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Between optioning her debut novel, Soudain le Minotaure, editing Bonjour Voisine, a compendium of stories by Quebecois and Haitian writers, and awaiting the translation of Griffintown, Marie Hélène Poitras gives us a read on her city.

01 Librairie Raffin

The advantages of a big bookstore, without knickknacks everywhere blotting out the books. Quebec literature is nicely spotlighted, and there are often meet-the-author events. Plus, they invite writers to advise shoppers.

6330, rue Saint-Hubert, 514-274-2870,

02 M sur Masson

The food here is sophisticated but comforting. Plus, you've got the terroir aspect that makes it a great introduction to Montreal. Last time I went, I had burrata on hedgehog mushrooms – unbelievable.

2876, rue Masson, 514-678-2999,

03 Aux 33 Tours

Sometimes vintage record stores seem like they haven't been cleaned in three years, but not here. The staff are real music fanatics, with a little High Fidelity vibe that I really love.

1373, av. Mont-Royal E., 514-524-7397,

04 Maison du bifthèque Main Deli

It's just across the street from Schwartz's, and, as far as I'm concerned, they have the best smoked meat in the city. Order it lean with a cherry Coke and a side of potato and cheese varenikes, served with fried onions and sour cream.

3864, boul. Saint-Laurent, 514-843-8126,

05 Big in Japan

The atmosphere and hidden-gem aspect make this my favourite bar. You feel like you're in Lost in Translation. The cocktails are delicious, especially the French 75, made with cava and gin.

4175, boul. Saint-Laurent, 438-380-5658

06 General 54

When I discovered this store, I started to wear dresses all the time; they're so comfy and easy to dress up with a fancy pair of shoes. It's full of Montreal designers, including one of my go-tos, Birds of North America.

5145, boul. Saint-Laurent, 514-271-2129,



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