I had the great fortune to take a brief vacation to Montreal for Memorial Day weekend to visit my brother, who has been living there for six years. He took me around to all his neighborhood spots, and even got to explore a few more new ones with me in tow. I thought I’d share some of our best finds of this impressive city, which is a beautiful mixture of rich history and accompanying aestheticism with a refreshing young energy. This little shop on avenue Bernard Ouest is the first in a string of vintage furniture stores. While some are more carefully curated than others, there are definitely treasures to be found in each one. Espirit Loft had a great collection of old, industrial desk lamps and worn, thick leather vintage doctor’s bags, while Loft 9 had a small selection of amazing vintage wristwatches.
In the same neighborhood, boulevard Saint Laurent features lots of little clothing boutiques. My favorite by far was the brand new Les Etoffes, which was a sweet, wonderfully designed store with both men’s and women’s on display, including Rachel Comey, Nomia, and Dieppa Restrepo.
Further down avenue Bernard Ouest is Bilboquet, an artisan ice cream parlor. Their homemade delicious sorbets and ice creams draw quite a crowd, and there was a decent-sized line by the time we got there; luckily, the wait only made us hungrier and more eager to try more of their long list of inventive flavors. The pamplemousse (grapefruit) was incredible and voted the family favorite.
I also recommend walking around the beautiful Vieux Montreal, which is the old port area. Because it was originally settled by the French, the neighborhood hosts some of the most beautiful architecture in the entire city, and some wonderful little bakeries and restaurants.
Lastly, be sure to have a meal at Au Petit Extra, a classic French bistrot on rue Ontario Est. The food was delicious, though you should definitely save room for dessert.