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Key to the City

An L.A. Designer Makes the Case for Moving to Montreal (Visiting’s Cool, Too)

Key to the City BY genevieve ang 02/14/2017

Though she’d carved out a pretty amazing homebase for herself and her delicate jewelry line Kyyote in L.A., Canadian Amanda Loos was growing increasingly homesick over the last few years. The solution? She now splits her time between the city of sun and the cobblestoned streets of Montreal. “One of the best things about Montreal is the nice drivers here,” Amanda laughs. “They take their time, let others in, and rarely honk their horns—it’s so different from L.A.!” But the lack of road rage is far from the only reason to head north—here are 11 places worth brushing up on your French.

 

Eat

PIZZA ST. VIATEUR

 

“Food is a tricky thing in Montreal—there are so many places that are really hit-or-miss in this town, and you really need to try a lot of mediocre stuff before you find the gems. So we were pretty lucky to find this great pizza place right away in our neighborhood, Monkland Village. My favorite is the Quebecoise, with pepperoni, green peppers, and mushrooms. I’m always dying for a slice!”

 

KAM SHING

“Is our go-to Chinese restaurant. We take friends who are visiting for a family-style meal here, and everyone always walks away swearing that it was the best Chinese food they’ve had. Definitely order the hot-and-sour soup.”

 

PHO LIEN

“During the long, brutal Montreal winter, I always head to this Vietnamese restaurant in the Côte-des-Neiges area. It’s cash only, it’s closed on Tuesdays, and there’s always a wait for tiny, crowded tables—but it’s worth it.”

 

ATWATER MARCHÉ

via @marchespublicsmtl

 

“You can’t come to Montreal without trying a few versions of poutine, the quintessential Quebecoise food experience. My favorite variation on this classic is the pulled pork gnocchi poutine from a little food stall at this market, which is open only in the spring and summer.”

 

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Do Things

LA GRANDE OURSE

“As a new mom, I love this shop for amazing handmade toys and treasures. It’s a gorgeous, magical little Waldorf toy store. I also love Comme des Enfants nearby for beautiful kids’ clothing. Montreal is very influenced by European culture, and the stores carry a lot of brands that are harder to find in the states.”

 

ANNEX VINTAGE AND UNICORN BOUTIQUE

via @boutiqueunicorn

 

“When I want to add something unique to my wardrobe, I always find myself buying vintage or local independent designers. I love stocking-up at these shops in Mile End. I was pretty surprised to find that many businesses in Montreal don’t have websites or that they are incredibly difficult to find online. You really need to hit the streets to explore and find some things on your own.”

 

L'ORATOIRE ST. JOSEPH

“In all seasons, I love visiting this shrine, located in the beautiful neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges, for the incredible views. Afterward, I like to stop by the Old Port neighborhood—it's in one of the oldest parts of the city, with cobblestone streets. Definitely take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. It feels like Prague to me, especially at night.”

 

BIOSPHERE

via @parcjeandrapeau

 

“In the wintertime, when you need an indoor activity, I love visiting this museum dedicated to the environment.”

 

BEAVER LAKE AND PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU

“When it’s cold out, Beaver Lake is the place to go for ice skating and sledding. In the warmer months, Parc Jean-Drapeau is a must-visit. It has an aquatic park, a beach, boat rentals, and all kinds of outdoorsy, sporty stuff to check out. Plus, they host big outdoor concerts in the summer.”

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