I don't know about you guys, but I, for one, am super, super excited for spring. Spring in Montreal means a whole lot of activities; plus, you know, sunshine, longer days, and just general happiness everywhere.
Spring in the city also means the return of one of my all-time favourite things: cabane a sucre season. There's nothing like heading out to a cabane at the end of February/beginning of March, enjoying some seriously delicious, traditional food... and then getting to roll yourself a fresh, icy stick of maple syrup.
And if you're wondering just where the best sugar shacks are near Montreal, then no worries. I've got your back.
If you want to blend gastronomy with the typical cabane a sucre experience, then look no further than this foodie haven. It's spearheaded by the same people behind Montreal's Au Pied De Cochon; but just make sure to reserve your spot in advance, as places fill up here super quickly.
Vegan friends, rejoice. This Saint-Marc-Sur-Richeliu sugar shack offers traditional, delicious, tasty dishes of all sorts - including gluten-free and vegan menu options. Plus the spot itself is seriously beautiful, making for one awesome sugar shack time all around.
Possibly one of the most popular sugar shacks close to Montreal, Constantin constantly delivers on quality, taste, and awesome vibes. For an added dash of fun, make sure you go on one of their sleigh rides!
If you're looking for a cabane a sucre experience that's a little bit out of the box, then look no further. Les Deux Tetes de Cochon offers up traditional sugar shack meals, but with some awesome foodie twists added in, making for one awesome and unique time.
If you're down for an authentic, super fun cabane a sucre experience, then look no further than this awesome Mont-Saint-Gregoire sugar shack. Featuring lots and lots of everyone's favourite foods, plus lots of fun activities (like pony rides!), there is no way you can go wrong at this spot.
Alright, fans of the pure, unaltered sugaring off experience, do I have some good news for you. Cabane A Sucre Chez Dany is a simple, super fun sugar shack located in Trois-Rivieres, perfect to get your delicious food (and delicious maple syrup!) fix.
A super fun sugar shack in Rigaud, there is absolutely no way you can go wrong picking this spot for all your tire sur neige needs. They've got fun activities, awesome food, and a traditional, vibrant atmosphere, making for a sugar shack experience you won't soon forget.
This super traditional sugar shack has been around for ages - and if you've ever been, then you know exactly why. The food is awesome; the maple syrup is to die for; and it's probably one of the most traditional spots you could go to.
Between enjoying yummy food, sitting outside in nature (after being stuck inside all winter) and spending time with loved ones, it's no surprise why picnics have become a summer staple in Montreal. This has been especially true during the pandemic.
The team started doing these picnics during the pandemic after years of visitors coming to the orchard and asking to explore the grounds.
They offer monthly menus based on what's in season on the farm and in the area, packed in a beautiful picnic basket that you can take anywhere on the property, whether it's on the tables and chairs scattered throughout the rows of apple trees or on your own picnic blanket.
We booked for five of us to go to celebrate lots of birthdays this month. I went for the first time last year in October, so it's no surprise the menu was different in July — lots of fresh veggies, cold dishes and light sauces, but there was one thing that was consistent: the UNBELIEVABLY fresh quality.
For July, the chicken was the only hot dish, so we decided to eat that first, and let me tell you, it was probably one of the best chicken dishes I've ever had IN MY LIFE. It was quite reminiscent of a Thanksgiving turkey in a light, yet creamy gravy and I could have easily had a whole basket of it.
We then moved onto a veggie sandwich. If you know me, you know I'm a mega-fan of sandwiches. I couldn't decide which was better: the fresh veggies or the fluffiest, doughiest bread that tasted like it was pulled out of the oven five minutes earlier. The rest of the menu was filled with lots of great dishes like salads, porchetta, cold soups, and some fish, too.
Of course, there's always a sweet treat to end off the meal. This month's menu included a fruit shortcake. I'm not much of a shortcake person, but this was honestly so light and delectable that I think I may be one now.
It was such a great day on the farm that we didn't want to go home. It's only 40 minutes outside of the city and felt like a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle. At $80 per basket (a basket is made for two people), it was actually great value for money and I cannot wait to see what's on the menu next month!
La Cabane d'À Côté Picnic
Price: $80 for a basket for two
Address: 3595, Montée Robillard, St-Benoît de Mirabel, QC
Why You Need To Go: For one of the coolest and tastiest picnics you can have less than an hour from Montreal.
That's exactly what Quebecois cyclist Hugo Houle did. In a genius move, Houle packed his favourite Quebecois maple syrup for the Olympics and we honestly love his decision.
In a story posted on Houle's Instagram page, you can see an iconic can of pure maple syrup made in Quebec that he says will be shared with his teammates, and it's probably going to be a hit at the breakfast table.
Considering the contents of the Olympic breakfast spread, the athletes are going to need a whole lot of maple syrup to make Tokyo feel like home for the next weeks.