Three days in Montréal was insufficient as I departed with a regretful heart for having not planned for a longer stay. The contagious art and fashion scene made me feel like I belonged, not to mention the added bonus that it greatly exemplified Canadian identity for having both French and English at your disposal. Many caught on quickly at my Anglophone background, but my stubborn self will forever enforce my desire to learn, even at the cost of embarrassment. Mind you, I solidly carried a conversation in French at a vintage store where I had to leave a good pair of Façonnable heels. They were the type of shoes to wear on a date, so I clearly had no use for them in my current state.
As pricier as it may have been to book an AirBnB in the heart of downtown Montréal, transportation costs and time were at least saved. Just a block away from our lodging, Rue Sainte-Catherine was a road of endless options. Undoubtedly catered to the tourist crowd, of which I did not care much for multinational visits but more so the local eats. Notable visits, as without surprise, were restaurants:
a. Juliette & Chocolat: This is chocolate heaven and a sweet tooth’s paradise! Need I say more? I suppose it’s helpful to know that despite my cursed lactose intolerance, they at least had vegan offering. This was very much needed to fill my cravings.
b. Restaurant Kazu: After an exhausting morning of travel and baggage lagging, we needed food to replenish our energies. Google certified, a 4.5/5 restaurant, we landed here. Service was exceptional as they helped us carry and store our belongings despite the lack of space, and its quaint character gave feelings of at-home hospitality. I definitely recommend that you pay a visit because the food was delicious!
Top: Grace & Mila (similar here)// Shorts: American Apparel (similar here)// Sneakers: Adidas// Bag: Fossil// Sunglasses: Miu Miu
On the other hand, Boulevard Saint-Laurent was a little further from the core. About a 40-minute walk from our AirBnB, we still braved through the shower that morning to explore this precious gem. Known for it’s unique, local stores and restaurants, we couldn’t miss this destination! Each and every store distinct, it is difficult to create a list of recommendations.
But if I had to force myself to pick my top three, they would be: Ophelie Hats
, La Petite Garçonne
(yes, I am aware we share the same name) and Boutique Scandale
. These picks offer so much variety that most can only be found in Montréal so get ready to splurge! To other important visits, one cannot miss a bite from Schwartz’s Deli
If you spot a line in the streets, you’ve most likely reached your destination. This 80-year tradition have won international awards for its smoked meat, and I can attest to this triumph! To describe it as solely delicious would not suffice. Last on the list is Café Chat L’Heureux
. If in need of rest from walking around, this is the place to go relax with some cats!
Dress: Thrifted (similar here)// Shoes: Nanette Lepore (similar here)
Photography by Ria Al-Allawee & Raiza Vasquez