Hey all you out-of-towners, here's all the information you'll need to survive Montreal - well enjoy it at the very least!
EATING :: FRENCH 101 :: GETTING AROUND :: HOT SPOTS :: SHOPPING (coming soon) :: SLEEPING :: STRAIGHT FACTS
>> These are simply a listing of Montreal's food joints. For more information make sure to check out www.menumontreal.com
>> For high-end dining in Westmount, make sure to checkout the Mess-Hall
Those are the type of places that we all love to visit after a long night of debauchery. Always greasy, always cheap…
Cheap. Tasty. Fast. The Middle-Eastern answer to fast-food. Nothing beats a Shish Taouk or Falafel at three in the morning.
Technically, we are speaking about East Asian food (for those geography nerds among you). Great if you are looking for big portions and small prices. Whether it's pre-party or just a casual dinner, it's always a good bet.
Excellent food, but not the type of restaurant you would stroll to after a long night of clubbing. However, it's great for a quiet dinner or date.
A more romantic type of restaurant, enjoy a nice meal among friends or with your significant other. Inquire if you can bring your own wine.
Latin American food (and this includes Brazil); this encompasses all types of restaurants. Classy, tasty, casual, romantic, somewhat spicy and sometimes cheap.
The Rolls-Royces of fast-food. These restaurants (somewhat) fall in the fast-food category, and yet there is something that distinguishes their food from their generic counterparts. Coming to think of it, Schwartz's deserves to have a category of its own.
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Or how to say "nice ass" in French
So you think the ever-popular Voulez-vous couchez avec moi? mixed in with a couple (dozen?) of drinks is more than enough, but…errr…wait a minute…Anyway, French culture is a BIG part of Montreal and has a lot to offer so you might as well sit back and indulge in it. It is true that you can get by in Montreal using only English, but we had to fill this spot up, so here’s a quick and useful (or not) guide to French. And if you end-up getting laid as a result of this, you owe us $10 – Dr. Bender’s drinking habits don’t come cheap you know?
Finding Your Way
Starting/Finishing the Party
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Or how to get from one party to the next
I can’t help but find myself wondering how some of Montreal's cab drivers got their license. I mean they have nothing but utter disrespect for human life and traffic laws, but I guess at least they get you where you want to be in less than no time. The initial charge is $2.50 and then $1.20 will be added each kilometer…and don’t forget to give the guy a nice tip for not crashing the car.
There are plenty of buses around Montreal that’ll get you almost everywhere. The standard fare is $2.50 (a weekly pass for both, the metro and buses, will cost you $17) and no, they don’t give any change; so have your cash ready. If you think about staying out later than 1am you should check out the night-bus schedule. By the way, don’t forget to pick up a transfer from the bus driver; this will allow you to use another bus or metro within a given timeframe.
The subway or Metro system, as we Montrealers like to call it, consists of five lines and includes 65 stations. If you want to limit your traveling to the downtown core,the green and orange lines are the way to go. The standard fare is the same as for the buses ($2.50) and it works really simple: you pay your $2.50 and you can go as far as you want to; no complicated zone system, that is solely reserved for the hapless suburbs. However, be aware, that even though it may be a great way to get around town during the day, it should not be your favored mode of transportation for late night/early morning partying; the green line and orange lines shut down at about 1am on weekdays and 1.30am on Saturday (please seek specific information for each station on the STM website). In case that any of you care, each Metro station is said to be designed by a different artist and hence may look rather unique. The interior design really encompasses everything; the bland and the aesthetic, the flamboyant and the mundane, the garish and the unpretentious, the crude and the elegant. So, if you really would like to see some futuristic 60’s art-kitsch, go underground. By the way, on the first level of each metro station (just after you enter through the turnstiles), there are automats that provide transfers for the commuters.
If you decide to come by car, just remember those few words of wisdom: Montreal drivers are ruthless, the cabbies are a danger to humankind, and the road signs are either illegible or illogical. Please bring a map, patience and nerves of steel.
It is quite convenient to access the downtown core by foot; just watch out for the cars, it’s not as if people will stop for you.
There are plenty of bike-paths along the island of Montreal; just watch out, or else your bike might be stolen. Equip yourself with a good lock and a helmet.
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Crescent (between René-Levesque and Sherbrooke)
Newcomers to Montreal will be attracted to rue Crescent (seen in the above picture), with its flashy lights and vibrant nightlife. On the weekend, the cumulative noise from invasive sound systems and late night party-kids drowns out any sense of sobriety, and engorge you with a heady sense of excitement. It's easy to be caught up in the rush on rue Crescent, and with its density of bars, is a target for well-dressed clubbers.
Sainte Catherine (between Atwater and St-Denis)
The Montreal shopping experience is neatly tied up on Ste-Catherine, the tourist destination of choice, especially those carrying stacks of American or European bills. As a result, the streets of Ste-Catherine flood with misplaced, delirious Americans, brutally mispronouncing the French names of the streets they've heard about. All the ideals of Montreal are neatly tied up and proudly on display here: on one block, a church, next to a strip club, next to a leather shoe store, next to another strip club.
Saint Laurent (between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal)
St. Laurent is the street where everything comes even; east-west streets start at 0 here, and it is an invisible division between English and French Montreal. It is here, however, that the real feeling of Montreal comes to life in sinister undertones; St. Laurent has a rapid mix of restaurants, bars and stores, which make the street enigmatically busy - no matter what time of day.
Saint Denis (between René-Levesque and Mont-Royal)
St-Denis offers everything that Crescent doesn't. Crescent is the majority Anglophone and stacked with clubs. St-Denis is Francophone and bursting with bars and pubs. If you're into sitting back, sipping beer, and immersing yourself in French-Canadian culture then head to St-Denis.
Prince Arthur (between St-Laurent and Carré St-Louis)
Prince-Arthur is small and has the only pedestrian zone in Montreal. Finally a chance to sit back, sip on a drink and watch all the beautiful people pass by. The street might be small, but the tiny part east of St-Laurent has a lot to offer. Greek and Italian restaurants are stacked next to each other, separated by the occasional bar or café. A good place to start any night, especially during the summer.
The Old Port (Metro Champ-de-Mars or Places D'Armes)
The old port has a European feeling to it; full of tourists, expensive cafes, restaurants, snobby waiters and horse crap. But nevertheless, if you are looking for a romantic outing, or simply yearning for a touch of "Old Europe" the old port is always a good bet. For the hopelessly romantic among you we suggest visiting the old port for one night during our annual international fireworks competition.
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>> Check out the Square Phillips Hotel at www.squarephillips.com.
Plenty of them to go around. Montreal is equipped with trendy, classy, styling, and/or family oriented hotels.
Cheaper and lower quality than some of the larger hotels but creates an air of comfort and community.
Bed & Breakfast
Expensive but provides a good ambience for a nice romantic getaway.
Dorms and Inexpensive rooms
Designed and priced for backpackers. Book in advance because rooms can be scarce in the summers.
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Useful facts about Montreal that you must know
...and some other comments
Other things about Montreal that you must know