Every few weeks we ask one of our clued-up local contributors a bunch of questions about their city, from fun facts and practicalities to what to see and what to skip. This time around we quizzed Sofia about Montreal, the second-largest city in Canada. Sofia also happens to be the woman behind the classy online travel and lifestyle magazine, Coveted Places.
When is the best time to visit Montreal? The best time to visit my city is in summer, because that’s when it comes alive after the very cold winters we have!
What are three things every visitor should see or experience?
1. You have to eat poutine, even if you think it looks gross. Believe me, you’ll quickly change your mind once you try it.
2. The view from Mount Royal.
3. Attend a festival. Montreal is known for its many events that take place all year round.
Photo credit: Tourisme Montreal
What’s your favourite hidden gem? Big in Japan – a Prohibition era-inspired bar hidden behind a nondescript door.
What’s the biggest tourist trap? Riding a horse-drawn carriage in the Old Port. Stick to walking. Also, stay away from restaurants in Old Montreal that boast “authentic French cuisine” or have obvious tourist menus.
Where can I enjoy amazing views? Visit the Mount Royal belvedere for a panoramic view of our charming city.
What’s your favourite way to spend a sunny day in Montreal? On a sunny day, I love to walk around the Mile End neighbourhood or have a drink on a terrace. We take our sunny days very seriously in Montreal, so make the most of them and go outside!
Photo credit: jphilipg
What’s a fun way to impress someone in Montreal? When I want to impress someone, I take them to Le Lab cocktail bar. This bar specialises in mixology and serves up expertly crafted cocktails in a sophisticated space.
I want to try authentic local cuisine. Where should I go and what should I order? You should go to La Banquise and order poutine! Like I said before, don’t knock it until you try it.
Photo credit: Station 16
What’s the best way to get around in Montreal? By metro or bike. It’s super easy to rent a BIXI in most parts of the city. The metro is also easy to navigate.
How can you tell if someone’s from Montreal? You know someone’s from my city if they speak to you in English and French at the same time.
What’s your city famous for? My city has the best bagels and smoked meat.
What’s your favourite breakfast/brunch spot? L’Avenue because they have the best eggs Benedict.
Can you recommend somewhere for a tasty budget meal? Visit L’Gros Luxe for a tasty budget meal. Each menu item is under $10, and they serve food you won’t find anywhere else such as grilled cheese stuffed with poutine and Bloody Caesars garnished with onion rings.
Photo credit: L’Gros Luxe
I’m vegetarian/vegan – help! La Panthère Verte is a local favourite.
What are some great local nightlife spots? Imadake is a fantastic local nightlife spot because they serve sake bombs and Japanese tapas.
Photo credit: Nick Broten
Is there anything else you think visitors to your city should know? Watch out for cyclists before crossing the street! And you should never insult the Habs (Montreal’s hockey team). Also, trying to convince a Montrealer that New York City makes better bagels is a close second.
Special tip: For a more authentic Montreal experience, get the Like A Local mobile app