softcoresoft's Seven Favourite Montréal Haunts

softcoresoft's Seven Favourite Montréal Haunts
Photo: Thomas Archambault
softcoresoft is the moniker of Montreal-based producer and DJ, Leticia Trandafir. Her potent blend of acid, electro, techno, breakbeat and raved-out goodness has garnered the attention of labels like First Second and Lobster Theremin, as well as the Discwoman collective. Trandafir is not only at the forefront of Montreal's underground electronic scene, she also does a lot to highlight burgeoning female artists, mainly through her monthly online radio show. Ahead of this month's MUTEK festival in Montréal, she gave us a tour of her city. [Location photos by Nadia Davoli.]
 
La Rama (77 Rue Bernard O)
 
 
The best record shop in town, especially for new releases of dance music, is run by Kris Guilty, who's a legend in the city at this point. I can always walk in there and ask him for a recommendation, and it always hits the spot. Incredible selection and curation on the new releases side, and a growing and selective used section.
 
Larry's (9 Fairmount Ave E)
 
 
If I could, I would go to Larry's every day; unfortunately, I can't spend all my money on wining and dining, because your girl's got bills to pay. I'm a fan of natural and weird wines, of which there is always a great selection here. The vibe is perfect; I love small cozy restaurants that serve small plates to share.
 
Bouffe Dave Plant Food (1206 Boul de Maisonneuve E)
 
 
This is my fave place in town for breakfast, pastries and lunch, and it's my neighbourhood hangout spot. It's an awesome newish café/lunch spot in the Village that focuses on local ingredients and vegetable-heavy meals, and it's "slow food" certified. Also, I love that they only serve good drip coffee — no espresso (which is overrated anyway; there, I said it!). Dave, the owner and chef, is an awesome, really friendly guy. It feels really nice to forge close relationships with small businesses near where I live.
 
Expérience Bière (1751 Rue Amherst)
 
 
Another neighbourhood spot for me is Expérience Bière, a craft beer shop on Amherst. I am really into sour beer, and there are always a lot of choices in that department here. It operates like a depanneur, open till 11 most days of the week, but only sells fun and interesting, mostly local beers — alongside wine, cider, cheese, saucisson and hot sauces.
 
Agrikol (1844 Rue Amherst)
 
 
A third favourite in the Village (people should stop obsessing over going north and come down to this hood more often!). Agrikol is a Haitian restaurant and bar that was opened by Arcade Fire's Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. The food, cocktails and vibe are spectacular. There's a nice community around it, and it really livens the area. Ti Agrikol, the next-door club, is also really fun.
 
Station Ho.st (1494 Ontario St E)
 
 
Station Ho.st is a well-respected bar that has pages and pages of artisanal beers to choose from and a really low-key vibe (not yuppie, just chill). I highly recommend the trek. They also have quite a few sour beers!
 
MycoBoutique (4324 St Denis St)
 
 
I'm getting more and more into mycology, and the first time I stepped into this store I was amazed. It's an institution. They have everything: not just a wide selection of excellent books about mushrooms but a variety of dried mushrooms too, not to mention books with everything you need to grow your own or go mushroom picking. They also have lots of nice mushroom-themed paraphernalia (posters, cards, clothing, accessories) that I am low-key obsessed with. It's also the best spot for anything fermentation-related, having all the materials you need to make kombucha, kefir and more.