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Downtown public square in Montreal at dusk

The Perfect Getaway: A foodie’s long weekend in Montreal

With its beautiful waterfront location and diverse community, Montreal is the ideal destination for a food-focused getaway with a heaping dash of cultured cuisine to discover.

By Jessica Poitevien | October 18, 2023

Combining a modern Canadian and Old World European feel, Montreal has a unique vibe with enough attractions to keep everyone entertained — from the history buffs to the art lovers. Foodies will especially enjoy a getaway in Montreal, where the blending of cultures makes for a thriving and highly varied culinary scene. The city has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in North America, so there’s ample dining options to explore. Here's a glimpse of what awaits your tastebuds in Montreal:

  • Canadian classics: Don’t leave without trying traditional poutine, smoked meats and more

  • Secret sipping: Indulge in a cocktail at a dimly lit speakeasy

  • Edible souvenirs: Bring home a taste of Montreal from the farmers market

Friday

Morning

Welcome to Canada's second largest city! Check in to Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal and get ready to explore. Your centrally located home base puts you close to the city’s top attractions in both downtown and Old Montreal. Start your getaway by grabbing a breakfast bite at nearby Olive et Gourmando. You’ll probably find a line snaking out the front door, but it’s worth the wait for the artisanal breads and pastries, as well as other favorites like the chia pudding and egg salad panini.

Photo Credit: ©Charlotte B Domingue via Tourisme Montréal

Afternoon

Soak up the authentic European vibes that this city is famous for by spending the afternoon in Old Montreal wandering the cobblestone streets and admiring the French-inspired architecture. Poke your head into one of several museums, climb to the top of the Montreal Clock Tower for a birds-eye view of the historic district and watch the street performers on Place Jacques-Cartier. Enjoy a casual lunch at Brit & Chips, where you’ll find elevated versions of British pub fare — think haddock fried in maple syrup batter and salmon fried with stout batter.

Evening

Continue your exploration once night falls and head to the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal. While impressive both inside and out, a truly unique way to gaze upon this French-inspired, Gothic Revival-style church is with the AURA Experience. Book tickets in advance for this stunning show of lights and imagery projected onto the walls inside the church and coordinated with orchestral music. Top off your evening with dinner at Holder, a buzzing French brasserie that offers excellent food, service and ambiance. For a nightcap, Old Montreal is full of seemingly clandestine speakeasies like The Coldroom that are well worth a visit.

Photo Credit: ©Moment Factory via Tourisme Montréal

Saturday

Morning

Discover another cultural neighborhood by starting your morning at one of the many cafes in Montreal’s Little Italy. Opened in 1956, Caffè Italia serves strong espressos alongside mouth-watering paninis and pastries. Grab something to go, then head to Jean-Talon Market, one of the largest open-air farmers markets in North America. Take your time meandering through the stalls of more than 300 vendors and pick out your favorite local delicacy as the perfect souvenir, like a bottle of sweet Quebec maple syrup.

Photo Credit: ©Alexandre Choquette via Tourisme Montréal

Afternoon

Head to Mile End — a multicultural and art-filled hub often described as Montreal’s hippest neighborhood — and spend the afternoon with Local Montreal Food Tours, a company that specializes in showcasing the city’s best eats. On this walking tour, you’ll make at least six stops to nibble and sip on local favorites like the Montreal-style gravlax sandwich. Along the way, your guide will also tell you all about this trendy enclave.

Photo Credit: ©Alison Slattery via Tourisme Montréal

Evening

Montreal is a dream for wine lovers — from the casual partakers to the aficionados. Kill two birds with one stone with dinner at one of the many wine bars around the city. Vin Papillon is a popular choice, serving a vast number of vintages alongside enough small bites to fill you up for a meal. Just be sure to make a reservation (or pack your patience!) because this place is almost always busy.

Photo Credit: ©Matthew Perrin via Tourisme Montréal

Sunday

Morning

Fuel up for the day with a stop at Cafe Myriade. With four outposts across the city, head to the Le Plateau or Mont-Royal locations for seasonally rotated coffee and fresh pastries baked in house. Next, make your way to Mount Royal Park. The sprawling 494 acres (200 hectares) are perfect for a leisurely morning walk or a serious workout. Don’t miss Kondiaronk Belvedere, the park’s postcard-ready lookout point that is accessible by stairs or trail and offers stunning mountaintop views overlooking the city.

Photo Credit: ©Freddy Arciniegas (@arcpixel) via Tourisme Montréal

Afternoon

After working up an appetite, get ready for a hearty lunch at Dunn’s Famous. It’s one of the best places to try poutine, a quintessentially Canadian dish consisting of french fries, gravy and fresh cheese curds. Be sure to leave room for a sandwich because this family-owned restaurant has been famous for its smoked meats since 1927. Afterwards you can indulge your appetite for culture by appreciating the extensive collection of artwork — from sculptures and paintings to multimedia magic — at the nearby Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Photo Credit: ©Alison Slattery via Tourisme Montréal

Evening

Nestled on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Verdun is the perfect neighborhood for an evening stroll, with plenty of green parks and waterfront paths to explore, plus centuries-old architecture to admire. If you visit during the summer months, be sure to bust a move on the outdoor dance floor at Parc de l’Honorable-George-O’Reilly, where you’ll find daily social dances, including salsa, tango, country and Zumba. For shopping and dinner, head to Promenade Wellington, where the foodie delights include everything from French to Cambodian cuisine.

Photo Credit: ©Eva Blue via Tourisme Montréal

Monday

Morning

For your last breakfast in Montreal, grab a table at Le Cartet for one of the specialty grilled cheese sandwiches filled with duck confit or maple pulled pork. Be sure to pack a bathing suit for your final day because we recommend ending your getaway on a relaxing note with a visit to Bota Bota, a floating spa docked in Montreal's Old Port. Make your way through the hydrotherapy circuit while enjoying views of downtown, Mount Royal and the historic Old Port. Book a massage for an extra dose of relaxation.

Photo Credit: ©jfsavaria via Tourisme Montréal

Afternoon

Make time for lunch back in Mile End. Falafel Yoni and Harbin Dumpling are both perfect for a final taste of the city’s international food scene, or try Montreal’s famous bagels, which are said to rival those of New York. Stock up on bagels from Fairmount Bakery, the city’s first bagel bakery, or from St-Viateur Bagel Shop, a spot known for poaching bagels in honey water. Freeze these tasty treats when you get home and savor them slowly until your next visit to Montreal.

Photo Credit: ©Laurene Tinel via Tourisme Montréal

Until next time!

A long weekend in Montreal is the perfect way for foodies to make great memories while getting a taste of the incredible culinary scene and unique culture of this enchanting Canadian city. We wouldn’t blame you if you started planning your next visit before you even left town. After all, there’s still a lot more to see, experience and of course, eat!

Jessica Poitevien is an international storyteller with more than a decade of experience in writing and editing. Born in New York, she caught the travel bug throughout multiple moves that brought her to California, Spain, Colombia and her current home base in South Florida. She has visited over 40 countries (and counting!), including several solo trips, and also considers herself an expert in destination weddings and unique honeymoons — her own was two months long. When she's not traveling, she enjoys making social media content, trying new food and acting as a travel agent for friends and family.

Masthead Photo Credit: ©Laurene Tinel via Tourisme Montréal

Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal

Find us in downtown Montreal, steps from several of the city’s best art galleries, museums, and nightlife. The Old Port is a 12-minute walk away, and we're 25 minutes from McGill University. Enjoy our free cooked-to-order breakfast and complimentary evening reception.