Three-Day Travel Diary in Montréal
Three days may seem like enough time to get your bearings in a city like Montréal, but there’s a reason why so many make their return.
From cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafés to preserved architecture, Old Montréal has that European charm that makes you feel like you’re far away from home.
Read all about our three-day adventure through Old Montréal.
We landed in Montréal around noon and made our way to Hotel William Gray, where we were greeted with warm, welcoming smiles and an early check-in to drop our bags.
As we walked through the foyer, we couldn’t help but notice the glam velvet and brass pouffes mixed with handsome structured mid-century sofas, exposed concrete walls, and sleek brass wall sconces. This place will pull the heart strings of any design aficionado.
As soon as we opened the door to our perfectly-styled room, we were greeted by a neatly-made bed with fluffy pink pillows, chocolates, and a handwritten card, welcoming us to the hotel.
Nestled right in the heart of Old Montréal, this hotel is the perfect middle ground for walking to some of our planned spots and accessing public transit.
Drinks at Café Parvis
After checking in and exploring our home for the next few days, we made our way into the city for a bite to eat at a little spot called Café Parvis. The decor was very boho meets minimalist. The walls behind the bar were painted mint green and were beginning to chip away in a beautiful fashion. Long plants stretched down from the ceiling, and around the corner was a huge wall filled with candles that had wax artistically dripping down the sides.
We started out with a classic mojito and craft beer. While ordering our drinks, we learned that we had to order our food at the same time. So we opted for the small classic pizza to share as an appetizer before our stop for dinner.
Dinner at Maggie Oakes
Cozy, intimate, and decadent would be three words to describe Maggie Oakes because of its dimly lit, impeccably-designed space. Inspired by Montréal’s diverse culinary scene, Maggie Oakes is a vegetable-forward market grill that is conveniently located right in Hotel William Gray.
To start, we tried the Pan Seared Salmon ”Gravlax” with green tea vinaigrette, fried seaweed and pickled ginger. It was absolutely delicious, so delicious that we finished our starter before the waitress could put pepper on it. When it came to our mains, we were a bit daring. We went for the Montérégie Region Duck Breast with a side of celery root purée, market vegetables, cassis demi-glace and the AAA Steak, sharing bites from each other’s meals. Both the duck and the steak were tender and full of flavour with just the right amount of spices. Definitely a must-try for meat lovers.
Breakfast in bed
We decided to stay in our pajamas and enjoy a bit of luxury in the form of fresh bacon and eggs delivered to us in bed, with a side of mimosas, of course.
We spent our entire second day roaming around Parc Omega. It was a surreal experience getting up close and personal with so many incredible Canadian animals. Be sure to read the Parc Omega blog post for more information on our experience at this fascinating park.
Dinner at Fiorellino’s
For dinner, we made our way over to Fiorellino Snack Bar & Restaurante. I was first drawn to this particular place because of its 1950s panton-esque pendant lights and red vintage dining chairs. When we arrived, the entire restaurant was packed, so we grabbed two chairs by the bar. In our opinion, we had the best view in the house. We sat directly in front of the glass window that peered over the giant Neapolitan pizza oven. There we were, in all the action watching the chefs flipping, tossing and firing up all those pizzas. Offering up a wide variety of Italian fare, we of course went with the Insalata di Barbabietola and it was delicious – the pistachios complimented the dish perfectly.
Arthurs Nosh Bar
On our final day, we decided to venture out for an early breakfast at Arthurs Nosh, a breakfast bar that serves up tasty Jewish fare. We arrived 10 minutes before opening and there was already a line forming, which was a good indication that we chose the right place to enjoy breakfast.
As we were led to our table, we couldn’t help but notice the natural lighting, hanging green pots and tanned tufted leather benches.
We scanned the menu to find classic dishes with a new spin, like the classic Grand Slam with a side Cinnamon Babka. Some of the other items on the menu that intrigued us were the Shakshouka and Moroccan Toast.
Just remember to arrive early to score yourself a spot near the perfectly-lit windows for that epic Instagram shot.
Coffee at TOMMY Café
We ended our three-day adventure with a cappuccino date at TOMMY, an absolute must see. A two-story coffee shop with incredible architecture chalk full of history, the original structure was built in 1874 and is recognized as a National Heritage site. Owner Thomas Vernis drew inspiration from the unique neighbourhood of Old Montréal and the laid-back coffee shops he visited while in Brooklyn, New York. His vision paid off because this place is seriously stunning.
We packed a lot into a little trip and we had a blast. With great food, beautiful decor and amazing experiences, we already knew this was just a temporary “au revoir” until our return.