Walk down the street and ask anyone whether or not they have ever been to a Montreal bar, there is a higher chance of said individual winning the lottery than saying no to that question. There are literally hundreds of bars scattered throughout the city, more bars per person than New York City even. So, with that in mind, here are some of the best Montreal bars you can stumble into.
1. Nacho Libre
Before you ask, yes this Montreal bar was most likely named after the Jack Black film. The reason being, it’s a watering hole with an awesome happy hour, swinging chairs, Mexican cuisine (who doesn’t enjoy authentic tacos while drinking a cold brew) and, the best part, retro gaming consoles! It’s a win-win for everyone.
191 Rue Saint Paul, Ouest
This Montreal bar has a truly Latin American vibe to it and offers your traditional Spanish tapas with a fine selection of wine, sangria (everyone loves a good sangria), spirits as well as a DJ during the evenings. You better come early, however, because it gets packed rather quick.
3. Big In Japan
3723 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Despite the steep price for some, this gem of a Montreal bar offers some of the finest drinks one can have as well as some of the most delicious Japanese-inspired snacks you can indulge in, all while enjoying the wonderful candlelit vibe. As is usually the case, this one tends to fill up quickly as well.
4. Le Lab
1351 Rachel, Est
Roughly translating to “The Lab”, this is definitely a bar designed for the serious cocktail lover in us all. Decorated as a modernized speakeasy (you may have to look that one up), this Montreal bar tends to specialize in homemade syrups and liquors, resulting in their renowned signature cocktails (or “prescriptions”). What’s more, you’ll be treated to the bartenders’ artistic performances!
5. Burgundy Lion
2496 Rue Notre-Dame, Ouest
This popular Montreal bar blends the traditional British pub alongside a modern lounge bar. The result? A modern English pub with a selection of traditional English cuisine and a relaxed, purely Montreal feel. As an added bonus, this is a perfect spot to watch the game!
6. Philémon Bar
111 Saint-Paul, Ouest
Walking through Old Montreal, you will surely come across Philémon Bar. Serving fancy drinks (mojitos and dirty martinis, for example) and upscale bites (such as charcuterie and even oysters), this Montreal bar is a low key, yet trendy, spot for the typical young crowd looking for a good time.
7. Arcade MTL
The name speaks for itself, this trendy first of its kind Montreal bar features a rather large selection of retro arcade games in a close and intimate, brick-walled atmosphere. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a pleasant selection of beers and drinks while enjoying some arcades with their friends? Anyone who steps foot in Arcade MTL will surely want to return sooner rather than later.
8. Les Foufounes Électriques
87 St-Catherine St Est
This widely popular two-floor Montreal bar and club is also the city’s earliest alternative rock venue, officially opening its doors in 1983. That is, bands such as Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails have had some of their first concerts here. This bar surely lives up to its enticing name with graffiti found throughout, its extreme selection of music, as well as a mostly punk rock/metalhead crowd.
9. La Distillerie
2047 Av du Mont-Royal, Est
If drinking cocktails straight out of oversized mason jars tickles your fancy, then this Montreal bar is probably for you. Hell, even people who generally aren’t even big fans of cocktails will definitely appreciate the wide selection of sweet and sour drinks. Word of advice: come early as this place gets busy faster than you can decide what to order!
10. Dieu du Ciel
29 Laurier Avenue
The craft brewery that opened its very own bar in order to compete with intense popular demand, Dieu du Ciel is considered by many to be the best in all of Quebec, if not Canada. Translating to “Sky God”, this charming Montreal bar exclusively serves the acclaimed beers one would expect from Dieu du Ciel’s lineup.
With over 100 distinct beers brewed (some now brewed only on occasion), you will have plenty of reason to venture back over here. If that’s not convincing enough, Time magazine has listed the brewery’s Aphrodisiaque stout as one of the top 20 world’s best beers. Cheers!
As mentioned, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of bars to choose from and this list is simply a sample of some of the best. What is your favorite Montreal bar that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
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Helllllloooo ladies and gents, I am from Montreal, Canada and a recent Concordia University psychology grad. My topics of interest are, of course, psychology, music, gaming, health and nutrition, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, among others. My end goal is to become an editor and/or find the world's best beer. Luckily for me, Montreal already has the latter covered. Cheers!