All posts by Sherel Purcell

Discover Montreal’s Best Shopping for Foodies

Discover Montreal’s best shopping for foodies. Spade & Palacio Tours will show you the best places to buy and try all things edible in the north end of Montreal.

Good friends Danny Pavlopoulos and Anne-Marie Pellerin met in a Montreal tour guide course. And upon graduation, they decided to form their own company, Spade & Palacio.

Ever since then, they’ve educated visitors and native Montrealers alike on the very best food products available in their ‘hood: the Mile End and Mile X section of the city.

Pavlopoulos and Pellerin want their clients to walk away with a true local experience. So how do they select the stops for their tour?

“The selected locations are actually our favorite hangouts. We have spent hours in each of them enjoying their products. We call them our living rooms. The products are the best in their league, hands down,” says Pavlopoulos.

The lively three-hour tour starts with the best pupusas in the Latin Quarter at Salvadorian restaurant Los Planes and finishes with a picnic meal of Southern barbecue from Triple Crown at Parc de la Petite-Italie at the junction of St Laurent and St. Zotique in the north end of Montreal.

Les Bonnes Tomates du Quebec
Les Bonnes Tomates photo credit: John Cameron

In between, there’s serious food shopping at the Jean-Talon Market and surrounding areas.

“We show our guests around the way we would with a friend from out of town. We are proud to be part of only a handful of tour companies that share this ideology in the city,” adds Pavlopoulos. “We aim to teach and to share our neighborhood experiences with our guests.”

Since 1934, the Jean-Talon Market has supplied Montreal with fresh Quebec products and specialty items from around the world. Jean-Talon Market is open every day, year-round.

Visitors will find a variety of produce (including organic and pesticide-free items); flowers and fine herbs; fish and meat; and ice cream and sorbet made with local fresh fruits like sweet Quebec strawberries.

Delicious barbecued lamb, pork and chicken sandwiches as well as bison on a stick, makes the market a great lunch destination.

The Jean-Talon Market is also a great spot to sample Quebec wines and ciders around a cozy outdoor bar that allows for great people watching.

Danny Palacio of Spade & Palacio
Danny Palacio (on left) photo credit: Sherel Purcell

At the Jean-Talon Market, participants will meet unique vendors such as the “Sausage Pimp,” who produces tasty items like shrimp and scallop sausages.

Spade & Palacio can also show how to get the best deals on produce by shopping the back lanes of the stalls for bulk sales on produce that can be whipped into hearty soups and sauces to be frozen for later use.

Brasserie Harricana
Brasserie Harricana

At nearby Brasserie Harricana, guests discover a variety of tasty microbrews served with a spicy take on the famous French fry and cheese curd dish: poutine.

A short walk away into the light industrial area of Mile X, visitors can buy vacuum-packed bags of fair trade Ethiopian, Peruvian and Columbian beans from Dispatch Coffee , used in their excellent cold filtered brew.

Down the street, check out Manitoba restaurant, where the dinner menu changes frequently, based on the fresh and wild food items available – as it should be in a restaurant that prioritizes natural ingredients sourced locally.

These are all served in a cool redesigned space with an inviting patio attached that focuses on the great outdoors.

Rest assured that Spade & Palacio will show you the very best food products available in their ‘hood.

Top Resorts in Palm Beach County

If your perfect Palm Beach Florida vacation features a range of surf and turf activities, we have the ideal resorts for you. These properties offer everything from snorkeling amidst sunken ships to historical tours on beach cruisers to waterside golf.

You’ll find ample opportunities for paddleboard and surfing lessons, state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor fitness facilities and even a 15-mile jogging trail along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The Breakers
The Breakers photo credit: John Cameron

Inspired by the Italian villas of the 1400s, The Breakers Palm Beach is run by descendants of founder Henry Flagler. Guests can do a free, two-hour cycling tour of local historical sites.

Golfers will love the challenging Rees-Jones course, the oldest 18-hole course in Florida. Dating from 1896, the Ocean Course sits on 140 acres overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, adjacent to the 540-room Breakers Hotel.

The Breakers Clubhouse
The Breakers Clubhouse photo credit: John Cameron

After the round, guests head to the Flagler Steakhouse upstairs in the golf clubhouse for excellent steak and seafood dishes.

The Breakers Pool
The Breakers Pool photo credit: John Cameron

Gym enthusiasts appreciate the contemporary 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor oceanfront fitness center, while all can enjoy the 20,000-square-foot spa, Mediterranean-style beach club overlooking one-half mile of private beach, four swimming pools, five whirlpool spas, 10 lighted tennis courts and an extensive program of family activities including water sports.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa photo credit:John Cameron

The Eau Resort offers free beach cruisers so guests can cycle three miles north to golf along the ocean and the Intracoastal at the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course.

Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course
Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course photo credit:John Cameron

The helpful water sports staff can arrange fishing trips or set you up with paddle boards, kayaks and catamarans to explore the marine life or improve your sailing skills.

Divers can see the old A1A highway, 30 feet below the surface, while snorkeling kids can discover schools of fish closer to shore. There’s an Aquanuts program for children ages five to 12 and a COAST Teens Program for ages 13 to 17.

An onsite tennis pro offers lessons on three Har-Tru clay courts, while a state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with personal trainers, offers spinning, yoga and Pilates classes.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa
The Seagate Hotel & Spa photo credit: John Cameron

The Seagate Hotel and Spa in Delray Beach is a gold-certified Leed property boasting five beautiful aquariums, including a shark tank. At their ocean club, guests can take a guided snorkeling tour to sunken ships or explore the area in single or double kayaks, paddleboards or rent masks and fins.

Golfers enjoy a private country club featuring an 18-hole Joe Lee-designed championship course and eight Har-Tru tennis courts, a fitness center and a pool.

Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
Marriott Singer Island Palm Beach photo credit: John Cameron

A key feature of the Marriott Palm Beach Singer Island is the grotto-style, heated outdoor Lagoon Pool with a two-story waterfall and water slide. Guests congregate here on Friday evenings for the popular dive-in movies on the resort’s big-screen. Beach volleyball and morning meditation classes round out the group activities.

3800 Ocean is the signature restaurant at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island.  It’s always a treat when the chef takes away your menu and says, leave it to me. Chef Sergio Rivera presented us with a delicious starter of plump Wellfleet oysters, dredged in a breaded coating, fried and presented in their shell, followed by a duck breast au jus on black olive risotto and a sea bass wrapped in prosciutto, perfectly paired with a California chardonnay.

At the water sport rentals desk, you can book a pedal boat tour to nearby Burnt Ridge or sign out a motorboat to explore the waters on your own.

Waterstone Resort & Marina
Waterstone Resort & Marina photo credit: John Cameron

In Boca Raton, the Waterstone Resort and Marina, popular with boaters, has 139 guest rooms with private balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway or Lake Boca.

The polished chrome against whitewashed teak wood millwork both indoors and out creates a seamless transition between the main floor and waterfront promenade. Easy access to water activities on all three include reef snorkeling trips, fishing charters, boat rentals, surfing lessons, jet skis, ocean kayaks and paddleboards.

The Boca Raton Resort & Club’s award-winning amenities include two 18-hole championship golf courses, 30 tennis courts, seven pools, a 32-slip marina with full fishing and boating facilities and a half-mile of private beach with water sports and family activities.

Previously published on USA Today 10 Best