La Belle Ville
A combination of European flair and Canadian modernity, Montréal is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in North America. And between the Formula 1 Grand Prix, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Montréal International Jazz Festival, Montréal Beer Fest, and countless arts festivals, June is the perfect month to visit. From the chicest place to lay your head to the hottest restaurant on the block, delve into our essential guide to Montreal. Bon voyage!
Take it to the street
You can spend hours in Montréal’s labyrinth of underground shopping malls (they cover five square miles, after all), but make sure to spend some time at ground level, too. The perfect way to start is with a stroll along St-Laurent Boulevard. Take a detour into some of the surrounding alleys, and you’ll discover a feast for the eyes — these blocks are home to more than 50 street art creations. With the MURAL Festival happening from June 4-14, expect 20 new murals to join this already impressive collection.
St-Laurent Boulevard, between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal
To market we go
As the largest open-air market in North America, Jean-Talon Market is a hot spot for chefs, locavores and gourmands alike. Wandering through the market, you’ll find everything from exotic spices, wines and ciders to artisan breads, cheeses and specialty products from across Québec. So stock up on some goodies to take home (hello, maple syrup!) and then pop into nearby St. Viateur or Fairmount Bagel to see why Montréal bagels reign supreme. Fighting words, but one bite will convince you that New York bagels can’t compare!
7070 Avenue Henri Julien, Little Italy, (514) 277-1588
After you’ve had your fill of quintessential Montréal cuisine (ahem, poutine and smoked-meat sandwiches), sample something a little more sophisticated: Lavanderia, the newest resto from celeb chef Antonio Park. Inspired by the chef’s childhood in South America, Lavanderia delivers mouth-watering Latin cuisine, from mixed ceviches to a trio of flaky empanadas with different fillings. Order a pisco sour or caipirinha alongside the full-on parrilla of grilled meat, and your Argentine feast will be complete.
374 Avenue Victoria, Westmount, (514) 303-4123
Got a sweet tooth?
Serving up a hearty helping of nostalgia, Candi Bar is guaranteed to bring back your best childhood memories. Picture a bar constructed with 80,000 plastic building blocks, gum-ball machines on every table and bar stools made of mannequin legs. As you bask in the glow of the pink neon lights, order a Slush Puppie cocktail topped with sour keys and gummy bears. Candi Bar is a teenage girl’s dream come to life!
1148 Mont-Royal Est, Plateau Mont-Royal, (514) 524-4075
Located in the heart of Old Montréal, Epik Hôtel is a chic 10-room boutique hotel that flies under the radar. Although it’s situated among bustling restaurants, galleries and high-end clubs, Epik remains an oasis of calm, making it the perfect place to lay your head after a long day — or late night! Each room offers stellar views of St-Paul Street and the iconic architecture of Old Montréal, plus all the little luxuries you need to feel right at home.
171 St-Paul West, Old Montréal, (514) 842-2634
This article was originally published in Daily Secret’s World Edition: http://world.dailysecret.com/a-taste-of-montreal