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Souvenir Shopping Part 2 (Self Guided), Montreal

It would be a pity to leave Montreal without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Montreal, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Part 2 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 2
Guide Location: Canada » Montreal (See other walking tours in Montreal)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • SAQ
  • Jean-Talon Market
  • Fromagerie Hamel
  • Little Italy
  • Avenue Laurier Ouest
  • St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe Mont-Royal
  • La Banquise

1) SAQ

What to buy here: Ice Wine and Cider.

When most people think of wine, they think of a nice red to go with a steak, or of a dry white to enjoy on the patio. Ice wine, however, remains a mystery to most visitors (even though Canada is the world’s largest producer). Both its production and taste are different from the regular table wines: since the grapes are harvested while completely frozen, only the sugars and other dissolved solids can be extracted, resulting in a concentrated and obviously very sweet product, although lower in alcohol with an average 10%. The wine is meant to be served during dessert and tastes best with berry pies and strong cheeses. The most popular brand, Domaine Pinnacle, has received outstanding reviews and prestigious awards around the world. You can find it, as well as other brands, at the authorized liquor stores called SAQ, spread all over the city, but the branch located at 900, Beaubien Street East has a particularly extensive selection that ranges anywhere between $20 and $70. The store is opened from 10 am to 6 pm from Monday to Wednesday, from 10AM to 9PM on Thursday, from 9:30 am - 9 pm on Friday, from 9:30 am to 6 pm on Saturday, from 12 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. Ideal stop after an outing to the Jean-Talon market!
Jean-Talon Market

2) Jean-Talon Market

Jean-Talon Market it's a fascinating food market located within the Little Italy neighborhood. Here you will find all kinds of vegetables, fruits, fish, cheese, bakeries and other shops specialized on food. Everything is so fresh and yummy.

What to buy here: Canned Foods.

Who would think of buying canned food abroad when so few people eat them at home anyway? When in Montreal, think again. Quebeckers were not always prosperous - men worked draining hours in the cold and woman had to find ingenious ways to use all of the food they got their hands on and cook substantial meals with it, so cans quickly became the most cost-effective option. While availability isn’t that much of an issue nowadays, the tradition of canned foods is still very much anchored in Quebec’s families. Grandmothers and aunts take great pleasure in preparing the cans for the Christmas holidays, but if you don’t have a Quebecker relative, just pay a visit to the Jean-Talon Market (220, Jean-Talon Street East, opening hours vary) and browse their numerous stalls for the perfect $7 love-made delicacy. From berry jams to fruity ketchup to meat sauce, you are guaranteed a wholesome and succulent meal back home, for a great taste of both Montreal’s culinary traditions but also its rich history.
Fromagerie Hamel

3) Fromagerie Hamel

What to buy here: Quebec Cheeses.

Maybe it’s because of the French heritage, but Montrealers love themselves a good piece of locally produced cheese (and not just the cheese curds on their poutine). There are many cheese farms all around the province that offer every type of cheese paste, from soft to blue-veined to firm, all of which can be used to cook delicious meals or served in a cheese plate for dessert. The brands Oka, Saint-Benoît, Saint-Paulin and Trois-Pistoles are particularly popular in the Montreal kitchens, both in restaurants and at home. While you can get most of them at any good supermarket, there is a specialized store in the renowned Jean-Talon market (220, Jean-Talon Street East, opening hours vary) called Fromagerie Hamel, with kind and knowledgeable employees that will be happy to help you discover the mouth-watering Quebec cheeses and wine or beer pairings. For only a few dollars per 250g piece, bring 3 or 4 samples back home and share the cheese love with a hearty family meal!
Little Italy

4) Little Italy

Montreal has a large population of Italian Canadians and most of them have settled at Little Italy. This settlement lies to the city’s North East and can be accessed from the downtown in five minutes. This is where many families have made their home after World War II in the nineteenth century.

A visit to Little Italy is worth it on your trip to Montreal. Enjoy the unique cultural treasures such as La Difesa Church this vibrant neighborhood has to offer. La Difesa Church was constructed in 1919 and got its name from a miracle that occurred in La Difesa, Casacalenda, Italy.

You will be absolutely mesmerized with the beautiful fresco decorations here by Guido Nincheri a prominent artist of the sixties and seventies. Do not miss a visit to Dante Park. This park is named after the father of Italian language Dante Alighieri.

Shop to your heart’s content at the line walkways where you will find fresh produce like Calamari and Italian Parsley. Check out the fabulous Italian shoes and clothes at the St. Laurent Blvd. A visit to Little Italy is certainly incomplete without enjoying Italian food. There are numerous restaurants here that offer traditional Italian food. If you are proficient with Italian, enjoy conversing with the locals here. Visit Little Italy on your trip to Montreal for an authentic Italian cultural experience.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Avenue Laurier Ouest

5) Avenue Laurier Ouest (must see)

An upscale commercial street, Laurier Ouest Avenue (Avenue Laurier) is popular, fashionable and always busy. It is great for spending money and even simply looking around. It is a commercial and residential street in Montreal, Quebec. It crosses the boroughs of Outremont, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie. It is known for its cafés, restaurants and specialty stores, especially near Park Avenue and east of Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park. The largest concentration of shops on Laurier Avenue is located between Clark Street in the east and Querbes Avenue. These are mainly upscale decorating and children's clothing stores as well as restaurants and cafes. Laurier station on the Montreal Metro's orange line is located at the intersection of Laurier Avenue and Berri Street.

Laurier Avenue was originally known, in the 1870s, as St. Louis Street in the old village of Saint-Louis du Mile-End, which later became the City of St. Louis (1875-1909) and Coteau St. Louis (1846-1893). After the annexation of that village to the City of Montreal in 1899, it was decided that the street name should be changed to Laurier Avenue in honor of former Prime Minister of Canada Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Why You Should Visit:
If you want to chill, shop 1st class or eat great foods – all in French style – this is the place.

Visit Laurier Ave and then Greene Ave, and you'll have in a snapshot visited French and English Canada. Same city, same level of elegance, but two different cultures and flavors.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe Mont-Royal

6) St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe Mont-Royal

What to buy here: Montreal Bagels.

Montreal is one foodie city with many well-known delicacies, including the famous bagels (often in competition with New York’s version). Montreal’s bagels are not only much tastier, but also sweeter and smaller. The best place to enjoy bagels in Montreal is undoubtedly the legendary St-Viateur Bagel & Cafe Mont-Royal. The dough is hand-rolled, boiled in honey water and baked in the iconic wood-burning ovens. This institution is one of Montreal’s greatest food landmarks and offers the same high-quality products as it did when it opened in 1957. If you happen to love Montreal’s bagels so much that you wish to bring back more than one or two, you can go to the nearest grocery store and get a package of 6 for around $2.50, in as many flavors as you can think of – sesame seeds and raisins-cinnamon being local favorites. You can eat them with a simple touch of butter or a decadent layer of cream cheese, both equally good!
La Banquise

7) La Banquise

What to buy here: Poutine sauce.

Even though Montreal is well-known for its high gastronomical standards and variety… it does have one little quirk to it. Poutine will always be its most famous dish, whether people opt for its comfort-food feel on gray days or hangover-curing powers. Made with French fries, cheese curds and a special gravy sauce, it does sound as unappealing as it looks. But once you get your first bite, you know you have entered a new level of gluttony, and you know you’ll want to have it again. Unfortunately, technology has yet to find a way to effectively take poutine on the plane, but a simple visit to any supermarket can fix this: get one of those powdered mix packets or sauce cans and recreate a poutine of your own in the comfort of your home and for only $3 - but do plan a couple of gym sessions later in the week, as one serving of this hearty dish contains as much fat as a pound of butter! If you had the chance to taste the famous dish at its Mecca, la Banquise (994 Rachel Street East), the closest supermarket is located two blocks North at 1000 Mont-Royal Avenue East (open 24 hours).

Walking Tours in Montreal, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Montreal

Create Your Own Walk in Montreal

Creating your own self-guided walk in Montreal is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Montreal Introduction Walk I

Montreal Introduction Walk I

Montreal is an old, yet at the same time, modern metropolis, flagship of Canada's Quebec. Sitting on an island in the Saint Lawrence River with Mt. Royal (to which the city owes its name) at its center, Montreal represents a blend of architectural moods, from French colonial to bohemian, and a wealth of cultural trends and notable attractions – historic buildings, parks, museums, galleries...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Montreal without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Montreal, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Old Montreal Walking Tour

Old Montreal Walking Tour

Take a tour to discover the oldest district in Montreal. It features numerous unique houses dating back over 300 years, museums, art galleries and a great choice of fine restaurants and cafés. Here you'll also find two of the most popular churches in Montreal - the Basilique de Notre Dame and the Chapelle de Notre Dame de Bon-Secours. Enjoy exploring the highlights of Old Montreal.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal Night

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal Night

Montreal is a vibrant, multicultural city, offering fascinating nightlife options. The choice of bars, dance clubs and lounges is fabulous. Take the walking tour suggested below to experience the most exciting nightclubs in Montreal.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Souvenir Shopping Part 3

Souvenir Shopping Part 3

Montreal is an exciting city that features all kinds of entertainment. And if you like shopping, here you can find some of the most beautiful and promising shops and markets. Take this walking tour for a unique shopping experience in Montreal.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Top Museums and Galleries Tour, Montreal

Top Museums and Galleries Tour, Montreal

Montreal is a wonderful city blessed with many examples of great French culture. Among them are Montreal's museums and galleries, which offer a diverse view of the local and international culture that flows through the city. Take this walking tour to explore the most exciting exhibitions of Montreal's museums.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Montreal Souvenirs: 15 Trip Mementos to Bring Home

Montreal Souvenirs: 15 Trip Mementos to Bring Home

The outpost of Frenchness in North America (and the world's 2nd largest francophone city after Paris), Montreal is the meeting point of the New and Old World styles, the collision of the French, English and Aboriginal cultures. The historical and ethnic uniqueness of the city is seen throughout...