mtl // mile end treasures

montreal mile end street art

Joyce had been meaning to take me to Drawn & Quarterly, her favorite bookstore in Montreal, for a while now. It's also Anya's favorite, so that's another reason for you to go if you've never been. I myself had been dying to try La Lumière du Mile End, an all veg/vegan spot that conveniently happens to be located right across from Drawn & Quarterly. Two birds, one stone!

We meet up at La Lumière for lunch, which gives me enough time to spend the morning lazing around at home, as well as to enjoy every piece of street art I can find (it's a 30 minute walk from Duluth to Bernard, so there's plenty to see on the way!).

The café is simply charming, with its eclectic décor and cozy vibes. If you're going during the summer, I highly recommend sitting out on the peaceful terrasse. The fountain in the corner definitely contributes to the whole zen atmosphere.

Everything on the menu looks appealing, but I know Joyce is already set on the Indian burger. I decide to try the Wrapsody, mainly because it's so hot I don't know whether I can handle anything else, but also so I can compare it to a similar sandwich I recently tried at Santropol. Despite minor flaws in our dishes - Joyce feels her burger lacks a kick and my wrap could use much more seasoning - they're still very fresh. Portions are big and all items are below $10, so you defs won't break the bank. I've also heard the owner is an absolute gem, but she wasn't there when we were so you'll have to take my friends' word for it.

We then jaywalk to Drawn & Quarterly, and end up spending over an hour there, browsing through the books and running up to each other to share our coolest finds. ("DUDE - you have to see this.") I especially love the store's collection of indie graphic novels, which includes works like Guy Delisle's satirical travel journals Shenzen and Jerusalem, as well as Michel Hellman's hilariously accurate Mile End. Whether you're a hip parent, a culinary adventurer, a dark poet or a stationary geek, it's impossible not to find anything in this shop. And if you have trouble navigating your way around, you can always ask one of the passionate staff members.

Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore Montreal

Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore Montreal

Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore Montreal

Dessert is always on the agenda, and when in the Mile End, we do as the Mile Enders do. This means one thing: Cheskie's. Located in the heart of the Hasidic Jew neighborhood, Boulangerie Cheskie is a local favorite for Jews, theists and non-theists alike. In fact, its chocolate babka is so insanely good I wouldn't be surprised if someone started their own cult surrounding the pastry. Now that's a religion you can sign me up for. Needless to say, I order one of these bad boys, which I'll note cost less than $2 apiece. That's right - no need to pay $3.5 for the ones from Ana on St.Laurent (even though there's equally delicious).

Before Joyce runs off in the metro, I lure her into Monastriraki, one of the shops I had seen on my way to Bernard. The decor in this place is just on point - a mix of postcards, collages, old signs, jars and typewriters. If I weren't going to be moving soon, I would definitely buy one of their beautiful $5 concert posters. I wish I had discovered Monastriraki earlier, because it turns out they offer art classes, too!

Monastriraki Montreal