My Food Travels – Summer Getaway 2018 to Montreal, QC

Hi everyone,

Welcome back to my sweet dairyfree blog!!! It’s been a very hectic & busy but fun summer and I can’t believe it’s already end of September and it’s officially Fall now!!! Where did the summer go? Can’t believe how fast summer went!! There were many events and things happening in August so unfortunately I didn’t even have time to share them with you all some of the amazing moments and times during my fun and busy month of August. From food festivals to watching live tennis to going to the beach (many days) to day trips and lastly to my summer getaway to Montreal at end of the month.

It was one of my busiest summers ever for me and now I’m actually looking forward to be more focused on this blog & working on it before the busy Holidays in December. How was everyone’s summer?? What was your fave part of your summer for 2018?? I hope everyone enjoyed this year really humid summer days even though at times I wish it was cooler lol!! With some warm Fall weather, you can still always enjoy dairy free desserts and here are some of my previous blogs for some suggestions:

4th Feature – Food Travels in Montreal, Quebec

This is my 4th Feature for my Food Travels if you haven’t read my previous ones, you should definitely check them out here as some of the food adventures places that I have travelled include Kingston and London, ON.

I love travelling to new cities or towns to explore and discover new bakeries and restaurants along with the sights and attractions in a new city or town whether it is in Ontario or in Canada or USA. I love sharing my discovery with my readers.

The Old Charming City of Montreal, QC

Marche Bonsecours in the Old Port

I travelled to Montreal, QC for my summer getaway as a last minute trip for a personal event so of course while I’m there you know I love my dairyfree and vegan desserts so it is not surprise that I had to check out a few bakeries in Montreal as Montreal is known for delicious and amazing foods and yes even vegan foods and had to share them with you guys while I was on vacation. This is not my 1st visit to Montreal as I been to Montreal a few times over the last few years but haven’t been since 2015 for the Food Bloggers of Canada conference.

If you haven’t been to Montreal before, it is the largest city in Canada’s Québec province and set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mount Royal because of it’s triple peaked hill in the middle of the city. What brings the old charming feel to the city of Montreal is the architecture and cobbled streets in Old Montreal, which has been maintained or restored by the city, it is a historic area southeast of the downtown area with many attractions including the Old Port of Montreal, Place Jacques-Cartier, Montreal City Hall, the Bonsecours Market, Place d’Armes, the Notre-Dame de Montreal Basilica and more!!

Montreal is a big, busy, exhilarating city, with so much to see and do from their entertaining nightlife on popular streets like Saint Catherine and Crescent Street filled with lots of variety of restaurants, bars and clubs to Montreal’s fashionable shopping districts and then of course, Montreal’s amazing food with a large variety of different tastes around the world for everyone! Montreal also offers a diversity of recreational activities from the many parks to explore in Montreal like Mount Royal or going to the Casino de Montréal or going to the Botanical Garden or going to music festivals and more to name just a few activities that Montreal has to offer.

As you can see, Montreal is a big and exciting city to explore with many things to do and see that I always love coming back to do different things that I haven’t done before or explore back to the places I been to that I love seeing again like the Old Port while enjoying their old and charming city feel when I return.

My Experience

My delicious dairy free lunch on the VIA Rail train

I travelled to Montreal by VIA Rail train as I enjoy taking the train as it’s the most comfortable and easiest way for me to travel to another city. Travelling by train is affordable and great low prices too. I usually travel the train under the Business class as I love the comfortable of spacious seating and delicious meals esp for longer journey like to Montreal. It’s a great way to travel as you don’t have to worry about the traffic and you get to rest comfortable to get to your destination. I highly recommend travelling by train within Ontario, Quebec and even further cities, it’s a great way to explore Canada.

I stayed at the new Holiday Inn & Suites Montreal Centre-ville Ouest hotel, which is located in the heart of Montreal’s business district. Within walking distance from CGI and WSP corporate offices, Concordia University, the CIBC Tower, Mary-Queen-of-the-World Cathedral, Place Ville-Marie, Place Bonaventure and more!!

It is one block away from both St-Catherine Street, which is known for it’s street of shops and restaurants and Crescent Street, well known for it’s nightlife, bars and restaurants.

It is a great downtown location as it is close to a Metro station for easy access to get around the city by transit. Some of the amenities include: panoramic indoor salted pool, the state-of-the-art fitness center and Le Restaurant Crossbar.

The lobby beautiful lights

It was my 1st time staying at the Holiday Inn & Suites Montreal Centre-ville Ouest hotel and loved it!! It is one of the newer hotels located in the heart of downtown. The design and interior of the hotel is modern and beautifully updated along with a spacious size King bedroom that I stayed in with city views. The staff at this hotel was very friendly and helpful to me when I needed directions or restaurant suggestions around the area. Only con I found about this hotel is that at the moment there is a huge construction going on around the area so it was a bit hard to navigate to get to the actual hotel from the Metro as it was also in the under construction area as they are working on a new building and fixing few things. Once completed it would look great and easier to walk around.

Otherwise, I was very impressed with this Holiday Inn & Suites Centre-ville in Montreal definitely a very sophisticated and modern 4-star hotel and most important is that it was a very clean hotel. I also had time to enjoy their beautiful and large pool during my stay. I highly recommend if you are in Montreal to stay at this amazing hotel as it is close to a lot of attractions in Montreal!!

My 3 Fave Dairy Free Dessert Places To Visit in Montreal

When visiting a new city I love discovering new dairy free bakeshops, despite having been to Montreal already this is my 1st visit to Montreal on my dairy free diet as I haven’t been to Montreal in a few years now. Check out below my 3 Fave Dairy Free Dessert / Bakeshops in Montreal and why I love them.

1) Creperie du Marché

If you love crepes like me, I was so excited to find a crepe place called, Creperie du Marché that makes organic dairy free, gluten free buckwheat crepes that is located in the heart of the Jean Talon Market. Jean Talon Market is a large farmer’s market in Montreal, which is located in the Little Italy district. It is open year-round and yes even in the winter where about 300 vendors mostly farmers from Montreal sell their local produces from meat, fish, cheese, fruits, vegetables and more along with stores offering baked goods and more!

Creperie du Marché offers their French cuisine to their healthy gluten free buckwheat crepes using organic and local products in Montreal to make one of the best dairy free buckwheat crepes I ever had!! They offer a good selection of crepes from savoury to sweet crepes with breakfast types like ham, apple and cheese to vegetarian/vegan crepes like spinach, tomato, egg and cheese to sweet crepes like apples, pears, caramel and whipped cream to name a few from their menu. Besides crepes, they also offer drinks such as coffee, organic tea, juices, sparkling cider and more.

I decided to try their special summer buckwheat crepe, which consists of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries topped with sugar icing, which was added for my crepe as it was originally with maple syrup. The buckwheat crepe was delicious, moist and tasty, I loved it!!! I love the summer fruits – strawberries, raspberries and blueberries on top making it taste like summer in my mouth!!

Also great and friendly customer service at Creperie du Marché as if you had an allergy that you can let them know and they can accommodate you. If you are looking for a healthy gluten free and dairy free buckwheat crepe with a variety of toppings available from savoury to sweet to vegetarian then I definitely recommend you check out Creperie du Marché.

For more information on Creperie du Marché, please see below:
Check out their website -> click here
You can follow them on their Social Media networks, Facebook @Creperiedumarche and Instagram @Creperiedumarche.
2) Ca Lem

A definitely must visit when in Montreal looking for freshly made ice creams, sorbets and homemade soft serve swirls with vegan options is Ca Lem. Ca Lem is located in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) a residential neighborhood of Montreal in the West end on Sherbrooke Street. It wasn’t too far to travel from the downtown area by Metro to visit Ca Lem as it was definitely worth the trip.

Ca Lem is a cozy, charming and cute shop with bright interior design of benches to sit while the outside of the shop feels like a backyard home with fake grass though with benches and beautiful flowers surrounding the area. Ca Lem has Instagram worthy shots spots inside their cozy shop set up to take photos of your ice cream, if it isn’t melting yet lol…like mines was lol!! I instantly fell in love with their cozy and brightly designed shop!! The staff at the shop are very friendly and very helpful about the types of ice cream, sorbets and soft serve available esp for people like me that is dairy free.

They offer 18 delightful flavours of creamy to fruity, hard to soft, or even a mix of ice cream, sorbets to soft serve along with some exotic flavours. I love the variety of options that they have here for both dairy free and with dairy. They also update on a weekly basis with their flavours and esp the homemade soft-serve duos!! I love that they change it up every week with the soft-serve duos but only wish I could enjoy them as well as they are only one side is dairy free. Would love for them to incorporate more dairy free options. They also offer pints to take home with you so that is great to enjoy at home.

I was happy to have made it to Ca Lem after the rainstorm that day in Montreal and there’s no better way than after the rain to enjoy a sweet treat. I decided on 2 sorbet flavours the Mango and Strawberry Lychee, it was delicious!! I love the light and flavourful of the sorbets!!! It was still hot that day despite the rain so my sorbet was melting a bit so it was hard to get the photos so sorry my photos I am sharing with you guys my sorbet looks like it’s melting lol!!

I highly recommend this cozy and cute ice cream, sorbet and soft serve shop in Montreal!! It is definitely worth the trip with their friendly customer service and a variety of delicious and different flavours available. They are closing for the season end of September and possible few dates open in October I heard so definitely if you can check them out and enjoy a sweet dairy free sorbet before the end of season, I love my sorbets anytime and any season though!! You can check out their Instagram as they do a lot of updates on their IG stories for what flavours they have available each week and they also update about their hours. I look forward to checking them out again on my next Montreal visit!!

For more information on Ca Lem, please see below:
Check out their website -> click here
You can follow them on their Social Media networks, Facebook @Calemmontreal and Instagram @Calemcreamery.
3) Cookie Stéfanie

I’m happy to share with you a new gluten free, dairy free and egg free bakery in downtown Montreal in the Old Port area called: Cookie Stéfanie. They first opened the bakery in 2012 created by Stéfanie Poulin and continued to grow successfully offering the best gluten-free products and partnered and is now headed by Marie-Claude Huard, a cookie industry veteran and who first created the 1st gluten-free cupcakes in Montreal.

Cookie Stéfanie offers a variety of gluten free baked goods with some baked goods that are also dairy free and egg free from their famous cupcakes to muffins, cookies, cakes, brownies, and grilled cheese sandwiches. As well they offer specialty drinks such as coffee, espresso, latte, chai latte, cappuccino, tea and juices. They also offer light lunch options such as fresh salads and soup bowls.

It was a cozy and modern bakery with a decent area for sitting to enjoy your baked goods. Great customer service from the staff who was knowledgeable and friendly to assist me with what is available of baked goods that they had.

With so many choices, it was hard for me to decide but I decided on 1 Vanilla cupcake with Raspberry frosting and 2 mini cupcakes both Vanilla but one with Raspberry frosting and the other one is caramel frosting as well as a Blueberry Cranberry gluten free muffin. It was nice to have these delicious gluten free and dairy free treats to bring on the train with me home and enjoyed one of the cupcakes on my train ride home. It was delicious as the cake of the cupcake was moist and the frosting wasn’t too sweet.

I would definitely recommend Cookie Stéfanie if you are in the Montreal area of the Old Port if you are looking for delicious, sweet and gluten free cupcakes along with their variety of selection of baked goods is another great reason to stop by yourself to see why I love this bakery! I’m excited to return to this bakery on my next visit to Montreal and happy to know where I can get gluten free and dairy free cupcakes!!

For more information on Cookie Stéfanie, please see below:
Check out their website -> click here
You can follow them on their Social Media networks, Facebook @CookieStefanieSG and Instagram @CookieStefanie.

Exploring Montreal

As I was in Montreal for a short getaway for the summer, I wish I had more time to explore more of Montreal as there are still parts of Montreal I haven’t seen. During my short visit, I got to do some shopping on popular Saint Catherine Street and Montreal Eaton Centre. I also got to enjoy the charming cobberstone streets of the Old Port and rode the La Grande Roue Montreal where I saw the city of Montreal from the highest views. As you can see, I also enjoyed a lot of delicious and dairy free desserts and foods while in Montreal. I can’t wait for my next visit to Montreal already to explore more!!

The Clock Tower

Update

Don’t forget to stay connected with me for the latest updates on my next blog post through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and follow along on my foodie adventures with my IG stories on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

If you are planning to visit Montreal or live within the area of Montreal, if you are looking for delicious, dairy free, gluten free desserts, check out my 3 Fave Dairy Free Dessert Places/Bakeshops that include: Creperie du Marché in Jean-Talon Market, Ca Lem, and Cookie Stéfanie in the Old Montreal area. I highly recommend these 3 amazing and unique dairy free and gluten free dessert places that you definitely won’t be disappointed. They will satisfy your sweet cravings while in Montreal!!

As we are officially in the Fall season and soon to have colder weather, I’m off on my next foodie adventure on a search for a warmer dairy free dessert place for the colder days ahead!!! Stay warm or cool depending on this Fall season everyone, I’m ready for sweater weather, seeing the beautiful colourful leaves and of course the yummy apple warm desserts and apple ciders!! 🍁🍂🍎🍑🍰☕🚂

-Sweet B.

For more information on Montreal Tourism, please see below:

Montreal Tourism Official Website -> click here

You can follow them on their Social Media networks, Facebook @Montreal, Twitter @Montreal and Instagram @Montreal.

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Happy 4 Year Blog Anniversary!!!

Hi everyone,

On this day, February 23 back in 2014, is when I first started my sweet dessert blog! Wow I can’t believe it’s been 4 years now since I started this blog and it has grown so much from where I have started!! With each year that passes, my blog continues to grow and expand sharing my love for dairy free desserts, food events and travel.

I started this blog to share with everyone my love for food and more particularly my love for desserts and sweets. I couldn’t imagine where it would have taken me as I started out blogging while I was working as an Admin to just last year leaving my full time Admin work to pursue and focus on my blog. I believe on pursuing my happiness and what I love doing more is with my blog rather that my full time work that was unfulfilling for my career goals. I’m in a much happier place now and staying focused & motivated through my love for desserts, food events and travel.

For those who don’t know, I am on a dairy free food diet due to my food sensitivities, which I only recently discovered early last year. I have incorporated my dairy free diet along with my blog as I found out that you can still enjoy desserts that are dairy free. I am still learning and discovering new dairy free foods and I love sharing them on my blog with you guys.

Me at last year’s Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2017

I like to thank Food Bloggers of Canada (official website) for assisting me with the blogging community. I joined Food Bloggers of Canada community late in 2014 to share and network with other Canadian bloggers as well as providing food blogging resources to assist me in the world of blogging as I was new to it and it’s a great group to be part of. I continue to learn, network and grow within this friendly and amazing food community.

Of course, I wouldn’t be here without my readers, so I would like to take this time to THANK YOU my sweet and amazing readers for letting me share my love for desserts, sweets, food events, and travel with you!! I look forward to bringing you more sweetness and foodie adventures for many years to come!!!

To celebrate my 4 Years Blog Anniversary, I stopped by a new bakery of course not a surprise right? 😉 I checked out Whisked Gluten-free Bakery located in Scarborough part of Toronto. Whisked Gluten-free Bakery offers a variety of baked goods that are gluten-free, dairy free, egg-free, soy-free options from cupcakes, macarons, bread, cookies, scones, muffins, pies, cakes and more. I love the variety that they offer!! Because I enjoy dairy free bake goods & desserts and they offer dairy free desserts, I was happy to discover this new cozy and friendly bakery in Scarborough, which is closer to home for me. There were so many different options for me to choose and it was like heaven for me to be there as I love sweets!! Great and friendly customer service by the staff there to be patient with me while I decided what yummy desserts and baked goods to choose.

From Whisked Gluten-free Bakery website more details about their products – “To make products that are allergy-friendly focusing specifically on Gluten Allergies and Intolerances. It is our goal to provide high quality Gluten-Free products made from the best ingredients that are great tasting, have a high nutritional content and are priced at a fair market value.”

What desserts did I ended up getting? I finally decided on delicious dairy free cupcakes – Strawberry and Vanilla cupcakes, 3 macarons – Strawberry, Passion Fruit & Cappuccino flavours, and my fave type of cookie – Oatmeal Raisin. My fave is definitely the dairy free Strawberry cupcake as the cake itself was moist and perfect amount of sweetness and surprise there was a fresh Strawberry filling inside the cupcake!! I loved it!! I love their beautiful frosting technique so pretty!! Check out the desserts below.

A closer look at the delicious dairy free macarons & Strawberry cupcake

If you haven’t heard or stopped by Whisked Gluten-free Bakery yet, I highly recommend you do as they offer some of the most delicious and made natural ingredients that are gluten-free, dairy free options desserts and baked goods in Scarborough. For full details more about Whisked Gluten-free Bakery, there will be a full blog post coming soon about this great bakery.

I’m looking forward to continuing to share my love for sweet dairy free desserts, food events, and foodie travel adventures with you all!! I hope that you will continue to join me in this foodie adventure discovering new bakeries, food events and food travelling so why not come along with me on my sweet journey!

Cheers to many more sweet adventures & years to come!! 🎉💕🍰🍩🍦🍜🌱✈

-Sweet B.

For more information about Whisked Gluten-free bakery, please see below:

Whisked Gluten-free bakery – website -> click here

You can follow them on their social media networks through Facebook @Whiskedglutenfree, Twitter @whiskedGF and Instagram @whiskedgf.