So I have been living in Montreal now for just over a year and I only recently discovered Schwartz’s. Big mistake friends, big mistake. Why was this not the very first place I went to eat and why did it take me this long to realize what I was missing?!
This world-renowned deli should be at the top of your itinerary when visiting Montreal. If you are a local, it should be considered one of the 5 main food groups in your diet. The key is to go later at night and sit at the bar, this way you have the opportunity to chat with the candid staff while enjoying your meal. Now what should you order? If you are a true smoked meat lover go for the fatty sandwich. It is rich in flavour and literally melts in your mouth. If the fatty sounds a little too decadent for your lifestyle, the medium sandwich is just as delicious. To drink, black cherry cola is the way to go. As for sides, I chose coleslaw, a pickle and fries. Sounds like a lot, but when I go to a restaurant for the first time, I like to order a little bit of everything in order to fully indulge in the experience.
Devoting our time and attention to food is innate. Creating life experiences while we eat is what makes food such a great way to build a community. After 80 years of tradition, Schwartz’s deli has established a worldwide love for their original smoked meat.
What was once the tallest landmark in Canada, used as offices for RBC, is now one of the coolest coffee shops in the Old Port of Montreal. Crew collective and café occupies the main floor of the old Royal Bank Tower. This wonderfully historic café features 50 foot-high ceilings and 12000 square feet of space. As you walk through the front doors, it almost feels like you have entered the Vatican museum with the ceilings being so high out of reach and decorated so regally. Once inside, and climbing the stairs up to the coffee shop, you see that this is more than just a stop for a cup of joe; you have arrived among a crew of professionals and coffee enthusiasts.
Crew collective and café has only been open since 2016. A lot of the original décor has been used in the design of this coffee shop. For example, where you once lined up to do your banking with a teller is now the same counter you line up to order your coffee or pastry of choice. There are a ton of seats to choose from, as well as private study rooms for those who wish to be undisturbed. While making yourself comfortable on a couch with a book, or at a table with your laptop, it is hard to ignore the beauty of the crystal chandeliers, brass light fixtures and marble floors. Spending time in this extravagant space has you wondering just how many people have walked these halls before you.
Drinking a cup of coffee, to me, is like a big warm hug at the start of my days. Going out and finding different and unique coffee shops is one of my favourite past times. I am so happy to have discovered Crew, and would highly recommend any coffee lover to check this place out!
What’s the best part of summer you may wonder… well summer vacation is my answer. I just had the best two-week vacation where I got to spend almost an entire week on the East Coast of Canada, in Prince Edward Island! It was quite the journey from Montreal, approximately 12 hours, but totally worth it.
I am the mom to a very sweet Australian Shepherd, so finding a spot to vacation with our little man can be a bit challenging. Luckily, we found the most perfect Airbnb in Montague right next to a little harbour. I am a beach girl; to me vacation means lying on the beach. So, I did some research and found Greenwich beach which was about 30 minutes from Montague. Each day we woke up, ate breaky and then packed the car and headed to the beach. The drive was breath taking as it took us all along the coast. Once at the beach, you had to walk along a boardwalk for about 5 minutes and then you arrived at your paradise. The water was salty and cold but oh so refreshing!
I love food… if that was not already clear by my other posts about local eats! Being in the East Coast, it was necessary that our diet consisted of only seafood. To start it all off when we arrived in Charlottetown on the first day we stopped at Dave’s Lobster to eat (my first) lobster roll. Hands down the best thing I have ever consumed. On our first two nights we decided to cook up some seafood, so we visited a local seafood truck and got some Lucky Lime oysters, haddock and scallops. On the third night we ventured into Charlottetown, about a 45-minute drive, and went to Peakes Quay to enjoy a steak and lobster dinner. On our fourth and last night, we visited an old school diner and enjoyed some greasy fish and chips. We certainly ate our fair share of seafood to say the least.
All in all it was a fantastic vacation, but as with all good things, it had to come to an end. So I am back in Montreal, ready to continue exploring, blogging, and designing my Sunday adventures. Stay tuned.
I discovered Chalet Bar-B-Q on one of my trips to Montreal before moving here. My dad brought me for lunch, and I instantly fell in love with the old school country style diner, not to mention the food! Since moving here I have gone back plenty of times to enjoy their classic hot chicken sandwiches, gravy, coleslaw and fries. The menu is beyond affordable, with pints of beer at 4$ and the food ranging from 8$-15$. I have typically chosen to visit this resto when it is cold or rainy outside because of the cozy atmosphere and homemade style cooking. Chalet Bar-B-Q is located on Sherbrooke St W and has been around since 1944. It is just off the Highway 15, or can be reached by metro if you get off at Vendome and then walk for about 10min. If you are ever in the area and are looking for an affordable and delicious night out, check out the Chalet (they also deliver and do take out!).
Canada 150, what a party! I spent my July 1st in Ottawa this year in order to be a part of the big celebration. The city was packed with people from all over Canada and despite the rain showers you could not dampen the Canadian spirit.
The next day, we were back in Montreal to go to La Ronde, which is a must during the summer months. La Ronde provides a little something for everyone with more than 40 rides and attractions. There are family rides; intermediate and then the high thrill roller coasters (those are my favourite).
The one ritual I have every time I go is to ride the wooden roller coaster first, The Monster. Fun fact: It is the largest wooden roller coaster in Canada. It offers you two different tracks to try and it is also the largest two-track roller coaster in the world. It is very fast at 96km/h after the first drop and a ton of fun!
The second roller coaster we went on was Ednor. This one is named after a monster of the sea, which is very fitting as the coaster loops near the lake. The coaster goes very fast, turning you upside down and taking you through spirals all while your legs are dangling at a maximum height of 33 metres above the water.
The third and final coaster we went on was The Vampire. Again your feet are dangling at 32 metres and you are traveling at speeds upwards of 80km/h while being turned upside down five times. Make sure not to eat before going on this ride, it is heart stopping to say the least.
I suggest arriving early to the park as the lines become outrageously long as the day goes on. It is easily accessible by car or metro, and is guaranteed to be an entertaining day.
This past weekend Quebec celebrated Saint-Jean-Baptiste-Day, which meant the whole city closed down to take part in the festivities. So, when I woke up Sunday morning wondering how to spend my day, I thought brunch followed by a lazy Netflix afternoon was the best recipe. Montreal is a city that loves to brunch, however deciding which restaurant to go to is like trying to pick which star you like best in the night sky. In the end though, the decision was unanimous, we chose to go where brunch began, Beauty’s.
I love a good old-fashioned diner brunch, and Beauty’s gives you exactly that. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but the second you walk across the street you know it must be good due to the line of people out the door waiting to be seated. I am not big on waiting in line, but trust me this is worth it. Once inside, the homey feeling kicks in, and as you slide into your blue booth, you know these seats have seen the world. In case the seat didn’t give that impression just look around at the walls that are lined with photographs and signatures of people that have paid this restaurant a visit.
While looking over the menu, “The Special”, made of lox, cream cheese, tomato, and red onion on a signature Montreal bagel, made up my mind for me. The big messy sandwich along with a café latte had my taste buds singing by the end of the brunch. The best part, aside from eating, was watching the chefs prepare the food. At one point, they had approximately 15 pancakes cooking at once, a grill covered end to end in breakfast meats, and eggs in every fashion being prepared. It was wonderful to watch the staff in action, all the while feeling so very welcome in their beautiful world.
Beauty’s was founded in 1942 and has been serving brunch for the last seventy years. When was the last time you ate brunch in a little piece of history? I highly recommend checking out this spot. It’s just up the street from the Mont-Royal metro station, which is surrounded by tons of shops to browse through; a perfect way to walk off your food baby. And, on days when everything is closed, it’s the perfect stop before giving in to a Netflix marathon.
As you walk south of the Lionel Groulx metro station chances are you will stumble upon the ever so lovely Atwater Market. Just when you think the sight of hundreds of flowers filling the whole perimeter of the parking lot could not be more beautiful, the aromas start to take over. While strolling through the stunning gardens your eyes settle upon the heaps of fruit and vegetable stands lined up just outside the building. Now that you have arrived in the produce section you take a look to your right and see there are food trucks at the end of the line, fish markets, cheese shops and then to the left chocolate! One look up the steps and you know you’re about to enter a butcher’s heaven. Where do you begin, and what is this magical place you have discovered?!
Atwater Market was founded in 1933. The building is well known for its clock tower and art deco architectural design. The market is in the area of Saint-Henri, located in the South-West of Montreal. The neighbourhood is full of charming older buildings and positioned alongside Canal Lachine. The placement of the Atwater market could not be more perfect. Just out the back of it you will find the canal where you can ride your bike along its paths, or enjoy a delicious ice cream from Havre aux Glaces.
For me, a typical Atwater Market trip includes a stop in the gardens to smell the flowers. Then a slow walk through the fruit and vegetable stands while I decide what it is I am going to prepare for dinner that evening. One of my favourite meals to make after a trip to the market is salmon with dill, lemon and asparagus. Then with the irresistible fruit selection I make homemade syrups for Italian sodas. Every trip requires a stop for ice cream, and some people watching. Then, when I’m ready to head home, a quick stop at the SAQ is essential to find the perfect wine to accompany dinner.
The Atwater Market is an excellent Sunday adventure for people wishing to spend the day outside surrounded by a vibrant picturesque atmosphere. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate shopping local and eating quality healthy cuisine… people who have yet to discover the Atwater Market that’s who! So go, check out the yummy assortment of food and enjoy your time roaming through all of the wonderful shops they have to offer.