Montreal :: It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than Queer Quebec
Originally named "Ville-Marie" (that’s "City of Mary" for you Anglophone bitches), Montreal is a chic, sophisticated gay destination. Although it’s the second-largest French-speaking city in the world (after Paris), you needn’t worry about language barriers; most residents speak English, and getting around is pretty manageable. With triple-peaked Mount Royal in the background, the view of downtown Montreal is a beautiful sight to behold.
Le Village in a Nutshell
Speaking purely in terms of size, Montreal’s gay village is the largest in North America. Luckily for out-of-towners, it’s also easy to find; simply journey down Sainte Catherine Street - the major downtown artery - and you’ll soon see rainbow flags and (gay) "adult entertainment" shops right around Rue Berri. The Village stretches to Rue De Lorimier; in between you’ll find a plethora of bars, clubs, coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants, all serving the local and foreign LGBT community.
Planning Your "Autoroute"
For a city with a metro population of more than three million residents, Montreal is pretty easy to maneuver. If you are driving, you’ll find that there is usually street parking in The Village... although street signs are in French, so make sure you understand what they say or you could get ticketed or towed. If you fly to Montreal, there are plenty of taxis, and the Metro (subway system) will take you anywhere you need to go. The Beaudry Metro station is located smack dab in The Village.
Places to Stay: Great Deals in The Village
No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find a great place to stay in Montreal. The city’s home to a handful of inexpensive, quaint B&Bs as well as boutique hotels. Hotel Dorion is a cozy property if you’re on a budget- and it couldn’t be any closer to the action! Situated on Rue Dorion, you can get a standard room or upgrade your stay with a Jacuzzi or other amenities. Hotel Maritime Plaza is more expensive - and about two miles away from The Village - but it’s extremely gay-friendly and the service is always on-point!
Poutine, Peas and Resto Bars
If you like cruising with your meal, Le Drugstore is a treat for all of the senses. Part restaurant-part bar-part boutique, it’s a huge complex with hot waiters and waitresses, and hosts a large LGBT clientele. There’s a variety of menu options, but the best is a burger with a generous helping of poutine. Poutine - not a nickname for female anatomy - is a dish made up of French fries, topped with cheese and gravy, and a popular dish in Quebec. Some restaurants put ketchup or peas on top as well.
In fact, peas are served on top of many dishes in the Province, as sort of a garnish. A truly cosmopolitan city, Montreal - and specifically The Village - offers an eclectic mix of great cuisine, including Le Bato Thai, Restaurant La Strega (Italian) and Le Club Sandwich. More than just a great place to grab a sub, Le Club Sandwich is an institution, diner-style, complete with juke-boxes.
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