Of Montreal: A recap of my 8 days in Quebec’s Metropolis
I know I’m a little behind on my blog. It seems that a blog once a month is all I can crank out while galavanting around the world. My apologies! We continue with my wonderful 8 days in Montreal in May. My research led me to believe that Montreal is a vegan-friendly city, but couldn’t be anything compared to my love affair with Toronto. Some gems were found, but overall it was the vibe and layout of the city I liked best.
It was a little chilly and cloudy while I was there in May, but that didn’t stop me from trying as much vegan food as possible. Most vegan options are concentrated in a small rectangle seen above. One thing I really loved about Montreal was how walkable of a city it is. I pretty much walked everywhere and my Airbnb near Parc La Fontaine (the big green square top right) was the perfect central location to get to downtown and more north up the Mile End. Stay somewhere central like this and you’ll be set! But either way, there are plenty of buses and a subway that gets you anywhere you need to go. Montreal is very easy to move around quickly and efficiently.
As soon as I arrived by train from Toronto I checked into my Airbnb and hurried off to Sushi Momo. Numerous friends had suggested it and I’m a sucker for vegan sushi. This place is always packed but being alone and willing to sit at the bar I was seated immediately and pondered over the menu. You can order a la carte but the best deal is to get one of their bento boxes or multi-roll specials. It’s not cheap; both times I spent at least $20 USD, but it was totally worth it. Each roll was exquisitely designed, full of the freshest ingredients, and made with love. The first time I got the three rolls you see above: the MUMBAI roll with mock shrimp tempura, green onion, avocado, sweet potato, with the most delicious Japanese curry aioli, a simple Portobello kappa roll, and the KAMIKAZE roll with sweet potato, tempura, avocado, green onion wrapped in soy paper. My mouth and body did a happy dance as I ate.
The second time I went for the bento box that had miso soup, tempera veggies and three sushi rolls (27 CD). The MOMO roll with sweet tofu, cucumber, avocado, mango, tempura, Japanese oba leaf and Japanese curry aioli sauce was the best out of these and blew my mind. I wish I could have eaten here every day and tried every sushi roll on the menu! If you are ever in Montreal this is a MUST, but be sure to make a reservation.
Big shout-out to Cafe Tuyo, which I found while looking up coffee shops to work from my computer. I spent almost every morning here working, drinking their delicious lattes, and eating the most amazing vegan pastries. I ended up seeing the owners at Aux Vivres so it’s a small vegan world in Montreal. Cafe Tuyo has plenty of tables, strong wifi, and they play the best music ever played in a coffeeshop so it’s a digital nomad’s dream!
One afternoon I met up with an old client of mine who graciously showed me around town and took me to the most amazing coffeeshop that has all vegan pastries called Caffe Dei Campi. It was hard not to take one of everything! It’s a little further north but totally worth it especially if you need to work, have a business meeting or a nice catch up with friends.
We also went to Panthere Verte (Green Panther) where I had half a falafel pita, sweet potato fries, and soup. It was pretty good for a healthy, quick meal but I would need to try more menu items to give a formal opinion. How awesome to have a vegan chain around town though?! The desserts look awesome but I didn’t try any (hashtag fail).
I often stalk locals on Instagram before I go to a new city and then message them to meet up with me. I swear I’m not creepy!! When you are traveling solo like I always do it’s such a pleasure to meet up with other vegans, have them show you around their city and get recommendations on where to eat. I found Elodie this way, and she happened to be teaching a free yoga class while I was in town. I was stoked for that and then we went to Aux Vivres for brunch after class.
I’m a sucker for breakfast and brunch food so I went with the somewhat typical breakfast plate of tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, cornbread, roasted sweet potato, and salad. It was tasty and huge and I couldn’t eat it all. Definitely the best value! Later on in the week I went to their take-out section and had a quick dahl and rice and grabbed a few desserts that were nice.
One of my last meals is at a vegetarian cafe two doors down from my Airbnb. Score! L’Gros Luxe is one of the fancier places to get a vegan meal in town but the food didn’t seem on par with the vibe and price. We got the Bahn mi tacos as a starter, which was the best thing we ordered. I got the curry and my friend got the burger. They were both okay. The lighting was really dark so I didn’t get any good photos of the food there. I regret not coming here for weekend brunch.
One of the coolest things I got to see was The Giants, who were in town for the 375th Anniversary of Montreal. It was a really big deal because they never leave Europe supposedly. I only caught the very last part but if you go here you can see photos of the magnificence. These giant puppets are controlled by a troupe of men and walk through town. The last act was the girl on a moving boat with water splashing out to look realistically like she was in the ocean.
Have you been to Montreal? What was your favorite place to eat?