Montreal: More than Poutine and Maple Syrup

For a foodie, Quebec can seem overwhelming. A city made up of stark contrasts, French-English, classic-modern, glam-grit, is every bit confusing and exciting for those with a serious appetite. 
By Michelle Tchea

shutterstock_134836577Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

Despite being a short 1-hour plane ride from New York City, there really is nothing like Montreal. They do things differently: they are more French than Canadian, there are no celebrity chefs and quite frankly, the restaurant scene puts the Big Apple to shame.

If you want more than just an average restaurant experience, Montreal is definitely the place to visit. A city made up of stark contrasts is perhaps well known for it’s French-Canadian heritage. Sure they speak French, and sure they have British pubs sprawled around the city – but when it comes to being quirky and out there (ouut-there! as the Canadians would say it) – there is more than just weird accents and poutine platters on this side of the Canadian border.

But if you want to know where to eat, sleep and do Montreal, just jump on one of the food blogs detailing the city.

I’m on a different hunt – what are some of the quirky and coolest bathrooms at these well-to-do restaurants in Montreal? Here is my pick – what’s yours?

The Whisky Café
The Whiskey Café is one of the more classy Bar and Cigar spots in the city. The Whisky Café carries an excellent choice of over 150 scotch whiskeys, lots of Porto’s, wines, tasting a la carte and one of the best Montreal happy hours.

Known to be the best first date bar and lounge in Montreal, the bathroom is super cool with a water-fountain wall for men to do their business, and a female… urinette. Must be seen to be believed.

20121211img_8659__standardImage from www.lesaintedouard.com

Le Sainte Edouard
If you have no problem with nudity – you really must visit Le Sainte Edouard. The main bar is totally rustic, yet modern with wood and dim lights making up the cool bar. After a few drinks – Scotch and local beers to tickle your fancy – head straight to the bathroom, following the naked images of men if you get lost. Look around and enjoy the 360 deg. Photos of lake and a soundtrack to match. The other stall, you’re in a boxing ring and you better do your thing or you’re out baby! Women have a slightly more tamed atmosphere – with dogs and pin-ups to admire.

Brunch – what could be better? If you want more than just Bagels and smoked met, head to L’Avenue for giant brunch portions and fun times. But hang out… still want to dance and whip out your dancing shoes? Head straight to the booming nightclub in the… bathroom. Fluro light, black and white graffiti and party hard music from Moby and other cool tunes.

IMG_3840b-1Image from Food with Legs

Joe Beef
If you go to Montreal, locals will tell you two words: Joe Beef.

Now there is more excuse to head to this institution. The cool bathrooms… essentially the Momofuku of Montreal, the over-the-top cuisine is amazing for tourists looking for quirky… just mind your head on the HUGE buffalo sticking out of the wall in the restrooms.

Fried foie gras anyone?

Michelle Tchea

Born and raised with a vegemite sandwich and chopsticks in the other, Michelle gathers her inspiration from artisan bakers, local farmers and talented chefs she meets on her travels. She writes for various international publications, covering food, health and nutrition, as well as luxury travel. Michelle's third book, My Little SoHo Kitchen celebrates her latest residence in SoHo, New York http://www.amazon.com/Little-SoHo-Kitchen-Michelle-Tchea/dp/981440862X

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