Fifteen inches of snow fell in Montreal right before we arrived and this was supposed to be spring break! The sidewalks were covered in deep snow making it very difficult to walk with a suitcase and a stroller.
Luckily, if the weather isn’t treating you right in Montreal you can go underground. The city has a vast network of underground passage ways that connect to major buildings and the metro system. Many hotels have direct connections to the metro and the underground system. You can explore the city without a coat even when mother nature isn’t being very nice.
I started to think twice about our spring break trip to Montreal, but then I began dreaming of all the meals I hoped to have in Montreal. The quintessential foods in Quebec are rich, hearty, stick to your ribs, and all the other bones in your body foods. As we watched the snow fall outside, we feasted on poutine, smoked meat, bagels, spicy rotisserie chicken, and almond croissants. These are not the foods you want on a hot summer day.
La Banquise is the place to start if you want to try poutine. It might sound strange to those of us used to eating our fries with ketchup. Traditionally poutine consists of fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. La Banquise has several varieties even including toppings such as guacamole or steak.
Portuguese rotisserie chicken joints are located all over Montreal. These restaurants typically serve rotisserie chicken coated in a flavorful sauce and served with fries and salad. Most of them also serve Portuguese custard tarts.
New York bagels and pastrami step out of the way, Montreal’s oven roasted bagels and smoked meat are here to compete with the best. Chewy and flavorful the bagels come in many varieties including rosemary and sea salt. The smoked meat is juicy and full of spices just like it should be.
Any trip to a French speaking area of the world would be incomplete without pastries. Montreal has dozens of must try pastry shops.
In all of the cities I have visited around the world whether it is Tokyo or Mexico City, you can pretty reliably find individuals who speak English. However, I have never visited a city that is as bilingual as Montreal. People usually speak both French and English. Unlike in other places where one of the languages is clearly secondary, both languages are spoken equally well, many times even without an accent.
The snow may have been a minor inconvenience on our trip, but traveling off peak is an excellent way to travel. Crowds, lines, and high prices are even more annoying. Consider a trip to Montreal even in the dead of winter and see an entirely different side of the city.