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6 Montreal Bars Make the Cut on New Best-in-Canada List

This ranked list of Canadian bars might not be perfect, but it still nails some hot spots for cocktails in Montreal.

Atwater Cocktail Club/Facebook

MONTREAL — The people behind the Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants ranking have dropped a similar ranking of the best bars in Canada, with six Montreal cocktail haunts making the cut. The list doesn’t focus strictly on cocktail bars, but certainly skews in that direction — the top Montreal spot was St-Henri’s Atwater Cocktail Club (number 5), then the Coldroom (6) and Le Cloakroom (7). Further down was tiny Old Montreal rum spot El Pequeño (11), Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth bar Nacarat (14), and Plateau speakeasy Le Royal (34). Meanwhile, the top spot went to Toronto’s Bar Raval. Is the ranking system perfectly scientific? Probably not, but these are nonetheless a bunch of very good places to drink.

Maison Saint-Paul/Facebook

OLD MONTREAL — Six years after opening, high-end champagne bar La Champagnerie has rebranded. It’s now Maison Saint-Paul — it’s had a makeover from La Voûte designer Michel Prete (and will correspondingly be more of a club venue Friday and Saturday nights), and will keep on serving plenty of bubbles and seafood.

DOWNTOWN — Japanese bar Gokudo has some new talent at its in-house fish shack, Ryoshi: chef Hachiro Fujise of excellent Old Montreal spot Marusan is now behind the menu and running the kitchen.

Editions Cardinal/Official

THE INTERNET — Montreal-born spearfisher and entrepreneur Valentine Thomas has a new cookbook that also details her decision to quit her day job as a financial analyst and get into fishing — it’a called À Contre-Courant and is out via Editions Cardinal.

Jean-Talon Market
Jean-Talon Market
Matthieu Guyonnet-Duluc

LITTLE ITALY — Hey restaurateurs or café owners, wanna get a foothold in a popular, high-traffic market? There’s a space open at Jean-Talon, and Montreal’s public market authority is accepting candidates to fill it right now.

DOWNTOWN — It looks like sometimes-controversial steakhouse La Queue de Cheval is expanding its premises — city officials have approved a rooftop terrasse, allowing the restaurant to convert its third floor into more dining space.

PETITE-PATRIE — Italian vegan restaurant Vegano has moved off the Plateau — it recently decamped from its location on Mont-Royal near de Lorimier up to Beaubien East and de Lanaudière, taking over the former location of café La Bastringue.

TORONTO — Much-hyped, Instagram-friendly vegan restaurant LOV is expanding outside the Montreal area for the first time — a Toronto location on King Street not far from Bathurst is in the works, and is slated to open sometime later in the year.

Bar Cloakroom

2175 de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec H3G1Z8 (514) 284-9393

The Coldroom

Rue Saint Vincent, Ville-Marie, QC H2Y 1G8 (514) 294-6911 Visit Website

El Pequeño

401a Rue Saint Vincent, Montréal, QC H2Y (514) 451-6911 Visit Website

Atwater Cocktail Club

512 Avenue Atwater, Le Sud-Ouest, QC H4C 2G5 (438) 387-4252 Visit Website

Nacarat Bar, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal

900 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H3B 4A5 (514) 954-2872 Visit Website

Le Royal

1232 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montréal, QC H2J 1Y2 (514) 523-3980