We are back on the island (of Montreal) and as promised, we’ll continue with our description of some of the best streets in the city. As you probably all agree, the summer calls for long and fun walks in the city. So we hope that these next few posts will encourage you to stroll around the different parts of Montreal.
Last month, we spoke about Wellington street in the neighbourhood of Verdun and described our 15 favorite spots. Today, we’ll be talking about the famous Rue St. Paul in the Old Port. If you live in Montreal, you have definitely walked on this street, at least once in your life (most likely more), and if you’re from elsewhere we hope you got/get to experience it as well.
Now, there are many cafés, stores, and galleries that are worth mentioning, but we’ll only focus on our top 5 spots (really really not to be missed!). This way you can experiment the rest on your own, maybe share your thoughts at the bottom of this post.
So without further ado, here are our 5 favorite spots on St. Paul Street:
5. Marché Bonsecours
An old city hall (1852 to 1878) transformed into a market. Who would not be intrigued by this? What type of market you ask? Well, one that houses galleries, jewelry stores, a café, native art, events, fashion shows, and more. We like this place because it’s filled with interesting art pieces and objets to explore. It’s never the exact same item or the exact same experience. So even for those of us who live here, we are bound to find new things all the time. For instance, last time we went, we were able to purchase a beautiful painting of Old Montreal made by a local artist. The time before that, we got a funny and colourful toy car made from recycled materials – a great gift for our nephew. And the time before that we got a high quality designer winter jacket for the price of a shirt. Really, there is something for everyone. Oh Oh, our favorite by far is that the market houses the renowned World Press exhibit every year. The next one is in August of this year. Don’t miss it!
[Henry: From time to time, they have awesome food fairs – one time there was a chocolate fair with tons of chocolate to sample. I ate so many samples that I couldn’t eat anything for nearly a day! But it. Was. Worth. It!] [Mariam: This is where I face palm, isn’t it? 🤦🏿]
4. Stash Café
On the corner of Rue St Paul and Rue St Francois-Xavier, you will find Stash Café. This place will charm you with very hearty Polish food and a décor that’s warm and intimate. You’ll often encounter a pianist who plays music live as you eat, and whenever you look up (or around), there are many interesting art pieces adorning this charming restaurant. It’s a great place for a date, particularly in winter! [Mariam: With how cold and wet and gloomy it’s been lately, it’s a great place for a date now too.] [Henry: It hasn’t been that cold.] [Mariam: Says you! I want my summer!]
3. L’Empreinte Coopérative
This is a Quebec craft boutique. Great for for anyone who loves arts, design, and unique gifts. Everything here has been created locally and uses high quality materials and goods. What we love about this place is that you can talk to the craftsmen and artists right at the store and ask any questions you want about a particular product. Additionally, you will discover items you did not even know you wanted or needed. You can find jewelry, kitchen decorations, paintings, clothing, and different types of accessories. So if you are passing by Montreal and want to take back souvenirs to your friends/family, we highly recommend this place. You won’t find anything more local and more unique to Quebec in Old Montreal than at L’empreinte Coopérative.
2. Bagnoles & Bobinette
Got kids? Nieces? Cousins? Or even adult friends who enjoy playing with well-crafted toys? Then this is the place for you. Bagnoles & Bobinette is a toy store, but not your usual toy store. This place offers the best quality toys and games you can think of. By quality we don’t only mean the quality of the materials used to design the toys, but also the type of games available for cognitive development and well, fun. Everything is covered here. Toys/books/games to help children create, speak, analyze, sing, calculate, construct, write, move, or memorize… All in a couple of games. So instead of getting 20 toys, you can just get 1 or 2 that will last a child from his/her toddler age to his/her pre-teen years. How awesome is that? Many of the toys at this store, grow with you. This is excellent for the environment and for your pocket.
1. Lunch à Porter
How much do you love bento boxes? If you’re like us, you love them a lot. That’s what brought us to Lunch à Porter at first. But then we found much more. This is a very cute store full of Asian (mostly Japanese) eating equipments and apparatus. There are lunch boxes, picnic items, cookbooks, decorative objects, and anything you can think of that deals with lunch boxes, particularly bento-type. Most of the items sold at ‘Lunch à Porter’ are made of wood or cloth, and the plastic items are BPA and non-toxic. Easy to store, easy to carry, and fun to use! You can find items for children and adult alike; for people who eat 1 serving or 3; or even for those who just prefer a small snack and drink… You name it. we recommend this place for those enthusiast of you who love trying new things, or those of you who love the idea of bento meals.
There you have it, this was our little blurb about Rue St Paul in Old Montreal. We’d love to hear what your favorite spots are. So please comment below.
In the meantime, we leave you with some of the pictures we took on our last stroll in Old Montreal in May 2019.