10 things under 10 minutes from Jean-Talon metro station

Little Italy and Villeray
Mayssam Samaha

Mayssam Samaha

Jean-Talon station, which connects the blue line to the orange line of Montréal’s metro (subway system), is at the crossroads between Little Italy and Villeray. In this post, we feature 10 activities under 10 minutes from this station. 

Jean-Talon Market  - René Lussier

Stroll around: Jean-Talon Market

Walking time: 4 minutes 

Ask any Montrealer what’s of interest around the Jean-Talon metro station, and the first thing that comes to mind is the Jean-Talon Market. The largest open-air market in North America has been around since 1933. At this food mecca, foodies will find spice and olive shops, butchers, artisanal sausage makers, fish and cheese mongers, bakers, restaurants and cafés, and, of course, fresh produce from local providers. Eat your way through the market, or shop for some edible souvenirs. 

Little Italy - Caffè Italia

Shop and eat: Little Italy

Little Italy is just a couple of blocks west of the Jean-Talon Market. The Italian community has been calling La piccola Italia home since around 1900. Walk down some of its streets, and enjoy the scenery of shops, cafés, exaggerated hand gestures, and passionate Italian conversations. Shop for Italian products at Milano or enjoy a loaded sandwich at Porchetta. In the summertime, there are quite a few festivals happening here that relate to food, fashion, Vespas, and, yes, Italian cars, from vintage Fiat 500s to the latest Lamborghini.

Café Ferlucci - Grilled cheese

Have a coffee: Ferlucci

Walking time: 4 minutes 

There’s nothing more Italian than espresso! Coffee shops abound in this neighbourhood, and popular ones include Caffè San SimeonCafé Larue & Fils, Café Saint-Henri or Café Caron et Frères. For a vintage Italian vibe and some excellent brews, Café Ferlucci is only a few minutes from the metro station. Take a seat indoors or on the lovely sunny terrasse, do some people watching or strike a conversation with some of the regulars.

Petite Italie et Villeray - Quincaillerie Dante

Shop: Quincaillerie Dante

Walking time: 9 minutes 

Quincaillerie Dante, on the corner of Dante and Saint-Dominique Streets, has been a staple in the neighbourhood since 1956. Part kitchen supply store and part hunting store, this unique shop “c’è tutto per tutti” (has everything for everyone). There are pasta demonstrations by famous local cook Elena Faita every Saturday afternoon and a cooking school run by Faita next door. At Quincaillerie Dante, you’ll find the best Italian products, whether you’re a hunter or a cook. 

Restaurant  Moccione

Eat: Moccione

Walking time: 10 minutes 

Moccione is one of the best Italian restaurants in town. It serves authentic Italian specialties as well as creative seasonal dishes based. Their appetizers are fantastic and so are their homemade pasta dishes. Don’t skip the tiramisu!

The area around the Jean-Talon station is booming with interesting, highly recommendable small businesses. Here are a few more for you to discover, all within minutes from the metro station: Le Petit Alep for great Middle Eastern mezzes; Le Super Qualité, for delicious Indian street food; Chez Tousignant, for elevated fast food like burgers and poutines; Moccione Pizza, for some of the best pies in the city; Bar St-Denis for seasonal small plates to share with a great natural wine list.

Les Givrés

Grab a treat: Les Givrés

Walking time: 5 minutes 

One of the best ice cream shops in Montréal is a short walk north of the metro station. Les Givrés has garnered a great following since its opening. On hot summer days, line-ups for the artisanal frozen treats are long but well worth the wait. Try its soft serve with rotating flavours or grab one of its enormous ice cream sandwiches.

If the line-up is too long, you can also get fantastic ice cream at Iconoglace and Havre-aux-glaces. Nanana serves gorgeous, refined desserts while Mlles Gâteaux offers more rustic sweet treats.

Madonna della Defesa Church

Visit: Notre-Dame-de-la-Défense Church

Walking time: 8 minutes 

Founded in 1910 and recognized as a historical site by the Government of Canada in 2003, the Notre-Dame-de-la-Défense Church is at the centre of Italian community rallies. The fresco inside is beautiful, and you have a great chance of witnessing a wedding on any given Sunday in the summer. Buy yourself a cannolo from the Alati Caserta bakery across the street and watch the festivities, or enjoy your treat at the quaint Parc Dante across the street. 

Beer - Brasserie Harricana

Cheer: Brasserie Harricana

Walking time: 9 minutes 

A hip neighbourhood microbrewery, Brasserie Harricana is a popular spot that brews many artisanal beers and offers well executed bar food. It’s a great place for a “5 à 7” (Québec’s version of Happy Hour) or to lull the night away in a fun and electrifying atmosphere.  Their sunny terrasse is very enjoyable in the summer.

Other neighbourhood bars and microbreweries include Miss Villeray, Système, Huit Clos, Birra Bar à Bières maison and Mellön Brasserie.

Watch a movie: Casa d’Italia

Walking time: 1 minute 

Founded in 1936, Casa d’Italia is Montréal’s first Italian community center. Within the walls of this Art Deco landmark, you’ll find Cinéma Public, one of the best repertoire movie theaters in town. The programming here is impressive with some arthouse gems being showcased on a weekly basis.

Buy a book: Chez L’éditeur

Walking time: 2 minutes 

Chez L’Éditeur is a iterary café and bookstore all rolled into one. You can sit and relax with a book in hand from Cardinal or Quebec Amerique and a coffee from Café 8oz or you can buy a book to take home.

The neighbourhood also has two other noteworthy bookstores, Librairie Parenthèse with a vast choice of quality used books, and the well-stocked French shop, L’écume des jours.

Plaza St-Hubert

Bonus stop: Plaza St-Hubert

Walking time: 1 minute

Plaza St-Hubert (St-Hubert Street between Jean-Talon and Bellechasse) is a major commercial street whose famous canopy has recently been renovated. With over 400 eclectic and disparate (but always interesting) retail and service businesses, it’s definitely worth a visit. Some noteworthy stops for you to check out: Pâtisserie L’éclarcie, Brouillon Buvette, La Maison de Mademoiselle Dumpling, Montréal Plaza, Pichai, Épicerie Conserva,

Mayssam Samaha

Mayssam Samaha

Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger and the founder behind the blog Will Travel for Food. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 36 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city. She is also the founder of the SAISONS intimate dinner series highlighting Québec products and chefs.

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