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Time Out Love Local Awards
Photograph: © MU, Ville-Marie, ElMac Gene Pendon (2017) - Photo : Eva Blue - Tourisme Montréal

#LoveLocal: Time Out Montreal is celebrating what makes this city great

As this jewel of a city gets back up and running at full speed, we're celebrating Montreal’s best indie businesses.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
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Montreal continues with its reopenings, reinvigorated culture and revived hospitality, but many businesses continue to struggle since the pandemic began. Everyone—from your favourite neighborhood bars, restaurants, and indie venues to big and bright theatres and attractions—could use a helping hand right now.

Time Out Montreal may be relatively new in the city, but as its editorial team started out by seeking out the best of city life since it began in 2019, it has always taken time to champion what’s local and exciting. The world’s cities, as vibrant as they are, are nothing without their restaurants, shops, cafés, bars, theatres, music venues, cinemas, art galleries—and all the other local, independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh, think, create, cut loose and fall in love.

Here's what you loved most in your city in 2021

Montreal has spoken: These are the winners of the 2021 Love Local Awards, voted in by locals themselves.

These are the local places you've nominated that are worth celebrating. They fuel our bodies, our minds and our connections. They give locals and visitors alike stunning attractions to explore, irresistible things to do, and as many fresh faces to meet as there are old friends to reconnect with.

Montreal simply wouldn't be the same without a strong community of small businesses providing places for us to gather and share common interests. As the city continues to reopen, Time Out's ongoing Love Local campaign will shine a spotlight on the people, places and organizations that make our city a special place.

Follow Time Out Montreal on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to hear about amazing people doing amazing things that you can and should support.

JP Karwacki

Editor

Time Out Montreal

These are Montreal's fave spots in the 2021 Love Local Awards

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Love Local in Montreal

  • Music
  • Music

Is it too late to transfer? Montreal’s Concordia University, nestled in the core of the city's downtown bar and restaurant scene, is offering a one-of-a-kind course next year called The Power of Us, It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop. As a follow up to the Kanye course he taught this fall, professor and rapper Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman (also known as IRAQ-A-FELLA) will now be focusing on the 14-time Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist. Good Morning. pic.twitter.com/joayYxPTLa — IRAQAFELLA (@TheNarcicyst) May 19, 2022 Why teach a course about Kendrick Lamar? Via his Twitter account, Professor Alsalman explains why he decided to dedicate his Concordia course to the legendary rapper: I’ll be focusing on Kendrick Lamar and his teams work for the Winter 2023 Session. Kendrick Lamar is a GOAT and deserves the flowers we will lay for him. What should students expect from a university course about Kendrick Lamar? In the Twitter thread, Professor Alsalman goes on to explain more details about the course. "This course will analyze the music and fashion, activism and passion of hip hop culture through Kendrick Lamar’s Discography, Videography and Narrative. Though we will cover a “who, what, when, where and how” in hip-hop, the focus will be on practice and philosophical questions," he explains. "The course will serve as a venue for exploring contemporary issues in relation to personal lived experiences of hip hop culture, while considering historical context. Within the structure of the course,

  • Art
  • Art
  • price 0 of 4

What does one of the most famous singers in the world have in common with a top hockey player and current captain of Canada’s national team? From Celine Dion to Marie-Philip Poulin to Malala Yousafzai, Fleurs de Villes (leaders in creating innovative fresh-floral experiences) is bringing their newest large-scale floral exhibition FEMMES to Montreal.    Photograph: Veronica Castillo 2022Fleurs de Villes: FEMMES Working with local florists, 13 fresh floral mannequins will be on display at complexe Desjardins (in the heart of Montreal’s downtown core), with two additional installations on Sainte-Catherine Street in the Quartier des Spectacles.  The installations pay tribute to notable women from across the globe from the last 150 years, including trailblazers like multimedia artist Yayoi Kusama; activist for female education and human rights Malala Yousafzai; National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman; civil rights activist Viola Desmond; ground-breaking painter Frida Kahlo and legendary performer Nina Simone (to name a few). Whether you’re a fan of flowers or Serena Williams, the exhibit is an opportunity to learn about 15 game-changing women and their cultural, historical and political significance.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Fleurs de Villes (@fleursdevilles) Fleurs de Villes: FEMMES runs from May 20 until May 29, 2022

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Sizzling barbecue, local beer brewed on-site and a sprawling outdoor beer garden (with an indoor pub!) is the winning combination that’s arrived just north of Parc Laurier in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. Biergarten Belle Gueule and Aux Quartiers Belle Gueule pub and Chef Paul Toussaint have teamed up to pair new, innovative microbrews by brewer Jan-Philippe Barbeau with a menu by the famous Haitian chef.   Biergarten Belle Gueule and Aux Quartiers Belle Gueule pubBiergarten Belle Gueule and Aux Quartiers Belle Gueule pub   Chef Paul Toussaint, well-known for his time at the Arcade Fire-owned restaurant Agrikol, and his pan-Caribbean restaurant Kamùy, has filled the menu with greatest hits from his popular spots Paul Toussaint and Americas BBQ at Time Out Market Montréal: jerk chicken, brisket sandwich, fish ceviche, and mac n’ cheese. Pitmaster Armando Vendittozzi will also be on hand to bring the bona fide barbecue. Bruno GuerinBiergarten Belle Gueule and Aux Quartiers Belle Gueule pub After crafting a menu to pair perfectly with beer, brewer Jan-Philippe Barbeau — whose array of beers range from German Kellerbiers and scotch lagers to more non-traditional brews with ingredients like vanilla, coconut, and raspberries — is rolling out an exciting new beer selection to wash it all down with. When you add cocktails like Dark ‘N’ Stormys and Ti-punch also to the mix, and a beer garden with a capacity for 200 (with plans to expand to 300), you know where to find us this

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Yoko Luna wants to blow your mind. Picture a grand, mirrored entrance that leads into a 6,000 square foot dining room re-imagined to look like a Japanese garden. A 15-foot-tall Geisha towers over the room, cradling the DJ in the palm of her hand above the crowd, while a team of sushi rollers work at her feet. Yoko Luna is a Montreal supper club like no other: A killer dinner and nightlife menu, with a heavy dose of fantasy thrown in. And we are here for it. What's on the menu? Yoko Luna’s menu puts the spotlight on Nikkei cuisine (Chef Andrew Bambino and Chef Hakim Chajar’s blend of Japanese and Peruvian techniques and flavours) with dishes like Luna Ceviche (diced bluefin tuna, yuzu leche de tigre, jalapeno dashi, and cancha corn), along with Japanese Steakhouse and sushi staples (get ready for the finest Wagyu filet mignon and Kobe striploin in town). The cocktails follow suit thanks to mixologist Lawrence Picard (make sure to try the signature cocktail, the Geisha), not to mention the Sake Parlour, a Japanese whiskey den that’s home to a curation of piscos, sakes and one of the largest selections of Japanese whiskies in town. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Yoko Luna (@yokolunamtl) Yoko Luna opens on May 26, 2002, at 1234 Rue de la Montagne

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Lush jungle vegetation. A terrasse inspired by Vietnam’s French colonial architecture, and decor that channels Saigon of the 1950’s. Plus a menu where classic French fare mingles with Vietnamese influences. It's rooftop season in Montreal, and you're about to meet your new favourite. What's on the menu? Terrace Carla, the latest project from The Lucky Belly Group (think Le Red Tiger and Le Blossom, to name a few) on the 6th floor of the Hampton Inn by Hilton, boasts a menu crafted by Chanthy Yen (well-known for his Cambodian street food pop-up Touk; as former executive chef at Parliament Pub & Parlour and as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s personal chef), a stellar cocktail menu curated by high-concept mixologist Kevin Demers (The Coldroom), and iconic views of Old Montréal. The hotel, nestled at the gates of Montreal’s Chinatown, is also just an elevator-ride away from Tiramisu, the Italian-Japanese restaurant also helmed by Chanthy Yen. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Terrasse Carla (@terrassecarla) Terrasse Carla is located on the 6th floor of the Hampton Inn by Hilton, 989 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. 

  • Things to do

When the temperature starts to soar in Montréal, it’s all about finding that air-conditioned spot that serves the perfect combination of refreshing drinks and delicious food. Whether you’re meeting for drinks before a big night out, refuelling after shopping in the underground city or popping in to pick up lunch to eat in the park, Time Out Market Montréal has got you covered. 6 bars are better than one We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, and with 6 bars at the Market (wine, beer, cocktails, mocktails and smoothies & sodas and ice cream) you are in excellent hands. Bonus? No bar-hopping required: Taste the best local microbrews or the work of the city’s greatest mixologists in one place thanks to cocktails inspired by Montréal’s best bars. You won’t want to miss the DJ’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Discover the biggest menu in the city Time Out Market Montréal has handpicked a selection of the best chefs and restaurants in town and gathered them under one (air-conditioned) roof. Whether you’re craving fresh sashimi and savoury maki, tacos smothered in pico de gallo and guacamole, steak frites, a gourmet burger or an iced Chai Latté, there’s something for everyone. It’s always game time  Whether it’s date night, family time or just a hang with friends, check out the full-blown arcade under the skylight located in the heart of the Market. We’re talking old school games like Pong and Pac Man, plus a photo booth, tabletop hockey and a Super Chexx machin

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Forbes recently released its 2022 Star Award winners list, and nine Canadian culinary hotspots were named among the best restaurants in the world. Montréal’s very own Toqué! made the list, in addition to spots in Vancouver, Toronto and Québec City. A pioneer and culinary giant when it comes to Québec's gastronomy, Toqué! has become a hub for culinary learning for many young cooks. Indisputably one of the best fine dining restaurants in Montréal, Toque! has also brought its touch to Time Out Market Montréal with Burger T!.  What's on the menu? Following the philosophy of the Signé Toqué! family of working exclusively with ingredients from local producers, Burger T! serves up the ultimate gourmet sustainable burgers, homemade fries and more with the renowned chef’s twist (think impossibly juicy burgers topped with eggplant chutney, jalapeno mayonnaise and Blackburn cheese, the perfect fries and a milkshake you need to try) to Time Out Market Montréal visitors. Burger T! is open and operating at Time Out Market Montréal. See the full menu here.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Did someone say beer? Drinking is famously part of Montréal’s culture, and microbreweries are a clear favourite. But with over 150 microbreweries across the province to choose from, it can sometimes be a sobering choice. Time Out Market Montreal’s Beer Bar has done all the hard work for us thanks to a new event showcasing the best local brews each month. What is it? Starting the first week of May, Avant-Garde's Haute Bohème (a traditional Czech-style pilsner), Fashionista (NAIPA) and Rouge Framboise (Raspberry and Meyer Lemon) will be on hand to kick things off. Don’t miss the official tasting day on May 11 at 5 p.m. where you can geek-out with the brewmaster or brand ambassador during happy hour, or soak up their know-how while sipping on their latest brew (you’ll want to hear the story about how they started their business in a bingo hall). Grab a stool and enjoy a crisp, refreshing pint (or three) in Time Out Market Montréal’s expansive bar, located inside the soaring 40,000-square-foot food hall. And don’t forget to grab something to eat, made by some of the city’s top chefs and restaurants, using our suggested pairings. What's on the menu? Rouge Framboise + Paul Toussaint’s Jerk chicken sandwich, pikliz coleslaw and plantain fries Why? Below the raspberry is a silky, light and simple white ale base that is the perfect foil to the spicy, tangy jerk spices. The raspberry adds acidity to the palate, which will be appreciated as the heat rises on our tongue.  Haute Bohème +

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Every food hall in Montreal has a claim to fame. At Time Out Market Montréal, we’ve got two: Not only are we where you can find food from the best chefs and restaurants in the city, and we’re home to the Tournée Gourmande. The response to that special week-long event was so big that we’ve decided to bring it back—not just for another week, but once a month. Believe or not, but the Eaton Centre de Montréal downtown is about to become your best bet for dining out on a Saturday night. Whether you’ve just finished a full day of shopping or you’re looking for a gastronomic night out, Time Out Market Montréal will be serving an exclusive menu to ticket holders for this special event.  What is it? Montrealers will get a limited-time-only window of opportunity to taste a variety of dishes from the Market: All you need to do is to buy a $36 card (plus taxes) to try four dishes from an exclusive menu. Every eatery—Paul Toussaint’s Haitian eats, Portuguese chicken from Campo, Neapolitan pizza from Moleskine, you name it—is serving something that you can try. You can purchase tickets here! The best way to experience it, however, is if you come out with a few people so you swap and snack to try the full variety of plates! When is the next event? Our next Tournée Gourmande dinner will be taking place on May 7 from 5pm to 9pm.  What’s on the menu? Take a look below—this is a full menu of what will be served on that first night. And if you’re still hungry after your first four dishes? No wor

  • Things to do

We talk a big game when it comes to finding love and going out on date nights at the market—after all, our bar section is 18+ up and it’s loaded with cocktails, beer, and wine—but what about the kiddies? Not everyone is out looking for love; in fact, some of you have found it and had a family. We know it can be tough to think of things to do with kids in Montreal sometimes, so that’s why we’ve decided to give you one more reason to get out of the house: Every Saturday, you can dine on food from some of the greatest chefs and restaurants in the city, and the kids can get free activities. It all started with a special Easter weekend edition with a big ol’ bunny and his friends meeting and greeting the kids, as well as lots of entertainments running the tables and walkways for them to enjoy, in addition to free face painting and balloon animals. Of course, it wasn't an Easter without some chocolate: There will be an Easter egg giveaway, with candy bags available at our mocktail bar. Now, during the day on Saturdays from noon to 3pm, the market will offer free face painting using two techniques (makeup and an air brush for some really stunning effects), as well as regular balloon sculptors who can make just about anything your kids can dream up, as well as a clown and a magician. Sounds pretty fun, right? And you can expect more themed events whenever there’s a holiday coming up! Weekends with the kids happen at Time Out Market Montréal on Saturdays from noon to 3 pm, all activit

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