Two must-visit places in Montreal

Published: 4:00 AM, January 12, 2017

Visitors to the Petite-Patrie neighbourhood northwest of Montreal’s city centre previously had little reason to venture beyond the Marche Jean-Talon, a popular food market stocked with local bounty: Seasonal produce, Quebec cheeses, and canned maple syrup.

After all, the area’s main commercial artery, Plaza Saint-Hubert, is a bizarre strip of formal-wear shops touting bargain-basement prices on 1980s-style prom and wedding gowns (and the requisite underpinnings).

But lately, amid the sequins and satin, a growing raft of cool cafes, coffee shops, bakeries and bars, many on residential side streets, has unexpectedly bloomed in this transforming neighbourhood, which now attracts Montreallers from across the city. Here are two to check out.

Montreal Plaza

Montreal’s food world was sceptical when renowned local chef Charles-Antoine Crete announced that his first solo venture would be on Plaza Saint-Hubert. But this bustling brasserie has been reliably packed with diners devouring platters of oysters and creative dishes such as baloney cannelloni.

6230, Rue Saint-Hubert;

Patisserie Bicyclette

The divine apple-and-caramel hand pies, still warm from the oven and sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, alone are worth a detour to this pint-size patisserie, which opened on a residential block in December 2015 selling sweet scones, biscuits, and beautiful lattice-topped pies.

1256, Rue Saint-Zotique Est