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Hey Cupcake!

It’s been many years since Carrie Bradshaw brought the cupcake back from its decadent hibernation. And the cupcake craze has been roaring ever since. Montréal has a few places to indulge in petits gâteaux (aka cupcakes), and Les Glaceurs is one of my faves.

Chattin’ with Richard Burnett

Back when I was a wee lad of just 17 years, I was living in a prairie city where “gay” was… well… pretty queer. Each week I would get my dose of homo culture by picking up the local alt-weekly newspaper. Flipping quickly to the back, I would revel in the words (and rants) of the Three Dollar Bill, Canada’s first syndicated gay column. Times have changed, and now I live in one of the most diverse and liberal cities in the world where gay is… well… pretty fabulously normal. But despite the changes in time and geography, my respect for the Three Dollar Bill has not diminished. I recently sat down with the incomparable Richard Burnett (Mr. “Three Dollar Bill” himself) to sip sangria and chat about Montréal. Watch the 2-minute interview and check out Richard’s Must-not-be-Missed-List.

Montreal Market: Food from the 18th Century

If you love markets, history, and food, here’s your chance to enjoy all three! Just head to Pointe-à-Caillière’s 18th Century Public Market, a free event in Montreal happening on August 29 and 30, and discover how Montrealers lived – and ate – during the 1750s.

Müvbox: A Great Restaurant Concept from Montréal

An innovative mobile restaurant called Muvbox has just sailed in to Montréal. But judging by its technological features, you might think it had just beamed in from the future. Made from an old shipping container, this restaurant unfolds with the smooth ease of a spaceship in a mere 90 seconds – and apparently, with just the push of a button. In the words of the restaurant’s owner, Daniel Noiseux, “You have to see it to believe it.”

Drink in Montreal: the 5-à-7 explained

Simply put, a 5-à-7 is happy hour à la Montréal, but everything sounds (and often is) a little classier in French. A 5-à-7 does generally start at 5pm, but many go much later than 7pm, especially if they’re good. They are a treasured after-work tradition in Montreal, though it should be noted that the “work” part is entirely optional. Being a city of a 1000 options, Montréal has got a variation on the early drinks and food theme to fit with whatever mood you find yourself in… I’ll be covering all kinds of 5-à-7s in the Drink in Montreal series, but to kick it off we spent a little time at Le Local in Old Montréal…

Top 10 Patios in Montreal

(Club Chasse et Pêche) After our long chilly winters, Montrealers just can’t wait to get out and enjoy some nice weather. Which is why we flock to restaurant patios (locally known as terraces) as soon as the snow melts. The result is that Montreal city streets are lined with outdoor patios all summer long, with locals lingering with coffees and croissants by day, and cocktails and tapas in the evening. Visitors tell me it adds some je ne sais quoi to the city vibe, but I personally enjoy patios for the people-watching opportunities.

Hotel Nelligan: Great hotel, amazing food

Hotel Nelligan stands alone as the only Montrealer that made the National Geographic Travelers’ Stay List 2009. Not too shabby, huh?  Makes me wish I were a tourist! But anyway, what’s cool about this hotel is that it also has two very good restaurants. Named after famous Québec poet Émile Nelligan, I’m told this four-star hotel has amazing boutique-style accommodations, but is also a dream for foodies like me, because they offer two different styles of cuisine.

MARTINIS: Practice makes Perfect!

Saturday. 6 pm. I just discovered the most amazing place for martinis in Montreal!!! Three words: Ateliers et Saveurs! This is a place where you can learn to make cocktails from a professional mixologist and then drink it all!

Where to try maple in Montreal

Hey travelers, surely you’ve heard that maple is the classic Canadian treat. In addition to drizzling the syrup on our pancakes, we eat maple candies, cookies, chocolates – even unexpected twists, like maple whiskey and maple salad dressing.