Guide to Montreal’s Gay Village in Time for Pride

17 07 2018

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy, left (and his partner) in Montreal's Gay VillageWe all know Montreal has a reputation for being a place of acceptance and inclusion, especially in Montreal’s Gay Village, which is is just east of downtown around Beaudry Metro station, running along Saint Catherine Street. Montreal’s Gay Village is where most of this year’s Pride activities will happen. Whether you are visiting for the parties or shows, you still need to know the best spots to get yummy cocktails and, of course, where to fill up. We got your covered! Here are the village’s top bars and restaurants:

Top bars in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 bars in Montreal’s Gay Village

Sky Complex – This is the city’s most popular gay club/bar and it has several spaces, from a dance clue to a male strip bar, to a cabaret. The rooftop terrace is also amazing.

Bar Renard – This sexy cocktail bar and lounge has a great selection of spirits and happy hour.

Bar Aigle Noir – Traditionally, the Black Eagle bar for the leather enthusiast. The crowd is now getting more diverse serving up beer and drinks in a classic setup with guest DJs and a buzzy patio.

Stock Bar – One of the more popular male strip bars in Montreal where you can grab a drink and watch hot buff men dance around you!

Le Stud – Le Stud is more of a dive bar with cheap drinks and great happy hour.

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 restaurants in Montreal’s Gay Village

O’Thym – Asophisticated French bistro that uses seasonal ingredients and has a relaxed, yet cute ambiance. You can also BYOB!

Saloon – This campy restaurant has a great outdoor terrace so that you can people watch. They also serve amazing martinis!

Kitchenette – Located just outside the village, in case you want to escape for a more intimate dining experience. They offer a great 5 course tasting menu where you choose 2 starters, 2 main dishes, and a shared dessert!

Bato Thai – A casual BYOB setting with the best Thai food in the area. This is a great place for a quick bite if you want something yummy but not too formal.

Le Red Tiger – Le Red Tiger offers Vietnamese affordable street food that is both delicious and unique. Portions are small but shareable, so order at least a few items per person.

Add a few, or all, of these spots to your list and you are bound to have an amazing trip. For more things to do and places to visit in Montreal, stop by www.asianmapleleaf.com

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The Gay Montreal Hot List

1 09 2017

Arsenal Antonio Roberts in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe renaissance of Griffintown and Little Burgundy, along the Lachine Canal, is in full swing. Trendy stores and restaurants have been opening and luxury condos are rising on the shores of the canal, as the city tries to retain the neighborhood’s industrial “charm” while accommodating the gentrification resulting from Montreal’s influx of tech/AI companies.

For visitors, these neighborhoods offer a uniquely local and culturally diverse experience. Airbnb is currently the only accommodation option here, though these neighborhoods are easy to visit from downtown. Wherever you stay, it’s worth spending at least a half-day to explore Montreal’s new hot neighborhoods.

HERE ARE OUR GAY MONTREAL TRAVEL TIPS

1. ATWATER MARKET

This bustling farmers’ market is busy year round, though especially in the summer, when the parking lot overflows with fresh produce. Don’t miss Chocolats Privilège for their decadent sweets (the chocolate covered marshmallows are a favorite), and the Première Moisson bakery inside.

2. JUNIOR

Filipino cuisine may not have the pedigree or popularity of its Asian brethren, but a visit to Junior will leave you wondering why. Influenced by Malaysian, Chinese and Spanish cuisine, Filipino dishes mix sweet, salty and sour in gratifying ways. Opened by two local brothers and well-known DJs, Junior’s serves up traditional Filipino dishes during the week, and a Filipino-fusion brunch on the weekends.

3. BOUCHERIE GRINDER

If Anna Wintour opened a butcher shop, it would look like Grinder. This tip-to-tail butchery displays meat like jewelry, hung in refrigerated display cases along the shop windows. It’s worth a trip just to see it, though you can sample their meats at their restaurant of the same name just down the block.

4. ARSENAL

With 50,000 square feet of exhibition space in a former 19th-century shipyard, Arsenal is the largest private art center in Canada, and the heart of Montreal’s contemporary art scene. (See photo above; credit: Antonio Roberts.)

Le Petit Navare in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine5. LE CAFÉ BLOOM

A little off the beaten path in the Point St. Charles neighborhood, this is our favorite brunch spot. With a handsome crowd and a menu of updated, stylish comfort food. Be sure to try the spruce soda — a refreshing bubbly Christmas in a bottle.

6. BIXI

Montreal’s shared bike system is great for exploring Griffintown and Little Burgundy, with lots of docking stations to pick up/drop off a bike. Enjoy the bike paths all along the Lachine Canal, into downtown and the Old Port and around town.

7. MIXXAUTHENTIK

You’ll find a range of antique stores in Little Burgundy, MixxAuthentik skews more towards mid-century modern, and the swinging ‘60s-’80s.

8. STOCKMARKT BOUTIQUE

International designer clothes at deep discounts, in a stylish boutique that doesn’t feel like you typical off-price retailer.

9. CODE AMBIANCE

The bars in Little Burgundy and Griffintown are mostly of the pub variety, but Code Ambiance wine bar takes it up a notch with a satisfying selection of wines by the glass, and sophisticated cocktails in a chic atmosphere. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

10. LE PETIT NAVIRE

From early July through Late August, this electrically-powered boat does a daily round-trip from the Old Port (10:30am departure) to Atwater Market and back (1:00 pm departure) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; 105 minutes each way. You’ll learn about the 150-year history of the canal, enjoy the waterfront scenery, and pass through three locks.

To read the article and many more in the current issue of ManAboutWorld, the leading app-based gay travel magazine, head over to the App Store or Google Play.





Gay Pride Montreal: 5 Things Not To Miss

6 07 2015

Gay Pride Montreal

Gay Pride Montreal (Fierté gai, à la française) unfurls its giant rainbow flag, fabulous (and talented) drag queens, hot hot go-go boys and a whole lot of amour August 10-16. It’s one of our favorite Prides on the continent and combines the je ne sais quoi we love about French-speaking Canada with a friendly and enthusiastic (not to mention well-organized) British/North American vibe. Pride includes a week of activities and culminates with a parade on the 16th — the city’s largest.

It’s a great reason to visit but not the only one. Montreal hosts a fantastic annual international fireworks competition which features pyrotechnics companies from around the world displaying their best and most explosive effects. If you don’t get enough of our own fireworks over the July 4th weekend, the Montreal events take place every Wednesday and Saturday from now through August 1.

Visit this site for more information about the event and to see the schedule, times and featured countries. Locals argue over the best viewing spots; in reality there are many. One of our readers swears the best is from the roof top of the Auberge Hotel in the old port though we prefer the Sky Club rooftop (below) since it’ll have the added benefit of being packed with gay boys.

Whether you come for the fireworks or to make your own during Montreal Gay Pride, take note of a few of our things not to miss:

Gay Pride Montreal1. Stay fabulous or stay gay: The contemporary Hotel Gault stands behind an 18th-century stone facade in the heart of Montréal’s historic district, our first-choice lodging recommendation in the city. If you prefer to stay gay, The 352-room Gouverneur Hotel Place Dupuis at the edge of the Gay Village is perfectly located for exploring the city and crawling home from the bars. Service is friendly, though the rooms and public areas are tired, and in need of renovation.

2. Take a selfie with Pink Balls: It’s art and it’s definitely kinda gay. Over 170,000 illuminated pink bulbs stretch along Ste-Catherine East (the heart of the gay village) and just beg to be included in your Instagram feed.

3. Party like a French rock star: This French-accented town knows how to party and entertain. You don’t even have to travel far with some of our favorites clustered in the Village: Code (great music and vibe); Sky (amazing terrace); and Black Eagle/Aigle Noir (for the leather and bear set and their admirers);

4. Catch a show. If you haven’t seen Mado and her talented troupe of performing cabaret queens, you haven’t really seen drag. Many of them actually sing, with great voices, and choreograph intricate dance routines. You can visit the club or find out where they’re performing during Montreal Gay Pride.

5. Video tour. If you can’t get there in person, check out gay-friendly Tourism Montreal’s web series, “Montreal Boy: Some Strings Attached” and enjoy a virtual French-Canadian romance à trois.

We published this in Towleroad and re-post it here for our readers who may have missed it.

This weekly Towleroad travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital gay travel magazine for iOS and Android devices from Billy KolberEd SalvatoKenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

Gay Pride Montreal as seen in Towleroad and ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

For even more insider recommendations in Canada and other destinations in the U.S and around the globe, download ManAboutWorld Magazine on iTunes (iOS) or Google Play (Android).

ManAboutWorld is on the iPhone and Android phones! To download for the iPhone, click HERE. For Android phones, click HERE.





Voila Montreal Gay Pride & A Whole Lot More LGBT Fun This Summer

5 06 2015
Montreal Gay Pride as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Montreal Gay Pride courtesy of Tourisme Montréal

In our current issue, we cover Montreal Pride (along with a couple of other more offbeat Pride celebrations). Pride (or la Fierté as its known locally) takes place August 10-16. We provide everything you need to plan the perfect trip. Clickhere for a FREE three-month trial subscription to our magazine available on iPad, Android tablets, iPhones and now Android phones.

As you ponder that, take note of all the other LGBT festivals, activities and events that will take place in one of the most fun North American cities to visit in the summer courtesy of Tourisme Montréal.

The summer kicks off with Montréal drag legend Mado Lamotte’s 15th annual Drag Race (yes, it predates RuPaul’s Drag Race) at the Montreal Fringe Festival, whose 2015 edition runs from June 1 to 21. Several professional Montréal drag queens team up with their amateur counterparts for a side-splitting outdoor afternoon competition on June 20 in Parc des Amériques. Free admission.

The McCord Museum has two major summertime exhibitions of particular interest to the LGBT community:

The Camp Fires: the queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu and Richard Milette show features 70 pieces by three renowned Canadian ceramists whose works have for over 30 years explored “’camp”’ themes and the gay male experience with an aesthetically powerful body of work rooted in the history of ceramics and contemporary culture. Runs from April 10 to August 16.

Horst

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Divers/Cité Montreal: Never A Drag. Well, Sometimes in a Good Way

1 08 2014

IMG_0262

In the run-up to Divers/Cité in Montreal, we visited Mado Cabaret, one of the best drag performance reviews in North America. Here’s a portrait of the fascinating, talented Mado herself.

 





We’ll Celebrate Gay Arts & Culture at Divers/Cité, Montreal. You?

27 07 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.10.11 PM

We’re heading to Montreal next week for Divers/Cité, one of the two major gay celebrations that take place every summer. The other, Pride Montreal, takes place August 11-17. It’s a tad confusing for those of us in cities with one big Pride-oriented celebration but the net result is you get to spend twice as much time celebrating your queerness, dancing up a storm and soaking in a lot of amazing culture. Photo: david-romero

Divers/Cité (a clever play on words in two languages and described as a festival of music and arts) promises a jam-packed line up of parties as well as a highly curated selection of dance and music events. French-Canadians really know how to throw a fete. We’ll be there. Will you? Look for our posts on Instagram @ManAboutWorld, Twitter @MAWTravel and Facebook at ManAboutWorld.

mont 2

Photo: aydin-matlabi

 





Montreal’s Queer of the Year Contest Redux

9 08 2011

Check out the very cute video above featuring the contests running in the second annual “Queer of the Year” contest in Montreal.

Throughout Montreal Pride Week (August 8 through August 14), the six finalists will compete in a variety of challenges and activities, all of which will be captured on film.

Visit their Facebook page to learn more about the contest, follow along in the exploits of the participants, and vote for your favorite. Watch ’em try to out-queer each other.








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