A List of Ultra Cool Things to Do in Montreal
When did cool get so complicated? Cool used to be as easy as Fonz working the juke box. Now “cool” has multiple meanings and attributes. It’s having a trendy, new and imaginative aura all at the same time! What’s certain is that the streets of Montreal ooze a definitive coolness. The city of festivals is littered with trendy and fashionable things to do and see. Here is our list of some chill soaked activities/spots in Montreal. 10 cool things to do in Montreal
[Disclaimer] The “aura of cool” can be fleeting. Therefore we cannot guarantee these spots will stay chill in the future.
11. Apt. 200
Photo credit: Mazda Alinia
Apt 200 brings the bar to your house party, or does it bring the house party to your bar? Either way it’s a rad remix done by the same folks who brought local eatery SUWU to life. Apt 200 is designed to look just like a friend’s Montreal apartment, complete with arcade games, a dinner table and comfy couches. It’s the perfect place to chill out, grab a beer and enjoy the house party!
3643 St Laurent Blvd
10. Mile End Vintage Trifecta
Photo credit: Annex Vintage
If you’re looking to get some quality vintage clothing in Montreal, it’s well within your reach. Annex Vintage in the Mile End has got you covered from a few angles. This clothing company owns three different stores within a two block radius. Each store hand curates their collection to offer a unique selection of fabulous garments. Make sure you ton’t forget to buy an ironic hat!
Annex Vintage – 56 St-Viateur
Empire Exhange – 51 Bernard
Local 23 – 23 Bernard
9. Salon Daome
Photo credit: lesalondaome.com
Salon Daome is the best spot in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood to get serious about dancing. They host DJ’s and local artists six nights a week. On the inside it vaguely resembles your neighbour’s living room with the lights off. Don’t be fooled, this small unassuming bar packs a wild punch. It’s a great place to lose all inhibition and dance your heart out with likeminded strangers.
141 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est
Photo credit: pinterest.com
The Kalmunity Vibe Collective is a live improvised concert featuring poets, singers, MCs, dancers and musicians. It’s a mixture of funk, soul, reggae, blues–you name it! The show happens every Tuesday night at Petit Campus in the lower Plateau at 8:30pm . The performances are completely improvised and are always phenomenal. Kalmunity is a great place to meet new people and appreciate local artists.
57 Prince Arthur E
7. Kampai Garden
Photo credit: Kampai Garden
In the heart of Downtown Montreal is a little industrial-chic botanical oasis. Actually, Kampai Garden isn’t small at all. This beer garden is 10,000 square feet of beautiful marble floors, shiny black and white tiles, and, of course, plants. Plants and plant-inspired wallpaper line the walls, as does a neon sign with the quote “Non, rien de rien, non je ne regrette rien.” You’ll definitely not regret having dinner here: their tapas-style sharing menu was created by Montreal chef Antonio Park. Their selection of beer, cocktails and food are reasonably priced. As an added bonus, you can shake off all the food you ate on the dance floor because Kampai turns into a heavily-packed club on weekend nights.
1616 Saint-Catherine St W
6. Tam Tams
Photo credit: yawper via Flickr
Obviously we can’t forget Tam Tams. Sunday afternoons are never the same after discovering this outdoor drumming festival. Every Sunday half of the plateau gathers near the monument of Sir George-Étienne Cartier and in Mount Royal Park’s surrounding green space. Be prepared to encounter everyone from your undergrad, circus performers, Larpers, and the nice folks who will collect your empty beer cans. Note – Runs May to September.
5. Ride the Vegetarian/Vegan Diet Wave
Photo credit: nanatoulouse.com
The vegetarian/vegan diet wave has swept-up Montreal. The result? A myriad of delicious veg/vegan-friendly eateries which are as charming as they are delicious. Montreal’s got raw vegan fares at Crudessence: a small, bright, and health-oriented restaurant with locations in the Downtown Area and the Plateau. We’ve got homestyle food minus the meat at Lola Rosa: a cozy restaurant in the Plateau and and Mcgill Ghetto where patrons leave handwritten notes in the drawers of the tables. We’ve also got gourmet veg/vegan at LOV: a new botanical garden-themed restaurant in the Old Port with hanging wicker chairs and a selection of organic beer and wine. For whatever your mood, Montreal’s got something cool to offer in the vegan/vegetarian department.
4. Ping Pong Club
Photo credit: Ping Pong Club
Have you ever gone to a bar and felt like something was missing? Your hand: smooth and dry. Your wrist: relaxed, yet firm… maybe that missing thing was ping pong. For all those who’ve ever suffered from involuntary withdrawal symptoms, Ping Pong Club is now open and running on the corner of Saint-Laurent and Bernard. Here, you’ll find a young, hip crowd lounging on the booths and benches. There is, indeed, a ping pong table for you to showcase your whacking skills. The decor is minimalist and the space is dim and airy. They’re also open for dinner and brunch, because the urge to ping pong never really subsides.
5788 St Laurent Blvd
3. Catch a Show
Photo credit: The Main MTL
Montreal’s has more music venues than can be counted: one opens up, and another underground venue is shut down. We need all these venues to showcase our selection of local musicians and all the international ones who are just passing by. It can be overwhelming, though, to pick just one show on a particular night. Blues Skies Turn Black can help with that–they book some of the best local and international acts and feature a lot of up-and-coming bands.
Some of the best venues–good for sound quality, decor, and decent drink prices–can be found in the Plateau, Mile Ex, and St-Henri. The Plateau is home to the ever-thriving, red velvety curtain, Sala Rosa. This Spanish-style venue even has a Spanish restaurant on the first level where you can get some of the best paella in town before a show. Across the street is Sala’s sister, Casa del Popolo where one side is a cozy bar and the other side, an intimate venue. Head up to the Bar le Ritz in the Mile Ex where you can catch a film screening in 35mm some nights, or head down to St-Henri to Corona Theatre where you can probably catch a well-known band playing.
2. The Satosphere
Photo credit: Sébastien Roy
The Satosphere was launched in October 2011 at the Societe des Arts and Technologies. Since then it has been putting on amazing 360° creative experiences. Specifically, it’s an eighteen meter spherical dome dedicated to showcasing the talents of visual artists. Events like the SAT Fest display the visual creations of carefully selected artists while the audience lies down on flat beds. At other times, they host a dance party under the dome with a live DJ and visuals to accompany the music. The sheer scale of the Satosphere guarantees an immersive and rich experience for the viewer. Expect to feel like a very small human being with a newly expanded perception.
1201 Boul Saint-Laurent
Photo credit: Montreal Local Tours
There’s no better way to experience a city than to taste its culinary heritage. Montreal’s culinary heritage is a diverse one, inspired by a myriad of different cultures and traditions. Montreal Local Food Tours’ Mile End and Old Montreal tours guide you through the history of these ultra-interesting areas and take you and your pallet on an unforgettable adventure. The tours stop at half a dozen tasting locations and your friendly guide explains the history behind the famous landmarks and district. It’s a great way to spend the day, getting to know the locals and those on the tour with you. Instead of trying to choose where to go and what to see, these locals can give you the inside details and take you on a gastronomic escapade.