Welcome to St-Henri, one of Montreal’s the trendiest (hipster, dare we say?) and up-and-coming areas! It seems almost every week a new joint is springing up. Despite St Henri’s growing popularity, there are still a bunch of older gems sitting in the sand that we want to make sure you don’t miss amidst the hype. This extensive guide will make sure you know exactly where to take your friends when they throw you the burdensome task of figuring out “where are we going?” So tie up those man-buns and comb out that beard oil, and join us while we guide you through the best of what St Henri’s has to offer!
Breakfast and Brunch
This beauty is located right on the corner of Notre Dame and Rose de Lima, so really there’s no missing it. The décor in itself is worth the visit; the walls are adorned with beautiful art work, and the place just sings with colour. Really cozy environment for anyone looking to get out of the house to read or do some work.
This place is really a jack-of-all-trades – they serve breakfast, lunch, snacks, treats, coffee, smoothies… alcohol! They’ve got it all #werkit. Their menu is classic with a Mexican twist, so in the morning you can find some huevos rancheros and in the afternoon snack on some carnitas. Also for the vegetarians out there, we can attest that their menu is full of fantastic vege options!
Ah Arthur is new on the block, but he’s like that new kid that moved from another school and is instantly in the popular group. Yup, that’s Arthur.
Jokes aside, Arthur’s has been packed every weekend since its opening back in June 2016. No doubt due to their fantastic menu serving everyone’s favourite Jewish specialties. Have you ever had Challah French toast?! Have you?! Stop wasting time answering us and go, go try it!
Even though we’re not quite sure what a ‘nosh bar’ is – it doesn’t matter, everything on their menu is flavourful and well-portioned. Their breakfast menu doesn’t run all day, so you’ll need to peel yourself out of bed before 11am to taste the magic. Their weekend brunch menu, however, runs a little later to cater to those weekend warriors.
It has finally been confirmed that L’Avenue, the plateau’s most amazing brunch spot, is coming to St-Henri! If you’ve ever been to the original L’Avenue, then you know their menu is OFF THE HOOK. So creative and so delicious. Now St-Henri has been blessed with the pleasure of their company. Expected to open this spring #countdownison.
Cafés and Dessert
You might say, hey it’s too early to be talking about ice cream places, and we would respond with – there is no such thing, so kindly cease with the negativity. It’s always ice cream time! Especially from Dalla Rose. They just opened their doors last summer and they were a huge neighbourhood hit. They make both regular and vegan ice cream that is so delicious and constantly changes as it is adapted to the seasonal Quebec flavours – so you know it’s good times. But here’s the game changer… you ready? They also make homemade cookies and they’ll make you an ice cream sandwich before your eyes. No cold can keep us away from that! They just reopened their doors February 1st – so it’s on, like Donkey Kong.
This place is essentially as if your Great Aunt Mami started inviting people into her house to sit at her kitchen table while she made some apple pie. The smell in there might encourage you to bottle it and turn it into a body spray.
So first let’s talk pies; not only do they make full sized pies in a variety of seasonal flavours, but they also make mini-pies for those of us who lie to ourselves that we’re “dieting” – whatever that means. But they are super fantastic to bring to someone’s house when your job is to bring dessert because a) you can bring a variety of pies and b) you can use the “I haven’t tried that one yet!” excuse to eat them all. You. Are. Welcome.
Bu they are so much more than pie! They have coffee, tea, scones, bars, cookies, cakes… you’re going to have to pull yourself away from the counter. Note though, if you plan to go and hang out, be warned there are very few seats. Auntie Mami only has so many dining room chairs!
Let’s jump into real talk here: this is the city’s best coffee, if we may be so bold. For all those real coffee lovers out there, the ones that look to find the perfect crema atop their dopio espresso, or for those that add nothing to their coffee – this is your place. Their coffee is bold but well-rounded and balanced.
The problem with most of the cafés in St-Henri is that they have little to no sitting room which is just doomsdays for students looking for a study spot. Well no problemo here, this café actually has quite a bit of seating including pews. Yes, you read that correctly, church pews! It makes for some cool décor and is quite comfortable (how else did your dad fall asleep in church?) Overall, cool and simple café serving up coffee, hot chocolates, tea, and a selection of treats!
Bike repair shop and café? We like your efficiency, guys. It’s almost time to get those bikes out people! Just 44 more years until spring – at least that’s what it feels like. But spring will come some day and your bike might not be summer ready. Veer off the bike path and visit Allo Velo for repairs or new accessories for your bike. They have an espresso machine running in the back and a big table in the front for hanging around.
Food and Restaurants
Pizza in this city is either big food chains or low quality pizza that you hunt for at 3am on a Friday night. You don’t see too many joints where you can just ‘pop in for a slice.’ Enter: Adamo. Perfectly catering to the lunch crowd, Adamo offers thin crust pizza by the slice. But let’s be clear: these slices are cascading over the sides of the plate. It’s pizza you just want to shake chili flakes over and fold in half to shove into your face faster. Their flavours are fresh and traditional: our personal favourite is the basil pizza!
The vibe in Adamo is ‘chill’ – mostly ‘standing room only,’ with a foosball table in the middle, and a few benches outside for when the weather is warmer. Pizza might seem as old as sliced bread but Adamo is one in a few in this city!
“You want a fry with that?!” – a saying that would NOT be out of place at Tacos Victor. Victor is serving up their tacos with fries and fresh cilantro on top of the toppings of your choice. Now before you get your panties in a twist – hear us out. When is extra potato ever a bad idea? Rhetorical question. It’s genius, make sure to get those fries. Our personal favourite was their shrimp taco with a creamy Horchata to drink. Horchata is a sweet traditional Spanish/Latin American beverage made from almonds. It is the perfect way to balance the fuego salsa you’ll be adding to your taco!
When we first read ‘torteria,’ we thought we were in for some pie, perhaps. Negative; tortas are a kind of Mexican sandwich made on crusty white bread. Lupita has an extensive selection of traditional tortas. Our personal favourite was their vegetarian option with smoked mozzarella!
Despite being a ‘torteria,’ they have many other traditional Mexico specialities like taquitos, quesadillas, soups, salsas, and of course guac! #extraguacplease
The décor in Lupita’s is cozy but bright and colourful – prepare for a real Latin American fiesta!
You’d think at this point, St-Henri would be fed up of tacos huh? You bite your tongue; every day should be taco Tuesday!
Frida’s is a real mom-and-pop joint. Small in size but traditional in flavour. Their tacos are only $2 and that’s every day! They offer only a few kinds of fillings but at that price, just get them all, you won’t be upset about it. Our personal favourite was their cactus taco. We know you’re thinking “are we talking about the same cactus?” – yes we are, and they are excellent. Tastes just like marinated grilled veggies wrapped in a tortilla. Don’t forget to order a side of guac and chips; it’s fresh and bright. You can’t go wrong.
Asian comfort food? Yup it’s a real thing, and Cho is doing it right. Cho blends together Asian flavours with a modern, Quebec, twist! Their poutine topped with kim chi was among our faves. But if you go to Cho, you cannot miss out on the bao buns. If you haven’t had a bao bun, just picture the toppings of your choice wrapped in a soft, sticky pillow. That came out wrong, but you get the picture. Steamed baos are not to be missed! We loved the tofu ones.
With an extensive cocktail, wine, and beer menu, Cho is a great 5 à 7 destination. In the summer, their lit up terrace is the envy of Notre Dame.
If you love heaping portions of hummus, falafel and other Middle-Eastern/Israeli delights, then you should already be heading to Sumac – by foot if necessary. Read up here on what our awesome writers have said about it! Don’t forget to order the labneh. You won’t regret it.
Didn’t have a chance to hit up South East Asia when it was all the rage last year? No loss. Satay brothers prepares some of the city’s best Singaporean street food. When they aren’t at their stall in the Atwater Market, they spend the winter months hidden away in the depths of St Henri. It is unmarked, so if you blink, you’ll miss it – seriously. But that is why we are here to guide you.
In all honesty, every single thing on their menu is excellent; we can offer you no advice other than to tell you that you will need to return a few times. We will say however that their steamed bao buns are famous in the city, so order a couple of those while you peruse their menu.
Bars and 5 à 7
Where better to get drinks then at the brewery itself! Cut out the middleman and go right to the source. Stop drinking the American stuff and go support your local brewers. Right on the Canal, is the St-Ambroise/McAuslan brewery. So here’s the story…
In the summer: you need to hit up their huge terrace right on the canal. You can even bike right up to the gate from the bike path and park your bike on the rack. They have beer on tap plus burgers, sandwiches, chips/salsa… you know, pub grub. Nothing better than grabbing a drink in the sun and sticking around while the sun sets.
In the winter: they have a bar attached to the brewery called “L’Annexe” where you can drink with the brewers themselves who are grabbing a pint after their shift. L’Annexe is a low-key but traditional pub where you can also get some nibble,s like French onion soup and mac-and-cheese. Both of course made with their own brew!
A cozy, low-lit, bistro-pub perfect for a 5 à 7! Check out what our writers have already said about it here!
Also some insider info: a new wine bar is opening up right next door called Magdalena. Eyes peeled, we’re sure they’re going to be a perfect addition to the neighbourhood.
First rule of the Club: don’t talk about the Club. Oops, we’re clearly breaking the rules to bring your attention to this speakeasy. Like something out of the Prohibition Era, the entrance to this bar is tucked away in the back alley of Foiegwa. Read up on what our writers have said about it here!
Sports and Activities
Tired of going to the movies? Want to get more out of your hard-worked week? What better way to blow off some steam than shoot bow-and-arrows or throw axes! Nope, we haven’t turned into lumberjacks or crime fighting Robin Hoods, rather we took a trip to St-Henri.
A new mega activity center has arrived in St-Henri where you can find DodgeBow, Rage Axe Throwing, and A/Maze all in one location.
Rage Axe Throwing allows you to do just that, get a couple of axes and throw on a target. Sounds ridiculous until it becomes the most cathartic thing you’ve done all week. Trust us.
A/Maze, the real life escape game, has a location in St-Henri. New challenges and new puzzles await you, so get your brains working asap to test your survival skills and problem solving abilities!
Featured image by partiallyHere.