As Montreal days become shorter, colder, and busier, it’s becoming more and more appealing to spend free time hunkered down on the couch participating in some solo Netflix-and-chill action.
While this is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your day, it means that we need to take advantage of the dwindling time we can spend outside. What a better way to celebrate the changing seasons than a trip to a local farmer’s market for some fresh fall goodies? Here’s why Montreal’s Jean-Talon is the perfect place to venture out to this fall.
1. Gorge Yourself on Free Samples
If you can manage metro fare to Jean-Talon station, the market offers enough samples to cover, like, 3 meals worth of food, if you play your cards right. A little goat cheese on a cracker, a sausage here and there— that all makes for a pretty balanced meal if you ask me. Disclaimer: you WILL, however, be tempted to buy everything you try. You’ve been warned.
2. Support Local Vendors
October is local food month for Spoon University, and Quebec has a lot to offer, particularly in the fall months. Jean-Talon and other farmers markets in Montreal are the most direct (and delectable) way to support local growers and sellers. The market offers incredibly scrumptious yet wallet-friendly pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, and TONS more to really get you in the spirit of fall.
3. Impress Guests with Fancy Speciality Food Items
Let’s face it, a major part of the college experience is trying to appear more put together than you really are. Look super cultured by stocking up on artisanal Quebec cheese, olive oil, and splurge-worthy wine, all perfect for when guests visit. Trust me, some of your friends probably haven’t seen a classy spread in weeks, maybe months- this is your chance to impress.
4. Try a Litany of Culturally Diverse Products
Montreal is one of the most diverse areas in Canada, and the cultural variance is reflected heavily in the food available at Jean-Talon. Indulge in a savory or sweet crepe from the classically-Quebec Creperie du Marche, try egg rolls and homemade soup from Delices d’Asie, or head to Balkani for some Mici, the Romanian version of a hot dog. The possibilities are drool-worthy.
5. Free wifi
Montreal’s oldest market is stayin’ hip with the youth in the best way it can: free wifi. As you wind through Jean Talon’s vibrant, raucous crowds, wifi makes all of your instagramming, snapchatting, and hashtagging needs possible. What more could you ask for, really?
6. Buy a Hanging Plant for Your Kitchen
The dreaded winter months are quickly approaching—dreary, sub-zero temperatures often make venturing outside pretty darn unappealing for students. Houseplants offer a nice little oasis from the bleak wasteland outside, and Jean-Talon’s many horticulturists make finding cheap, unique plants easy and fun.
7. Get Your Hands On Super Cheap ‘On It’s Way Out’ Food
While Jean-Talon is already a pretty cheap alternative to grocery stores, the really thrifty among us will be happy to know that venders often sell produce that is past its prime at low prices. No joke, I’ve found perfectly salvageable heirloom tomatoes there for 4-for-1$. Crazy stuff. Check the backside of individual stands for these products, or ask one of the vendors for help.
8. Check Out the Cute Perimeter Restaurants
Surrounding Jean-Talon are dozens of cute permanent restaurants, all of which offer prepared meals to devour while you take in the market. In line with Jean-Talon’s standards for diverse, local, fresh food, the restaurants have everything from tacos (El Rey Del Taco) to locally brewed pour-over coffee (Café Saint-Henri) all within the boundaries of the market.
9. Take a Break from Tourist Hotspots
As far as weekend outings go, it’s often hard to find one that is untouched by tourists, especially during Montreal’s gorgeous fall months. If you want a true Montreal experience hanging with locals, forgo Old Port and head to Jean-Talon Market. You can check out more information on Jean-Talon and Montreal’s many other amazing farmer’s markets on their super helpful website here.
Hopefully, this inspired you to get on over to Jean-Talon for some mouthwatering fall food ASAP. Though it’s tempting to stay snuggled in your blankets as the weather gets colder, trust me- Netflix is WAY better when paired with fancy cheese.