Le port de tête
What Specializing in general literature and social sciences, this bookshop stocks both new and used books. Why With its creaky hardwood floors, overflowing shelves and friendly staff, it’s easy to see how their many regulars feel at home here.
262, avenue du Mont-Royal E., 514-678-9566
What It only took a few months for Montée de lait’s old Plateau locale to find a new owner. Why The French-inspired menu lists delectable dishes at affordable prices. Bring your own wine to complement the excellent steak tartare.
371, rue Villeneuve E., 514-845-6066
What A health-food store with an organic bent where you can find eco-friendly everything, from cosmetics to cleaning supplies.Why The takeaway counter is a great place to grab a freshly made sandwich on markouk bread or a tabbouleh salad to go.
104, rue Laurier O., 514-807-0716, biotiful.ca
What Designer Christian Bélanger has just given this Laurier Street hair salon a makeover. Why The service is as detail-oriented and intimate as the décor. To get to know their customers better, the small team of stylists even goes so far as to take into account each client’s body type.
1116, avenue Laurier O., 514-670-8388, soyeztetu.com
What This new venture by two former Brontë chefs is a great addition to an under-frequented part of downtown. Why Be sure to try a tasty lunchtime treat of chicken with lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on delicious homemade focaccia.
1595, boul. Saint-Laurent, 514-844-9656
What This latest undertaking from Chef Laurent Godbout (L’Épicerie and Duel) is a simple, unpretentious spot overlooking Square Saint-Louis. Why The restaurant’s menu focusses on authentic comfort food made with local ingredients (like the crispy pig’s trotters). Enjoy it with one of the many interesting wine selections.
3609, rue Saint-Denis, 514-544-5038, lafabriquebistrot.com
What Formerly the Zippie Café, the Parishil team has transformed the spot into a bright gallery space, and the back into a small studio. Why The current display features provocative prints from the collaborative War Child Campaign. On February 19, the exhibit will pay tribute to President Barack Obama, marking his first presidential visit to Canada.
1718 Queen St. W., 416-535-2157, parishil.com
What A cozy café in Dundas West with a wide range of loose-leaf teas, organic fair-trade coffee, and pastries from local bakeries, like Clafouti’s chocolate almond croissant. Why Details like vintage vinyl stools, quirky out-of-print books and aged board games, make for a delicious time warp.
1438 Dundas St. W., 416-536-2233
What This new Queen West restaurant strives to charm foodies and local hipsters alike with its “upper bohemian” style. Why The offbeat décor combines dark wood tables and black and white chairs with a faux-antler chandelier and a grey stone wall. Nurse a cocktail at the monthly gallery night, with local artist Andy Schmidt currently on display.
735 Queen Street W., 416-868-3272, vdararestaurant.com
The Green Beanery
What Born out of the non-profit online store, the shop that sits across from Honest Ed’s is both a café and a retail space offering a wide range of caffeineophile paraphernalia. Why The GB promotes micro-roasting and supports small farms. Enjoy a conscience-friendly coffee as you gaze through large windows at the bustling Annex.
565 Bloor St. W., 416-964-9223, greenbeanery.ca
Osteria Ciceri e Tria
What This newest venture by Cosimo Mammoliti, the man behind Toronto’s well-loved Terroni, brings its older sibling’s authenticity to a casual osteria (Italian for "tavern"). Why With a menu that changes on the chef’s diurnal whim, a look defined by salvaged wood and industrial lighting and a 20-seat communal table dominating the room, Mammoliti has succeeded in freshening his winning formula.
106 Victoria St., 416-955-0258
What As its zeitgeist-surfing name suggests, this place is completely committed to the terroir movement. Expect to find a seasonal menu with creative dishes like Ontario rabbit legs. Why Featured on Restaurant Makeover, the space is an eclectic mix of glam 1920s throwback pieces, like beaded chandeliers, and sleek art deco-inspired lines.
1552 Avenue Rd., 416-783-9992
What The inspiration for this hip new shop on Calgary’s busy 17th Avenue is the intersection of fashion and art. You’ll find unique streetwear from L.A., New York and Tokyo. Why Be sure to check out the tees and sweaters by local designer Light and Soul Apparel. And while you’re there, take a minute to enjoy the rotating monthly art shows dedicated to local talent.
1013 17th Ave. S.W., Suite 113, 403-561-4457, gallerystyles.com
What This one-stop shop for renovating has everything from Blanco fixtures and Wolf Ranges to Caesarstone quartz countertops and custom cabinetry. Why All the staple brands of high-end home décor are here, but the real stars of the showroom are the clean, green bio-ethanol fireplaces.
7144 Fisher St. S.E., 403-444-8888, premiereinteriors.ca
The Ferocious Grape
What This recently opened Midtown wine shop is riding the wave of an ever-growing trend toward showcasing boutique wineries.Why With a focus on selections from Italy and California, the vibe is simultaneously refined and unpretentious. Offering tastings, classes and helpful hints, the focus is on making fine wine fun.
833 10th Ave. S.W., 403-457-0099, theferociousgrape.com
Royal Board Shop
What This brand new board shop is a single-planker’s paradise, offering boutique brands like DVLP outerwear and Celsius boots.Why The lift lines at Sunshine and Lake Louise are packed with riders dressed like they pulled whole pages out of the Burton catalogue. It’s time for Albertan boarders to mix it up.
814 Edmonton Trail N.E., 403-277-3601, royalboardshop.com
The Spa Ritual
What It’s time for some pampering at this 7,000-square-foot retreat in Calgary’s northwest. Why A menu of Asian-inspired treatments paves the path to rejuvenation. Enjoy a lemongrass manicure, bamboo massage and the couples-only Lu’lur Experience, based on an ancient Balinese wedding ritual.
106 Crowfoot Terrace N.W., 403-547-9558, thesparitual.com
The Iron Goat Pub and Grill
What Boasting one of the best views of the Rockies, this pub’s patio provides a nice escape from urban racket. Why The menu favours Canadian products, like Alberta’s own Big Rock ale, game-burger entrées, homemade bison patties, elk and blueberries.
703 Benchlands Trail, Canmore, 403-609-0222, irongoat.ca
What Made for those who love 3 square meals a day but don’t have the time to cook, this new market in Marda Loop has cooked up a new take-out operation. Why Don’t miss made-from-scratch meals like roasted chicken stuffed with lemons and thyme, barbecue ribs, lasagna and other gourmet treats.
2042 – 42nd Ave. S.W., 403-214-7771, freshkitchen.ca
What A new South Main boutique carrying sustainable designs with an urban aesthetic – no granola here. Why Discover new-to-Canada lines like Teich vintage leather handbags in bright colours – all vegetable tanned and chrome-free – and Bahar Shahpar, a Brooklyn-based designer of dresses and separates carried by Saks Fifth Avenue.
208 E. 12th Ave., 604-568-5528, bodypolitic.ca
Chi at the Shangri-La
What The hotel’s swanky new Himalayan-style spa, the first in North America, is now open. Why Hard times call for otherworldly escapes and Chi delivers with Tibetan singing bowls, ringing tingsha cymbals and treatments like the Jade Jewel Facial that uses a jade tool in combination with specialized massage techniques.
1128 W. Georgia St., 604-689-1120, shangri-la.com
What This Japanese pizza and pasta chain, 200-stores strong in the mother country, is making its international debut in Richmond. Why Life’s too short for boring pizza. Strawberry Cones has a cult following in Japan. See why with flavours like lobster with carbonara sauce, salmon and camembert, or potetama-chan with potato egg salad and sausage. Swing by en route to the airport.
4151 Hazelbridge Way, in the Aberdeen Mall food court, 604-295-6693, strawberrycones.ca
BC Home and Garden Show
What The city’s largest indoor/outdoor tradeshow offers all kinds of home reno inspiration. Why Check out Salt Tasting Room’s “Perfect Party” seminar on how to pair cheese and charcuterie with wine and condiments.
February 18 to 22, 777 Pacific Blvd., 604-639-2288, bchomeandgardenshow.com
DB Bistro Moderne & Lumière
What After a soft opening last month, renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s casual room, DB Bistro Moderne, and his fine-dining space, Lumière, are now in full swing. Why The 70s retro-sleek bistro buzzes every night, and the food delivers. Go for the 22-ingredient, $28 DB Burger with short rib and black truffle.
2551 W. Broadway, 604-739-8185, dbbistro.ca
Noir Lash Lounge
What A new Yaletown salon dedicated to semi-permanent eyelash extensions offers vixens and coquettes over 70 looks to choose from. Why For $60, you get a set of long, thick lashes that last between 4 and 8 weeks.
1150 Hamilton St. (next to the Blo salon), 778-994-6861, noirlashlounge.com
What This new venture from Fuel restaurant’s Tom Doughty and Rob Belcham is a bright, airy spot, replete with old-growth fir beams, and brick and cork walls. Rustic northern Italian fare is on the menu. Why The thin-crust pizzas, cured salami and robust pastas are so delicious, you’ll happily overlook the dicey Main and Terminal neighbourhood.
1020 Main St., 604-484-6018, campagnolorestaurant.ca
Photos: (Montreal) courtesy of Daviel Lazure Vieira, (Toronto) courtesy of Tim Shore, (Calgary) courtesy of The Gallery, (Vancouver) courtesy of Ed Araquel