What do the locals eat in Montreal

French / English speakers, foodies, hipsters, hippies, night owls, workhorses or idlers ... The inhabitants of Montréal are definitely as diverse and colorful as the city itself «There is no doubt that Montréal is the little sister of New York [...] There is also no doubt that Montréal is the cousin of Paris, ”says the famous French slammer Grand Corps Malade. Even if it sounds a bit clichéd, these statements describe the Canadian city very well. It has a very European touch and yet it makes an American impression at the same time. In today's blog post, you'll find a list of the 10 things Montréalers really do.



1)    Immerse yourself in the multicultural life and enjoy all its delicacies

Montréal, a metropolis with more than 1,700,000 inhabitants, is shaped by the colors of the different cultures that meet there. From Little Italy to Chinatown, through the Jewish quarter and the "Côte-des-Neiges" district, where many Russians have settled, you can feel the unique charm of these different quarters everywhere. Thus, Montréal is also becoming a city for connoisseurs of good international cuisine; because there are excellent and authentic dishes of different nationalities. Whether fresh bagels in the St-Viateur bakery, traditional flatbread in Jean-Talon Street, dumplings in Sainte-Catherine West or delicious fish & chips in Old Montreal; You are guaranteed to find something here if you like to eat well and varied.


2)    The typical « 5 to 7 »

For the aperitif, the happy hour or the “5 à 7”, the Montréal people particularly appreciate the terrace of a pub, a cozy brewery or the green area of ​​a park. As soon as the end of spring approaches, the people of Montréal wake up from their hibernation and before you know it, Montréal is teeming with bicycles, children playing Frisbees and strollers strolling through parks like Lafontaine, Jarry or Laurier and enjoying the warm weather delight. The Montréal people really enjoy every summer because they know that the next winter will be a long one!



3)    Go to work with the Bixi and come back from the exit

The Bixi is one of the first bike sharing systems in the world. The bicycles are very popular in the city and more than 6,250 bikes were counted at 540 stations. Given the number of bicycles available and the efficiency of the system, it is not surprising that bicycles are part of everyday life for the locals and are often the most popular means of transport to come back from the exit at 4 a.m. This is not surprising when you consider that the next subway does not leave for two hours at night and the timetables of the night buses are rather confusing.


4)    Eat a “poutine” after going out

A cliché that is true is that Montréal people love “poutine”. This dish is classically prepared with french fries, a brown sauce and a very special cheese. La Banquise is probably one of the most famous restaurants for eating poutine. Although the place has become quite touristy over the years, it still serves Montréalers their poutine in the early hours of the morning after the bars close. It's actually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so it's not uncommon for the locals to even line up outside for their poutine ... even at -30 degrees Celsius in winter. But every Montréaler knows: the wait is always worth it!


5)    Always have your “coffee-to-go” in hand.

Regardless of whether the coffee was bought in a first wave, second or third wave cafeteria, the Montrealer mostly walks through the city with a coffee-to-go. Since this has been the trend for several years, there are great independent cafeterias in the city, in which mainly local students work. Our insider tips are above all “le Café St-Henri”, “Le Myriade” and “Le Humble lion”. Of course there are also places that are famous all over the world, such as Starbucks or Tim Hortons, a famous Canadian chain.



6)    Attend festivals - every season

No matter what time of year, there are a variety of festivals in Montreal every year. Belong without a doubt« les Francofolies de Montréal», the jazz festival and Osheaga are among the most famous and therefore attract a large part of the population to the city center or to the «Jean-Drapeau» park, where the festivals usually take place. Would you like to enjoy music and meet local people in Montréal? Then festivals are the perfect opportunity for you! Because the people in Montréal love to take part in these events and often meet each other there.



7) «Magasiner» in the «friperies»
As in some major North American cities, shopping is a must in Montréal. Well-known shops and shopping malls are mainly in the city center. The locals tend to prefer the «friperies», that is, second hand shops where they can rummage in order to create unique looks. If you like vintage fashion, we especially recommend the stores «l’Armée du Salut», «Renaissance» or «Eva B.»


8)    to study

While there are plenty of entertainment options in Montréal, studying for the locals is an important part of their life. There are 4 very large and renowned universities on the island. Two of them are English-speaking and the others are French-speaking. There are also more than 10 CEGEPs (Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel). It goes without saying that the population is generally very young and that most of the locals study (d) in one of these institutions. All of these young people give Montréal this lively, never-ending atmosphere.



9) On July 1st, "curb"

For many, July 1st is primarily Canada's national day. For some others, and especially for most Quebecers and Montréalers, this is National Moving Day as most leases start and end on this date. Therefore, July 1st is a very hectic day on which the sidewalks look like a paved screed. Make your move in blazing heat and then end the day with a cold beer and a slice of pizza; July 1st is “celebrated” in Montréal.


10) Always try something new

As in any big city, there is an almost endless choice of restaurants, bars and shops in Montréal. However, Montreal residents are not creatures of habit and love to stay up to date and try new places. The city's business is changing very quickly. The wok restaurant, which is still so popular today and has just opened, can suddenly be replaced by a gin bar next year. You can therefore come to Montréal several times and be surprised every time, because after 6 months a large number of shops and restaurants have exchanged views and thus offers a lot of variety so that you will never get bored even during a long language stay in Montréal.


Are you in the mood for Montréal? On this link you can find more information about the destination and our partner school, as well as the associated prices.