For those of you who live in Montreal you know that every neighbourhood has its fun busy street full of great cafés, unique stores, or delicious dining areas. St Henri has its Rue Notre Dame Ouest; Downtown has its Rue Ste. Catherine; Mile End has its Avenue du Parc; Old Montreal has its Rue St. Paul; Outremont has its Avenue Bernard; and so on… It’s almost like everywhere you go in Montreal, you will be enchanted with enjoyable things to discover and to do.
So this spring (and maybe during the summer too), we will write a series of of our favourite spots found in all the fun streets of Montreal. Today, we start with Promenade Wellington in the neighbourhood of Verdun. If you’ve never been to Verdun, you are truly missing out. Verdun is a truly up and coming neighborhood, where all kinds of interesting restaurants and stores are popping up all the time! Beyond that, there are parks aplenty, and the people who live here are active, engaged, and (most often!) very friendly!
So, without further ado, here are our top 15 spots on Rue Wellington:
15. Le Baobab Café
A great place for a quick bite and/or coffee. Le Baobab is open from 6:30am to 10pm, making it the coffee house that stays open the longest in the area. Their chai is to die for, the variety of sandwiches is amazing, and they have outdoor seating in the summer so that’s an another plus. Bonus: this is a child-friendly place; they have lots of toys and books in one section of the café.
14. Vert Pomme
Looking for fruits and vegetables for an affordable price? Look no more. Vert Pomme provides you with just what you need. For a little store, it sure packs a lot. From avocados to bell peppers, from oranges to strawberries, this is definitely your one-stop shop if you are planning to make some fruit salad or a soup. Get buying, and get cooking!
13. Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Trinité
This is definitely one of the most beautiful churches in Montreal (not just Verdun). It is almost 400 years old and probably looks as stunning now as it used to be back then. Notre-Dame-de-la-Trinité (previously known as Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs) is the first church of Verdun and has been part of the community in several different aspects: history, community, choir, youth programs, and the like. During the summer, they often have arts and crafts sale, as well as local produces from nearby farms.
12. Boulangerie Jaura
Art first glance, this bakery doesn’t look like much of anything (they don’t even have a website), but don’t be fooled by their outward appearance. Once you go in and try their sandwiches and almond pies, you will quickly understand why it made our cut. The service is very nice here and prices are quite cheap (about $10 for a panini + choice of 2 salads + drink). They also have croissants, chocolatines, and even cakes like tiramisu and what not. [Henry: And their apple pound cake is the best thing on their menu! I can’t stop eating it – much to my waistline’s dismay… 😛 ]
11. Viet Express
Feel like having some Vietnamese sandwich? Viet Express has you covered. Their bánh mì are delicious (especially the BBQ pork and grilled chicken). You don’t eat meat? No problem! They also have a tasty tofu and veggie bánh mì. Now, be warned, if you ask for spicy, it will be spicy…. Like, VERY 🥵.
10. Janine Café-Brunch
You may have heard of the great brunch place called Régine in Rosemont Area. Well, Janine is its sister brunch. Found in the heart of Verdun, this place has a great ambiance, an amazing service, and a beautiful decor. The food is also pretty good, but since it only opened a couple of months ago, we’ve only been once so far, so we have not tried a lot of stuff yet; but that first impression was quite decent. The décor is very atmospheric, and the staff is great!
9. Branche d’Oliver
This is our favourite spot for oriental and/or arab produce. Humus, baba ganoush, curies, and more. The staff is very friendly and helpful. This is also your stop for natural skin products (soap, shampoo, lotion…). Branche d’Olivier is a chain by the way. The same store can be found in NDG, St Henri, and the Plateau. Although we can’t speak for those locations since we’ve never been, we sure can tell you that the one is Verdun is wonderful.
Benelux is one of the longer-running pubs in Verdun. Its beers are consistently tasty, and because he loves artisanal beer, Henry has been to this microbrewery many, many a night to just hang out and shoot the breeze with the boys. The food menu is comparatively limited by pub standards, but there’s still a decent selection of sandwiches, burritos, and snacks if you’re jonesing for food with your beer. In summer, Benelux opens up its backyard and alley to form a nice L-shaped terrace for outdoor drinking and hanging out. Come check out why it’s a regular hangout for younger Verduners!
7. St. Henri – Sweet Lee’s
Love love love this place! The two business combined forces (they are under one roof, share the same wifi, tables, seating, etc.) to create something amazing. On one side you have access to a variety of teas and coffees (St. Henri Micro Torréfacteur) and on the other side you have a variety of cakes, breads, and pies (Sweet Lee’s Rustic Bakery). The place has a warm and inviting decor with an extremely friendly staff.
6. Fromagerie Copette + Cie
Gourmet cheese and fresh bread for the weekend? Then this is THE spot for you. Fromagerie Copette + Cie has been around for years and is a well known spot for those looking to devour appetizing cheese and charcuteries. If you are not in the mood for choosing your own produce and making your own sandwich, no problem: The staff there will make you something delicious based on your interest. Quiche? Lasagna? Salad? Tortellini? You name it, they’ll do it!
5. La Librairie de Verdun
This is not your usual bookstore. At La Libraries de Verdun, unlike Chapters or Indigos, you will find books from independent authors, a nice café with local produce, home decor items, and kitchen utensils. They also have different events and reading/writing contests throughout the year (for children and adults alike). Lots to do here!
4. Station W
We’re pretty sure that there is no one in Verdun who hasn’t heard of Station W. That’s just impossible. From their delightful smoothies to their famous grilled cheese; and from their warm espressos to their fruity iced-tea, you know you’ve stepped in a nice place as soon as you get in. A very bright café where children, youths, and the elderly meet in a communal manner. This is definitely a place to check out if you haven’t already. Our favourite there: The pain perdu au chocolat et noix de coco. Bonus: They have a delicious brunch menu on the weekend.
3. Maison de Thé Cha Noir
Zen! That’s the first word that comes to mind when we think about Cha Noir. As soon as you step in, you are welcomed with soft music, dim lighting, and a feeling of relaxation. The staff will guide you to the best tea for your need (whether you need something to help you focus, to boost your energy, or to help you fight a cold). In addition of having all types of teas from all over the world, they also sell teapots and cups (perfect for gifts!). Bonus: They also serve warm meals like dim-sum (Chinese), gyoza (Japanese), Dal makkhani (Indian).
2. Chez Robin Marché et Bistro
Yes! Yes! And yes! Welcome to Verdun dear Robin. This grocery store is everything we hoped for in a grocer. Local, organic, and fresh! This makes us happy. Chez Robin only opened a couple of years ago and we are absolutely happy they did. They are unique in the sense that their main mission is to be ecologically friendly while providing excellent consumer service. They have a sense of community, respect for the planet, and are eco-responsible They are open 8am-9pm everyday which means we can go grab our produce after work. Bonus: There is a bistro attached to the market and it has delicious salads, juices, smoothies, moktails, sandwiches, burgers and more. Check out the menu here.
When it comes to fine dining in Verdun, nothing beats Wellington. If you are celebrating any special occasion with friends or your significant other, we highly recommend this place. The service is top-notch and the food is simply mouthwatering. We recommend you reserve before going (especially if it’s on the weekend) and to order from the ‘Table d’hôte menu.
So, there you have it, the best of Wellington street! We hope you enjoy these places as much as we do, and if there are some we missed, please comment below and let us know.
Oh, and by the way, from March 21 to March 24, there is a party on Promenade Wellington that you might want to check out. It’s kind of a spring festival called Cabane Panache and is expected to be a hit! So now is a good time to head down there 😊. Music, food, shows… Lots of fun!