Our first full day (Sunday) in Montreal was exactly that - full. We walked over 20,000 steps over the course of the day, covering an insane amount of ground and numerous areas in Montreal.
Things we noticed right away about Montreal:
- There is a lot of really nice graffiti art on buildings all over the city; it's everywhere
- We have heard a lot about Montreal smoked meat and poutine, but we never expected to see so many rotisserie chicken places. People here must realllllly love their chicken. Seriously, it seems like there is a rotisserie chicken shop on every street, and they all look sooo good, and smell amazing. It's on our list!
- There are a lot of pretty spaces in between buildings
- There are very few chain restaurants (Old Montreal had the most of any area we've seen here yet)
- We have not yet encountered someone who could not speak English; if we say "hello" they instantly start to speak English to us
- Poutine is everywhere, and none of the poutine places skimp on gravy; there is usually a pool of gravy left in the dish; no need for ketchup for those leftover dry fries!
- There are beautiful cathedrals all over the city
We started our day on Sunday by walking to St. Viateur Bagel.
We enjoyed our bagels with some iced teas from David's Tea.
These bagels are widely recognized as the best in Montreal. They were good, but I don't think they compare to NY bagels.
Later, we wandered to Schwartz's for a smoked meat sandwich.
This place is very famous, and the line up is always insane. We went through the take-out side, which is much quicker, and got one hot smoked meat sandwich to share.
I was surprised that the sandwich was on very small, thin pieces of regular bread. There wasn't enough bread for the amount of meat. The meat was very flavourful, and extremely tender and moist. We both agreed that the sandwich needed more mustard, and a pickle or something for a bit more flavour and crunch. I'm having trouble understanding why people would wait in an insane line for these; although, to be honest, I kind of want to go have another one, just to be sure I'm not missing something, or perhaps to try something else on the menu.
While walking along, we came across Park La Fontaine, which is absolutely beautiful!
In The Village (also called The Gay Village), we had fun people-watching, as it was the last day of Pride Week, and a lot was going on. The street was packed, and a lot of fun.
Later in the afternoon we shared a classic poutine at La Banquise, a restaurant famous for having the best poutine in Montreal, and our third dish recommended by a food TV show of the day (the bagels and smoked meat sandwich were also from food TV recommendations).
This poutine was really good, but we still liked the one from Nyk's the most.
We continued walking, admiring the sites along the way.
After resting our feet in the room for a while, we had a very full and fun evening. We started with a vegan dinner at Aux Vivres.
I got a beet, carrot, apple juice, and Christopher's was made with ginger, apple and lemon.
We shared a soup to start.
And then I had the dragon bowl, and Christopher had a veggie burger.
After dinner we went to a cool cigar and martini lounge called Stogie.
After the cigar lounge, we went to a rooftop terrace for a beverage, before heading back to the hotel.
* I'm currently listening to Christopher repeat words after his phone as he completes Lesson 1 of Rosetta Stone: French. He's so cute.