I went to Montréal for my birthday last week and I literally spent the whole trip doing nothing but eating, and walking… to my next eating destination. It was the BEST. I thought I’d write about the places I visited and the goods that I ate. Since I have a huge passion for baking and pastry, I made sure to get a few pastries during our trip, and all of them were delicious and wallet friendly, since every pastry I bought was under $5 CAD. I also wanted to share a few places I ate at which weren’t pastry-focused but still a must-visit.
I decided to get the almond pistachio pavé topped with fresh cranberries, while Ced got the chocolatine or chocolate croissant. I really loved the addition of cranberries in the pavé because of how seasonal they are — I read that they sometimes top them with cherries. The textures were great; the base was crisp like a shortbread cookie, while the pistachio almond filling was smooth, and dense. It was topped with a few toasted almonds adding a nice little crunch, and the juicy tart cranberries cut through all the richness with its acidity.
The chocolatine was amazing. Flaky on the outside, soft on the inside, and lined with dark chocolate on the inside — what more can you ask for?
I decided to get a kouign-amann, a chocolate honey tartlette, and a canelé. The kouign-amann is like a croissant but it has sugar in the layers as well as on top, making it the perfect little sweet snack. The chocolate tart was decadent, with a crisp yet tender crust, and a smooth chocolate filling that melts in your mouth as you eat it. It was the perfect amount of sweet and bitter, and I would love to have a bite of that chocolate tartlette now.
Lastly, I decided to compare the canelé from Patrice Patissier with a canelé from Mamie Clafoutis, since it is such a classic French pastry. All I know is that they are supposed to have a bit of a crunch on the outside from the caramelization, but should remain custardy and soft on the inside. I was surprised to see how different they actually were — the one from Mamie Clafoutis was slightly bigger, but the one from Patrice seemed to have the most even caramelization. Patrice uses vanilla beans in his batter, while Mamie uses vanilla extract and rum, with the rum flavour being very strong. I really enjoyed the canelé from Patrice Patissier because of how the outside had a delicate and consistent crunch, and how the inside was so soft and had a sweet and elegant taste of vanilla bean.
La Banquise 24h Resto
We heard there was a 24 hour poutinerie around the corner so OF COURSE we had to go. The restaurant was packed when we went, with a line up going down the street. I decided to get the poutine with sour cream, guac, and tomatoes, while Ced got the poutine with three different kinds of sausages. They were both delicious and the servings are very generous! I wish there was a 24 hour poutinerie near me.
Bar à Tapas Sorocco
The whole trip we grabbed some good food that was all around $10-15, but we went to Sorocco which is a Tapas bar to celebrate my birthday, so we spent a little more here. We got everything and anything from tuna tataki, to fried cauliflower, and absolutely everything was delicious. Ced doesn’t like tuna to begin with, but I convinced him to try the tuna tataki here and it ended up being his favourite dish. We only wish we were able to get the octopus but they ran out by the time we had gotten there. The service was amazing, the staff was very accommodating, and we left the restaurant with our hearts full and our bellies even fuller.
Ma Poule Mouillée
This funky restaurant is across the street from La Banquise, and they serve portuguese grilled meats. We saw a line up outside this restaurant when we were on our way to La Banquise, and decided we should try this place too. Best decision ever! We got a huge plate of chicken, pork, and chorizo, with fries, and a salad to feed us both, all for $14 including tax. We also got a pasteis de nata or portuguese custard tart to go, and it was so amazingly flaky on the outside and filled with that soft custard on the inside. I am addicted and wish I could have more.
Parc du Mont-Royal
If you’re looking for some places to visit that are not food-related, I highly recommend checking out the lookout at the highest point of Mont Royal Park. It involves a long walk but a good hike up a lot of stairs and a view that’s well worth the exercise.
We to Montréal in October so if you go during this time of the year you’re bound to see a ton of pumpkins, especially if you get the chance to stop by Atwater Market. It’s really quite the sight to see, even if you’re not looking to purchase a pumpkin.
I had an amazing birthday weekend and I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration. I am another year older, and I’m super grateful for moments like these which involve good company, good food, and seeing other parts of the world.