Montreal is one of the most vibrant cities in Canada, especially when summer rolls around. We all know of it’s endless list of popular festivals, picturesque Old Port and bustling city centre. But for those who wish to escape the classic, crowded tourist areas, here is a list of 10 secret spots in Montreal that will make you feel like a local in no time!
1. Le Marché Des Possibles
Located in the heart of the Mile End, one of Montreal’s hippest neighbourhoods, this open-air space features a free and diverse array of activities including musical performances, film screenings and entertainment for children!
For those 18 or over, grab a drink from the on site bar or biergarten and munch on some delicious treats curtesy of the pop-up restaurants and local chefs present. Finally, don’t forget to check out the outdoor market and help support local Montreal artists and artisan creations.
The event is on from June 21st to July 28th 2019.
2. Cocoa Locale
For those with a sweet tooth, Montreal has some of the most decadent and unique baked goods around. Cocoa Local is no exception. Opened in 2004 on Parc Avenue, this hidden gem offers a variation of cakes, cupcakes and cookies each one more mouth watering than the next.
Traditional flavours with a twist, you will find that each ingredient is paired perfectly together. From the simply sweet and earthy floral tones of the vanilla and lavender, to the dark, rich and spicy chocolate chai, red velvet coloured with deep dark beet juice or a dreamy peaches and cream (all available in cake or cupcake forms) its easy to see why this place is a hit.
It’s also worth noting that this bakery is run and operated by one woman alone so quantities are limited and the shop is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
3. Beaubien Park
Montreal truly is the city of parks! For any local there is nothing better than spending a hot summers day laying out on the grass, cool drink in hand. Which is why you won’t necessarily be hard pressed to find any number of quaint green spaces filled with, not only Montrealers, but various visitors as well.
Cue the lesser known Beaubien park located in the upscale residential neighbourhood of Outremont. Fairly large in size this park offers many different activities from soccer games during the day to (yes once again!) outdoor movie screenings in the evenings.
Whether you stop by one of the local shops to plan a picnic or simply lay by the willow trees all day, there is no denying this park will have you charmed and wanting to stay!
4. Caffè In Gamba
Looking for some of the most amazing coffee around? Look no further than Caffè In Gamba, one the best coffee places in Montreal. Another hidden gem located on Parc Avenue, this Italian-style shop offers up amazing traditional espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and iced coffees to beat the heat.
Pair your beverage made from premium roasts with one of their paninis made on site or some artisanal pastries delivered fresh everyday. All this to be enjoyed in the cosy, air conditioned interior or on the sunny outdoor terrace.
5. Workshops & Flavors
This next option is for the foodies out there who have always wanted to learn how to recreate elegant and flavourful dishes all in under 1 hour! The “Midi Express” workshop, often frequented exclusively by locals takes place in Old Montreal and happens all throughout people’s lunch hours.
You have 30 minutes to prep and prepare the food and 30 minutes for tasting. A fantastic alternative to typical dining and an experience you are not soon to forget, Workshops & Flavors knows how to bring out the chefs in all of us. Booking should take place in advance and prices range from $23 to $27 CAD per person.
6. Canal Lounge
Located in the St-Henri/Little Burgundy area of the city, Canal Lounge is a fun and surprisingly inexpensive option for grabbing drinks in the late afternoon to early evening.
Adjacent to the famous Atwater Market, this 45 year old boat offers a relaxing and romantic atmosphere with beautiful views of the Lachine canal. Get ready for a laid back and intimate nautical experience open from 5pm till 11pm on weekdays, 3pm till 11pm on weekends.
7. Le Mal Nécessaire
Montreal is known for having quite a few secret bars around town, each one with its own unique mysterious vibe. This Chinatown spot is no exception. Not as complex to find as some of the other venues, the entrance can be nonetheless tricky to spot. Just look for the neon green pineapple and you’re in!
Once inside enjoy an array of exotic and original cocktails set in a trendy tiki-style bar. Complete with DJ and Chinese fare available from an upstairs restaurant, this cool underground location will have you vibing all night (or at least till their 3am closing time).
8. Alexandraplatz Bar
This unique bar located in Montreals Mile-Ex neighbourhood is definitely a secret spot worth checking out! Converted from an old garage and inspired by the German “Biergarten” this relaxed locale is mainly know for its beers from the Old Montreal Brewery, great cocktails and a selection of bottles from small scale vintners.
Food ranges from vegetarian hotdogs, nachos, tacos and other small snacks usually priced between $3 to $8. Get comfy on one of the many picnic tables and let the good conversation flow.
A party that has become a staple in Montreal’s after-hours scene, Moonshine is definitely for all the night owls out there. Set up at an undisclosed location revealed via text message, the event takes place every Saturday after a full moon. Featuring a collective of beat makers, DJs, singers, instrumentalists and artists all from Montreal, these nights are never ones to miss.
Afrocentric tracks, visual installations and an inclusive environment make for a place where you can have fun no matter who you are or where you’re from. SMS FOR LOCATION
10. Cosmos Snack
The final spot on this list is a local institution and the smallest diner you will ever see in the Montreal area. Located on Sherbrooke Street in the neighbourhood of NDG (short for Notre-Dame-De-Grâce), this hidden breakfast joint will serve up some hefty eats including their 6 egg omelet, the breakfast burger, hash browns and a classic cup of joe all made fresh right in front of you.
Add in a warm and welcoming staff and you have a place where anyone would come back for seconds. Try to arrive early, seating is limited.