Gourmando. You could also drop by Marché des Éclusiers to meet local producers and buy fresh products. It’s a paradise for anyone into the Farm to Table lifestyle. They even have a restaurant and bar on site, it’s heaven!
One short walk later, you’ll find yourself among the eclectic décor of Jellyfish. Everything they offer, from their raw dishes to their charcoal-broils, is to die for. We have a real soft spot for the rotelle served to us practically falling off the bone. A regal dish if ever there was one!
After eating like a king all day, we need to find something to really put a grand finale on the evening. Make your way to the top of l’Hôtel Place d’Armes to get the full view of the city skyline. Order one last raspberry mojito, the house specialty, at the terrace before going back down to your room and dreaming of all that awaits you tomorrow.
We start this day by walking down magnificent Saint-Paul Street. We’ll be passing by several restaurants, a promise of the delights to come. For brunch, we’ll stop at Maggie Oakes to dine on their terrace. You can sample some of their honey that they make in-house, or even buy a jar from their boutique to take home!
We’ll follow up this gourmet getaway by sniffing out the coffee aromas of Paquebot. The passionate baristas here will happily tell you all about their products. They love using local products and can’t wait to serve you!
For dinner, we’ll bask in the creativity of chefs Chanthy Yen and Kevin Demers, creators of Touk, a pop-up restaurant born out of the circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis. Here, you will dine on traditional Cambodian fare. You can pick up your order and eat in one of the most beautiful places in the neighbourhood. And in order to continue the gastronomic experience at home, we suggest picking up some of the Cold Room’s signature pre-mixed cocktails. Just add your favorite alcohol and the party is on!
For desert, head over to Maison Christian Faure, a treat for both the eyes and the stomach! Everything is beautiful and decadent, the hardest part is picking from the sundry wonders they offer. Pastries? Ice cream? Why not both! You can also drop by their sweets counter to compose some of the most decadent gifts a gourmand could ask for.
Now let’s make our way to the Clocktower Beach for a moment of pure happiness: enjoying our dessert with our feet in the sand!
On de la Commune street, you will pass by one of several hand sanitizer stations. They are ideal for disinfecting your hands, respecting public health and safety measures, and enjoying a beach trip in safety and security. Even with the clock tower ticking away in full view of the beach, you’ll lose all sense of time while immersed in the idyllic scenery and total change of pace.
Need a little wake-up call after that relaxing moment on the beach? Head over to Café Macchiato for some of the best coffee in the Old Port! Whether you decide to try an espresso, a latte, or a cappuccino, in either their hot OR iced versions, your tastebuds will be thanking you!
We’ll celebrate happy hour at Hà, where the ambience is festive and the cocktails are decadent. Your eyes might wander over the Nhậu Bar before leaving and you’ll think to yourself “I’m definitely coming back here to finish the night.” And rightly so! For the last meal of our journey, we’ll be dining at the elegant Monarque, whose space is vast and inviting. Whether you decide to dine in the brasserie section or the dining room, both areas give the same attention to the dishes they serve. This restaurant is the fruit of a long-held dream between a father, Richard Bastien, and his son, Jérémie. You can taste their shared passion in every bite.
Are you feeling in the mood for a little snack before turning in? The café at the base of la Grande Roue offers, among other things, some great ice cream. You can also treat yourself to some of the decadent cookies from Félix et Norton, created here in Montreal and known world-wide! Plus, the eco-friendly pink mobile cookie factory has that undefinable something that will make you smile as soon as you see it!
Our gourmand adventure comes to a close as we reminisce over this place suffused with culinary experiences and the magic moments we’ve shared. After this trip, we have only one wish: to come back soon and taste everything we haven’t tried yet!
© Photo Credit 1: Restaurant Dandy
© Photos Credit 2 et 3: Geneviève Giguère
© Photo Credit 4: Maison Christian Faure
© Photo Credit 5: Félix et Norton