After walking all over the place in Old Montreal and Old Port, we were getting a little bit hungry for dinner. Since we wanted to see more of this great city, we decided to walk from Old Montreal up Boul de Ste-Laurent towards the same vegan restaurant that we went to the night before, Aux Vivres. Google Maps estimated that it would take about 45 minutes from our current location to walk to the restaurant, so we walked leisurely with stops along the way. First, we stumbled upon the gates for Chinatown that were very majestic and iconic. I saw a picture of these gates once on a postcard but hadn’t until now in person! Several major cities in Canada have gates that display the entrance to Chinatown, so it was great to see one in person. There were statues of lions beside the huge red gates.
We continued our way up the street to find that this road was actually closed off to traffic for a lengthy stretch! It is no wonder that driving in Montreal is rumored to be so terrible since so many streets were blocked off during the summer months. It worked out great for us though as pedestrians. There were tents on either side of the street with vendors from all of the shops having sidewalk sales. It was really busy and crowded with people doing lots of shopping or buying food from all of the restaurant vendors.
We went into a store that only sold candy and chocolate treats. A super enthusiastic employee told us all about the bulk candy that was for sale. You could fill up a paper box that looked like a Chinese food takeout container and the candy was priced by weight. We filled it up with all sorts of unique candies that we had never seen before! We don’t really eat that much candy usually since we are pretty healthy in general, but….hey, we were on vacation! Here I am in a cutout sign outside of the candy store:
The photo above shows a restaurant that was located next to the candy store with some interesting hand chairs! We resisted eating our candy and trying any of the street foods (some things smelled delicious!). We reached Aux Vivres both feeling pretty starving, which was great because their food is so delicious. The restaurant wasn’t nearly as busy at this hour (around 5:00pm) compared to arriving around 8:00pm the night before! We ordered some cornbread and vegan butter, and two smoothies – a chocolate one and a tropical one!
Justin ordered the Greek Kosmos plate again since he loved it from before. Sometimes if you absolutely love a dish, I don’t see any problem with ordering it again! This time, I ordered the Chana wrap on Chapati. It was a wrap with chickpeas and potatoes with an Indian curry sauce. Yuuummmmmm!
We went back to the hotel feeling super tired and didn’t know what to do in the evening…we were practically falling asleep after our super long walk in the sunshine! We decided to go for a coffee back in Old Montreal. We walked from the Hilton Bonaventure down Saint-Antoine Street and saw the Congress building with its iconic brightly colored rainbow glass window panels! What an awesome artistic building! We couldn’t resist going inside to see how the light looked through the window panes.
Our original plan was to visit Café Titanic…but it was closed!In fact, by 7:30pm so much of Old Montreal had closed up for the night. So…one word of advice, make sure you visit Old Montreal during the daytime and don’t plan on any stores being open past 5 or 6, even on a Friday night.
We found a restaurant called Café Stash that was open. A man played piano during our time there and he was really good, playing popular songs and old favorites. We enjoyed a couple of Americanos at a table by a window that was wide open to the streets. With dimmed lighting and a view of the cobblestone street, along with the soothing sounds of piano in the background, Cafe Stash created a wonderful atmosphere for a relaxing evening in Old Montreal!
We walked back through an indoor mall and saw that it connected to an underground network that linked up with our hotel. It winded up, down, and through very quiet hallways…it felt a little bit creepy! I think it ended up taking way longer than just walking back using the streets outside…oh well! I think this would be a good option to exercise during the winter!
Back at the hotel, we went for another nighttime swim at the pool. It was a bit warmer outside that evening, but still cool when we were out of the water after swimming. It was a really lovely evening outside for a dip in the pool!
Back at the room, we showered and ate some leftovers from dinner….and then enjoyed the dessert that we picked up last night at Aux Vivres (a brownie and a slice of chocolate banana pie!)…mmmmmm! Then, we ate some candy! Yeah, we gorged on yummy food in bed and it was great!
We had such an amazing day exploring Montreal! We didn’t even get to see everything, but that definitely leaves more to see for next time! Here is a video that we took of the Montreal Metro – the sounds that the subway trains made were so cool. When the trains start up and accelerate, it emits three low frequency sounds. Also, right before the train doors closed, those same three notes in a higher pitch would play out. We both found ourselves humming these tones during our time in the city!
Read all about our full Montreal trip:
Aux Vivres Vegan Restaurant
La Panthere Verte Restaurant
Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
Old Montreal and Old Port
Walking All Over the City
Cafe Verdure Vegan Restaurant
Outdoor Art in Montreal
Habitat 67 and Montreal Bagels