Credit: Tourisme Montreal/Stephan Poulin

Montreal, where there are 5,000 cafes and dining is a requirement not an option, has one of the biggest gay village areas in North America, stretching out along Ste Catherine Street East between Rue Berri and Papineau. During the summer months the roadway is closed to traffic creating a pedestrian friendly festival type of atmosphere. The apportez-votre-vin (bring your own wine) option adds to the joie-de-vivre of dining, and there are five such restaurants within The Village that have embraced this culture.

O’Thym offers classic French cuisine, while Mozza is a cozy date spot with wood oven baked pizzas, fresh pastas and a large selection of homemade sauces. Uchi serves up mouth-watering sushi and Szechuan dishes, and for a unique and entertaining experience check out Couscoussiere Ali Baba for delectable Moroccan and Tunisian dishes accompanied by a live belly dancing showcase on weekends. As well, Steak Frites is a Montreal chain that serves up awesome steak and fries as the name implies.

The lively and boisterous DJ thumping confines of Saloon offer an amazing recovery brunch for those who may have indulged a bit too much the night before. The Nuvu Bistro Experiences will leave your taste buds dancing with freshly created nouveau cuisine selections, while Chez Ma Grosse Truie Cherie serves up traditional Quebec favourites at communal tables that are perfect for dining with friends or making new ones. Night owls flock to Resto du Village and the multi-level Le Club Sandwich, both open 24 hours, while strictly morning buffs get their fix at Chez Cora.

International options include Bato Thai with a large selection of reasonably priced authentic dishes. Le Planéte offers an eclectic global cuisine that seeks inspiration from the four corners of the world, and L’Amalfitana brings you the best of traditional southern Italian cuisine.

For those daring enough to visit Montreal in the depths of winter, January is when the Happening Gourmand event takes place offering a wide selection of affordable prix-fixe menus at many top end restaurants. As well, summertime brings not one, but two separate Pride celebrations: Divers/Cité happens July 30 to August 5 and is focused on entertainment and circuit-type party events, while Fierté/Montreal Pride takes place August 13 to 19 with a parade and community engagement type events.

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