After spending some time in Montreal, we tacked on a visit to Québec City to the end of our trip. While not nearly the size of Montreal, it was a great addition to our Montreal trip because it gave us a better taste of Canada. Montreal, while totally worth visiting (it feels like Europe-meets-North America), has more of an international city vibe and doesn’t give you a true Canadian experience. Québec City, although still quite touristy, was much more of a cultural experience than Montreal.
Although the city changed from French rule to British rule in 1763, only a mere 1.5% of the population is considered an Anglophone — 95% of Québec’s population [...]
Ok, so, admittedly, we looked forward to dinner all day long because it was a good excuse to get out of the freezing cold. We pulled up Urbanspoon and found that Le Hobbit Bistro was a good mix of everything we were looking for: good French food, a walkable location, a lively atmosphere, not too cheap and not super expensive. We made reservations but when we arrived we noticed that we probably didn’t need them.
We walked from our hotel to the restaurant. While very walkable, it was outside of the walled city and a decent ways up Saint-Jean. Although Urbanspoon qualifies it as “late night,” we noticed that it was only open until 10pm on the [...]
After a fantastic meal at Schwartz’s (link to review), we continued our trek on foot to the corner of Avenue des Pins and Rue Peel (link to specific address, I suggest opening on your phone when you’re ready to go) to take a hike up Mont Royal and check out the park and view of the city.
All in all a pretty nice light walk on a beautiful day.
The steps were daunting, but not even a tenth of what we climbed to see a temple in Thailand–now that was grueling. At the top of the 200 hectare (appx 495 acres) park is a huge chalet–Chalet du Mont-Royal–with a nice, large viewing area that overlooks downtown [...]
1631 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC Bistro, American $$
Having heard about those restaurants that deliver entire meals in the dark, we decided to check out Montreal’s local venue, O’Noir. It added a lot of extra excitement to the night’s dinner, and we both looked forward to the experience all day, discussing what we thought it’d be like.
Reviews stated that the food was, at best, average, but what you’re really going for is the experience. Although going to a restaurant for something other than food is…well, strange, we remained excited about the “activity.”
You don’t just stumble upon [...]
3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC $-$$ – Appx 15 CAD for 2 people. Sandwiches/Subs, Eastern European, Delicatessen
Without fail, everything we read pointed us to Schwartz’s Deli, as the must-try restaurant in Montreal. Sure enough, when we walked up to the deli, the line was wrapped along the outside of the building, but moved surprisingly fast – we were seated in less than 10 minutes. So, don’t let that long line fool you into giving up.
We got lucky and were seated at the only two-seater table, in the very back of the restaurant. Every other table in the small restaurant sat eight people, and different sized parties were suddenly eating [...]
Area: Plateau Mont-Royal 994 Rue Rachel E, Montreal, QC $ – Canadian, Diner fare Open 24 x 7
We didn’t order dessert at Phayathai (link to review) to save a little bit of room to at least try the classic Canadian dish poutine on our visit north of the border. With a quick Google search of something like “Poutine Montreal,” you can’t help but notice that La Banquise is one of the most popular hits. It seems like a crowd favorite with many great reviews and a large number of devout fans speaking quite highly of the fast food diner. So, we biked a little outside of downtown to give it a whirl.
When we arrived around 11pm, there was [...]
1235 Rue Guy, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Thai $$$ – Entrees for 15 – 20 CAD
Ready for a change after consuming several heavy French meals in a row, we looked (again, on Urbanspoon) for a great Thai restaurant. We found one in the Concordia University area, a place with plenty of nightlife around to check out after our meal. Easy subway access, but we, of course, chose to ride our rental bikes.
The restaurant, Phayathai, is on the second story and holds seating for approximately 30 people—pretty small and, again, we’re pretty sure we saw the owner busing tables. There were a few round tables that seat six, but, to be safe, you should probably make a [...]
351 Rue St-Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC Bakery w/ Sandwiches $ to $$ — About CAD 9 – 11 for lunch
After the walking tour, we remained in Vieux Montreal and explored Rue St. Paul. Vieux Montreal, as we learned on our walking tour, is mostly inhabited by tourists. The main street, Rue St. Paul, is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops, and dotted in between is the typical crowd pleaser painted up in gold and throwing gold beads to the crowd–leave it to the Canadians and misinformed college freshmen that body paint is cool.
Saturday morning, we were hunting around online to figure out what to do. We had heard great things about Fitz & Follwell Co. bike tours (TripAdvisor), but they didn’t appear to handle last minute reservations very well online and the 4-hour bike tour of the whole city left at 10 a.m. from the Plateau Royal district – the opposite side of town from us. Instead, we discovered that Guidatour (http://www.guidatour.qc.ca/) offers walking tours of Vieux Montreal daily during the summer, departing from Notre Dame (luckily, 5 minutes away from us).
Guidatour review: Tickets are about $20/person for a 90 min tour, which includes a brief visit into Notre Dame. Our tour [...]
Plattsburgh (PBG) airport is served by three carriers–all considered to be “low-cost carriers”:Flights to: Boston Flights to: Myrtle Beach (MYR), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) Flights to: Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando/Sanford (SFB), Las Vegas (LAS), Punta Gorda (PGD)
Alright, so you bit the bullet on the dirt cheap tickets on Spirit Air to head to Montreal but didn’t exactly think that, no matter what the liars at Spirit say, it isn’t like Plattsburgh is a suburb of Montreal — it’s fricken’ 70 miles away — a solid 90 mins.
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So, the getting there is a very important part of your travel [...]