You don’t have to be a racing fan to enjoy the Grand Prix weekend in Montreal.
The city comes alive as Montreal shows its true capabilities from June 7 to 10.
The Gilles Villeneuve circuit hosts a slew of car-oriented events leading up to the big Canadian Grand Prix race on Sunday but local restaurants, shops, stores, and bars also rev their engines in preparation of the weekend.
Whether you’re at Parc Jean Drapeau, Peel Street, the Old Port or Crescent Street, there’s no shortage of things to do to keep you busy on Grand Prix weekend. If you’re looking for something casual or very elegant, this weekend offers a wide variety of things to do.
As the city prepares to host over 350,000 people, here is a list of places you’ve got to check out this F1 weekend in Montreal, regardless if you’re a racing fan or not.
Talk about being in the middle of the action. If you’re lucky enough to catch a spot on Winnie’s lower terrace, you may want to park it there for the weekend. Their terrace runs parallel with Crescent Street and all the corresponding hype. Terrace guests have front-row seats to Crescent’s foot traffic, performance stage, luxurious model cars, and of course, you can grab a pretty good meal and cocktails too. Winnie’s Pub is on a constant turn over for the entire weekend so keep an eye out for a good spot and you’ll be right in the middle of all the action.
Flyjin is a speakeasy vibe, supper club located underground in the Old Port. It is owned by renowned chef Antonion Park and is an ideal spot for people who want a more upscale experience during Grand Prix weekend. Their Grand Prix menu includes oysters, extravagant sashimi platters, and a $150 surf & turf plate. Flyjin makes specialty cocktails, offers bottle service and turns into a club with DJs at 11 pm.
So long as you don’t mind the smell of cigars, Stogies’ terrace offers a gorgeous view of the Grand Prix’ festivities. The terrace is located on the second floor of the building and overlooks Maisonneuve and Crescent Street. Grab a spot on the intimate terrace and soak in any of the live performances happening on stage from an awesome vantage point. Stogies also boasts an impressive variety of Cuban, Dominican, and Nicaraguan cigars available for purchase.
Le Milsa is a Brazilian-style charbroiled meat restaurant that offers an unlimited table d’hote menu. The two-story restaurant is located on Crescent Street, adjacent to the Grand Prix performance stage, in a glass-ceilinged space. The food menu is remarkable and the view of Crescent is spectacular. They also boast a massive terrace (and an adorable one table, two-seater upper terrace if you’re lucky) that overlooks all of the weekend’s activities. Le Milsa also has samba dance shows every Saturday. Head to Le Milsa on an empty stomach and you won’t be disappointed.
If all the Formula 1 hype has your toes tappin’, head to Electric Avenue’s dance floor to keep ’em going. Electric Avenue is a basement dance club that boasts a colourful dance floor, high-tech strobe lighting, and ’80s and ’90s music. The club is located beneath Le Milsa on Crescent street and will be busy every night during Grand Prix. They offer bottle service, VIP packages, and Formula 1 promotions.
Dominion Square Tavern is an upscale pub food and old-fashioned cocktail bar. The tavern runs out of a refurbished 1927 bar and is located in the historic Dominion Square district. The tavern overlooks Dominion Square park which will feature massive TVs showcasing the race and challenges and its street will be closed off to host Mercedes and Porsche car models. If you’re looking for a classier evening, not to mention Montreal’s tastiest mussels, give Dominion Square Tavern a look.
Le Pois Pencher is a unique French bistro that is the perfect getaway if the crowds and sounds on Crescent Street are too much to handle. The restaurant offers French comfort food and stylish cocktails. It’s located on Drummond Street and Maisonneuve Boulevard and features a comfortable sidewalk terrace. The restaurant is located just two blocks away from Crescent, so you’re still almost part of the Grand Prix festivities. Le Pois Pencher offers a variety of in-house desserts that may tempt you to take a quick walk away from the F1 vibe.
Located in the centre of the Peel street festivities, this casual address by the Ferreira Group will be serving a fresh and affordable menu for Grand-Prix goers. Vasco de Gamma is a cafe during the day and a restaurant in the afternoon and evenings. For the F1 weekend, the Portuguese brasserie will double their terrace capacity. Hope for good weather in order to enjoy a Mediterranean tapas menu while people watching throughout the weekend.
If you want an alternative to the F1-crazed atmosphere of downtown, get a taste of the famous Saint-Laurent nightlife at Tokyo Bar. This long-running nightspot features DJs, bottle service, dancing, and cocktails on a spectacular, trendy, garden terrace that overlooks Saint Laurent. It won’t be as tourist-heavy as downtown but will be busy enough to keep you entertained.