What do you want to do in Montreal?

So I was recently contacted by the undergraduate anthropology club at McGill with a very interesting request. Apparently they have some spare cycles and were wondering what, if anything, people would be interested in seeing them do to help out with the upcoming AAA conferences. Specifically, what could they do to make sure that we enjoy our stays in Montreal. I think between the bagels and the pommes frites this is not a difficult question for me to answer — for myself at least! But rather than make recommendations to them myself I thought I’d ask the Internet what it wanted and maybe see if we couldn’t come up with some ideas that enterprising undergraduates might be able to run with? Let me know in the comments — and join me in thanking these folks for taking the initiative on this one!


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at rex@savageminds.org

7 thoughts on “What do you want to do in Montreal?

  1. I attended the SFAA meetings in Vancouver, B.C. about 4 or 5 years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find a few store front marijuana coffee shops selling BC Bud along streets close to the core of the city, not quite like we see in Amsterdam, yet still public and allowed by the police. This made for a much more interesting conference, as so many applied anthropologists endlessly abuse their audiences with PowerPoint presentations–itself a growing threat at the AAA meetings. What is the legal/quasi-legal status of the herb situation in downtown Montreal?

  2. I thought Montreal was best known for its karaoke strip clubs where anyone can get up on stage and pole dance.

  3. Ok I admit I did not think that the first response we were going to get was ‘where can we smoke out’ but I guess it is a fair question.

    I was thinking it would be nice to have a 3-5 page guide to bars in the area by people who had been there and could vouch for them. What was fancy, what was divy, what was cheap, expensive, etc. Something like a travel guide but much, much shorter and more selective. And for anthropologists. Who apparently want to smoke pot.

  4. there are tons of interesting bars, clubs and cafes on saint-laurent blvd, particularly on the 5000-6000 blocks. very brooklyn-esque – hip and a little seedy. i would suggest just wondering around the area – you won’t want for options. be warned, if you ask for directions, the street name sounds like “sailor-on” when pronounced with a quebecois accent. also, be sure to try the city’s signature dish, poutine. it’s a rite of passage in coming to know the city.

  5. Montreal is NOT like Vancouver for pot. I’m not a smoker myself anymore, but having lived in both cities I can tell you that BC is the only place for it, and it’s just expensive and not nearly so good in Montreal. Montrealers also have the unfortunate habit of always blending it with tobacco. I don’t think there’s any public cafes where smoking is OK but you might get away with it discreetly in a park. (Probably not worth bothering in this weather.)

    Matt Thompson is right. There are strip clubs galore! With large and rather gratuitous photos of ladies all over them!

    Hmm, as for tips on where to go… don’t bother eating sushi, it’s always mediocre. Arguably, the best coffee is at Myriade on Mackay and Maissoneuve near Concordia University. Try the brewpubs – Dieu Du Ciel on Laurier at St. Laurent is excellent. Sparrow on St. Laurent makes and excellent cocktail (and it’s just around the corner from 24 hour hot bagels on St. Viateur!) If you want to spend a bit of cash on an excellent if heart-attack-triggering Quebecois dinner, you must try Au Pied Du Cochon. It’s fantastic. Not cheap but not terribly pretentious either. The deep fried fois gras balls are to die for! (literally.)

    Nothing else pops to mind for now, but those are some of the staples. If you try nothing else, the bagels and the local beer are a must.

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