Montréal is known around the world for its elegant Old World splendor, home to cobblestone-lined streets and gorgeous French Colonial architecture at landmarks such as the Gothic Revival-style Notre-Dame Basilica. Québec's largest city is a culture lover's paradise, offering one-of-a-kind date excursion opportunities like chances to see preserved attractions from the 1967 World's Fair exposition. French-influenced gastronomy abounds, including some of Canada's most elegant French-inspired bistros and romantic restaurants. Unique bohemian culture is also on display at art museums and galleries throughout the city, which are perfect for exploring with a sweetheart. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.BBAM! Gallery

BBAM! Gallery
© BBAM! Gallery

BBAM! Gallery is one of Montréal's premiere contemporary art galleries, established in 2012 to showcase the talents of emerging and mid-career North American artists. Art exhibitions focus on artists working in figurative art, pop art, and hyperrealism genres, including prominent artists such as Carylann Loeppky, Zofia Bogusz, Fang Ling Lee, and Keight Maclean. Couples can explore the gallery's current exhibits Tuesdays through Sundays during the afternoon hours. The gallery also sells extensive collections of vintage vinyl records, pop culture memorabilia, and gift items, all curated by co-owner Ralph Alfonso, known for his work on record labels such as Bongo Beat Records.

808 Atwater Ave, Montreal, QC H4C 2G9, Canada, Phone: 514-952-6190

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2.Foiegwa

Foiegwa
© Foiegwa


Foiegwa is a clever French-American diner opened to the public in 2016 by the Barroco Group. The restaurant, which is named for a play on words mimicking the Americanized pronunciation of popular French dish "foie gras," is structured around an open-plan kitchen and is decorated in kitschy sketches of famous Montréalites by artist Marc Tremblay, meant to evoke the atmosphere of legendary New York City restaurant Sardi's. Classic entree options include truffle parmesan beef tartare, seasonal vegetable bagna cauda, and foie gras brioche roll sandwiches with black truffle leek fondue. At brunch, couples can enjoy favorites such as croque monsieur and eggs Benedict paired with creamy milkshakes, root beer floats, and seasonal smoothies. Next door, the restaurant's hip Atwater Cocktail Club speakeasy serves up craft cocktails.

3001 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H4C 1N9, Canada, Phone: 438-387-4252

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3.Kampai Garden

Kampai Garden
© Kampai Garden


Kampai Garden is a delightful beer garden on Montréal's Sainte-Catherine Street, originally opened to the public in 2016. The beautiful 10,000-square-foot space showcases an industrial-chic aesthetic created by designer Amlyne Phillips, offering two outdoor terraces for couples to cozy up on over beers during the warmer months. Extensive craft beer lists are complemented by an excellent cocktail menu crafted by Lawrence Picard. A full menu of shareable bar snacks is also served up throughout the day, including selections such as barbecue pork skewers, fried chicken with maple chili sauce, and nacho dogs on brioche buns. Raw bar options range from fresh market oysters to sashimi and tataki selections.

1616 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3H 1L9, Canada, Phone: 514-379-6161

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4.Moleskine

Moleskine
© Moleskine


Moleskine has been rated as one of InStyle Magazine's top five restaurants in Montréal, developed by owners Catherine Bélanger and Bruno Braën and executive chef Frédéric St-Aubin. The restaurant showcases a unique 1970s glam aesthetic in its interior design, featuring chain metal curtains, dark decor, and communal table seating. Vintage vinyl tunes are spun throughout the evening, highlighting classic rock and pop artists such as ABBA, Journey, and the Eagles. Delicious craft pizzas are served up on both of the restaurant's seating levels, including unique takes such as carbonara and fra diavola pizzas. Homemade ice cream is also served to go from a takeout window on the restaurant's ground floor, perfect for couples looking for quick takeaway treats.

3412 Park Ave, Montreal, QC H2X 2H5, Canada, Phone: 514-903-6939

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5.Galerie Youn

Galerie Youn
© Galerie Youn


Galerie Youn is one of Montreal's most cutting-edge art galleries, showcasing the works of emerging Canadian and international artists, with a focus on artists discovered on Instagram and social media. The gallery, which was founded in 2013 by gallerist Juno Youn of Toronto's Spin Gallery, focuses on a current roster of two dozen artists from throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia, striving to bring new talents to the public eye. Prominent artists featured include Hugo Alonso, renowned for his work with New York Times Magazine, and VOGUE Mexico photographer Damian Siqueiros. Solo and group exhibitions are on display throughout the year at the gallery, which is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday afternoons or by appointment.

5226 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2T 1S1, Canada, Phone: 514-270-8588

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6.Damas

Damas
© Damas

Damas is a delightful Syrian-Persian restaurant opened in its current Outremont location in 2015 by chef and owner Fuad Alnirabie. The beautiful Middle Eastern restaurant is decked out in lush decor and offers seating on an intimate 40-seat outdoor terrace during the warmer months. Excellent traditional entrees include delicacies such as moujadarra, fattet makdous, bamia, and samke harra. Hot and cold mezze offerings are available a la carte or as part of tasting platters, perfect for sharing selections such as labneh zeitoun, muhammara, baba ghannouj, and traditional hummus. International wine and beer selections are complemented by cocktails infused with ingredients such as sumac, cardamom, and orange blossom.

1201 Ave Van Horne, Outremont, QC H2V 1K4, Canada, Phone: 514-439-5435

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7.Ile Flottante

Ile Flottante
© Ile Flottante

Ile Flottante is one of Montréal's most-buzzed-about dining destinations, opened within the former Les Deux Singes restaurant space in 2017. The Mile End restaurant is helmed by co-owners Nada Abou Younes and Sean Murray Smith, the same owners of the former restaurant, but expands on its predecessor's seating and French-inspired menu. Decadent decor is meant to evoke the splendor and design of the Montréal Expo '67 Canadian Pavilion, including a glass-encased kitchen and bar. Tasting menus offer three-, five-, and seven-course options, emphasizing elegant French meat, seafood, and vegetable entrees chosen by the restaurant's chefs. Options rotate regularly, but frequently feature favorite such as Cornish hen with cranberry and celeriac or pork and clam potato cabbage rolls.

176 Saint Viateur West Street, QC 2L3, St Viateur St W, Montreal, Quebec H2T 2L3, Canada, Phone: 514-278-6854

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8.Regine Cafe

Regine Cafe
© Regine Cafe

Regine Cafe is a laid-back, inviting neighborhood cafe meant to evoke the welcoming atmosphere of dining at a friend or relative's kitchen. The restaurant, which was opened in 2012, is a great choice for dates looking for a casual lunchtime spot during work days or for weekend brunch. Gourmet sandwiches are served up throughout the afternoon hours, crafted by executive chef Anne-Claudine. A full menu of cafe and espresso-based beverages is served throughout the day, along with fine hot chocolates and health-conscious smoothies. At brunch, diners can choose from delicacies such as homemade scones or crumpets, creme brulee yogurt, and duck sausage. For couples looking for a quick sweet treat, the restaurant also serves up housemade cinnamon rolls and pastries to go.

1840 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2G 1L6, Canada, Phone: 514-903-0676

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9.Bouillon Bilk

Bouillon Bilk
© Bouillon Bilk

Bouillon Bilk is a charming modern French bistro located in Montréal's downtown district, serving up eclectic cuisine options since 2011. The hip, bright restaurant showcases industrial-chic decor, including whitewashed brick seats and exposed wood tables. Lunch and dinner menus are cultivated by executive chef François Nadon, emphasizing novelty and simplicity in entrees such as venison with molasses and labneh or halibut prepared with white turnip, rhubarb, and dill. At lunch, couples can select from lighter fare such as daily soups and salads or share raw oyster or seafood platters. Wait staff is on hand to help diners select from the restaurant's carefully-cultivated wine pairing list. Excellent non-alcoholic options are also served up, including natural ginger ale and coriander lemonade.

1595 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, QC H2X 2S9, Canada, Phone: 514-845-1595

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10.Restaurant L'Avenue

Restaurant L'Avenue
© Restaurant L’Avenue

Restaurant L’Avenue has become one of Montréal's hottest diners since its opening in 1997. The restaurant chain now offers several locations throughout the city, known for their unique graffiti-covered walls and quirky restroom decor. Portions on all entrees are oversized, making the restaurant a great choice for couples looking to share plates. Diners can choose from a wide variety of clever eggs Benedicts, including chorizo, steak and eggs, and Montréal stuffed meat options. Sweet and savory crepes are also served up, along with high-quality omelettes and pancakes. At lunch, couples can choose from diner dishes such as chèvre-topped burgers, paired with coffee shop beverages or clever cocktails.

922 Mont-Royal Ave E, Montreal, QC H2J 1X1, Canada, Phone: 514-523-8780

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11.Le Club Chasse et Peche

Le Club Chasse et Peche
© Le Club Chasse et Pêche


Le Club Chasse et Pêche is the vision of executive chef Claude Pelletier, opened in 2007 as a successor to popular French restaurant Le Fadeau. The restaurant is one of the city's top romantic dining destinations, showcasing gorgeous retro design elements and leather armchair seating for cozying up with dates. Imaginative fare takes center stage on dinner menus, showcasing unique land and sea fare such as lobster fettuccine with saffron and mascarpone, gemelli and veal cheek with foie gras, and maple-glazed duck confit rolls prepared with macadamia nuts. Couples can share appetizers such as jalapeno and maple crisp oysters or decadent desserts such as mango and coconut mousse with passion fruit yellow chocolate. Creative wine lists are complemented by classic cocktail selections such as cosmopolitans and martinis.

423 Rue Saint-Claude, Montréal, QC H2Y 3B6, Canada, Phone: 514-861-1112

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12.Bonaparte

Bonaparte
© Bonaparte


Bonaparte has been acclaimed as one of Old Montréal's best dining spots for more than three decades since its opening in 1983. Timeless French fare is served up in a gorgeously romantic atmosphere in dining rooms housed within a Napoleon-themed inn setting. Menus highlight French comfort fare at brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, served up as part of a la carte, business, or pre-theater tasting menus. Land entree options include maple syrup roasted duck breast and venison medallions with mushroom ravioli, while sea fare focuses on delicacies such as scallop delight with mushroom fricassee and Muscat wine lobster stew. At brunch, mimosas or espresso beverages pair with selections such as black forest ham omelettes and French-style crepes.

447 St Francois Xavier St, Montreal, QC H2Y 2T1, Canada, Phone: 514-844-4368

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13.Tandem

Tandem
© Tandem


Tandem is a charming BYOB restaurant offering from executive chef Pascal Turgeon and co-owned Ericka Soleilhac. The restaurant, which was opened in 2011, serves up market-driven fare throughout the week, including elegant dishes such as snow crab ravioli, veal filet mignon, and rack of lamb with provencal herbs. Five-, seven-, and nine-course tasting menus showcase chef's selections, with optional foie gras and wine pairings available. After dinner, couples can share decadent desserts such as key lime pie, fruit macarons, and chocolate and caramel ganache. For an extra sweet treat for two, dessert tasting menus showcase an assortment of the restaurant's fine desserts.

586 Rue Villeray, Montréal, QC H2R 1H6, Canada, Phone: 514-277-3339

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12 Best Montreal Date Ideas



More Ideas: La Ronde

Located in Montreal, Quebec, La Ronde is the second-largest amusement park in Canada, preserving the facilities of the 1967 World’s Fair as a modern theme park operated by the Six Flags corporation. La Ronde was constructed as the entertainment complex for the Expo ‘67 World’s Fair, which was held in Montreal from April 27 through October 29.

History

The fair was held on a 400-hectare area across man-made islands in the Saint Lawrence River. Six major themed pavilions were operated at the fair, along with 48 national pavilions, 27 private industry pavilions, and four provincial pavilions. Additionally, a 54-hectare entertainment complex housed a variety of midway rides, theaters, and dining and drinking areas. Following the end of the Expo, the entertainment complex was transferred to the care of the City of Montreal and operated as a seasonal amusement park, featuring a variety of modern thrill and midway rides for visitors of all ages. In 2001, La Ronde was sold to American theme park chain Six Flags, after a variety of bidding options from other international theme park corporations such as Paramount Parks and Cedar Fair were considered. The park’s assets were acquired by the corporation at a cost of $20 million USD, and a variety of new amusement rides were added to the park in the following years.

Rides and Attractions

Today, La Ronde is owned and operated by the Six Flags theme park corporation under an emphyteutic lease with the City of Montreal lasting until 2065. As the second-largest amusement park in the country, La Ronde is located on a 59-hectare man-made island extension near the northern tip of Saint Helen’s Island within the Saint Lawrence River. Though the park is one of two Six Flags-operated theme parks along with Queensbury, New York’s Great Escape not to bear official Six Flags branding, many of the park’s rides have been rebranded with Six Flags-owned characters and themes since the park’s 2001 acquisition. It is been featured in a number of films and television series, including the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid Of The Dark?.

La Ronde’s operating season extends from mid-May through late October, with limited operational hours before late May and after early September. Admission rates are offered for adults, seniors, and children, with children under the age of three admitted free. More than 40 rides are offered throughout the park, including a variety of high, mild, and family thrill rides and attractions.

10 roller coasters are offered at the park, including the 40-metre Le Monstre, the tallest double-tracked wooden roller coaster in the world. Steel coasters at the park include the Vekoma Boomerang and Super Manège looping coasters, the Bolliger and Mabillard Le Vampire inverted coaster, the Goliath hyper-coaster, and the Ednör, which was relocated from Houston’s Six Flags Astro World theme park. Other coasters include the Zamperla Toboggan Nordique Nordic slopes-style coaster, the Intamin Dragon indoor family coaster, and the Marche du Mille-pattes miniature mine train ride.

Thrill rides operated at the park include the Titan giant pendulum ride, added to the park in 2017, and the Vertigo inverted swinging hawk ride. A Manitou swinging pendulum ride is also offered, along iwth a Demon inverted barrel ride, a Gravitor upright flat pendulum ride, an Orbite dual-direction drop tower, and a Vol Ultime giant wave swinger ride. Other major thrill rides include a Bateau pirate boat ride and a Maison Rouge haunted house ride.

For families, a variety of midway rides are offered, including a Grand Roue giant Ferris wheel and Le Galopant and Grand Carrousel classic carousel rides. Other midway rides include a Disco Ronde calypso-style ride, a 73-meter Spriale observation tower, a Condor spinning ride, a Phoenix flying scooters-style ride, Autos Tamponneuses bumper cars, and Tour de Ville wave swings. Water rides include a Splash flatboat ride and a Joyeux Moussaillons family boat ride. A children’s area also features rides such as a Tchou Tchou train ride, an Air Papillon flying ride, and a La Marche du milles-pattes miniature roller coaster.

In addition to standard amusement rides, several paid attractions are offered at the park, including Sling Shot and Catapult bungee rides. Daily entertainment is offered throughout the park, including a strolling show featuring the Ribambelle and the Z animated characters. A variety of casual and full-service dining options are offered throughout the park, featuring American, Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and classic fair-style food options. Sundries, apparel, candy, and gifts are also sold at souvenir shops throughout the park.

Ongoing Programs and Events

In addition to standard visitor admission, group rates are offered for corporate, educational, and community groups, including rates for company outings, summer camps, and touring travel groups. Season passes are offered for visitors, allowing repeated attendance throughout the operating season at a reduced rate. Annual public special events at the park include a Halloween-themed Fright Fest in October and the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, an internationally-recognized fireworks competition bringing fireworks companies from around the world to the park for spectacular visitor displays.

22, chemin Macdonald, Île Sainte-Hélène, Montréal (Québec) H3C 6A3, Phone: 514-397-2000

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More Ideas: Maison Saint Gabriel

Maison Saint-Gabriel is a museum in Montreal dedicated to showing history that presents and explains the many aspects of rural life in Quebec and specifically, the residences various guests. Visitors can expect to see the role Marguerite Bourgeoys played in the King’s Wards work, along with how she developed the farm of Pointe-Saint Charles.

Guests will commune with the spirit of those that came before them, building the countryside and establishing their values. Those interested in heritage, history, and culture will get a glimpse into the traditional rural life of seventeenth to nineteenth century Quebec, and its social and religious heritage.

History

In 1966, the Maison Saint-Gabriel museum and the historical site opened to the public. Residing in Pointe-Stain-Charles, in what was once a part of New France, this three-century-old establishment is an exceptional example of the traditional architecture of its time. The Main Saint-Gabriel was purchased in 1668 by Marguerite Bourgeoys to house the King’s Wards. This building, of the Congregation de Notre-Dame, was the heart of educational and agricultural activities for three hundred years.

Sitting near to the Maison Saint-Gabriel, two of its buildings, the stone house, and the barn, were given the title of historical monuments in 1965. In 1992, to raise awareness about Quebec’s history, heritage, and culture beginning from the French regime era, the province’s minister announced the site would be given historic status. This proclamation gave the museum a unique and privileged rank. In 2007, Maison Saint-Gabriel became a National Historic Site of Canada.

When Marguerite Bourgeoys came to the Ville-Marie, she had a definite goal and mission in mind. She wanted to establish a small colony that would provide instruction and education to the children in the surrounding area at no cost.

To accomplish her vision, she established the Congregation de Notre-Dame, a secular religious community. De Maisonneuve granted her a land concession in Pointe-Saint Charles in 1662. She purchased a fieldstone house and the land on which it stood from her neighbor, Francois Le Ber, allowing for site expansion.

Marguerite Bourgeoys established a model farm on the land and in 1671, King Louis XIV sent letters to her officially authorizing the site as an “establishment of the Congregation de Notre-Dame on the Island of Montreal in New France.”

Exhibits and Collections

Visit the Maison Saint-Gabriel and see various collections and objects from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Ranging from clothing to paintings, to furniture and domestic objects, there will be no shortage of unique and exciting things to see.

From the Cellar to the Attic

This display features many everyday objects from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These items include handmade furniture, paintings, sculptures, embroidery, and other antiques. Visitors will see these objects arranged in a manner that they will appear as if they were recently used.

Arts

The arts exhibit depicts living in a rural countryside with a challenging climate, isolated and surrounded by wild forests. These works include crafts, paintings, silverware, sculptures, and interior decorations.

Clothing

Clothing in New France at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries served as both decoration and protection. Protection was of the utmost importance, as the clothing of the time had to endure the challenging weather conditions like heat, rain, and cold.

Communication

Humans by their very nature are beings which like to communicate. Communication devices over the centuries have been an attempt to improve the environment of humans. In this display, visitors will see stereograms, books, postcards, and other sound related objects.

Domestic Objects

During the New France era, the interior of the home felt incomplete if it did not consist of domestic objects. These objects included methods for heating and preparing food, lighting, or basic housekeeping items. Many of these objects could be found in homes throughout New France and were not familiar to only a specific class. Peasants, middle class, and noblemen were all likely to have domestic objects within their homes.

Furniture

Residences of the area attempted to recreate the lives they knew in France by building furniture inspired by the styles they were accustomed to. They also made furniture that would stand up well to the climate in which they lived, using nearby materials. Over time they filled their houses with chests, dressers, tables, chairs, stools, hutches, and various other items.

Services

Guests of the Maison Saint-Gabriel will discover the option to visit a gift shop with gifts for all occasions, or sit down in the Tea Room and relax while having a cup of tea.

Gift Shop

Outfitted in modern décor, the gift shop provides guests the chance to purchase original and unique items that connect with the history and rural life which the museum depicts. Products include traditional toys, books specializing in history, and Amerindian items.

The Tea Room

Sit down for a cup of tea on an outdoor terrace adjacent to the gift shop. The Tea Room offers a means to sample different herbal teas while also tasting a seasoned cake. Nearby, a real bread oven makes exquisite bread, which can be consumed with tea or purchased as a gift.

Maison Saint-Gabriel 2146, Place Dublin, Pointe-Saint-Charles Montreal, Quebec H3K 2A2, Phone: 514-935-8136

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More Ideas: Marche Bonsecours

Marche Bonsecours was inaugurated in 1847 and is widely considered to be in the top ten of Canada’s finest heritage building. It has become a must-see for anyone visiting Old Montreal. The Quebec Crafts Council has its headquarters in the building, which is home to fifteen “made in Quebec” boutiques. Some of the items found within the shops are accessories, jewelry, designer items, Quebec furniture, and more.

History

Both during the French regime and after the Conquest of the area, the area of the Bonsecours Market would become the center of both the cultural and social activities of the colony. Throughout the history of the market, many famous or prominent personalities have called Marche Bonsecours their home, including Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil.

The last Intendant of New France, Francois Bigot, called the market his home from 1749, until his eventual departure and returned to France in 1760.

The residence was purchased in 1796 by John Johnson, Superintendent General and Inspector General of the Six-Nations Indians, who then resold it in 1815 to John Molson.

Molson renovated and expanded the Mansion House Hotel, which was referred to most often as the British American Hotel. It was the location of the Beaver Club’s meetings until a fire destroyed it in 1833.

Molson’s son sold most of the land back to the city, which it used for the construction site of the Bonsecours Market. The city broke ground in 1844, and just three short years later, the market opened. Renovation of the market’s interior continued until 1852.

The market was also home to Montreal City Hall for twenty-five years until construction of a brand-new City Hall completed on Notre-Dame street in 1852.

Bonsecours Market was the primary public market in Montreal for over one hundred years. It was a direct reflection of the economic and social status of the country, which its halls will readily testify to.

The very first lessee of the Bonsecours Market was the Canadian Institute, which then organized a celebration of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in 1846. As a result, the market became the preferred location to showcase events, evidenced by the hosting of the Provincial Fair in 1850.

The market is always the place to be as it hosts exhibitions, conferences, concerts, and shows on a regular basis. It continues to evolve according to the likes and dislikes of the public, along with marked improvements in technology.

After a brief closing, the market is now re-opened, newly refurbished and restored to meet the needs of today’s market goers, as well as those of the future.

Galleries

With its intimidating silver dome, the Marche Bonsecours is a symbol of modernism in an Old Montreal. A gleaming gem of Quebec’s heritage and culture, it has an updated interior design that includes several galleries for guests to enjoy.

Le Café des Arts

This gallery is a space dedicated to today’s artists who call Canada their home. Le Café des Arts take pride in providing creative and innovative artwork that shows off the talents of local Canadians.

Galerie Art et Antiquities Medius

This gorgeous gallery is an ambassador to Canadian culture through its artwork. It shares the beauty, culture, and wealth of Old Montreal. This space also includes objects and paintings of European origin from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Boutiques

The high-end boutiques in Marche Bonsecours offer guests the change to discover original clothing and furniture by Quebec designers. Visitors will also find contemporary jewelry, along with many other cultural objects which reflect the diversity of the city. Some of these boutiques include:

• Art et Culture Canada

• Boutique Arts en Movement

• Labo Gourmand

• Lilyka

• Petite Maison Bleue

• Nature et Decouverte

• Red Canoe

• Temps Libre

Restaurants

Nothing builds up an appetite like a day of sight-seeing and shopping, which guests will have the opportunity to do at Marche Bonsecours. While the restaurant selection is not as diverse as the boutique options, there are a few options from which to choose.

Pub Brewksey

Visitors seeking a place to rest and relax need look no further than Pub Brewskey. This restaurant aims to make guests feel right at home and will do so with their variety of craft beers and whiskeys. The menu ranges from fresh Tartar to tacos, which means there is something for everyone.

350 St-Paul Street East, Old Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1H2, Phone: 514-872-7730

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