Relax for a few hours in this funky Montréal neighbourhood.
Many people who have been to downtown Montréal will be familiar with the Atwater Market, an Art Deco masterpiece in a neighbourhood locally known as Little Burgundy (Petite Bourgogne) which has been open for locals and visitors alike since 1933.
The market is an incredible foodie destination. You can find all of the regular farmers' market staples like fresh produce, preserves, honey, and maple syrup, as well as specialty food shops. Gourmet cheese and fois gras and sausages and bagels are abundant here, as are hot food stands and snack stalls. It's also a fantastic place for people watching and, if you're lucky, the public piano will be set up and you might be treated to an impromptu performance!
But the market is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the delicious treats Little Burgundy has to offer. Here are some of our favourite spots.
For a light lunch or a sweet snack, our favourite spot is Patrice Patissier. Like the name suggests, this is a pastry house and we dare you to try to walk away without a big box of treats. Whatever you do, don't pass on the humble looking canele. Caneles (sometimes spelled canneles) are pastries traditional to Bordeaux, France, and have a soft, custard-like centre, a thick caramelized crust, and are shaped like a fluted cylinder. They are absolutely delicious!
If you’re in the mood for a late afternoon drink, in a reasonably priced, funky little bar, you could do worse than ducking in to La Drinkerie (on Rue Notre-Dame West) for a pint. While I enjoyed the Dublin’s Pub cider, you could also enjoy the local Pretty Bastard stout from the West Shefford Brasserie.
They do offer a charcouterie plates as well, but when in Montréal, you’ve got to grab yourself a poutine to quell those hunger cravings. For that I’d recommend the short walk up Rue Notre-Dame to the Greenspot diner. Decidedly old school, with jukeboxes on every table that haven’t had their music updated in at least a decade, you can decide between about 30 varieties of poutine. If it’s your first trip, go with the classic version. You won’t be disappointed. Some folks rate it as the best in Montreal, and I’m not sure I would disagree.
Those looking for a more refined dinner should attempt to get a reservation for Joe Beef. Also located on Rue Notre-Dame, you may not find a better restaurant anywhere. The food here is unbeatable, the atmosphere fun, the service unpretentious, and the experience definitely four star. Famous author and chef Anthony Bourdain has dined with the owners, asking at one point "Is there a billionaire or a despot anywhere on Earth who at this precise moment is eating better than us?"
Montreal is one of our favourite destinations -and looking back I've realized that we have written about Montreal more than any other place in the world. And no wonder! I love that Montreal has something for every style, taste, and budget and the Atwater Market and Little Burgundy are perfect examples of that.
I can't wait to return to explore even more -and I hope you'll give me some recommendations on what I should try next!
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