Neighbourhood Guide, Montreal: Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) is largely a residential ’hood packed with middle class Anglos. While its history is slowly, and unstoppably, being replaced by condominiums galore, admittedly there wasn’t much to begin with. Centred around a highway, the area seems at first a little lackluster against the rest of colourful Montreal. We try not to judge a book by its cover, and we’re glad we didn’t. Here are some top spots that’ll get you on board.

Cosmo’s Snack Bar
Who knew Montreal had a “sin city” beyond its red light district? Cosmos is so well-known for its huge-portioned, heart-stopping breakfasts that filmmaker Ezra Soiferman is releasing a documentary entitled Man of Grease. If you don’t mind spoiling the ending for yourself, order up a burger — yes, for breakfast — to see what all the fuss is about. 5843 Sherbrooke St. West, 514-486-3814

Encore Books and Records
NDG’s coulda-shoulda answer to our somewhat biased Vinyl Store Guide, Encore is an independent seller that entices recordheads to leave their regular haunts. Good quality, selection and helpful staff ; plus, lit snobs will find a plethora of out-of-print books and rare editions of favourites. 5670 Sherbrooke St. West, 514-482-5100

Honey Martin’s
Because of how residential the neighbourhood is, NDG’s nightlife remains sparse. Thankfully, Honey Martin’s provides a place to celebrate our successes and gawk at pin-up barmaids straight out of the ’50s. Stop in on the weekends to enjoy pints of stout while three-piece bands jam out — completing what we think is the perfect pub atmosphere. 5916 Sherbrooke St. West, 514-484-2999

Maz Bar
Considered a dive by some, historical mainstay by others, and a karaoke success for optimists, Maz is a place to blow off steam without caring much for your esteem. If you’re looking for a place to overrun with a group of friends, join the few regulars for Karaoke Thursdays — which have been revered as getting on the nerves of neighboring houses. Always recommended: “BOOORN IN THE U.S.A.!” 5617 Sherbrooke St. West, 514-488-0711

Cho’cola Patisserie
A bit ‘femme’ from the exterior, Cho’cola Patisserie is a nut-free cupcake emporium that joins the ranks of New York’s famed Magnolia in terms of deliciousness. While having an online rep for out-of-the-box recipes, we thought the chai latte soothed our sweet-teeth just fine. Keep an eye on this joint for when spring rounds the corner — their terrace is definitely a selling feature February might discount. 5601 Monkland Ave., 514-485-2652

Image courtesy of alanah.montreal.  

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