Montreal is definitely one of the trendiest cities in Canada. If you’ve seen all the obligatory sights and fancy getting into the local rhythm, wander the streets and explore the city’s delightful boutiques, markets and galleries. To get you started, our Montreal local Sofia has put together a list of some of the coolest local shopping spots for food, art, fashion and design.
1. Pick up a paperback at Argo Bookshop
Argo is the oldest English-language bookstore in Montreal. It first opened in the 60s and is now run by three friends who met in an English literature class. You’ll find an array of genres ranging from fiction and poetry to philosophy, science and religion, as well as children’s titles. Works by local authors can also be spotted on the shelves. Once a month there’s an open mic night that gives writers, comedians and musicians a chance to share their work.
Photo credit: argobookshop.ca
2. Shop like a local at m0851
Montreal-based m0851 has been crafting quality leather goods for over 25 years. With products still made at their original workshop in Mile End, it’s easy to see how deeply rooted this local label is. Pick up a tote or crossbody bag for an urban chic look, or invest in a classic leather jacket that’s sure to last.
Photo credit: m0851
3. Savour French sweets at Boutique Point G
Point G is the only place in Montreal where you’ll find macarons similar to those made by the luxury French bakery and sweets producer Ladurée. The name says it all – their sweets sure do hit the spot. Caramel fleur de sel, Madagascan vanilla, choco-sesame, lavender-blueberry, orange blossom – should we continue? Run by French natives, you can be certain their delicacies are crafted to perfection.
Photo credit: Boutique Point G
4. Satiate your chocolate cravings at Suite 88 Chocolatier
Situated on De Maisonneuve Boulevard in downtown Montreal, Suite 88 can well be considered chocolate heaven. It’s an ideal spot for a date night as well as for picking up last-minute gifts. Pop in for truffles to-go or take a seat and enjoy a decadent dessert. Their Belgian waffles drizzled in dark, milk or white chocolate or to die for, as are their caramel and sea salt brownies.
Photo credit: suite88.com
5. Check out the latest fashion trends at Boutique Unicorn
Unicorn is a veritable hunting ground for local fashionistas seeking out the latest trends. It stocks a handpicked selection of local designers as well as international labels for both men and women. You’ll find home-grown brands like Eve Gravel, Mélissa Nepton and Betina Lou, along with coveted staples from BB Dakota and OBEY. It’s easy to walk out of this place with the perfect little black dress, a must-have statement bag or a minimalist yet striking accessory.
Photo credit: boutiqueunicorn.com
6. Treat yourself to some truffles at Cho’cola
Cho’cola is a cosy bakery and a café that’s completely nut-free. They offer a seemingly endless assortment of cakes, pastries, cookies and other delightful delicacies, but the real winners are their truffles. Head to their flagship store on Monkland Avenue or stop by their new premises on Laurier West.
Photo credit: Cho’cola
7. Shop for eco-friendly fashion at Harricana
Local designer Mariouche Gagné launched her first fur collection in 1994 with a vision to craft products in line with her deep respect for nature and ethical outlook on fashion. Now with a flagship boutique that doubles as a workshop in the city’s southwest borough and an international following, it’s clear that she has achieved just that. Inspired by the “Great North,” her boutique specialises in men’s, women’s and children’s fur coats, clothing and accessories. Locals appreciate the fact that everything at Harricana is made from eco-friendly, recycled materials.
Photo credit: Harricana par Mariouche
8. Seek out stylish threads and accessories at Lowell
Vintage sewing machines, mannequins and globes lure you into this artsy, industrial space. Lowell carries a unique selection of objects and apparel for men,
women and children, along with their own accessories line. You’ll find one of a kind jewellery, winter gear made of local eco-friendly fur, sunglasses with wooden frames, vintage children’s toys and an assortment of other handpicked designer goods.
Photo credit: Lowell MTL
9. See an exhibition and score some art at Station 16
Station 16 is the latest destination for lovers of pop art, graffiti and street art. The gallery features pieces from Europe and North America, and also operates as a silkscreen print shop. The space regularly hosts special events and exhibitions that are open to all – whether you’re an art buff looking to update your collection or simply a curious passer-by. Most items are limited edition or one of a kind, so if you see something you like, be sure to snap it up before someone else does!
Photo credit: station16shop.com
10. Stop by Montreal’s urban food market Fou D’Ici
What do you get when you pair gourmet goods with the perfect downtown location? A fantastic urban food market of course. This upscale shop’s shelves are stocked with an incredible assortment of local and organic produce and dry goods. Whether you’re popping in for a quick lunch or have a grocery list to tackle, Fou D’Ici always makes food shopping an enjoyable gourmet experience. Their prêt-à-manger section offers sit-down or takeaway meals that are prepared daily by an in-house chef.
Photo credit: foudici.com