i really-really love montreal.
to the point that brooklyn should feel like i’m emotionally cheating. i’ve gone to hang with our cousin of the north twice since my initial city guide, so i figured what better way to kick off the new format than with a reloaded edition!
this site runs on four tenants (everything dope-cheap-black+excellent-below 14th street), so i thought it best to organize the city guides in that way instead of my usual rambling.
airbnb: i honestly have zero clue what i was doing with my life before abnb came along. i’ve done some heavy traveling the last few years and this service has made each stop feel like home. this go round, we opted for an apartment in the plateau and it was nothing short of amazing. our host welcomed us like old friends and the neighborhood had everything we needed in a 10 minute walk radius. if you’re traveling and not using abnb, i have to question if you love yourself. hotels are so sterile, impersonal, overpriced, and so 90s. stay here or here for to really get to know montreal.
dinette triple crown: hipsters really love soul food and bbq these days, but the folks of montreal are able to do it without being annoying. the owner is from kentucky, so he knows wassup. i’ve been multiple times and i can tell you that everything on the menu is delicious. my faves include the brisket, mac’n’cheese, fried sweet potatoes, and hush puppies. the best thing about triple crown is when you order take out, they pack up a picnic basket (plates, utensils, sauces, and glasses included) for you to take over to the park across the street to enjoy. did i mention that you can bring your own booze to the party??
suwu: i know for any black americans, the last place we’re trying to go is one called suwu, especially if it’s run by a vice-ish looking crew. however, any resto with church punch pitchers of bourbon is a blessing to me! the drink names are hella cheesy (big booty ho, etc), but they’re super delish. we’ve been for brunch and i ate myself into a coma thanks to the blueberry drenched pancakes. the menu, lunch and dinner wise, is very interesting and ambitious, so i plan on trying it out on my next montreal trip.
rasoi: after a failed attempt at going to a popular west african resto, we were left roaming the streets looking for food at like 10pm. we came across this indian spot, rasoi and were beyond pleased. first things first, the owner is suuuuuper cool. we kicked it with him before and after we ate. homie is also sick behind the bar and made us some drinks on the fly. we had dinner on the back patio, which was perfect for catching a deep summer breeze. we ordered quite a few things (bc we’re savages), but the tandoori bbq chicken was the true standout. you get half a chicken, so if you order smaller plates beforehand (which you should!), you can totally split the tandoori. i love any place with good food and even better service, so make sure you add rasoi to your to-do list.
cornichon: burgers are my fave food group and it must always be paired with an ice cold beer. we were roaming rue mont royal dying of hunger and stumbled upon this place. burger-slammin! pitcher of beer-lit! even better, the meal and 2 glasses was under twenty bucks!
westmount greenhouse: im a true jungle lady, so i can never visit a city without checking out some greenery. i randomly saw a pic of the westmount greenhouse online and had to get there. the greenhouse is small, but obnoxiously beautiful. i could’ve sat in there all day. the park it’s housed within is gorgeous as well. if you’re looking for something a little more lowkey than mont royal park, head this way.
atwater market: we went on a tour organized by the tourism board of montreal to explore little burgandy, the birthplace of jazz in the city. outside of all the dope black history we learned, the atwater market was a serious highlight. fresh flowers! rows and rows of meat! cute dude running the singaporean food stall! sweet treats at the bakery! you can do some serious damage without destroying your bank account. although, it’s one of the more expensive city markets, it’s totally worth the trip!
everything black + excellent
boutique 363: it’s so crazy how the universe works. we were walking down the street and a hat in the window caught our eye. we go in the boutique and not only was it black owned, but the owners were also millennials. johanna and harold have a sick store and def deserve your support. peep their website and follow them on instagram.
batty ent.: the diy party scene is quickly disappearing in nyc, so it was beyond dope to know that it’s still pumpin’ in montreal. even more exciting is that there are five dope black women in the mix throwing parties in the scene. batty ent’s “too lit to quit” party was recommended to me from some locals and i had a blast! it took me back to random nights sweating to death from dancing at glasslands (the venue even had the green light). the energy was amazing. the djs were playing cuts all night. i legit wept when one dj went from “who run it?” to katie got bandz’s “pop out”. the host wouldn’t get off the mic and that was mood killer, but i stumbled out at 5am super happy about my first montreal diy experience. i would highly suggest planning your trip around one of their parties. no wallflowers allowed dohhhh!
this pic is all the black excellence you need. we had quite the epic picnic in mont royal park. i’ll explain later, so stay tuned!
if you’ve been thinking about heading to montreal, this summer is the perfect opportunity. whether on the bus ($112 roundtrip) or in a rental, it’s a pretty easy ride. the city is extremely clean and the citizens are really polite. montreal is literally a top 5 for my fave cities in the world and i promise after a few days there, you’ll for sure feel the same!
*photos by laurent chevalier + deshaun wright