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The Ultimate Guide to Drinking in Montreal

Where to find the city’s best bars, luxuriant cocktails, quilles of Labatt Bleue, and everything in between

All Stories

The Essential Montreal Cocktail Bars

The Ultimate Guide to Drinking in Montreal

Where to find the city’s best bars, luxuriant cocktails, quilles of Labatt Bleue, and everything in between

All Stories

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The 25 Essential Bars in Montreal

Like New Orleans but much colder, Montreal is one of those cities with somewhat of a party reputation. This stems from a century ago, when Quebec had a much shorter-lived prohibition period than the rest of Canada and the U.S.

But the reputation has stuck by the city, helped by a few factors. Even though it may not be particularly easy to actually open a bar here, and last call is a decent-but-not-crazy 3 a.m. drinking is facilitated in other ways. The drinking age is lower in Quebec than surrounding areas, and Québécois culture is generally pretty lax towards alcohol — while public drinking isn’t technically legal, with the exception of the “picnic” rule, it’s certainly enforced with less enthusiasm than other parts of North America. Then in summer, there are back-to-back major events and festivals like Formula 1 and Osheaga that also lure party-inclined masses to town.

Whatever the reason, the end result is that people who come here often want to go to bars, be it for a raucous bachelorette party or a quiet weekend away. The city delivers on that front — high-quality cocktails, wine, and beer are all well-represented, and available at an array of bars in most central neighbourhoods. Even in the categories where Montreal doesn’t excel — for example, sports bars — you’ve still got more than a few options.

That’s where this guide comes in — whether you’re looking for a drink at noon on a Monday, a spot to belt out some karaoke, or just a cheap cocktail, there’s a map below that can point you in the right direction.