There are few experiences more satisfying than walking and eating your way around a new city. In fact, eating while exploring is one of our favorite activities here at Zen Travellers, and we have the worn shoes and belly bulges to prove it. Here are some guides to walking and eating in a few our favorite North American cities. Montreal, Chicago, and Mexico City are all cities with streets that are made for walking and eats that are sure to satisfy.
Mont Royal. Image via Flickr by GOC53
Forget Toronto. It’s Montreal that is Canada’s premier eating and walking destination. I love picking a neighborhood and spending the day there, enjoying the sights on foot, and dining on the city’s diverse cuisine. While the fine dining in Old Town is not to be missed, the Plateau is where Montreal truly shines. Grab pastries and coffee at any of the hip coffee shops for breakfast, and then work it off with a trip up Mont Royal to take in a panoramic view of the city.
Afterward, you can either brave the lineups at the famous Schwartz’s Deli for a smoked meat sandwich for lunch or stock up on fresh meat, cheese, and bread at the Jean-Talon Market and make your own. Spend the afternoon shopping, and then for dinner, enjoy one of the many restaurants that showcase Montreal’s incredible diversity. My favorites include the Tunisian cuisine at Restaurant les Deux Oliviers and Venezuelan fare at Arepera du Plateau. Finish your evening at Reservoir for some delicious craft beers. If you stay out too late, as it’s easy to do in Montreal, complete your culinary experience with poutine from La Banquise and regret nothing.
Mexico City, Mexico
Al fresco. Image via Flickr by aljuarez
This one is purely aspirational. We have heard such good things about Mexico City’s public art and food scene that it ranks high up on our bucket list as a place we’d like to walk, eat, and drink our way around. Until then, we recommend reading this comprehensive guide to Mexico City to help you eat your way around the city.
Cloud Gate. Image via Flickr by Sergey Gabdurakhmanov
The Windy City is another destination that offers great sightseeing and good eats. Start your day in the Wicker Park area, where you can enjoy a tasty, boozy brunch in Handlebar’s back garden. From there, take the train downtown to the 360 Chicago observation deck or have a drink at the Signature Lounge, where you can enjoy a breathtaking and expansive view of the city below.
Walk around and enjoy some of the city’s incredible public art. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dine on some famous Chicago deep dish pizza at Giordano’s. Walk it off along the waterfront and spend the afternoon at the free Lincoln Park Zoo. Once you’re ready for the nightlife, head over to Kingston Mines for barbecue and blues music. If you need a late-night snack, be sure to grab a Chicago-style hot dog from The Wiener’s Circle.
If you’re looking for some underrated dining destinations that are also a pleasure to explore on foot, consider visiting Montreal, Chicago, or Mexico City on your next trip.