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The 25 Essential Bars in Montreal

Head to these spots for first dates, boozy nights out, and everything in between.

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In a city with a drinking culture like Montreal, there’s no shortage of watering holes to choose from. The difficulty, however, lies in narrowing down where to go based on the type of drink, price point, and ambience you’re inclined towards. Spots like the Cloakroom are ideal for meticulously crafted cocktails, whereas wine is the name of the game at Buvette Chez Simone. Plus, there’s an ever-growing crowd of craft breweries and pubs out there, too.

Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing, so we’ve narrowed it down to these 25 essential Montreal bars for your imbibing pleasure. This map is put together with an eye to a range of offerings (cocktail, wine, and beer bars, plus all-rounders), and also varied vibes, from hip haunts for the septum piercing crowd through to those that draw the downtown suits.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Notre Dame des Quilles

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Popular amongst the north-side queer crowd (but not strictly an LGBTQ venue), Notre Dame des Quilles (best known as NDQ) is low on frills in the decor department, but cheap beer and a tight set of mostly classic cocktails makes up for it. There’s also a small bowling alley — due to arcane city rules, it’s the only way the venue could get itself a bar license. Stop by Sunday nights for karaoke.

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Le Rouge Gorge

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For a casual glass of wine or two after work, Rouge Gorge has you covered with an almost overwhelmingly extensive selection to choose from. Drinking with friends? Go for any of the large format bottles to keep the party going.

Sparrow (Le Moineau)

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Dim lighting and a warm, woody interior has helped Sparrow become a top destination for Tinder dates; an extensive and crowd-pleasing drink menu undoubtedly helps, too. There are late-night drink specials on many nights, too.

Snack'n Blues

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As the name suggests, Snack N’ Blues specializes in live music (mostly jazz) and complementary snacks, from bowls of candy, to pretzels and chips, in a cozy, slightly divey setting. The drinks flow freely too, although you do have to pay for those.

Dieu du Ciel!

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This Mile End microbrasserie has obtained a major following for its local brews and hyper-snackable nachos. With 20 different beers to choose from, there’s something for everyone from beer nerds to casual drinkers alike.

Casa del Popolo

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As far as live music bars go, Casa del Popolo is a Montreal staple, featuring local bands and artists every night of the week. What’s better than a drink out than a drink out that includes entertainment? Otherwise, skip the cover charge and enjoy St-Ambroise beers on tap on the bar side, or in a cozy back courtyard.

Henrietta

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This Laurier Avenue spot is known for bringing consistently executed cocktails, a curated natural wine list, and 5 à 7 snacks to the table, all at very reasonable price points. Keep the drinks flowing to accompany freshly shucked oysters and the addictive Manchego popcorn.

Having conquered Verdun, the people behind Verdun’s Bar Palco turned their attention to giving the Village a neighbourhood bar, and super-friendly Renard is the result. It’s a little heavier on the cocktail side — get an Aperol spritz and take in the pedestrian street life on the terrasse.

Buvette Chez Simone

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Perfect for 5 à 7 sips or date night drinks, Buvette Chez Simone keeps the fun flowing with a notable selection of by-the-glass pours, although stopping at just one can be difficult. The charcuterie and cheese plates are also solid for those looking to grab a bite.

La Petite Idée Fixe

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As far as dive bars go, La Petite Idée Fixe is as authentic and grimy as it gets; and in the best of ways. The beers are cheap, there’s a (great) terrasse come summer, and the free jukebox keeps the tunes playing all night long.

Le Majestique

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Part high-end snack spot, part wine and cocktail bar, Majestique has pushed all the right buttons for Montrealers since opening a couple years back. For hungry drinkers, the hotdog comes highly recommended.

Bar Pamplemousse

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It might be a beer bar, but Pamplemousse skips the standard masculine, woody pub trapping in favour of something peachy and fun. It has a seriously wide-ranging beer selection running from sours to milk stouts, and intriguing snacks that draw influences from the Caribbean and India. Despite the beer focus, cocktail and wine options here are certainly not neglected.

Pullman

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This wine bar at Parc and Sherbrooke was one of Montreal’s first and has been pouring wine for well over a decade. Prices can be steep, but bottles are half-price on Sunday, making them even more palatable for your taste buds and your wallet. 

The Coldroom

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Follow the duck to this Old Montreal speakeasy, where an illuminated duck is the only signage hinting to the location of the doorbell that lets customers in to this establishment. Once inside, saddle up at the bar for well-crafted cocktails with a menu that changes seasonally. Be warned: it can get very busy.

Furco is a favoured after-work spot amongst the suit-wearing downtown crowds, courtesy of its quality (and slightly high-end) booze, and trendy interior, with just a dash of grunge.

Club Pelicano

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Tucked beneath Peruvian-Japanese restaurant Tiradito is Club Pelicano, which draws its inspiration from a French art déco swimming pool. Despite the historic reference point, it feels distinctly modern, with a fun crowd, solid cocktails, tasty snacks, and some of the most interesting decor in town.

Nacarat Bar

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Don’t be fooled; despite its location inside a massive chain hotel, Nacarat makes some of the most thoughtful, well-executed cocktails in the city. Bartenders spend months testing recipes before they make the menu, if they even make the cut at all, and the menu is arranged not by spirit, but by flavour profile.

Dominion Square Tavern

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Is it a cocktail bar? A high end pub? A restaurant? All of them, sort of: Dominion Square Tavern checks a lot of boxes, but doesn’t spread itself too thin. Classic cocktails are a highlight, the wine list is very solid, the interior is stunning, and don’t skip the hearty upscale pub fare.

Cloakroom Bar

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Located on de la Montagne behind a menswear store of the same name, the Cloakroom serves up high-end cocktails without a menu. Bartenders will suss out your spirit or flavour preferences, and hand you a drink you didn’t even know you wanted until you taste it.

Burgundy Lion

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Little Burgundy is home to Burgundy Lion, the neighbourhood’s favourite British pub (and maybe the most popular in the whole city). Come for the signature Burgundy Lion ale and stay for the fish and chips. Plus, there’s always a football (read: soccer) match on the telly.

Drinkerie Ste-Cunégonde

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The Burgundy Lion just across the way may do a great job as a pub, but Drinkerie is Little Burgundy’s go-to all-rounder for beer, cocktails and beyond. As such, it’s often pretty busy.

Bar de Courcelle

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Somewhat of a raucous party spot on weekends, yes, Bar de Courcelle (or BDC) is St-Henri’s go-to neighbourhood bar, with classic cocktails, decent wine, and beers ranging from Labatt 50 to a few St-Ambroise brews.

Saint-Henri’s bar Löic is the neighbourhood hotspot for oenophiles looking to enjoy their natural, biodynamic offerings. The food is also on point, with local small plates and a concise selection of desserts — enjoy it all on the leafy terrasse in summer months.

Honey Martin

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This Irish pub in NDG features live music, cold beer, and a sense of community that’s difficult to find in many modern-day drinking establishments. So, for a knock-off drink with friends after a long day, Honey Martin is as close to Cheers as you’ll get.

Bar Social

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For years, Verdun was a bar-free zone due to archaic liquor laws — those were finally lifted in recent times, allowing for some stellar neighbourhood drinking options like this eclectically-decorated venue. The owners of Little Burgundy’s Drinkerie Ste-Cunégonde are involved, meaning cocktails are a forte, but it’s just an all-round great hang spot, be it for a plate of roasted chicken, or occasional live music.

Notre Dame des Quilles

Popular amongst the north-side queer crowd (but not strictly an LGBTQ venue), Notre Dame des Quilles (best known as NDQ) is low on frills in the decor department, but cheap beer and a tight set of mostly classic cocktails makes up for it. There’s also a small bowling alley — due to arcane city rules, it’s the only way the venue could get itself a bar license. Stop by Sunday nights for karaoke.

A post shared by Fanny Laf-Jac (@fannylafjac) on

Le Rouge Gorge

For a casual glass of wine or two after work, Rouge Gorge has you covered with an almost overwhelmingly extensive selection to choose from. Drinking with friends? Go for any of the large format bottles to keep the party going.

Sparrow (Le Moineau)

Dim lighting and a warm, woody interior has helped Sparrow become a top destination for Tinder dates; an extensive and crowd-pleasing drink menu undoubtedly helps, too. There are late-night drink specials on many nights, too.

Snack'n Blues

As the name suggests, Snack N’ Blues specializes in live music (mostly jazz) and complementary snacks, from bowls of candy, to pretzels and chips, in a cozy, slightly divey setting. The drinks flow freely too, although you do have to pay for those.

Dieu du Ciel!

This Mile End microbrasserie has obtained a major following for its local brews and hyper-snackable nachos. With 20 different beers to choose from, there’s something for everyone from beer nerds to casual drinkers alike.

Casa del Popolo

As far as live music bars go, Casa del Popolo is a Montreal staple, featuring local bands and artists every night of the week. What’s better than a drink out than a drink out that includes entertainment? Otherwise, skip the cover charge and enjoy St-Ambroise beers on tap on the bar side, or in a cozy back courtyard.

Henrietta

This Laurier Avenue spot is known for bringing consistently executed cocktails, a curated natural wine list, and 5 à 7 snacks to the table, all at very reasonable price points. Keep the drinks flowing to accompany freshly shucked oysters and the addictive Manchego popcorn.

Renard