Best Cabane a Sucre Experiences in the Montreal Area

What Makes Snow & Slush Bearable? Maple Syrup!

| Opinion

Top 5 sugar shack spots in Montreal

Embrace the holiday season

Right now, with the holiday season in full swing, the snowy weather feels festive and cozy. We’re all snuggling up with our hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire (even if it’s “Fireplace For Your Home” on Netflix), keeping our toes warm in fluffy socks and rediscovering our favourite chunky sweaters. Generally getting our hygge on!

But this is Montreal. And come January 2nd, we will all have had enough of the snow, ice and slush. And spring in Montreal? Well that’s just more slush and cold and nothing good.

Q/A : When does the sugar shack season start?

The sugar shack season starts in the end of February.

A lantern hanging from a ceiling of a wooden cabin

Sugaring off season is when the maple trees are tapped and syrup production begins! It’s a huge deal in Quebec where nearly ¾ of all the maple syrup in North America is produced.

The season lasts anywhere from the end of February to early May, making a visit to a cabane a sucre (or “sugar shack”, if you aren’t up on your franglais) the perfect way to get through those final, and very long, months of snow. Because let’s face it. What’s cozier than pancakes, bacon, ham, baked beans, tourtière, pudding chomeur and tiny hot dogs in maple syrup, enjoyed in a classic cabane a sucre in the woods?

But many of them book up fast and it’s a good idea to book your reservations sooner than later.

what is sugaring off

(Disclaimer for non-Quebecers: ‘Sugaring off’ is a real thing. We promise, we didn’t just shout weird obscenities at you. Please keep reading!)

So get ready to sugar off! … Here are our top 5 picks for the best cabane a sucres near Montreal.

1. Vergers & Cidrerie Denis Charbonneau

Vergers Denis Charbonneau is actually an apple orchard and crêperie where the crêperie serves exclusively cabane a sucre fare from March to April.

They do almost no advertising. In fact, you’ll only find a small mention of it on their website. But that’s probably because they don’t need to advertise. The food and location are just so amazing that word of mouth alone seems to be enough to keep people coming.

Located in scenic Mont-Saint-Grégoire, Charbonneau also features a mini farm, walking trails, play areas for children and horse drawn rides. While you’re there, you can also book yourself a tasting at the onsite cider brewery or check out the store for a variety of local and homemade goodies.

When it isn’t sugaring off season, you can also visit Charbonneau for fall apple and pumpkin picking, to enjoy traditional Breton crepes, or to book your next large group event.

Read our detailed article on Vergers & Cidrerie Denis Charbonneau

2. Lalande

Lalande is a stunning, family run cabane a sucre, located in the breathtakingly scenic rural area of St Eustache.

Their menu is classic cabane a sucre fare, done to perfection. For groups of 8-10 people, you can also opt for the 2 hour, all you can eat option (reservations are a must!), and larger groups can be accommodated as well.

In addition to enjoying some amazing comfort food, there’s also a mini-farm to check out, gorgeous walking paths, a syrup production tour, horse rides and music and dancing on Saturday nights!

They have multiple sittings through the week and weekdays, but reservations are a good idea.

Lalande’s event halls can be reserved during the off season for corporate events, weddings and other large group events. Check out their website for some of the beautiful and truly unique weddings they’ve hosted!

3. Cabane a Sucre Au Pied de Cochon

Oh yes. Montreal’s beloved Au Pied de Cochon, the restaurant everybody comes rolling out of after eating sooooo well, also has a cabane a sucre! And it is definitely something to be experienced.

Their menu is only released at the beginning of the season, but typically focuses on traditional dishes with that unique Au Pied de Cochon flair. Foie gras is obviously featured, as is traditional tourtiere, sausage, maple glazed duck, cassoulet, champvallon, homemade pies and so much more.

Though many sugar shacks offer extras like treks through the woods or hayrides, this one is. All. About. The. Food.

The cabane offers two dinner seatings per evening from Thursday to Sunday, as well as lunch seatings on the weekends. Located in St-Benoît de Mirabel, they are open during sugar season and harvest season, and you can also reserve the space for large groups and events during the off season.

Be sure to check out the store for decadent goodies to bring home!

4. Constantin

Located in St Eustache, Constantin opens its doors every year on Valentine’s Day. This family run business began in 1941 as a small sugar shack that could serve just 20 meals at a time. Today, this expansive venue is serving far more than that and is all about fun for the whole family.

A visit to Constantin is so much more than a meal. In addition to classic tire érable and a delectably traditional menu, they also feature sleigh rides, inflatable play structures, walking trails, a puppet theatre, mini farm with exotic animals, a 4-wheeler mini circuit, line dancing and more!

With an onsite chapel, gorgeous landscape and multiple reception halls, it’s also the perfect spot for a truly Pinterest-worthy wedding.

5. Auberge Handfield

Auberge Handfield has been in business for more than 85 years, but has definitely kept up with the times. It is one of the few that offers, upon request, gluten free and vegetarian cabane a sucre fare for everyone to enjoy. And the food does not disappoint!

And like many others, the experience only begins with the food. Auberge Handfield is also… an auberge! You can actually stay in this gorgeous St-Marc-Sur-Richelieu setting, which is good because they also have an incredibly relaxing and restorative spa that offers massage therapy, hydrotherapy services and body treatments.

All that and maple syrup? Yes, please!

Auberge Handfield is also available for weddings, conventions, meetings and other large groups and events.

Montreal Sugar shack season

BONUS: Scena

A classic cabane a sucre experience can really only be found outside the city since that’s where the maple farms are. However, there are a few businesses right in the city that offer a taste of that experience. Scena is one of them and it’s right in the Old Port!

Located in Pavillon Jacques-Cartier, Scena’s renowned chef Laurent Godbout has been presenting a truly tempting “traditional-chic” cabane a sucre menu through March and April for the past four years. So if you don’t feel like making the trek out to the sticks, but need to satisfy your maple-glazed-everything craving, check out Scena!