canada, food, montreal, travel

5 Days in Montreal

Montreal is a popular long weekend destination for us in Toronto since it’s only a 6 – 7 hour drive away. I visited Montreal for the first time as an adult over the Canadian Thanksgiving holidays. Here are some of the cool things I did during the 5 days. 

  1. Live in an awesome Airbnb. Although your stay indoors might be short, a great accommodation does make a difference.  LeQube was chosen for its reasonable price, walking distance to a subway station, beautiful interiors, and let’s not forget to mention a rooftop jacuzzi.IMG_0432
  2. Indulge even at brunch. At Le Passe Compose they serve foie gras eggs benedict – where else can you get that? And it is as delicious as it sounds. From this trip, it was hands down my favourite meal. Be prepared to spend over 30 minutes in line though.IMG_0442
  3. Take in the beauty of Montreal Botanical Garden. I was lucky enough that my visit coincided with their annual Lantern Festival and it was definitely magical!IMG_0380
  4. Dine at the famous Au Pied de Cochon. 4 words: Duck in a Can. As cliche as this restaurant may be as a Montreal staple, it lives up to its name and hype. Remember to make a reservation as they get fully booked fast!

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    Definitely not the most photogenic, but that doesn’t affect the taste!

  5. Squeeze some sort of exercise in by hiking up Mont Royal.  Quite an easy hike as the trail is a slow gradual uphill. Since it was fall, a beautiful view of the city and the changing colours of leaves could be seen.IMG_0507
  6. Discover a secret bar. Atwater Cocktail Club – swanky interior, interesting drinks, and as a bonus you can order snacks from the restaurant Foiegwa that it shares a kitchen with.IMG_0497
  7. Have a semi-romantic date on The Montreal Observation Wheel. A giant Ferris wheel that gives a panoramic view of Old Montreal and St. Lawrence River. My experience was semi-romantic because we had to share the car with others.IMG_0492
  8. And most importantly, do what must be done in Montreal – poutine at La Banquise. It’s open 24 hours so there is no excuse.IMG_0501.JPG

It was interesting to re-visit Montreal as an adult to appreciate the sights of its landscape and architecture. And of course being able to choose where to dine was a definite plus. Whether you will be in Montreal for a weekend or even just a day, these are some locations that I would recommend to consider for your next trip!

 

Bonus of places I also dined at but did not make the “favourites” cut:  L’avenue, Ganadara, Bar Darling, Farberge, Cafe Falco, La Diperie, and Nos Thes.  I also ate at MAIS which was delicious and quite reminiscent of La Carnita in Toronto.  However, I didn’t have any photographs of the food and as the meal was treated by the owner/chef  I am admittedly biased. Do check it out though if you are at Mile End doing some shopping!

 

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desserts, food, toronto

DOMA Toronto Tasting Menu

Doma a French inspired Korean restaurant is the first-time endeavor of Chef Paul Kim from Seoul, Korea. Their menu changes slightly each month by incorporating new items and rolling forward a few popular items from the previous menu.

For $65 per person, you can experience their 9-course tasting menu which is effectively also their entire monthly offerings. Great deal!

I went in the month of May and some of their popular entree type items are still currently available on their menu this month. Continue reading

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food, Italy, travel

24 Hours in Rome

With only one day in Rome and so much to see, it was a struggle to narrow down my checklist of things to do. After being in Venice and Cinque Terre for a few days, I was slightly nervous for the bustling city of Rome and its larger population as I had been warned with many pickpocket stories. Thankfully, nothing of the sort happened.

Here’s what I did in my 24 Hours in Rome:

1) Get personalized pizzas. Tasty and cheap individual sized pizzas at Trieste Pizza were perfect for us on the go. You can make your own if you don’t mind a short wait or they have several popular ones already pre-made to be heated up and ready to serve.

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2) Explore Roman Forum. So many ruins to see in just one spot! Would definitely recommend using an audio guide or getting an actual tour guide to learn more about each site. Continue reading

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food, Italy, travel

48 Hours in Cinque Terre Pt. 2

In my first day at in Cinque Terre, I managed to visit 3 of the 5 villages. This second day, I went to see the last two and attended the annual Monterosso Lemon Festival which by chance, we were in town for.

Here’s what I did with my second 24 Hours in Cinque Terre:

1) Hike from Vernazza to Corniglia on The Sentiero Azzurro (The Blue Path). This leg of the hike was quite enjoyable as most of the view was of the ocean. It also gives you a nice breeze as you walk.

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2) Enjoy the cliffside view of Corniglia. Continue reading

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food, Italy, travel

48 Hours in Cinque Terre Pt. 1

Cinque Terre meaning five lands is an area comprised of 5 villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each one is exceptionally beautiful as they all rest along the coastline and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I had 2 full days to explore all 5 villages by hike and by train. Monterosso was my personal bias because during my 3-night stay it was my home.

Here’s what I did in my first 24 Hours in Cinque Terre:

1) Grab pastries for breakfast. From Wonderland Bakery in Monterosso, I had to try a cannoli!

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2) Hike The Blue Path (Sentiero Azzurro) from Monterosso to Vernazza. Continue reading

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food, Italy, travel

24 Hours in Venice

I planned a 6 day trip in Italy to visit Venice, Cinque Terre, and Rome. It was very ambitious but I believe I pulled it off successfully. Rome was admittedly quite rushed – my travel buddy Beatrice said it was a good intro to Rome trip for her and she would like to return to see it in more depth. Regarding Venice and Cinque Terre, she said we spent the perfect amount of time there to experience it fully. 

Here’s what I did with my 24 hours in Venice:

1) Take the Vaporetto a much cheaper alternative to see the cityscape from the canal instead of a gondola.

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food, friends, life, toronto

Bar Reyna @ Yorkville

Spent St. Patrick’s Day (coincidentally, really) with Adrienne at Bar Reyna in the heart of Yorkville.  What intrigued me about this restaurant was their beautiful indoor patio and their chargrilled octopus dish.

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