Montreal Adventures: Free Museum Day

One of the best things about my stay in Montreal was being within walking distance from Marche Jean Talon. Fresh produce was abundant, prices were very reasonable and everything you needed was within arms' reach, including breakfast! For our second day, we started the morning with a fruit smoothie from Mangue et Melon. 

I got the Boreal, a green juice made with mango, peach, orange, soy milk and kale, while my friend got the P'tit Jean, which consisted of banana, blueberries, wheatgrass and vanilla soy milk. For food, we headed over to Creperie du Marche, a must try when at the market! We chose the breakfast selection with egg, spinach, ham and Swiss cheese. Crisp and cooked to a golden brown, the crepe was filling even though we split one.

Once we finished up our meal, we set food toward Musee des Beaux Arts de Montreal to take advantage of the free museum day in Montreal. Although the line wrapped along the building, it moved along and we were inside within 30 minutes. With so many exhibits on several floors, we spent a good chunk of our day here, but here are a few interesting pieces that caught my attention.

After finishing up, we booked it to Musee d'art Contemporain de Montreal (MAC) since we only had a few hours left before it closed. Fortunately, or I guess it could go both ways, the viewing took less than 30 minutes due to crowds in small spaces or half the gallery was curtained off because they were in the process of changing exhibits. 

With Chinatown just 15 minutes away on foot, we decided to head on over to explore and find ourselves some food since we hadn't eaten a thing since breakfast. We tried to make way toward Mai Xiang Yuan, but the windows were all papered up and it appeared closed. Disappointed, we went to Qing Hua since we were set on dumplings and it was the nearest restaurant on the map.

Upon entrance, we were greeted by an employee sleeping on the table, but directed to our seats by a kitchen staff. Thank goodness the rest of the meal wasn't a sleeper. We settled on a set of steamed pork and leek dumplings, pan-fried lamb and leek dumplings and a cucumber salad. The soup dumplings were generous with about 12-14 dumplings per set and the filling was perfect ratio of meat to dumpling skin.

As we finished up, the day was still bright and early. We headed to La Distillerie to wind down and imbibe on a few cocktails. Handcrafted and served in mason jars, this has got to be the cutest, and most hipster way, to enjoy a cocktail. I got the Derby (pineapple, ctirus, bourbon) and my friend got the Yelo Melo (pineapple, Fernet Branca, gin). Fruit forward and supposedly a 3/5 on alcohol, these drinks go down pretty easy. You can read more about my review here.

We decided to call it and turn in early for the evening on the walk back, but found our way into a local drugstore on the way back called Pharmacy. We tried out one of face masks the night before and loved the product, so we decided to buy a bunch to take home. I walked out with six variations for skincare, while Lucy bought 15 packs.

After our little spree, we took it easy for the rest of the evening and planned our itinerary for the next day. With very loose plans to explore Mile End, we didn't have a whole lot planned, which gave room to explore and wander.

Here are some details on the places I've visited: 
Mangue & Melon
Creperie du Marche
Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal
Musee d'art Contemporain de Montreal (MAC)
Qing Hua Dumplings - Chinatown
La Distillerie