What I did:
Notre-Dame Basilica and Aura light show-
The Notre-Dame Basilica is an impressive building one its own, especially considering the fact that it was built in 1656. When the Aura light show is added, it is absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend checking it out if possible.
Montreal is french for "Mount Royal," a hill provides great views of the city. It is also a nice walk on the way up the Mount.
Explored Old Montreal-
Old Montreal is a very nice area to walk through. It is near the waterfront, the buildings are picturesque, and the area has a great feel to it.
Tristar and 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu-
Tristar is one of the premier mixed martial arts gyms in the world. 10th Planet Montreal is one of the top no-gi jiu jitsu gyms in the world. I was able to practice jiu jitsu at both of them. Everyone I came across was incredibly nice (and many of them incredibly talented).
Montreal Botanical Gardens-
The Montreal Botanical Gardens were very nice, but in my opinion not worth the price. However, it was interesting to have the opportunity to taste some insects outside of the insectarium.
Jean Talon Market-
Jean Talon is an excellent food market in Montreal. There is a mix of food to eat on site or to purchase to cook later.
Guy Favreau YMCA of Quebec-
The Guy Favreau YMCA of Quebec was a nice place to workout in while I was in Montreal.
Free walking tour-
The hostel I stayed at while in Montreal, M Montreal, offered a free walking tour that I participated in.
What I ate and drank:
Le 4e Mur-
Le 4e Mur has one of the coolest entrances to any eating or drinking establishment I have ever been to. First, to obtain the address you can visit their website and sign up for their email list. After receiving the list via email, you will arrive at a door that says "Detective Agency" in French. Then, after entering a very small brick room and finding the correct brick, the real door opens and leads down to the speakeasy. The drinks and environment while I was there were both excellent.
Good times, good cocktails, good people- that is the motto listed on the Coldroom's website, and it is an excellent description. After I entered an unmarked door near the old port area in Montreal and passed the white duck, I encountered good times, good cocktails, and good people.
Schwartz's Deli and Lester's Deli-
Both Schwartz's and Lester's offer the famous Montreal smoked beef sandwiches. I thought both were different, but amazing in their own ways. Lester's was slightly thinner, slightly juicier, and felt like more of a local place. Schwartz's was thicker and it seemed like it hosted many tourists. I enjoyed both very much.
Dispatch Coffee and Esquina Coffee-
Dispatch Coffee and Esquina Coffee were both very nice coffee shops.
Paquebot Cafe served me the best cup of coffee I have had in Montreal. Their nitro cold brew coffee is excellent. They also offer a coffee lemonade, which is something I had not come across before. The shop also has a cool, laid back vibe and other drink options such as kombucha.
Emerald/Le bar sans nome-
The Emerald, formerly know as Le bar sans nome (the bar without a name) was nice place that in a normal city would warrant a return. However, with the level of speakeasies in Montreal, I doubt I will be back to the Emerald anytime soon.
Atwater Cocktail Club-
I tried to check out the Atwater Cocktail Club (ACC), but didn't have the best experience. There was a large wait to get inside, and having a long line hurts the "speakeasy" vibe a bit. After entering, my friends and I waited over 30 minutes for the chance to order a drink before we decided to go elsewhere without getting anything. To be fair it was during peak hours (later at night on a weekend). It might be worth checking out again on a weeknight or with a reservation, but with the quality of the other speakeasies in Montreal I doubt I will try anytime soon.
St. Viatuer Bagel Shop-
St. Viatuer has been selling the famous Montreal style bagels since 1957. Their bagels are thinner than most of the bagels found in the United States. They were good, but there are other things I would rather eat instead of having another one.
Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel-
Dieu du Ciel is a great microbrewery in Montreal. They had two very good stouts while I was there. I would definitely be interested in returning to try some more.
The Cloakroom Bar is speakeasy located behind a false door within a tailor shop. It is a small spot, that serves high quality cocktails.
La Capital Tacos-
It was interesting to find a Mexican taco shop in Chinatown in a french speaking city in North America, but that’s exactly what La Capital Tacos was. The tacos were very good and well priced.
Le Grand Poutinefest-
Poutine is one of the most famous foods in the province of Québec. It is basically french fries with cheese curds and gravy on top. While I was in Montreal they had a poutine festival with various food trucks selling poutine. While it tasted good and is worth trying if you are somewhere in Québec, it is not very healthy.
Where I stayed:
M Montreal is one of the best hostels I have stayed in. Each bed had its own curtains, outlets, shelves, and large lockers. It had two kitchens, one of which was very large. There was also a bar downstairs, and they were in the process of constructing a sauna and hot tub on the rooftop terrace. It was very clean and had a nice environment. I met some awesome people while I was at the hostel.
How I got around:
Montreal has a nice metro system, and it is a very walkable city. Also, Lyft and Uber were also available when necessary.
My favorite thing:
I met some amazing people during my stay in Montreal. Also, Montreal has some of the best speakeasies I have been to.
My least favorite thing:
I have heard some amazing things about Joe Beef and their sister restaurants. It was the number one place I wanted to visit in Montreal, but it was closed for vacation during the time I was there.
For next time:
As previously mentioned, I would like to visit Joe Beef.
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