In recent years, word has spread about the creative and hip vitality that can be found in the Mile-Ex neighborhood of Montreal. Large numbers of artistic and creative young adults are flocking to the area, getting apartments and condos in Mile-Ex.
A quick look at this community easily explains the unique appeal of this community over the creative set of Montreal. The place is geographically nonlinear, with weird streets that don’t seem to have any logical foundations to its starts and dead ends. Signs for businesses aren’t prominent, so you need to be eagle-eyed to find them. The facades are deceiving, as average-looking garages may actually turn out to hide the hippest bar and dining clubs in the whole city.
Here are some places where the hipsters and creatives like to congregate. They’re among the reasons why the members of the artistic set are flocking to this area.
The whole area didn’t actually have a name that people agreed on. But it was the opening of the Restaurant Mile-Ex in 2012 that gave the place the name, which everyone subsequently used. This is actually just a small restaurant, but its artistic vibe is unmistakable. Instead of small tables for private parties, it offers three huge communal tables. It’s very homey due to the abstract paintings adorning the walls. It has an open kitchen, where they prepare the unique cuisine that seems to combine the cuisine of southern France with LA street food.
Ask the cool crowd, and Alexandraplatz is generally considered the coolest bar in the whole Montreal area. That may be surprising when you first set your sights on it from the outside, as it’s hidden behind a garage door of an old brewing factory.
It offers communal tables, with barbecue stations peopled by knowledgeable chefs. You can also find food trucks in some areas. Sit back and relax with new friends and old, while you enjoy the street murals and the setting of the sun behind old knitting factories. It’s like a summer backyard party that won’t end, even though it’s closed for the winter.
Hipsters and cool creatives are generally known for their unconventional hairstyles, and beards of every type are common as well. Most people of the Mile-Ex crowd get their hair and beards done at this place. The aesthetic is quite homey, you have vintage swivel chairs, and the barbers are themselves sporting beards and topknots. You get to enjoy an eclectic music playlist with synth new wave alongside 1950s jazz, while you sip your craft beer from a local brewery nearby.
Dépanneur Le Pick Up
This place has maintained the same aesthetic since the 1970s, so it really fits its name very well. After all, “dépanneur” is the Québécois word for their local neighborhood corner store, so it’s fitting that it has a Formica counter, fake wood panels along the wall, and shelves displaying combs and penny candies. It sells staples like eggs and milk, along with hipster options like burdock soda and honey from city beehives. Grab a swivel stool at the bar and enjoy a fantastic pulled pork sandwich, though you can also try the vegetarian version with fermented tofu skin.
Dinette Triple Crown
The sign for this place is easy to overlook, but if you can find it the first time you’ll certainly want to go back. They serve the finest Memphis-style Southern Barbecue in the city. It looks homey but there are no tables or chairs for you. Instead, you can grab a wicker basket of your delectable goodies and enjoy your mean in the park right across the street.
These places are just a few samples of the creative centers of Mile-Ex. It’s an exhilarating place for artists, and it’s why you can’t just visit. To get the full experience, you really have to live here full time.