As you all know, I had the privilege of visiting Canada for the first time last week. I thought it would be fun to put together a little travel diary of what I did, where I stayed, and my favorite spots for grabbing food and coffee. Hopefully this will give you some travel inspirations or recommendations if you ever get to go!
What to do
- The Maid of The Mist– I’m not one for the typical “touristy” activities when I’m traveling but this is a MUST. I was extremely skeptical about going on a tourist attraction that EVERYONE (and I mean everyone) does when they go to Niagara Falls, but it’s worth every. single. penny. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard! You WILL get wet- no questions asked. Unless you sit on the inside of the boat (but that is just no fun). So grab the red or blue poncho they give you and brace yourself.
- Niagara-on-The-Lake – This is about 45 minutes to an hour away from Niagara Falls but the drive is so scenic. This is a quaint little quiet town with restaurants, shops, coffee and ice-cream boutiques. They also have some ice wineries in that area- which brings me to the next point.
- Wine and Food Tours: We took a day-long tour of 4 wineries and 1 brewery all around the Niagara Falls, Ontario. We learned how to pair wine with food and it was A-mazing! I would recommend PondView Estates Winery (the best wine-but not the prettiest), Peller Estates (beautiful) and Two Sisters Vineyard (beautiful, amazing wine and my favorite restaurant in all of Niagara).
What to eat:
- Kitchen 76 in Two Sisters Vineyard: The best Italian food I have probably ever had. Just look it up on Yelp! and its rating will say it all. I would come back here in a heartbeat! Their woodfire pizzas, appetizers and wines that they make in-house are incredible. (Pictured above)
- Balzacs Coffee Roasters : This charming little shop is in the heart of Niagara-On-The-Lake and has a killer Iced Latte.
What to do
- The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO): Everything from Contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, to Indigenous sculptures.
- Queen Street West : Vogue voted this neighborhood #2 of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. Shop, eat, visit The Drake Hotel, and Graffiti Alley.
- Casa Loma : A tourist trap, but I enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful castle and historic landmark in the middle of Toronto. If you are a fan of architecture and history, I think you would like it!
- We took a train from Toronto to Montreal and it was such a fun experience! Granted, I had never taken a train trip.
what to eat
- Colette Grand Cafe : Going to be real with you all here. First off, let me start off by saying that I’m not a huge fan of French food, but I do love their dessert and breakfast. As far as decor, this is the most adorable restaurant! Beautiful details from their marble bar, mini flower arrangements and fabulous furnishings. Food: I give a 7 out of 10 (I’m being really nice). But like I said- I am not a French food critic. The service is what really killed me. Towards the end I think they realized it and were nicer. To tell you the truth, I had such high expectations that it threw me off. I would not go back (at least for dinner), but I’m glad we tried it once.
- Seven Lives Paleteria in Kensington Market: The most amazing popsicle I’ve ever had. FYI: this is just a snack place.
- Richmond Station : American + Canadian fusion food. Their burger is delicious!
- Maman Toronto: OH. MY. GOODNESS. If you could not tell by my snapchats, I fell in complete, head-over-heels LOVE with this little French coffee shop and bakery. Their croissants are the best I’ve ever had. The decor is the most charming. If I ever had a coffee shop of my own, it would probably look just like this- down to every bunny with flowers in its ears. The original coffee shop is in Soho, NY- this is their second location.
- Hot Black Coffee
- Jimmy’s Coffee
what to do
- Walk around the charming cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montreal. We spent days wondering the art galleries, cafes, shops and boutiques of Old Montreal. This is truly an inspiring place and probably my favorite spot in Canada so far. Everyone speaks French! The clacking of horse-drawn carriages never gets old.
- Parc du Mont-Royal : This is a bit of a hike, but the view is worth it! Tip: Catch an Uber to the top and hike your way down. (That’s what I did.)
- Mile End : The “hippest neighborhood” of Montreal. So many amazing restaurants, vintage boutiques and coffee shops. Definitely a melting pot of cultures and people- one of the most interesting places I have been to! I loved it.
what to eat
- Le Serpent : My favorite restaurant in Montreal. Just try it. There are no words…just 4 and a half stars on Yelp and two thumbs up from me. Have the lobster mascarpone risotto or the truffle linguini. The End.
- St-Viateur Bagels OR Fairmount Bagel Bakery: The house is divided. Both bagel bakeries are MAJOR competitors. I tried both and Fairmount won but the people were just plain old mean- I guess it doesn’t matter because their Everything Bagel was a taste of heaven. PS: A true Montreal style bagel is never toasted, but hand-rolled and wood-fire baked right in front of your eyes.
- Drogheria Conserverie: Let me start by saying that this place is not a sit-down restaurant. It’s literally a hole in the wall with a window. The owner is famous for her Italian tomato sauce, so she made a little window where people can order gnocchi with her famous sauce and take it in a Chinese to-go box. Lets just say I went back twice for more. The best tomato sauce, indeed.
- Olive and Gourmando : If you are searching for a killer grilled cheese, look no further. Make sure you come early and don’t mind to wait! This place is always packed for lunch!
- Tommy’s : One of the best iced lattes I’ve had! And their minimalistic decor and architecture makes me want to stick around all day.
- Maison Christian Faure: This french bakery and pastry school was incredible. I suggest any pastry and an Americano.
- Olive and Gourmando : I also mentioned this in the “coffee” section because you can always grab a cup to-go. And I also did!
Hope you all enjoyed my travel diary! Where are you all going on Summer vacation? Let me know in the comments below!
With Love Always,