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Plateau, Montréal

Montréal , Québec
Canada's insider take:

The Plateau, just north of downtown, is the pumping heart of Montréal bohemianism. A tableland adjacent to the city's namesake mountain, Mount Royal, it's a mélange of doe-eyed university students, elderly Francophones, and budding yuppies, all of whom cross paths on St. Laurent Boulevard and St. Denis Street. Unlike in other major metropolises, affordable rents allow for this socioeconomic melting pot, although newcomers are finding out fast that the city isn't as cheap as it used to be. A promenade along Duluth Avenue, with its knickknack-filled antique stores and Portuguese cafés, such as Chez José, is a perfect way to spend a mellow afternoon (173 Duluth Ave. E.; 514-845-0693). The Plateau is also where you'll find L'Express bistro and Martin Picard's Au Pied de Cochon.

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