Mile End Montreal: A complete guide to the best neighbourhood
These local restaurants, bars, activities, streets, bagels spots and cafés offer the best Mile End Montreal things to do. Soak In! Mile End Montreal is a 10 block neighbourhood conveniently sandwiched between Le Plateau du Mont-Royal and Little Italy. Despite its small size, this neighbourhood is a microcosm of all the best parts of Montreal. A community primarily based on excellent coffee, enviable fashion and underground artists. Can you think of anything better? This sector is a melting pot for musicians, artists and a community of Hasidic jews. All these unique lifestyles manage to live parallel to one another, shoulder to shoulder, making for a unique district. To give you a tour, we’ve put together a list of local favourites that offer the best “Mile End Montreal Experience”.
Expand your horizons even further and explore all the Super Exciting Things to Do in Montreal.
Have a quick look at our “Vlog” about Mile-End’s Best Restaurants and Things to do!
Our recommendation for your mandatory trip to Fairmont street is the following: stop by La Dhrogeria Fine for some homemade gnocchi, served with what is arguably Montreal’s best pasta sauce, la salsa de la nonna. The owner serves these out of a walk-up window where you can order your gnocchi to go. Then, savour this saucy delight on one of the many benches that line Fairmont. Finally, end your delicious adventure next door at Kem Coba, the artisanal ice cream shop that’s so popular there’s a Twitter account dedicated to the length of its lineup.
Bonus: Now that you’re nice and full, you can venture into Fairmont Bagels, and grab a dozen to bring back home, or maybe just one, so you can sample St-Viateur’s favourite bagel rival.
Drawn & Quarterly: This is the bookshop that keeps on giving. The Montreal based graphic novel publisher has not only contributed to the city’s literary scene, but is an active creator of community in the Mile End. Monthly graphic novel book club meetups, frequent book launches, as well as special events are all hosted by this wonderfully curated bookstore. Walk in here and peruse only the finest titles of the moment, graphic novels, along with some of the classics. 211 Bernard West
Dépanneur Café: Aching to discover the Mile End’s local musicians? Le Dépanneur swaps out tired playlists for local acts, almost all day long. Locals can sign up to play, so it’s definitely an authentic sample of Mile End musicians! The quirky mismatched decor will either leave you charmed or slightly confused. Us charmed folk will want to linger a while, order a bagel sandwich, a latte, and probably come here repeatedly. 206 Bernard West
Dragon Flowers: Bernard street is where you will find the enchanted world of Tamey Lau. Pretty white bird cages and flowers adorn the shop’s exterior, creating a miniature paradise nestled between shops and restaurants. Iconic businesses often become so due to the people behind them, and Dragon Flowers is no exception. The shop’s owner, Tamey Lau, is known for her passion, hard work, and generosity. The Mile End community is very happy to have her, as well as her miniature paradise, be part of it. 159 Bernard East
Take a Mile End Montreal Food Tour!
Whether it’s because you’re strapped for time, or because you’re the kind to enjoy a cavalcade of food and culture, or maybe because there aren’t many ways to experience 6 food stops for about 55$. The Mile End Food Tour is an amazing deal and the perfect way to spend 3 hours in the Mile End. Stopping at St-Viateur Bagel, The Green Panther, Kem Coba ice cream, even the Rialto… It covers the culinary as well as cultural essentials while a guide tells you about the area’s history, and quirky tidbits. A must-try! Read about it and book your tickets here.
Dieu du Ciel
The name Dieu du Ciel translates to God of the Sky, which I suppose may appear like a grandiose claim but is in fact quite accurate. The brewery has been named, now for ten years in a row, best brasserie in Canada by ratebeer.com! With a highly coveted outdoor terrace, it’s a total Mile End treat you must experience. 29 Laurier West
St-Viateur: Bagels and Coffee Wars
St-Viateur is perhaps the most quintessentially Mile End Montreal street. Vintage clothing stores, eateries, coffee shops, handmade benches… it’s all here.
Community spirit takes on the form of furniture with the Givebox, a tall wooden armoire where people leave what they no longer want for others to take. One man’s trash is another man’s gold, yes? Find it right outside Latina’s grocery store, on St-Viateur and Waverly.
The much talked about St-Viateur Bagel shop is a must. This bagel institution is a favourite amongst locals, celebrities, and Mr. Anthony Bourdain himself. Come find out what the buzz is about! And if you really want to get into it, cross over to Fairmont bagel and compare! Which one wins the infamous bagel war?
158 St-Viateur West
Wake yourself back up from your carb coma by taking part in another war, the coffee wars. Café Olimpico on the corner of St-Viateur and Waverly has been said to serve up the best Italian cappuccinos, but so does the Social Club, only one block away. In the summer, locals flock to both of these joints’ terraces to get caffeinated and enjoy the sun, the breeze, and the Mile End vibes.
Olimpico: 124 St-Viateur West
Social Club: 180 St-Viateur West
Bonus: Take a Plateau & Mile-End Montreal Bike Tour
Montreal has become a magical place to visit by bike. The Plateau, Mile-End & Jean-Talon Market Montreal Bike Tour invites participants to explore the neighbourhoods vibrant scene by learning about the multicultural history of the area and digging into the hidden gems it has to offer. Go off the beaten path as you will ride quiet residential streets and green lanes and get a good dose of the local lifestyle. Check out these Fitz Montreal Bike Tours
Brunch Like a Local
Lawrence: A favourite amongst not only Mile Enders, but Montrealers in general, Lawrence has been serving up a British-style brunch for a decade. This cozy spot on St-Laurent Boulevard is known for its delicious brunch dishes like the smoked salmon tartine, steak and eggs, and their famous brunch burger.
Fabergé: This one’s a more decadent, artery clogging option, but it’s done right. Known for their Benny Mac (mac ‘n cheese eggs benedict, yes), their chicken and waffles plate…oh and their Nutella crepes. Come equipped with a severe calorie deficit and eat your little heart out.
25 Fairmont West
Sparrow – A popular brunch spot on St-Laurent Boulevard, Sparrow offers creative dishes like the kimchi and bacon pancakes, avocado toast with poached eggs, and a variety of breakfast sandwiches. For those who are looking for something heartier, the Breakfast Sandwich is a great choice. It features a toasted brioche bun filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, bacon, and tomato jam. 5322 BLVD Saint-Laurent
Hof Kelsten: A smidgen past the Mile End border, you’ll find Montreal’s darling bread maker, Hof Kelsten, right on the Main. The vibe here is inevitably trendy, but inspires an eat-and-go type meal (you won’t find cushioned seats and romantic candles here, but rather a low-key industrial look, where food is the centerpiece). Snag some pastries to go, and gobble down French toast, eggs, meats… all with the Hof Kelsten signature Jewish and Eastern European twist.
Mile-End Montreal Lunch Time Buzz
Swinging by the Mile End mid day? Make sure you’re hungry and indulge at one of these eateries.
Butterbloom restaurant: Butterbloom is a trendy and vibrant restaurant located in the heart of Mile End. As soon as you enter, you’re greeted by the warm and inviting atmosphere, with eclectic decor and cozy seating that creates a comfortable and intimate dining experience.The menu at Butterbloom is inspired by seasonal and local ingredients, with a focus on fresh and innovative cuisine. Each dish is beautifully presented, showcasing the chef’s attention to detail and passion for flavor.
Il Miglio restaurant: Il Miglio is a chic and stylish Italian restaurant. From the moment you step inside, you are transported to a warm and inviting atmosphere with cozy leather banquettes, dim lighting, and a sleek marble bar. The menu at Il Miglio is inspired by the Italian tradition of sharing, with a focus on small plates and house-made pastas. Each dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and a modern twist, making for a unique and exciting dining experience.
Le Champ des Possibles (local’s secret): OR, you can do like the locals and picnic in Le Champ des Possibles! This park is a community-driven project: volunteers maintain it and advocate for it. That’s like having a picnic right in the middle of the big beautiful heart of the Mile End.
Located off of De Gaspé between Bernard and St-Viateur
Where to Dine
Are you around the area later in the evening? Have a look at our blog article, Mile End Montreal Best Restaurants for a complete list of our scrumptious dining recommendations!
Where to Party in Mile-End Montréal
Datcha: Datcha is a Russian themed bar with awesome DJ’s and a smokey dance floor. Its sister bar, Kabinet, is located right next door, creating a two-venue experience on the weekends: dance party at Datcha, and sophisticated Russian drinks on the other side. 98 Laurier West
Bar Waverly: Bar Waverly is the Mile End’s quintessential neighbourhood bar. Located on St-Laurent and St-Viateur, it is actually named after a different street in the area, throwing in some irony right off the bat. Come here for a taste of a Mile End summer: open windows, sidewalk terrace seating, and good local vibes. 5550 St-Laurent
Ping Pong Club: Ping Pong Club is pretty much what you’d expect for a Mile End spot by its name: a resto bar with ping pong tables, a hip vibe, and a menu filled with comforting options. Their mac and cheese balls, alphabet soup, and milkshake will cheer you and your friends up along with a game of babyfoot or Jenga. They also have a fully stocked bar, and many slush versions of their cocktails. A definite must-try.
Enjoy live music in Mile-End Montreal
Many local bars and cafes in Mile-End host live music performances. Casa Del Popolo and La Sala Rossa are two popular venues located in Mile-End that offer a unique and exciting entertainment experience. Here’s a more detailed description of each:
Casa Del Popolo:
Casa Del Popolo is a cozy and intimate bar and music venue that’s been a staple in the Mile-End neighborhood for over 20 years. The space is warm and inviting, with dim lighting, exposed brick walls, and a comfortable atmosphere that feels like a home away from home.
The venue hosts a range of live music performances, from indie rock to jazz to experimental sounds, as well as DJ sets and spoken word events. In addition to music, Casa Del Popolo also serves delicious food and drinks, including craft beer, wine, and a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
La Sala Rossa:
La Sala Rossa is a larger venue located in the same building as Casa Del Popolo, with a capacity of up to 400 people. The space is stylish and modern, with a large stage, a balcony area, and a full bar.
Like Casa Del Popolo, La Sala Rossa hosts a variety of live music performances, as well as comedy shows, dance parties, and other events. The venue has a reputation for booking innovative and cutting-edge acts, making it a go-to destination for those looking to discover new and exciting artists.
In addition to the entertainment, La Sala Rossa also serves a range of drinks, including a selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails. They also have a small menu of snacks and light bites to enjoy during shows.
Overall, Casa Del Popolo and La Sala Rossa are two unique and vibrant venues in Mile-End that offer a memorable entertainment experience. Whether you’re a music lover, a comedy fan, or just looking for a fun night out, these venues are worth checking out.
Credits: All pictures were taken by Gaëlle Leroyer