Our 2-Day Guide of Things to Do and Eat in Montreal

July 24, 2018

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat

The past weekend, Will and I did a road trip getaway to Montreal to celebrate his birthday. The 5-and-a-half-hour one-way drive from Toronto might sound exhausting for a short trip. But, since this wasn’t our first visit to Montreal, a 2-day visit was enough for us. We had a fabulous time eating around the city and engaging in some fun outdoor activities together in mere 2 days.

Here is a quick review of some of the great places we ate at and what we did!

Where For Brunch?

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - L'avenue Brunch
Indecisive Brunch that comes with a fruit kebob at L'avenue

L’avenue is one of the most popular brunch spots in Montreal. Line ups form quickly as soon as they’re opened. We were lucky that we arrived early just before 11 am so the wait for us was only about 10-15 minutes. The brunch spot is not your average European bistro/cafe style, instead, it’s a hip and trendy diner with giant graffiti wall mural, motorcycle hanging in mid-air, servers wearing suspenders and glow-in-the-dark bathrooms.

What to get: Duck bennys. Their duck was flavourful and saucy and their hollandaise sauce was to die for! If you have trouble deciding from their extensive brunch menus like myself, opt for their Indecisive Brunch. As the name suggests, it comes with a bit of everything. You even have the option to try the famous St-Viateur bagel to save you a trip to the shop! Go for the beer-braised ham and homemade sausage. Their brunch sets are also a great value, and include a fresh fruit kebab and watermelon infused water to start.

Be sure to check out their bathrooms while you're there as well!

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - L'avenue Brunch

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - L'avenue Brunch
Egg bennys with duck confit with grained mustard hollandaise sauce

Where For Poutine?

They say, "Montreal has the best poutine in Canada". I never believed this statement until I actually got to La Banquise and tried myself. And boy, were they delicious! The diner was packed when we arrived at 4 in the afternoon.

What to get: From classic poutine to ones loaded with meat, their menu would definitely tickle your fancy. We tried their La Royale poutine that came with pulled pork, apple and bacon. I love the crunchiness of the sweet apple slices, and the savoury pulled pork. Their fries were still crispy even though they were drowned in their house-made gravy and topped with generous amount of cheese curds!

We also ordered their La Shoot-Out just to get some smoked meat into this trip. Besides smoked meat, the poutine also came with spicy sausage, pepperoni and bacon for a maximum sodium count. So you could expect it to be a lot heavier and saltier. The portion was definitely enough to fill a person up. Besides poutine, their hamburger was also surprisingly tasty! Will kept saying it was one of the best burgers he had for a long time and he's still thinking about it now.

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - La Banquise Poutine
La Shoot-Out and La Royale Poutine at La Banquise

Where For Ice Creams?

Kem Coba is a cute ice cream joint in Mile End, an artsy, laid-back neighbourhood just west of Downtown core.

What to get: What’s special about this place is that they offer an exciting list of freshly made ice creams, soft serves and sorbets with some very rare flavours such as Pandan (La Dua) and Soursop! I got out of hand and ordered their strawberry and coconut soft serve on top of their sorbets (lol!). If our trip home was shorter, I’d probably bring home a tub of their Vietnamese coffee ice cream as well.

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Kem Coba
Strawberry and coconut soft serve at Kem Coba

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Kem Coba
Pandan (La Dua) and Soursop Sorbet at Kem Coba

Where For Bagels?

Besides poutine, Montreal is also known for their bagels. Having tried St-Viateur bagel from our brunch at L'avenue, we stopped by another renowned bagel shop, Fairmount Bagels, which coincidentally was few shops away from Kem Coba. We were surrounded by walls of bagels as soon as we walked into this little shop. I was never a huge fan for bagels but their bagels were crispy on the outside and soft and spongey on the inside with a slight hint of sweetness. Apparently, Montreal bagels were boiled in water sweetened with honey.

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Fairmount Bagels

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Fairmount Bagels


Where For French Food?

Modavie, located in Old Montreal is a great sit down dinner spot to wine down. This bistro is dressed up with beautiful woodwork, stone walls and a ceiling-to-wall wine cellar. What's even better is that they have local live bands performing every night. If you go, make sure to call ahead of time to make reservation as they can get really packed and busy.

What to get: Their 3-course set menu. We chose escargots as a starter, duck breast as the main and raspberry pie for dessert. Their duck breast was topped with foie gras butter and it was heavenly! The meat soaked in all the foie gras flavours into one piece of gourmet. If you prefer a la carte, their lamb rack would be another excellent choice. It had a pleasant lamby taste to it and crusted with some sesame seeds. Oh, do try their French onion soup and thank me later :)

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Modavie

Where For Outdoor Fun?

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - H2O Adventures Lachine Canal Kayak

Water Adventures Along the Lachine Canal

After indulging in Montreal's food scene, we strolled around Old Port leisurely. We love exploring all of Montreal's cute cafes, outdoor patios and historic architecture. But, as much as I love those laid back leisure walks, I decided to join H2O Adventures for some outdoor fun along the Lachine Canal the next afternoon before we end our trip. I spent a lot of time deciding on my rental but ended up booking an electric boat that could sit as much as 5 people for $60 an hour. We love the shade and the space on the electric boat. And you don't need any license or experience to control the boat. But the boat we had was way to slow. I swore that even the swan pedal boats were faster than our boat. When we brought this issue back to the manager, he gladly offered a rental exchange for us. We went with a tandem kayak this time. And even though I wasn't prepared for this ( considering I still had my platforms on!), the tandem kayak was nonetheless a very fun outdoor activity to do as a group or as a couple. Just be aware that you might get a little bit wet.

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - H2O Adventures Lachine Canal Kayak

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - H2O Adventures Lachine Canal Kayak

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - H2O Adventures Lachine Canal Kayak

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - H2O Adventures Lachine Canal Kayak

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Atwater Market

Near the dock of H2O adventures is also Atwater Market. A farmers market with stalls of vendors, local produce, patisseries and specialities. They open all year round and offer innovative and tasty fast food during summer time. We did not spend enough time here but would definitely visit again if we come back to Montreal.

We also spent sometime at the Mount Royal Park, exploring the mountain and nature. You could follow the trail to their Chateau where you could see Montreal's city landscape.

2 Days in Montreal - A Guide to What to Do and Where to Eat - Mount Royal Park

We had a very short stay this time and focused on exploring mainly Old Port and Old Montreal within the city. While we managed to fit majority of the attractions and restaurants on our list into 2 days, there were a few that we ended up skipping. For example, Orange JulepSchwartz's Deli and a tour inside Notre Dame of Basilica Church (they were closed for a wedding when we visited).

If you have  any recommendations, I'd love to hear about them so I could include them to our next visit!


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About [span]me[/span]
Hello, my name is Lorita. This is a journal of my personal style, travel adventures, food excursions, recipe experiments, DIY tutorials and every little thing in life.


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