Spring Has Sprung, So Take a Trip to the Mile End

Perhaps I am overly anticipating the continued glorious springtime weather, but even if this is the case, it doesn’t mean we can’t start planning some fun study break activities. Inconveniently, beautiful spring weather seems to make its appearance during the height of university-related stress: final exams. Before we get to that point, let’s take in as much of Mother Nature’s love by strolling around our exciting city and appreciating what each corner of the city has to offer.

Even before reading the title of this article, you have probably heard of the Mile End, one of Montreal’s most hipster-influenced districts. Despite the hip and trendy presence within the region, the Mile End is rich with multiculturalism, history, art, food, and of course, a copious amount of delightful cafés. Here I have provided a few personal favourite places to visit and indulge in the next time the weather permits a casual stroll through this beloved neighborhood:

Fairmount Bagels

The city of Montreal is known for their authentic bagel business. This bagel shop dates back to 1919, when owner Isadore Shlafman moved from Russia to Canada and began one of the country’s favourite bagel bakeries. Many could argue that St-Viateur Bagel, the other famous bagel shop a block away, offers tough competition. However, Fairmount’s soft, warm, and gooey bagels tend to come out on top in the rivalry. To see for yourself, try for yourself! When your busy schedule permits, take the steadily steep walk up from campus (or take the 80 bus) and reward yourself with some delicious bagels.

Café Résonance, Café Olympico, and Arts Café,

Besides being the city that conquers the bagel business, Montreal is undoubtedly the café capital of the country. No matter which borough you find yourself in, you are bound to stumble upon the perfect café you will relentlessly recommend to all of your friends. The three that I persistently rave about are Café Résonance, Café Olympico, and Arts Café.

Café Résonance is hidden just below the main level of the street and offers a trendy and modern-like ambience. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some live jam sessions to complement your noteworthy Americano and vegan bites. Similarly, Café Olympico is a favourite, not just in Montreal, but apparently in the world! Deemed Montreal’s best café, this café provides the European (specifically, Italian) influence we search for in some cafés. Rather than a cultural influence, Arts Café oozes an artistic essence, with vintage details. While sipping away at your cappuccino or steeped tea, you can marvel at the hundreds of books and plants that decorate the walls.


Just located outside of the Mile End in Outremont, Cheskie’s is arguably the BEST bakery in Montreal. Specializing in a variety of Jewish kosher pastries, cakes, and other goods (i.e., their famous chocolate babka), this bakery will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth and other cravings for baked goods. If you are ever in a need to bring baked goods to a group meeting, to a class, or to share with some friends, and you don’t have time to bake your own goods, do what you can to venture out to this bakery. I have been thanked more times than I can count for sharing these treats with fellow classmates and friends. This bakery is worth the commute.


Also known as Wilensky’s Light Lunch, this quaint lunch counter was opened by Moe Wilensky in 1932. This restaurant was evidently immortalized in Modercai Richler’s novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, and scenes of the film version were shot in the restaurant. They are particularly famous for their “special,” which is a grilled beef salami sandwich with mustard on a kaiser roll that compulsorily includes mustard and is pressed flat on the grill. Moreover, as a fun fact, Joe Keery, the actor who plays Steve in Stranger Things, was photographed in this restaurant! Pay a visit to this historically important venue, as well as taking a picture with similar suave as Joe Keery.

Dieu du Ciel

Lastly, we must not forget about the beer. Dieu du Ciel, yet another prominent landmark within the Mile End community, is a favourite brewery among Montrealers. As stated on their website, they are “motivated by humanistic values and ethics, God of Heaven!” Offering a breadth of delectable brews, the environment within the bar offers a friendly pub-like essence and can be the perfect place to hang out with some friends on a Friday to reward a long week of studying and hard work.

In addition to these fabulous venues that you can visit for food, coffee, treats, and most importantly beers, the Mile End is a community driven by artistry, culture, friendliness, and ultimately, trend. Strolling through the streets of this neighborhood will not only lead to you to doors to some of the city’s best food, coffee, treats, and beer, but ultimately, you will be wandering through a corner of the city that in itself, is a true piece of art.


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