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Love Local Awards 2021
Image: Time Out

Revealed: Time Out Montreal's 2021 Love Local Awards winners

Say hello to Montreal's most beloved spots, from restaurants and bars to cafés, theatres, parks, and more.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

During 2021, we asked Montrealers to nominate and vote for the places that they love the most in their city. Spoiler alert: They love their city a lot.

In this inaugural edition of Time Out Montreal's Love Local Awards, thousands of votes came in from francophones and anglophones for all kinds of spots—restaurants, bars, cafés, public parks, museums, you name it—to decide which were the favourites for 2021. While some names eventually earned more votes than others and winners would need to be decided, all of the finalists represent the best and most beloved of the city to represent what makes this city as great as it is.

Enjoy checking out the winners below.

The 2021 Love Local Awards winners

What doesn't the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal do for us as Montrealers? It's full to the brim with Canadian and international art to inspire and move us, there's music programming and things to do with kids, it's one of the better date destinations in the city, and they're constantly reinvigorating what's on display.

The museum selflessly kept us all company both in Montreal and abroad during lockdowns with free art therapy and free virtual exhibits, and it's one of the few things we've been able to enjoy the city when we were just a few regulations away from a complete lockdown.

There's no denying it: The Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal is a true treasure of the city. 

Is it really any surprise that Montrealers think that the massive public park at the centre of their city—and also the landscape namesake of the city—is considered the best park? "The mountain" is how most of us (or all of us?) orient ourselves in the city and it's a beloved place to gather.

An iconic landmark, Mount-Royal is our green escape in the summer and a huge playground in the winter. Made up of three summits, it's a heritage site that covers 10 kilometers at the heart of the city.

...come to think of it, if the city were to have a crossroads where we all find ourselves at some point, it may as well be here.


Among all of the bars and restaurants of Old Montreal, only so many of them don't play into being tourist traps and not all of them have strong communities around them.

Pub Saint Pierre's one of the few that ain't the former and very much has the latter. It's a honest pub that does an amazing job balancing out having no pretensions while delivering an immaculate pub-going experience. The vibes are convivial, the drinks are straightforward and cold, it's got one of the best happy hours in the city, and the food is comforting and warm. You couldn't ask for more after spending a whole evening at this local legend.

Having entertained the city for 70 years and counting, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde is known for its productions that feature some of the brightest stars in Quebec's theatre scene to put on shows both traditional and modern—this is where you go when you want to see some of the greatest plays and performances, from Molière to Beckett. Founded by a small group of six theater men and moving to a few different locations in Montreal before landing at its current address in the Quartier des Spectacles, it just goes to show that the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde is a place of ideas, worth far more than the bricks and mortar of the building it's in.


Restaurants have had our backs throughout the last two years, and their ability to nourish the soul with a scrap of food has been immensely welcome. Maybe that's why Le Petit Vibe is Montrealer's most-loved spot in 2021. One look at this Hawaiian-Filipino restaurant's menu and each dish is just one comforting hug after another: Tater tot poutines, smash burgers and fried chicken sandwiches, mac and cheese, birria tacos—who wouldn't want to eat all of this up?

Chef Ryan Oabel, Willson Luu, and Chops Wunda have hit on something amazing here, and we'll gladly let them keeping feeding us for years to come.

Found inside a building with history that stretches back to 1884 as a skating rink before becoming a performing arts venue in 1893, MELTUS has gone through numerous incarnations over the years, and that's saying a lot when considering how many times they've had to stay shut down during the pandemic.

Any Montrealer who loves to experience live music has seen a show at MTELUS at least once; with a capacity of 2,300, it's been a great site to see huge acts in a way that make it feel intimate, the only thing we'd change about this place is making the balcony up top bigger. Watching Montrealers dance the night away from up there is like nothing else.


In all honesty, everyone's got their own favourite café to go to, but Station W is one of the few to hit on just the right formula of excellent coffee and barista work, great food, and a pleasant, light-filled atmosphere to enjoy it all in. What's even more impressive is that they managed to lock in that formula in not one, but three different locations that each have their own distinct feeling to them. Maybe that's how they snagged the majority of Montrealers' votes for the city's most beloved café in 2021: Dividing and conquering!


Some will tell you that nightlife is so essential to Montreal—for both locals and tourists, for culture, for just how it gives a sheer sense of vivacity to a weekend—that if you wanted to know the city's heartbeat? It'd probably be thumping bass emmanating from a place like Datcha.

With their amazing curation of DJs both local and international, cocktails and bar work that's worth a visit in its own right, and the intimate vibes of the place (as well as transparently telling patrons to tell staff if they are ever made to feel uncomfortable) all make it a bone fide favourite among Montrealers. Few addresses in the city can get the same look, feel, and fun as Datcha does.

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