A Romantic Guide to Montréal
In Montréal, romance isn’t reserved for Valentine’s Day. Here’s your guide to keeping the flame alive all year long.
All you need is love—and good food
From the city’s best-kept secrets to its trendiest spots, we’ve selected the finest restaurants in Montréal for lovebirds. Marconi is all the rage after being named one of Canada’s best new restaurants in 2017 by enRoute, a magazine by Air Canada. Ask to sit at the bar and enjoy their creative twist on Québec cuisine. Do you equate love with heart-healthy options? Head straight to LOV, a vegan restaurant that keeps things fresh with its green and white decor. Once the sun comes out to warm the city streets, reserve the single table that sits within the vegetable garden at Joe Beef, which ranked third in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2017. Alternatively, invite your special someone to the fabulous gardens at Maison Boulud, an establishment with three Michelin stars. When tea time strikes, stop in at one of Montréal’s fine pastry shops, like Patrice Pâtissier or Maison Christian Faure, where you can wash down your sweets with a flavoured tea, steaming hot chocolate or invigorating coffee. Of course, the best place to indulge in la dolce vita is Little Italy. Start with a cocktail at Femme (à la) Fontaine, then sink your teeth into a scrumptious pizza at Gema or enjoy a refined meal at Impasto. For more information about fine dining in Montreal, check out our guide for gourmet travellers.
A toast to love
Up high, down low and everywhere in between, Montréal is home to countless bars where you can whisper sweet nothings into your lover’s ear. Do you prefer a secret location tucked into a basement or behind a hidden door? Our favourites include the oh-so-chic Big in Japan, the confidential Maison Cloackroom and the happening Boho and Clandestino, which serve up incredible cocktails. When the sun sets, let your love soar on the rooftop bar of Canal Lounge, a barge docked along the Lachine Canal, or at the Renaissance Hotel’s classy patio complete with private pool and views of the city’s skyscrapers. If you want to nibble on something other than your mate’s ear, you’ll appreciate one of these wine bars with a selection of natural wines on the menu.
Picnics, long walks and people watching are some of life’s simplest and most romantic pleasures. When the cherry trees blossom in spring, plan a picnic at Westmount Park or the Botanical Gardens. The fresh scent of flowers will tickle your senses. For the total relaxation experience, go to one of Montréal’s bubbling spas. Things are sure to get hot in the thermal circuit at Bota Bota, the spa over the water in the Old Port of Montréal. For added luxury, there’s always the impeccable spas and services at Moment Spa Le Reine Elizabeth, Spa William Gray and Spa St James du Ritz Carlton Montréal. In July, take in the Loto-Québec International Fireworks Competition aboard an AML Cruise. You can even enjoy fine cuisine out on the water! Another incredible place for views of the city is the observatory at Au Sommet Place Ville Marie, where you’re sure to find seventh heaven! For Valentine’s Day, nature lovers can strap on snowshoes and enjoy a unique trek organized by Les amis de la montagne. The experience promises breathtaking views of Montréal, glasses of mulled wine and chocolate truffles. For a more urban experience, why not immerse yourself in the upscale and historic Golden Square Mile. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely walk and shopping for luxury items. End the day with smooth and seductive jazz. For suggestions, check out our guide to Montréal’s jazz and blues clubs.
Nestling in for the night
Whether it’s a night of passion, weekend away or longer stay, Montréal’s hotels have something for all tastes and budgets. Choose an establishment with deep historic roots or opt for the star treatment at a high-end boutique hotel. Of course, don’t forget to turn up the romance with our guide to Montréal’s best hotel restaurants. Last but not least, if you’re thinking about tying the knot, our team has created a list of memorable places to propose or get married in Montréal. Kiss, kiss!
Laure Juilliard, blogger
Laure is a writer, community manager and the founder of the blog Une Parisienne à Montréal. She’s also an epicurean globetrotter who’s always on the hunt for innovative concepts and must-try restaurants. In 2016, she co-founded Slow Journeys, a webzine that focuses on ecotourism and design.
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