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Posts by Marie-Eve Vallières

10 things under 10 minutes from Beaubien metro station

With its long, tree-lined avenues and colourful façades, booming food scene and numerous cafés, Rosemont-Petite-Patrie sets itself apart from its neighbors with a unique make-up and vibrant atmosphere. Here are 10 activities you can do less than 10 minutes from Beaubien Metro station. Can’t miss:Plaza St-Hubert Walking time: 10 minutes With a plethora of new cafés and restaurants, the Plaza’s emblematic marquees have reclaimed their former glory, and it can once again hold its own alongside the city’s other commercial arteries. The proof? A picture of the Plaza won second place in the Centre d’histoire de Montréal photography contest! Une publication partagée par @lifeiswonderland le 24 Janv. 2017 à 17h10 PST Food break:Montréal Plaza  Walking time: 5 minutes This restaurant draws inspiration from the respective passions of chef Charles-Antoine Crête’s parents. It’s the kind of place where you can eat well and feel at home without breaking the bank. The kitchen, which features skillfully revisited classics, has quickly become a can’t-miss stop in Plaza St-Hubert. Indulge:Pastaga Walking time: 9 minutes Known for the vast selection of natural wines as well as for the enthusiasm of chef-owner Martin Juneau, Pastaga brings us 15 sophisticated yet bold dishes that are perfect for sharing and inspired… / Read More →

Montréal Neighbourhood Guide: Mile End

An integral part of the Plateau adjoining Petite-Patrie and Outremont, Montréal’s Mile End boasts its own identity that is unlike anything anywhere else. Often dubbed Canada’s “hipster capital,” the neighbourhood is much more than a simple label. Its singular atmosphere, a product of numerous waves of immigration, and thriving musical community are the envy of many the world over. Unofficially bordered by Mont-Royal and Van Horne, between Saint-Denis and Hutchison, the Mile End got its name from the distance¾one mile¾between a racetrack once located on Saint-Joseph Boulevard and the Montréal city limit around 1850. This booming neighbourhood was quickly annexed by the city and renamed Côte Saint-Louis. When it went up in 1857, the iconic church Saint-Enfant-Jésus du Mile-End was one of the neighbourhood’s first official buildings. It laid the foundation for the civic hub that would emerge at the corner of Laurier and Saint-Laurent, with a bank, a fire station and a post office. But it was the opening of the Mile End train station in 1876 that really put the neighbourhood on the map. Soon, both the English elite and the French-speaking working class were moving in, followed by diverse immigrant communities, including Italians, Portuguese, Greeks, Irish Catholics… / Read More →

15 (more) must-try Montréal cafés

Even though we published a post on the subject last year, the truth is that there are too many cool cafés in Montréal to cram into just one article. So here are 15 more, some old, some new, from Griffintown to La Petite-Patrie, to cater to the urban fauna. Café OSMO  – 51 Sherbrooke Street West Montréal’s most recent Instagram sensation, thanks to its cool angles, turquoise Acapulco chairs and surprisingly inviting cement walls (who knew?). Sandwich crème glacée entre 2 biscuits pâte à biscuit 🍪🍦🍪. Cookie dough ice cream sandwiches OMG !!!!!! #icecream #mtlicecream #cookiedough #noblecafemtl #noblecafe #plateaumontroyal #laurier #mtlcafecrawl #mtlfoodie #igersmtl #pucespop Une photo publiée par Noble Café (@noblecafemtl) le 6 Mai 2016 à 9h43 PDT Noble café – 430 Laurier Avenue East Located just across from the métro, this place is perfect for some Joe-on-the-go, which you can sip nearby Parc Sir Wilfrid Laurier. September Surf Café – 2471 Notre-Dame Street West This combination café/shaping room not only boasts clean lines and a relaxed vibe, but it is flooded with natural light. It has quickly become the go-to spot for the city’s southwest surfers. Encore et toujours des tulipes jaunes!!! 💐💛 Une photo publiée par Café 8… / Read More →

Montréal through my lens: photos by @mevallieres

My name is Marie-Eve Vallières, a.k.a @mevallieres on Instagram. I am a freelance travel writer and blogger for – but beyond that, I love Montréal. Even though I have lived overseas on two occasions and have visited 25 countries, few places make me as happy as Montréal. From the number of “likes” that I get on my photos of the city, it’s clear that I am not the only one. In fact, photo of the colourful facades and symmetrical staircases that are so iconic of Montréal are generally the most popular photos in my feed. My freelance schedule allows me to discover the city on foot, taking my time, strolling the streets of the Plateau Mont-Royal and the Petite-Patrie neighbourhoods. In the course of my wanderings, I came to wonder why the stairs were built on the outside of the houses. There must be a reason why the houses are all built the same way. Several theories exist, some more outlandish than others. But experts generally agree that it is mainly the desire to maximize space that prompted builders of the era to construct staircases on the outside of houses. A major construction boom at the turn of the last century marked… / Read More →

Where to eat authentic French food in Montréal

Considering there are over 30,000 French expats currently residing in Montréal, it’s no wonder French bistros are often what foodies talk about.  Curious to try authentic French food in Montréal but unsure where to start? These suggestions are guaranteed home runs that simply won’t disappoint. Bon appétit! Chez Lévêque Located on upscale and attractive Laurier Street West, Chez Lévêque serves what is decidedly one of the best Parisian bistro fares in the city – at a price that won’t break the bank. The cuisine is simple and focuses on seasonal products, for the freshest dishes possible. Their summery terrace is a definitive crowd-pleaser, as are their lunch and late night 3-course set menus ($22 and $35, respectively). Chez Lévêque Restaurant 1030 Laurier Avenue West Laloux Come for the food, stay for the gorgeous décor. This white-tablecloth bistro is one of the chicest-looking spaces in the city, and as if that wasn’t enough, they also raise the bar further up by keeping their dishes delightfully exciting, and, most importantly, deliciously paired with French wines. < Restaurant Laloux 250 Des Pins Avenue East Au Cinquième Péché Let’s just say it’s a good thing the restaurant’s motto is “gluttony is not a sin”… / Read More →

Discover some of Montréal’s Finest Bring-Your-Own-Wine (BYOW) Restaurants

From Ahuntstic to Saint-Henri and pretty much everywhere in between, Montréal is home to a plethora of bring-your-own-wine (BYOW) restaurants. These fine eateries give patrons the chance to pair their own wine choices with sumptuous menu offerings. And it’s easier on the wallet, so you can treat yourself to a fine meal more often! La Khaima – 142 Fairmount Avenue West A breath of fresh North-African air on Montréal, La Khaima (“the nomad tent” in Arabic) is a decidedly Mauritanian eatery surprisingly located in the heart of hipster Mile-End. The entire concept is based on comfort and hospitality typically found in Saharan nomadic tents. Le Smoking Vallée – 4370 Notre-Dame Street West An ode to French market cuisine under the helm of chef Thierry Dufour in an industrial bistro atmosphere, Le Smoking Vallée is located in the rapidly changing neighbourhood of Saint-Henri and serves a mean tuna tartare that is well worth the detour. Madre – 2931 Masson Street and 124 Fleury Street West All hail the “nuevo latino” cuisine of chef Mario Navarrete Jr, for whom cilantro, strong peppers and lime play a major role in almost each plate offered on the giant blackboard menu. One of the few… / Read More →

Montréal museums for history buffs

Often regarded as Canada’s cultural capital, Montréal doesn’t lack in the museum department. From Old Montréal’s mysterious streets to bustling downtown, the city boasts over 12 history museums, each focusing on different stretches of Montréal’s rich history. Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History A renowned archaeological site, the museum was built over Montréal’s birthplace, which is beautifully showcased in the museum’s permanent exhibition.   Centre d’histoire de Montréal The Centre d’histoire de Montréal focuses on the events and figures that shaped Montréal’s fascinating path; the Scandal! Vice, Crime and Morality in Montréal exhibition is dedicated to the city’s once thriving illegal cabarets. Château Ramezay Museum This prestigious 18th century residence, originally built for Claude de Ramezay, then Governor of Montréal, was the first building to be recognized as a historical moment, and is the province’s oldest private history museum. Fun fact: Benjamin Franklin was a guest there in 1776. McCord Museum Dedicated to the preservation, study and appreciation of Montréal’s history, as recounted by its people, artists and communities living in the city’s past and present, the McCord Museum was founded in 1921 with David Ross McCord’s family collection; it now houses over 1,450,000 artefacts including more than 1 million photographs. Écomusée du fier… / Read More →

Montréal’s indie coffee shops

[Updated on September 29, 2016] From Villeray to the Old Port, these independently owned java paradises serve expertly brewed and thoroughly curated beans, sanctioned by Montréal’s hip connoisseurs. Café Myriade (1432 Mackay Street, 251 Saint-Viateur Street West and 1000 Sainte‑Catherine Street West) With now three branches scattered across Montréal, Café Myriade is not only beloved by Instagrammers thanks to the Nordic-inspired décor of their Mile End shop, but also by local coffee aficionados, as their grains are sourced from esteemed and fair-trade 49th Parallel Roasters in Vancouver. Pikolo Espresso Bar (3418 Du Parc Avenue) A student favourite because of its central location between McGill and UQÀM universities, Pikolo is among the most picturesque shops in the city. This two-level café is mostly famous for its miniature 3-ounce creamy lattes, made with single origin beans from Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland. Moustache Café (35 Beaubien Street East) Located in up-and-coming Mile Ex, Moustache Café is a secret few locals are willing to share for fear it would get spoiled. Cozy ambiance, vegan smoothies, enticing aromas produced by the Synchro espresso machine all await, along with the owner’s beloved Bernese mountain dog/mascot. Maison Christian Faure (355 Place Royale) Undoubtedly one of the fanciest cafés one can get in Montréal, Maison Christian Faure’s reputation precedes… / Read More →

15 Montréal meals under $15

In Montréal, eating out is not just about diversity: this is a city where eating out and staying on budget aren’t mutually exclusive. Budget-conscious gastronomes can enjoy delicious, local dishes around the city and get their money’s worth. Café Grévin by Europa Take a break from downtown Montréal’s bustling shopping scene, and grab lunch at Café Grévin in the Eaton Centre. Owned by star chef Jérôme Ferrer, the eatery is most famous for its lunchboxes, which consist of a gourmet sandwich, a healthy salad and a decadent dessert. Barbounya This mezze bar boasts a refreshing menu creatively concocted by Chef Fisun Ercan, who isn’t afraid to push the limits of traditional Turkish cuisine so that she can offer a modern twist to her dishes. Barraca Rhumerie & Tapas Located in the heart of Montréal’s Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood, Barraca is mostly known for its exotic and extensive rum list, but locals also know to head to this intimate establishment for classical but delicious bite-sized tapas. Benelux For $11.25, you get a pint of carefully crafted brew and a generous Eurodog at Benelux, one of the cities’ most acclaimed micro-breweries. Brit & Chips Brit & Chips’s owners toured England tirelessly in order to perfect… / Read More →

Sucrerie de la Montagne: a complete sugar shack experience

Arguably one of the best ways to welcome spring with open arms after yet another seemingly interminable winter, the sugar shack experience just never gets old. There’s just something about historic wooden sheds, maple-syrup-covered everything and fresh air that inevitably brings a smile to every visitors’ face. But what if the magic of sugar shack season and Canadian folklore could be experienced year-round… and overnight? This alluring promise is made possible at Sucrerie de la Montagne’s four log cabins, located atop Mont Rigaud, just an hour outside the city. This Québec heritage site has been charming visitors for well over three decades with its traditional, throwback approach. It offers a momentary glimpse of what life was truly like for Canadian pioneers back in the day, who subsisted with minimal means in the notoriously harsh Canadian weather thanks to their ingenuity and cleverness. Sucrerie de la Montagne consistently is one of the most popular sugar shacks around Montréal – understandably so, considering its idyllic setting in the middle of a 120-acre forest and its quaint log cabins. Not to mention the finger-licking good Québécois dishes served at the main building for breakfast, lunch and dinner (including pea soup, meatball stew, meat pie, sugar-cured… / Read More →