Montreal Weekender: August 19th through 21st, 2011

Divided from Mile End and the Plateau by Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks, this neighbourhood sprouted in the early 20th century. Immigrants began flocking to this open land area where they could build homes and plant gardens, many of them hailing from Rome and northward. As a result, Little Italy was formed and today it is one of the most notable areas in the city to live, eat, and shop for food in the city. We’re bringing you you a Weekend in Little Italy: Where to eat and where to shop and what to do to put a bit of an Italian spin on your weekend.

Friday Night
After a long, hard week of work, gather some close friends, or a hot date, and head over to Pizzeria Napoletana (189 Dante), which, founded in 1948, quickly became and has remained a friendly neighbourhood pizzeria, serving authentic thin crust pizzas Naples style. This is a bring your own wine spot, so make sure to pick out a few of your favourite bottles and spend the evening drinking and dining.

Although not Italian, Deli Joe (7143 Saint-Dominique) is one of the yummiest brunch/lunch spots in the area. Start your day off here with a delicious brunch (try their Eggs Benedict with Montreal Smoked Meat). Take a stroll around the neighbourhood, maybe rent a Bixi Bike or two, and lay out at Little Italy Park. Grab a shot of Italian-style espresso at Caffe Italia (6840 Saint Laurent), head home to nap, and then end your wonderful Little Italy day at Vinizza (150 Jean Talon West), a wine bar (aka enoteca) which serves up heavily-sauced pastas and an interesting variety of lesser-known Italian wines.

Spend the day at the Jean-Talon Market. Leave the whole day for this to get the full experience. Three hundred truck farmers from across Quebec bring their goods to Jean-Talon and it is worthwhile to explore as much as you can. Stop by any one of the numbers of Halal butchers and pick up some bread and have lunch outside. By the end of the day, your stomachs will be full, your shopping bags overflowing, and you will be ready to tackle the new week ahead!