Nothing can ever replace the experience of traveling somewhere new and exciting in person. But exceptional circumstances—be they logistics-related or in light of current global travel restrictions—call for some travel creativity.

           —By Marie-Ève Venne

While you can’t jump on a plane to explore a new foreign city, nothing should stop you from discovering all its culture, even if it has to be from home.

The list below details the best Montreal has to offer in the cultural department to make you eat, drink, and think as if you where somewhere else.


DRINK:  Henri Bardouin Pastis

If you find yourself in the south of France, especially in the summer, the apéro (as the aperitif is fondly referred) will likely be rosé or pastis. Henri Bardouin Pastis is rich, complex, and aromatic, being a blend of 65 different herbs and spices, many of which are secret.

EAT:  La Boîte du Chef by Jérôme Ferrer

One of Montreal’S most acclaimed French restaurant offers La Boîte du Chef, which is a ready-to-eat meal delivery service developed by chef Jérôme Ferrer. There is no subscription required and the cost varies depending on the box chosen and the number of servings.

 DO:  Listen to Les Bruits de Paris playlist by My Little Paris, or admire Montmartre scenery from Basilique du Sacré-Coeur thanks to their website or take a virtual tour of the Musée D’Orsay.



DRINK:   Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

Nothing reminds you more of having a good time in a pub than drinking a dram (or two) of scotch. This Speysider was initially aged in traditional oak casks before it was finished in casks that previously held Caribbean rum, imparting some extra sweetness and warmth to the whisky.

EAT:  Bishop and Bagg

Everyone’s favorite Mile-End British pub is now open for pick-ups and deliveries Wednesday to Saturday 12pm-9pm and Saturday to Sunday 5pm-9pm. And yes, their famous Bagg Burger is one of the options offered on the takeout menu.

DO:  Visit London National Gallery without leaving the house, take a few minutes to enjoy the wonderful scenes from one of England’s most famous horticultural hotspots with a virtual tour of Kew Gardens or take part to a virtual whisky tasting.



DRINK:  Joy’s Cocktail

This delicious and refreshing cocktail has been created by Appleton Estate master blender Joy Spence herself. It includes ginger ale and oranges and is made with Appleton Estate 8 Year Old Reserve (which is also very good neat).

EAT:  Llyodies

This super popular eatery with diverse locations across the city serving hearty Caribbean food is now taking orders from Wednesday to Sunday, 5pm-9pm at their St-Viateur location. It’s the perfect way to fix your patty craving or to explore what Carribean food is all about.

DO:  Take a virtual tour of Jamaica’s most appreciated sights, listen to the best Jamaican music and explore Jamaican vlogs to help you get that full Caribbean experience from home.


DRINK:  Beni di Batasialo Barolo 2015

This wine is the perfect introduction to the grandest Piedmont appellation. It presents very complex flavours – flowers, dried fruit, and spices for the nose and palate – and is overall an elegant wine. One sip takes you directly to Piedmont (Piemonte), which is considered a top wine region in Italy (like Tuscany).

EAT:  BEVO Pizza Kit

This Italian restaurant located in Montreal’s Old Port had the ingenious idea of creating a kit allowing you to make your very own BEVO pizza at home by supplying the ingredients and letting you create the masterpiece. They also have other delicious options that you can order for takeout or delivery.

DO:  Take a virtual tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, enjoy a scenic walk around some of the loveliest places in Italy or follow an online Italian cooking class.



DRINK:  Bernard Magrez Kahina 2013

Yes, Morocco can make great wine. This powerful blend of Moroccan Syrah and Grenache is intense and fruity, with black-cherry, plum and blackberry flavours.

EAT:  Ayla

Feast on the Mediterranean cuisine of this newcomer in the Griffintown neighbourhood, open for delivery and pick up. The menu is an interpretation of traditional Eastern Mediterranean cuisine and will consist of numerous dips such as homemade hummus, eggplant, labneh and creamy tahini as well as numerous salads.

DO:  Spend a day in Marrakesh thanks to a 360 virtual tour, listen to Brian Jones (one of the early members of The Rolling Stones) Presents “The Pipes of Pan” at Joujouka or take part in a virtual Moroccan cooking class.



DRINK:  Artkombucha

Drink the first alcoholic kombucha created and produced in Montreal. Sugar-free and naturally produced by kombucha yeasts during fermentation, the alcohol content of each can is 4.5%. It is a healthy alternative to sugary alcoholic beverages that flood the market.

EAT:  Joe Beef

Joe Beef is without a doubt an essential Montreal dining experience and has undoubtedly contributed to the global awareness of Montreal’s restaurant scene. Due to the current situation, they now offer a takeout menu (call in advance) with items requiring a minimal amount of preparation required at home.

DO: Enjoy many pieces from the Art Gallery of Ontario, watch penguins, otters and more from the Vancouver Aquarium or participate to one of the classes offered by Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Written on: May 28, 2020