Picnicking is an important part of summer in Montreal. Like really important. We bring food and drinks and wine and candles to truly, madly, deeply enjoy our public places and to celebrate birthdays and bridal showers and Tuesdays. If you are planning one of these magic picnic blanket rides, check out the following list of beautiful green spots and the best basket-worthy eats nearby.
Take a rotisserie chicken with spicy sauce from Ma Poule Mouillée to go down by the little pond in Lafontaine Park, and set up a sweet picnic spot to watch the bikers and smell the grass. You can get a full rainbow of Portuguese deliciousness to eat as the sun sets, from chorizo to sardines and flan. Picnic flan. It's a thing.
Just a block from the lovely pool and ping pong tables of laughter-filled Parc Laurier there is a cheese master. Grab fine French cheeses and charcuteries and even ciders and local beers to pair perfectly.
On the north edge of Jean Talon market, just blocks from the willow-draped picnic-perfect pond at Jarry Park with it's cute dog park full of furry cuties, there is the Pourvoirie with a vast craft beer selection. They have cured duck and crazy sausages for the BBQ and pickles and jams and more, grab a fresh baguette from Joe La Croute and you are on your way to picnic heaven.
Serge Bourcier and his father have had a place at the heart of Atwater Market for over 50 years, and today his spot Le Coin Gourmand is an excellent starting point for a gourmet picnic. Pâtés, pot pies, jams and more make for excellent canal-side dining, which is fortunate since you are just steps from the Lachine waterway.
One of the most passionately beloved bakeries in the city, I suggest you grab a small mountain of baguettes and croissants, plus some sandwiches and salads if you must explore beyond straight glorious carbs, then I suggest you take a walk. Just a 15 minute mosey will take you to the great green expanse of Montreal's wonderful Botanical Gardens. You can pay to get in to the full gardens, or just enjoy the beautifully landscaped free public space around the gardens and beyond, in Parc Maisonneuve.
The parc Esplanade has a long row of sun dappled picnic spots between the tennis courts and soccer field and the beautiful bright old Victorian homes that line this historic stretch. La Chilenita is a classic picnic pick up option in this area, a box of mixed empanadas with homemade hot sauce goes down good in the park, but also consider heading just a block further to Omnivore for a tasting of fresh mixed Middle Eastern salads, and charcoal BBQd chicken in soft savory garlic wraps hot off the grill.
On the Western end of the Old Port, near Bota Bota and the Silophone musical grain elevators, there are a couple pop up summer spots for grabbing tasty food and eating outside. Check out Müv Box for fresh lobster rolls, perfect for a sunny stroll down the waterfront.
Probably the most comprehensive picnic situation in a passionately picnic city: get your southern BBQ with sides and sauces and cutlery and plates served ready to go in a vintage picnic basket with pretty check blanket. Take it across the street to the perfect tiny Parc de La Petite Italie (grab beers from the dep on the corner, or booze from the SAQ just up the street to spike the lemonade or spiced berry soda homemade at Dinette.) Definitely order ahead though, waits can be super long otherwise, and why miss out on the opportunity to walk up as they are calling your name and handing you fried chicken?
Anyway, there are endless options, because this is a picnic passionate city. Let us know your favourite picnic spot! No matter what, make sure you enjoy the fleeting loving summer, Sunshines! And eat outside!
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