Montreal has a long-standing reputation… for a variety of reasons. The gastronomic haute cuisine, the small terraced cafés, the European architectural flare, the late night music club--- you can’t go wrong with Montreal as a top-notch tourism attraction.

Here are a number of great places to munch your way along as you tackle the cobble-stoned streets of the Old Port or challenge yourself to hike up Mount Royal.

1-Juliette & Chocolat. At first, this establishment may seem a little too “cutesy” with its chocolate counter and smiling waitresses scurrying around in red aprons. Once you’ve indulged in a crêpe or two, however, there is no turning back… you’ve become an addict of everything touched by Juliette & Chocolat. In the winter, the artisanal chocolate hot drinks like Grandma’s style velvety hot chocolate are comforting. During the hot months, cool off with Juliette’s iced Pops, a unique take on ice cream. For a more nutritional meal (who’s judging?), go for the buckwheat crêpes stuffed with ingredients such as grilled tomatoes, creamy goat cheese and crispy bacon. Head to Juliette & Chocolat to get your fill of all things chocolaty in neighbourhoods including Boisbriand, Brossard, the Mile-End, the Plateau, the Latin Quarter, and the downtown.

2-Montreal is renowned for its colorful and flavorful ethnicity. What better way to appreciate the diversity than sampling the cuisine of numerous different cultures? If you’re in the mood for Portuguese, there is only one restaurant that truly satisfies the most difficult customer, and it’s known as Helena. The food at Helena’s is as refreshing as it is exciting. Sit down for some “Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo,” a plate of salted cod prepared with marinades olives and roasted potatoes, or try the sautéed pork, enhanced with cheese and spicy peppers. Wash your meal down with some light white wine and you’re truly in holiday mode. Situated at 438, McGill Street, this place is hot, hot, hot.

3-Chez L’Épicier is a restaurant designed for hard-core foodies. (You’ve been warned). Chef Laurent Godbout can create wonders. Just try his maple candied salmon with homemade sunflower granola, avocado and soy emulsion. Main dishes include traditional specials such as the beef tenderloin with miso sauce or the lobster poached in a vanilla broth. At this establishment, Godbout is celebrated for transforming French and Québécois favorites by offering us a unique twist. Light yet rewarding, zesty yet comforting, respectful yet daring, Godbout’s cuisine is not to be missed. Chez L’Épicier is located at 311, Saint-Paul E.

4-Do you like hot, spicy food? The question is deceptively simple. You can test your limits by heading to Mirchi Restaurant, an Indian dining establishment that specializes in rather unconventional fare that is as hot as your tongue can handle… After all, the word “mirchi” actually can be literally translated to mean “green chillies”. Grab some naan bread and soak it all up! Try the murg tandoori, a tender piece of half-chicken cooked in traditional tandoor sauce, or go for the Mirchi platter prepared with an attractive assortment of lamb tikka, shrimp tikka and sheekh kabab. Mirchi Restaurant is situated at 365, Place d’Youville in the Old Port.

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