Easter in Montreal: It’s a thing. This is partly because of the city’s Catholic heritage and partly because we just like to party, especially when the party involves brunch and chocolate, and possibly both. Below, we’ve gathered some suggestions for how to enjoy Easter, Montreal-style…
Brunch: The traditional Easter luncheon consists of a smoked Quebec ham after church, while the family gathers round the table. And while a delicious, naturally-raised smoked ham is available in many forms at Porcmeilleur in Jean-Talon Market, these days many families prefer to sit down for brunch in a restaurant, especially since the city has many Easter brunches in store.
The Mount Stephen Club, a historic club in downtown Montreal, has a traditional brunch buffet that includes a live band and Easter-egg activities for kids. Another option is Le Montrealais bistro (pictured above) in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel, whose weekly Sunday brunch gets gussied up for Easter Sunday.
For kids: Easter-egg hunts + farms: What says Easter more than fuzzy animals that are yours for the petting at local malls? The Easter Farm is a fond tradition in Montreal, and you can head on down to Place Versailles or several other local malls to coo at baby sheep, goats, ducks, geese and other poultry. The eco option is the Outdoor Eco-Easter egg hunt at the Ecomuseum in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, at the Western end of the Island of Montreal.
Chocolate: Of course, sometimes it’s easier to just EAT chocolate than to hunt for it. Easter is an opportunity for local chocolatiers to go nuts decorating praline eggs such as the ones from Premiere Moisson, a local bakery chain that also carries an extensive seasonal candy collection, including the best housemade Easter eggs filled with hazelnut praline. They also have inventively painted chocolate animals such as bunnies, squirrels and even roosters. Another favourite is La Maison du Cakao, a tiny Plateau-Mont-Royal chocolatier run by a 23-year-old pastry chef who makes especially cute Easter baskets. Chocolats Privilege, in Jean-Talon Market, is a favourite for their unusual chocolate animals, including owls and squirrels. Adults as well as children anticipate each year’s batch of new dark and milk chocolate easter-animal figurines at Chocolatiere Genevieve Grandbois: this year’s include frogs, ducks and, of course, bunnies. She also offers a trio of eggs with grown-up flavours including a maple croquant and a caramel-fleur-de-sel mix.
Guest Blogger: Melora Koepke