A visit from your mom can be both a delightful, and stress-inducing experience. On the one hand, you welcome some quality time with your mother. On the other, you're petrified she'll see your apartment in a state of disarray and think your life is in complete shambles, which may be close-ish to the truth.
Things get even more nerve-racking if your mom happens to be visiting from outside of Montreal, looking to spend some time with you for a whole couple of days. Again, a few days with your mom sounds great, but now you have to think of a bunch of stuff to do with her, and it's not like you can take her to the usual haunts you head to with friends.
Speaking from experience, I know how hard it is to plan out a weekend with your mom, and I go through all the aforementioned emotions every time my own mother comes for a visit. Luckily, there are plenty of mom-centric places in the city, and the stress is largely unneeded.
And so you don't have to make the same mistakes I did (or put any effort in creating a mom-centric itinerary), here are 11 cute places you can totally take your mom in Montreal.
High Tea At Gryphon d'Or
5968 Av de Monkland
In case you don't know, "high tea" (or simply "afternoon tea") is a longstanding tradition of English & Portuguese origin where you basically drink a selection of teas and feel fancy. Oh, and there's tiny bits of food to enjoy while you sit, sip, and chat.
I know, high tea doesn't sound all that exciting, but your mom will no doubt relish in the experience of feeling like an old-school duchess as she nibbles on mini sandwiches and a selection of sweet treats with a cup of tea in-hand.
Not only does high/afternoon tea offer a certain regal flair as an experience, it'll also give you and your mom plenty of time to talk and catch up.
Brunch At Lawrence
5201 Saint Laurent
To keep that "fancy English lady" theme going during your weekend out with your mom, you simply need to have brunch at Lawrence. Actually, even if you hate all-things English (as I'm sure more than a few do here in Montreal), this restaurant begs to be brunch'd, as it offers a dining experience like no other.
With their brunch menu devoted to England's favourite morning meals, enjoy succulent scones with clotted cream, cranberry and apple french toast, smoked salmon scrambled eggs, and so much more at Lawrence. No matter what you order, everything is made fresh and with plenty of love, just like your mom deserves.
Enjoy All Things Cheese At Fromagerie Hamel
220 Jean-Talon E
If your mom is anything like mine, or practically the entire human population, then chances are she loves cheese. And since you're probably a little too broke to be spending loads of money on fine speciality cheeses, kill two birds with one stone and take your mom to Fromagerie Hamel.
She'll be able to gaze upon the splendour that is Montreal's premiere fromagerie, and you'll take all the cheesy goods she can't help but buy to bring home with you.
There are, of course, six different Fromagerie Hamels in Montreal, but the Jean-Talon location is listed for two reasons. One, you'll be able to pair the trip with a Jean-talon adventure (meaning more food for you!), and two, it's the original Hamel-location which simply makes it cooler.
La Tablette de Miss Choco
838 Mont Royal E
When it comes to some of the purest chocolate treats in Montreal, all made with the highest quality cocoa, few chocolatiers compare with Miss Choco. Describing itself as a vendor of “bean-to-bar” products, Miss Choco ensures its chocolatiers work with cocoa growers to create the best quality of products.
Needless to say, if your mom has a sweet tooth, she'll instantly fall in love with Miss Choco. Don't really worry about what to order either, as everything is utterly delectable. Speaking personally, the hot chocolate is the showstopper.
Le Vin Papillon
2519 Notre-Dame W
For lunch or dinner, Le Vin Papillon is the perfect blend of chic, fresh, and simple that makes for an amazing meal to take your mom to. Headed by the guys behind Liverpool House and Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon is a wine bar devoted to the craft of quality dining using local ingredients paired with exquisite wines.
With a wide array of different dishes, many of which can be shared, you and your mom will have plenty to enjoy as you try every plate and sample various wines. Note, however, that the line for Le Vin Papillon can get intense, and they don't take reservations, so be sure to head there early.
Grab A Coffee At A Cat Cafe
3435 Saint-Denis + 172 Duluth E
You’ve no doubt thought about heading to one of Montreal’s cat cafes at some point, but couldn’t bring yourself to do it. Enter your feline-loving mom, the perfect excuse to head to a cat cafe without seeming like a crazy cat person.
She’ll enjoy the sheer novelty of having cats run about with a latte in-hand, and you’ll finally be able to cross off “cat cafe” from your Montreal bucket list. Double-win.
You have a few of options when choosing a cat cafe too (because for some reason Montreal has more than one), with Café Chat L'Heureux on Duluth and Cat Café Montreal on Saint-Denis being the most popular spots.
Picnic At Parc de la Petite-Italie
You may be asking yourself, "why, out of the many amazing parks in Montreal, would this bozo pick a small expanse of green right next to Saint Laurent Street?" Well, there's a very simple and delicious reason for that: Dinette Triple Crown.
The infamous American BBQ restaurant that actually puts "to go" meals in a picnic basket for you to enjoy at the park, with everything from a blanket to cutlery included (along with amazing BBQ, of course). Dinette Triple Crown practically guarantees an adorable meal outside, and no doubt your mom will enjoy the ambiance while you just gorge on DTC's incredibly divine barbecue cuisine.
Visit Pointe-à-Callière Musuem
350 Place Royale
Anyone visiting Montreal, whether they be your mother or not, probably wants to learn a bit more about the city's history and heritage. And while your very modern take on the city's culture (convenience stores are called deps, people don't go out until midnight, etc.) is no doubt appreciated, your mom will probably want something a tad bit more substantial.
With that in mind, I propose an educational-but-still-interesting trip to the Pointe-à-Callière Musuem of Archeology and History. Providing a fairly strong overview of Montreal history, the museum will give your mom (or whoever) a detailed narrative of the city from its beginnings to the modern day.
Take A Trip Up Mount Royal To The Oratory
Heading up to Saint-Joseph’s Oratory is an activity unto itself. On your way up, you and your mom will enjoy the natural splendour of Mount Royal, while taking in the sun and trees, snapping a few pics at the lookout by the Mount Royal Chalet.
Then the two of you can continue on to the largest basilica in all of Canada. Saint-Joseph’s Oratory is a breathtaking structure your mom will undoubtedly appreciate you taking her to.
Plus, after you're done marveling at the Oratory, you'll be right in the Côte-des-Neiges borough, that boasts an array of amazing restaurants you might not normally head to. Hopefully your mom will take care of the bill.
Cocktails At Le Distillerie
300 Ontario E + 2047 Mont-Royal E + 2656 Masson
Thinking of a place to grab drinks with your mom can be a bit challenging. You want a place she'll feel comfortable in, and not dominated by youngins', as well as somewhere that serves something unusual. You think, and think, and all the while the need for libations grows ever stronger in you both, because sometimes its hard for parents to deal with their children, too.
Entre La Distillerie, a low-key, chilled out cocktail bar with a varied-age-range clientele that serves some amazingly delicious drinks. La Distillerie makes for an even better choice if your mom doesn't really drink much, as the cocktails are so tasty, the alcohol is barely noticeable.
Dinner At Manitoba
271 Saint Zotique W
In-between cocktails and maybe some later-night partying (more on that in a second), you and your mom will need something to eat. And since this is the woman who gave birth to you, the restaurant needs to be extra special. None of those over-done tourist dinners like smoked meat or poutine. Manitoba is definitely the place, as it offers a dining experience you can't find elsewhere.
All about "Cuisine du territoire," Manitoba offers a selection of dishes that are fresh and entirely unique. Maple-glazed duck hearts, Labrador Tea pork belly, and smoked bone-marrow are just a sample of the meals available at Manitoba. All of which are complimented by the restaurant's warm atmosphere.
Of course, Manitoba is more for meat-eating moms, but that probably isn't an issue, because our parents predate the whole vegan/vegetarian movement anyway, right?
Get A Little Cray At Thursday's
Now, if those cocktails you had earlier lead to more drinks, and perhaps the desire for a pitcher of beer with a little bit of dancing thrown in, then Thursday's might be a good spot to take your mom.
With an older crowd, your party-mom won't feel out of place, and if she gets a little extra zany, you probably won't be embarrassed by seeing anyone you know. Plus the resto-bar-club complex has some decent eats, too.
For anyone hesitant about the idea of partying with the matriarch in their life, I say this: sometimes moms need to cut loose too, so either get on board or let her enjoy a night out. Worst case scenario, you get some funny stories out of it.