Montreal Favorites #2

Photo credit: L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal.

Montreal Favorites #2

Only five short months left until the conference! Keeping last month’s tips from Mundial Montréal’s own Déborah Cognet in mind, we now present the words and wisdom of Cécile Doo-Kingué giving some stellar advice on where to eat, sleep, look, and listen in this edition of Montréal Favorites.

With four albums released to critical acclaim, award-winning Cécile Doo-Kingué has made a name as one of Canada’s finest guitarists and singer-songwriters. The NYC-born Montréaler has toured Canada and abroad, sharing the stage with such icons as the Montréal Jubilation Choir, Canned Heat, John Prine, Angelique Kidjo, and Blind Boys Of Alabama.

Check out what Cécile Doo-Kingué has to say, and be sure to take special comfort in her little known fact!

Favorite restaurant : Quartier général. Great food and service, and it’s a BYOB. Kamela Couscous: the chicken is off the hook. Tsak Tsak: great brunch menu & they understand what hot sauce is supposed to taste like.

Favorite music venue: Dièse Onze: great music, food and atmosphere; top notch musicianship every night. Same goes for Café Resonance:  great music, great vegan options on menu, owned by badass musicians. Grumpy’s: home of Chick Pickin’ Mondays; great spot to discover singer-songwriters. O Patro Vys & Lion d’Or are the best sounding rooms to my ears, Quai des Brumes (a must), Balattou (one of the last bastions of ’tropical’ sounds in the city), for bigger shows, Club Soda.

Favorite neighborhood: Le Plateau. Even with all the orange cones, street closures and direction changes…

Favorite building: Oratoire St-Joseph. I have a thing for imposing places of worship. Inside and out, this sucker is impressive. Simply beautiful. I dare you to run up the stairs…

Favorite festival: Journées de la culture. Culture should be accessible to everyone. For 3 days you get free access to museums, etc. across the province. Nuits d’Afrique, Vues d’Afrique, Folk On The Canal, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, et al…

Favorite tourist attraction: Lookout above McGill University at night. Old port at night still rocks my boat.

Favorite thing to do to keep warm: go check out live music in one of the places mentioned above. Daytime: have a spa day at Le Saint-Jude on St-Denis, especially the rooftop hot tubs…

Favorite local celebrity: Hollywood. Catch him outside of Grumpy’s with his banana. Priceless….

Favorite hidden/ secret spot: I can keep a secret…

Favorite Montréal bagel: Let the Mile-Enders fight it out. I like ‘em all. This coming from a native New Yorker. Just sayin’…

Favorite little known fact:  For those of you intimidated by the “language barrier”: you don’t need to speak French to live  or visit here. So long as you make an effort to acknowledge you’re in a francophone city, folks will generally be good to you. You’d be amazed how far ‘bonjour’ can get you…

Favorite Montréal food: Smoked meat. Extra fat. Or Boustan… Does that count? It is one of our best ‘help me not have a hangover’ foods… haha!

The best reason to visit Montréal is? Its cultural cocktail and diversity are unlike anything you’ll find in other Canadian cities. Not with our edge anyway… 😉 And we are ‘bon-vivants’.

What makes Montréal home? Its diversity and laid-backness. Also, we speak Franglish like nobody’s business…

What is the heart of Montréal? Montréalers