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QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES: WHERE TO EAT

Montreal becomes Festival Central every summer, its streets permanently animated by crowds and performances. At the heart of it all is the always-lively Quartier des Spectacles, or Show District, which is anchored by a public esplanade where many of Montreal’s free shows are held. The Jazz Fest may be wrapping up, but the party keeps going when the Just for Laughs festival takes over downtown…

MONTREAL’S BEST RESTAURANT PATIOS

When it comes to restaurant patios in Montreal (known here as terrasses), there are really two different sorts. The front patios, which are basically extensions of the restaurant itself, on which diners can eat their meals while watching the world go by (and the world, in turn, watches their meals while going by). Otherwise, you have the back patios, the inner sanctums of a restaurant where kitchen secrets bloom in private. Sitting on a restaurant’s back patio is a chance to access a leafy secret garden of bliss at the back end of a favourite dining spot. Below, we’ve picked the gold-medal standard of both front and back patios in Montreal, as well as a few alternates.

LE CARTET: CASUAL LUNCH IN A GOURMET BOUTIQUE

Like any other well-touristed neighbourhood in the world, Old Montreal has its fair share of traps serving overpriced and mediocre food to unknowing travellers. A tell-tale sign one should always steer clear of: plasticized menus with faded photos of the dishes. The good news is that those places are outnumbered by lovely restaurants and cafés that showcase the best this city can offer – you just have to know where to go…

SUMMER AT JEAN-TALON MARKET

Locals know that a summer stroll around Montreal’s markets is not only a chance to connect local farms to your table, it’s also a chance for us to check each other out in the long-awaited sunshine…

DINNER IN THE SKY: MONTREAL

Dinner in the Sky, the “ultimate patio”, is exactly what it sounds like: a full, gourmet dinner served 50 metres above Old Montreal. We sent our brave cameraman to investigate…

FABULOUS TERRACES OF THE GAY VILLAGE

If you’ve been to the Gay Village in this past week, chances are you’ve noticed the jaw-dropping decorations of Aires Libres 2011 (unless you walk using your face). 170,000 pink resin balls create a dream-like canopy that stretches the 1.2 kilometers between Berri and Papineau. They provide the perfect ambiance to kicking back and relaxing on one of the many patios of the Gay Village…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (MAY 27-29)

This last weekend in May could be said to mark, if not the beginning of summer, the end of spring. With sunny days and warm temperatures on the very, very near horizon, the final days of May are anything goes. Weird, wild experimental theatre and dance? Check. A fancy food festival? Check. An entire day wherein all the city’s museums are free of charge? Check. An outdoor dance party on an island in the middle of the St-Laurent river? Aw yeah, check…

STREET PROFILE: ONTARIO

The Streets of Montreal are a frenzied network of grand boulevards, cobblestone lanes, trendy thoroughfares and dazzling streets. The Montreal Buzz has developed a fun and informative series of street profiles that cover Bleury, Parc, Maisonneuve, Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique, Crescent, Greene Avenue, Sainte-Catherine, Amherst and Saint-Denis. Today, I’ll explore the blossoming Rue Ontario…

LES NUITS BORGIA: AN INTIMATE DINING EXPERIENCE

Reservations in some of Montreal’s most trendy restaurants can be tricky to secure (and we mean that in a good way), but the most exclusive seat of all might not be in a restaurant at all…