Montreal Sundry: Orange Julep

There are a few landmarks that make you immediately think “Montreal”. The Olympic Stadium, the cross on Mount Royal, the triangle tip of the Atrium Le 1000 on the skyline.

One of the most bizarrely unforgettable, however, will always remain the Gibeau Orange Julep.

Gibeau Orane Julep fast food restaurant.


Because this building is literally a giant orange.

Three storeys of orange glory.

Mostly it’s a fast food restaurant specializing in all the typical greasy Québécois foods you’d expect: poutine, hot dogs, onion rings… What makes it special though is its trademark Orange Julep drink. Pretty much the same as (though not identical to) an Orange Julius, slurping this particular OJ recipe is all the more satisfactory when done in the shadow of a gargantuan sphere.

Believe it or not, before this summer I’d never actually done that though.

I was meeting Andrea in the parking lot as a halfway point towards a beach-bound adventure, and my dad decided to treat me to one. It being a particularly steamy summer day, I was all too happy to imbibe something icy.

My dad with an extra large Orange Julep!

We sipped and my dad reminisced about the early days of the good old Julep. Apparently back in the day, cars used to park and you would be served by waitresses on roller skates.

Although that service sadly died out, it still has the vibe of a 50’s diner. One might almost expect a chorus of Greased Lightning to break out in the vicinity. But maybe that’s also because Wednesday nights are chockablock full of classic car/motorcycle fans flaunting their fenders. (Québec seems to have an enormous population of these).

Another thing it also has at the moment is a Pokémon Go arena. Which it proudly boasts about in an actual sign they’ve posted!

“We are an arena on Pokémon Go.”

I managed to catch a Jynx or two before meeting Andrea as well as a Zubat that appeared on someone’s shirt collar. In all it was a super successful first time stopping in at the good old Big Orange.

It seems impossible if you live in Montreal and haven’t been here (I use my South Shore residence as an excuse on this), but if you haven’t for any reason, this is unacceptable. Go now. And as for all you out-of-towners, soon as you’re around, I highly recommend the blast-from-the-past experience this will give.

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