Hanging Out In Canada’s Most Vibrant Area: Mile End Montreal

A list of things to see and do in Mile End Montreal, the artsiest and coolest district in the city. Includes food tours, boutiques, and cafés suggestions.

mile end montreal

Call it hipster capital, call it the artsiest district in Montreal — eclectic Mile End Montreal doesn’t care for labels. Technically part of trendy Plateau Mont-Royal but infinitely more authentic, this effervescent district covers just about 10 blocks but is incidentally home to Canada’s largest concentration of artists, in addition to some of Montreal’s most acclaimed restaurants.

If you’re keen on discovering this lively, diverse, appealing part of town, here are my suggestions of things to see and do while you’re there to get a proper Mile End experience. Hint: better pack your eating pants.

* photos by the amazing Gaelle LeRoyer, who is way more talented that I can ever dream to be

Things To Do In Mile End Montreal

mile end montreal 11
mile end montreal
 

Photograph Everything

Often dubbed Instagram porn by local ‘grammers, the vast majority of the Mile End does indeed beg to be photographed. Between the rows of colourful houses and the eye-catching murals, not to mention the quirky Dragon flower shop and the Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony, there truly is no shortage in photo inspiration around these parts. Best not to leave your phone charger behind.

mile end montreal 15

Go On a Food Tour

With almost weekly restaurant openings and a myriad of well-established tables, too, the Mile End is one of the most sought-after culinary destinations in North America. This thriving creative community is the perfect place for a Mile End Montreal Food Tour, which will not only feature the best eateries but also secret back alleys, independently-owned shops, as well as cultural highlights. Definitely a well-rounded and mouth-watering tour that’s well worth the price.

mile end montrealLibrairie Quarterly

mile end montrealLa montréalaise atelier

Shop Local

As expected in a neighbourhood that’s famous for its entrepreneurial spirit and artistic mindset, there are plenty of small boutiques scattered across the Mile End where it’s possible to encourage local artisans and their craft. Here are a few of my favourite:

mile end montreal

Catch a Show

Mile End is home to not just one but two esteemed venues that welcome anything from comedy acts to music shows and circuses. Théâtre Rialto, on avenue du Parc, is a former movie palace — now a National Historic Site of Canada — dating back from 1923 famous for its lavish neo-baroque interior. Truly one of Montreal’s most charming venues!

Another option is the quirkier, peculiar Casa del Popolo on boulevard Saint-Laurent. “The house of the people” is equal parts vegetarian eatery, coffee shop, indie music venue, and art gallery, and an intimate one at that, with just 55 seats.

mile end montreal
mile end montreal
 
La panthère verte
Farine
 

Eat At These Legendary Mile End Montreal Eateries

While there are plenty of noteworthy restaurants in the Mile End district, I do have a handful of favourites that never, ever disappoint, be it because of the friendly service, the stunning decor, and, of course, because of the yummy grub. A few of them are even featured in my Montreal city guide! Here’s where I would normally go for a date or an evening out with friends in the Mile End:

 

mile end montrealDieu du Ciel

Pitstop at the Best Microbrewery in Montreal

Why not treat yourself to a well-deserved pint at Canada’s best microbrewery after all that walking? Dieu du Ciel is indeed Montreal’s top craft brewery, having pushed the limits of beer since 1998 with audacious and inventive home brews inspired by Quebec’s folklore. Get there early to snag a coveted on their flowery outdoor terrace!

mile end montrealCafé Olimpico

mile end montreal Fairmount Bagels

Pick a Side on Friendly Mile End Montreal Local Wars

Every Montrealer I know has a favourite bagel shop and has unmistakably strong feelings about it. I personally am on Bagel Fairmount‘s team, simply for the friendly service and the fact that you are completely surrounded by ceiling-high columns of bagels when you enter the store; a lot of my friends, on the opposite, prefer Bagel St-Viateur, and you wouldn’t catch them so much as walking past Bagel Fairmount.

Same goes for the Italian coffee Cafe Olimpico (which opened in 1970) or the sun-drenched terrace of Café Club Social filled with elderly Italians playing cards, the truth of the matter is, you’ll have to try both in order to make up your mind and join one of the opposing teams!

mile end montreal 11Larry’s

Refuel At a Coffee Shop

Obviously, being in hipstertown also means you will be surrounded by trendy third-wave coffee shops with amazing lattes. Many of the cafés below are actualy part of my Montreal Coffee Round-Up!

mile end montrealBoulangerie Guillaume

Have a Romantic Date Night in Mile End Montreal

If you’re visiting Montreal with your loved one (and, considering Montreal is one of the most romantic cities this side of the pond, there’s a good chance you are indeed), you’ll be needing a few dim-lit, wine-abundant restaurants suggestions.

Marie’s Montreal – Get The Book

things to do in montreal city guide

For even more things to do in Montreal as well as restaurant suggestions, local photography tips, and pre-set itineraries, get the Montreal city guide for just $9. It contains everything I know and love about Montreal!

21 Comments on Hanging Out In Canada’s Most Vibrant Area: Mile End Montreal

  1. fa
    September 7, 2016 at 1:37 am (6 months ago)

    Montreal is quite picturesque and interesting place and the people are so cool. Canada is always the best.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 7, 2016 at 11:06 am (6 months ago)

      It truly is Fa!

      Reply
  2. Marc Smith
    September 7, 2016 at 9:47 am (6 months ago)

    Awesome, I’ll have to check this part of town out on my next visit

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 7, 2016 at 11:06 am (6 months ago)

      Yes! Happy to give you a tour :-)

      Reply
  3. Lauren Marinigh
    September 7, 2016 at 11:44 am (6 months ago)

    This is such a great post! I was just in Montreal this weekend but unfortunately didn’t have time to spend this much time in the Mile End neighbourhood. I’ll definitely have to come back to see more :)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 10, 2016 at 10:20 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks Lauren! You’ll have to come back :-)

      Reply
  4. The Curious Creature
    September 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm (6 months ago)

    This is such a great post! Taking it as my guide the next time I visit Montreal. Never explored Mile End before

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 10, 2016 at 10:20 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks! It’s a great neighbourhood, it’s just so quintessentially Montreal!

      Reply
  5. Murissa Shalapata
    September 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm (6 months ago)

    so much to do here!
    But it is a mandate of mine to do a food tour in every city I travel to! Montreal would be an amazing city for food. I am sure there are so many food tours to choose from but this would be a good place to start!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm (5 months ago)

      Montreal is indeed a great city for a food tour, especially in the Mile End.

      Reply
  6. Doreen Pendgracs
    September 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm (6 months ago)

    I would love to do a food tour in Mile End! Montreal is a fabulous city for all culinary delights. I hope to continue my chocolate research there soon, as I know I’ve just tipped the iceberg and have much more to discover!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm (5 months ago)

      Indeed, a food tour in the Mile End is an absolute must!

      Reply
  7. Krystal // The Krystal Diaries
    September 8, 2016 at 10:25 am (5 months ago)

    I’ll be visiting Montreal for the first time next year and I love reading your post on things to do and see there. It looks like such a beautiful city!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm (5 months ago)

      Thank you so much! Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  8. Dave O'Gorman
    September 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm (5 months ago)

    Mile End is one of my favorites, as is the neighborhood just east of Parc Lafontaine, whose name I forget.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 14, 2016 at 11:04 am (5 months ago)

      Indeed the Mile End is gorgeous! Very similar to Plateau Mont-Royal, which I believe is what you’re referring to.

      Reply
  9. Michel
    September 13, 2016 at 8:21 pm (5 months ago)

    Ce quartier ne pourra que s’apprécier quand le nouveau train sera en service. Le Mile End sera placé entre Brossard et l’aéroport de Dorval…Faut le faire

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 14, 2016 at 11:05 am (5 months ago)

      Intéressant!

      Reply
  10. Lea
    October 6, 2016 at 11:55 am (5 months ago)

    I confess I have flashed on the “Dieu du Ciel !” a name for an original super store, I wish I had a name brand like the one here, I didn’t know

    Reply
  11. Victoria
    October 12, 2016 at 4:05 pm (4 months ago)

    I’m heading up from New York on the train right now, and this has been far and away the best blog about Montreal I have come across. I am so excited to explore some of the highlights the next few days!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      November 4, 2016 at 4:21 pm (4 months ago)

      Thanks for the kind words Victoria! Hope you liked Montreal.

      Reply

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