Montreal, Canada – Old Town & Old Port

Hi friends, welcome back to part two of my Montreal series! In case you missed it, you can check out part one here. The following morning, we slept in and headed to La Finca across the street from our hotel for some delicious iced lattes. This spot was incredibly popular and we were glad we didn’t have to venture far for good coffee. We also got a croissant and it tasted just as good as the ones in Paris.

Fully caffeinated, Jon and I headed towards Old Town and saw the Place d’Armes and Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, ironically under construction too. I can’t remember why we didn’t go inside, but the pictures online are beautiful! If you’re into pop culture, this is where Celine Dion got married.

This is the interior, this picture is from the Notre Dame website.

We had brunch at Brasserie 701 with two of Jon’s coworkers and I got the waffles and Jon went with the Smoked Salmon Benedict. This seemed like a very trendy spot and the food tasted good, but wasn’t super filling like quite a few brunch spots in NYC.

We avoided some torrential downpours while we were in here, and the skies cleared up for the rest of the afternoon. Jon and I headed to The Old Port and walked along the St. Lawrence River enjoying the scene. There’s plenty to do at the Old Port including zip lining, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, rides, and games. This is also a great place to walk, bike, or roller blade.

Jon and I walked through The Bonsecours Market, originally home to the Canadian Parliament, but didn’t find any souvenirs that sparked joy. We did have luck on Saint-Paul Street, the oldest in the city dating back to 1672.

For dinner we walked into Fiornillo and the Italian restaurant was packed! We enjoyed our meal and I’d highly recommend making a reservation because I saw a few groups get turned away, or told there where would be a long wait and left. We shared the delicious Pappardelle Bolognese and Pepperoni Pizza. We seem to always find ourselves at Italian restaurants when we travel, but you can never go wrong with pizza and pasta! We had planned to get poutine for dinner, but quite a few of the places we wanted to go to were closed on Sundays. It felt like a bit of a faux pas not getting poutine in Canada!

Stay tuned for the conclusion of our time in Montreal!

45 thoughts on “Montreal, Canada – Old Town & Old Port

  1. So many familiar sights Lyssy. I can’t even recall how many visits we have had to Montreal since our first one in 1980. The inside of Notre Dame is gorgeous. On one trip, we attended a sound and light show on the history of Montreal, inside the church. They hoisted up fabric panels to do their projections on. We have walked that route through the Old Port and down to the clock tower many times. The food culture in Montreal is hard to beat. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. I saw some info about the light show and it looked really cool! I’ll have to add it to my list if I ever make it back. It’s a nice walk along the water, very peaceful. We watched some food tours before we left, but were a little too tired to find them all. Glad this brought back good memories 🙂

  2. Enjoying going deeper into Motreal’s delightfulness through your posts Lyssy. The city looks really handsome and somewhat dramatic under those moody skies. All the food looks great to me, especially the egg, salmon, potatoes brunch. I had to look up poutine, next time I guess.

    1. So glad you are enjoying this! It is a nice little city to visit. We had poutine in Maine and it was delicious!

  3. “… didn’t find any souvenirs that sparked joy”. LOL, now there’s a good mantra when buying souvenirs. At least you found waffles. Waffles ALWAYS spark joy. Also, I find those giant Ferris Wheels fascinating (“La Grande Roue de Montreal”). Not unattractive necessarily but definitely a new focal point of the skylines of the cities they inhabit. It’ll be interesting to see whether they survive the test of time, say, ten or twenty years from now.

    1. I’ve adopted Marie Kondo’s method 🙂 Waffles do always spark joy, that is a fact! It is interesting how cities have the Ferris wheels now. The one in Paris wasn’t out when we were there.

  4. Lyssy, your photos are a travel brochure in themselves – fantastic. Montreal looks like a great destination, one that we will make one day when we finish traveling to all 50 states. As always, your food shots make me hungry!

    1. Thank you!! It’s a great city, it’s so close to the border of NY so you could add it to a roadtrip out east too 🙂

  5. As a French Canadian who lived in Montreal for a few years, I can’t believe you didn’t get poutine! It’s the best part of Québec’s food culture! Ok, maybe not. 🙂 These photos are beautiful, they make me miss my former home (especially that I lived close to the Old Port and used to go running there every morning)!

    1. Next time I go poutine will be the first thing I do ha! I can’t believe we didn’t either, we’re huge foodies! That is a perfect running spot.

      1. It always gives you a good excuse to go back! And often the best poutines are not really in Montreal, but in random chip stands in the country side 🙂

  6. The old city of Montreal is so different from what you can see elsewhere in America, it’s a dream to walk around, read the signs explaining the history and imagine it a bit. I would also say that missing a good poutine in Montreal is a pity, it’s not easy to find elsewhere a cheese curd that makes couic-couic, La Banquise is a must.

    1. We watched a food tour and they went to La Banquise, it will be the first stop once we go back one day! The old city is so charming to walk around.

  7. Looks like a great weekend getaway that was fun but not too challenging after your major trips last summer. Going with the flow works fine many times. Your trip was much better than the one I had. I went skiing in law school with some friends and we decided to drive from Stowe, VT to Montreal for dinner. We found the parking garage was closed when we wanted to drive home. The sign was only in French. I reached the phone number given but was told “tough luck” basically. Driving back the next morning the border guard asked if we had anything to declare. I said “yeah… Montreal sucks.”🤣

    1. Ha I enjoyed that story and Jon feels the same way. His flight got cancelled on the way home and it was the Grand Prix weekend so they couldn’t get a rental car or new flight, so the ubered to the border, walked across, ubered to a car rental place, and drove home. So he definitely agrees with you.

  8. Seems like you had a wonderful day! I’ve only been inside the basilica once and it is indeed stunning! I’ve only been to Montreal in winter or late autumn, so seeing the Old Port so lively in summer must be really nice, as there aren’t as many things to do in colder months! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Winter would be tough with the snow and cold! The summer was great, so much going on. I would love to see the fall colors one day.

    1. It is very charming and a delicious city. I want to go back too but mainly for the poutine 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.