My Top 5: Montreal Neighborhoods

Welcome to My Top 5, a blog series where I share my top choices for recipes, makeup products and things to do around Montreal. 

Montreal is home to several vibrant neighborhoods, each with their own attributes. One of the things I love about this city is how many cool areas there are to explore. This list features my favorite neighborhoods visit, in no particular order, and my recommendations for things to do in each one. As my time in Montreal comes to a close, it’s nice to remember what has made living in this city so special, including its unique neighborhoods.

1. Mile End

Mile End is the quintessential Montreal neighborhood. Great walkability and a plethora of shops and restaurants are what make this area so special. It is also home to the famed Montreal-style bagel rivals, St. Viateur and Fairmount. Here are my other recommendations for Mile End:

  • Thrift shopping at places such as Annex Vintage and Citizen Vintage.
  • Ice cream from Kem CoBa, gnocchi from Drogheria Fine, babka from Cheskies, and brunch at Fabergé
  • Picking up a good read at Drawn and Quarterly
  • Closest metro stop: none are too close, best to take the 80 or 55 bus


2. Little Italy

Just past Mile End is Little Italy, home to the Jean Talon Market and the best Italian pastries in Montreal. Little Italy has a similar vibe to Mile End, and an equally great variety of restaurants and shops, with a smaller number of tourists. Jean Talon Market is worth the trip alone, but there is more to explore in the neighborhood as well. Here are my other recommendations for Little Italy:

  • Indulging a Cronetto at La Cornetteria, or a donut at Trou de Beigne (or both!)
  • Grabbing a coffee at Caffe San Simeon
  • Stopping for pizza at the historic Pizzeria Napoletana or for fried chicken at Dinette Triple Crown
  • Closest Metro stop: Beaubien, Jean-Talon, or De Castelnau


3. Saint-Henri

Saint-Henri is a bit off the beaten path, but a short metro ride from downtown will bring you to one of Montreal's up-and-coming areas. There are tons of restaurants to enjoy, serving everything from tacos to brunch to noodles. When the weather is nice, you can grab an ice cream along Rue Notre Dame and enjoy it at Sir George-Etienne Cartier Park, or walk along the street admiring the cool architecture. Here are my other recommendations for St. Henri: 

  • Stopping for brunch at Arthur's Nosh Bar 
  • Grabbing a donut from Montreal's best donut shop, Leche Desserts 
  • Trying some vegan ice cream at Dalla Rose or a mini pie at Rustique 
  • Closest Metro Stop: Place Saint-Henri 


4. Little Burgundy

Little Burgundy is home to Montreal's other famous market, Atwater Market, as well as the Lachine Canal. Paths along the canal make for a picturesque biking spot, 

  • Atwater Market
  • Lachine Canal
  • Foiegwa
  • Closest Metro stop: Lionel Groulx 

5. Old Port

Montreal’s Old Port is a favorite of both tourists and locals alike. From its charming architecture and cobblestone streets to incredible restaurants and shops, Old Port is a must-visit. There are also tons of cultural activities to do as well, including visiting the small art galleries, checking out Bonsecours Market, and exploring the Montreal Science Center. The Old Port is what gives Montreal its European feel and is unlike any other area of the city. Here are my other recommendations for Old Port:

  • Notre Dame Cathedral (photo ops galore!)
  • Ice skating in the winter, walking along the water in the summer
  • Having a drink at Terrasse Nelligan
  • Riding the ferris wheel and enjoying views of the Montreal skyline 
  • Closest Metro stop: Champ-de-Mars, or Place-d'Armes