10 Spots to check out that you can only find in the West Island
July 7, 2021 | Par Karina Tioseco
There are a couple of activities you can enjoy as a family or socially distanced with friends as the weather gets warmer. As a long-time West Island resident, here are ten spots to check out while you're in the area:
1. Smokebox Fumoir & BBQ, Pierrefonds
Every time a friend of mine passes by the West Island, there is always one spot I ALWAYS recommend that they check out: Smokebox. In my opinion, they serve the best mac & cheese in Montreal! Top it off with their beef brisket and it'll be the juiciest & tastiest thing you'll ever have. If you pass by during the weekend, I recommend calling in advance as they usually sell out of their briskets and mac and cheese by dinner time.
2. Centennial Park, Dollard-des-Ormeaux
I call this one the Central Park of the West Island, although it's not nearly as close to being as big as the New York staple itself. It's a very popular spot for picnics, relaxing & beach volleyball or other outdoor sports. There are several pathways around the lake in the park for you to walk or jog on as well.
3. Pâtisserie Fine chez Gaël, Dorval
A neighborhood favorite during the Holidays, this bakery serves delicious almond croissants & houses a small grocery section too. You can find some delicious pizza & ice cream spots right next door to this bakery along Lakeshore drive. You can also walk down towards the water to enjoy your coffee & pastry with views of the St. Lawrence river.
4. Cap St-Jacques Nature Park, Pierrefonds
A popular biking destination to locals, this park is also where people love to tan at the St-Jacques beach. There's also a parking lot if you decide to come by car to bring some beach or picnic gear. If you walk to the north side of the park until you reach the water, it's a well-known spot for sunset chasers to enjoy an obstacle-free view of the sun setting over the water.
5. Jukebox Burgers, Dollard-des-Ormeaux
With a newly revamped menu, this burger joint boasts a unique decor of a 70s diner theme. As per its name, it even has a jukebox for you to play actual some songs from - though I can assure you that they do have an updated selection of songs as well.
6. Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Boardwalk
During the Summer, this spot is very popular to West Island locals & boat fanatics. You can walk along the dock and sometimes catch people tanning partying on their boats. For non-boat owners like myself, you can simply dine at one of the few restaurants that have a terrasse with views facing the boardwalk. You can also grab sweet treats at Vivian Gelato or Icyvibes while you explore St-Anne street.
7. Cafexo Boutique, Vaudreuil-Dorion
I recently discovered this coffee shop this past Winter & I fell in love with their matcha lattes with pistachio essence. It's also a boutique for coffee lovers where you can purchase Monin syrups, espresso machines & other accessories. It's also across from the Baie de Vaudreuil, which is why I recommend taking your drink outside to enjoy the view or explore its surroundings.
8. Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park, Pierrefonds
Alternatively to Centennial Park, this one is about three times bigger & located next to highway 13. It's a great location for cross-country skiers during the wintertime but it also has a couple of trails for locals and dog walkers. One of the best things about the West Island is that there is free parking almost anywhere you go, which includes their parks.
9. Toasties, Pierrefonds
A long-time West Island staple, Toasties is known as one of the best spots for sandwiches. Grab one of their freshly made 8" or 12" subs to-go if you're in the mood for a quick lunch break & take it to one of the aforementioned parks above.
10. Wild Willy's, Pointe-Claire
Now here's the perfect way to end your day in the West Island. Grab yourself some ice cream from Wild Willy's in the Pointe-Claire village & walk towards the water to watch the sunset. There are a couple of benches & picnic tables as well but bring a picnic blanket in case (it's a popular spot) & don't forget bug spray because they can get really annoying when you're sitting by the water!