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12 ‘Hidden’ Montreal Bars To Know

The city’s so-called speakeasies

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It probably won’t surprise you that a city like Montreal known for its subdued coolness is teeming with quote-unquote “hidden” bars that while not always secret, seem intended to be overlooked — unless you have the inside scoop. And with restaurants and other businesses inheriting buildings with extra basement space,

Here are some of the city’s low-key watering holes below to add a bit of intrigue to an evening out.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bar Kabinet

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Not “hidden” per se, but subtly tucked alongside clubby Datcha, this cozy space serves as an espresso bar by day and a cocktail bar by night, boasting one of the best Moscow Mules in the city (partly thanks to fresh ginger). Prepare to rub elbows with other patrons at the bar as there is only one table in this snug abode. Note that later on some evenings

Many have likely walked by this unassuming Plateau favourite on the way to Café Névé. Come for the comprehensive wine and beer list, stay for the warm atmosphere and good company.

Big in Japan

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The bar counterpart to Big in Japan restaurant just down the street, this elegant, dimly lit bar with curtained walls and candles aplenty is intimately tucked behind a nondescript red door on the Main. Whisky connoisseurs can rest assured when they order their most expensive preferences - the bottle will be safely suspended from the ceiling and reserved until their return.

Le 4e Mur

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The details of this bar are kept under wraps to the point where the address is only divulged to members. Entertainment is an added extra here: guests have been treated to burlesque shows and each cocktail comes with a detailed story.

A post shared by Le 4e mur (@4emur) on

Le Mal Nécessaire

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Let the neon green pineapple be your guide down the steps into this tucked-away Chinatown gem from Dave Schmidt. A modern take on Tiki awaits, stocked with the requisite novelties, such as drinking a cocktail straight out of a fruit. For those more classically inclined, all of the usual cocktail suspects can be found here too.

Cold Room

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To enter, ring a doorbell next to a nameless black door and wait to be received into the basement that housed a 19th century cold room serving vendors in Jacques Cartier Place above. Manners reign supreme at this velvety underground bar where the servers’ cocktail knowledge is as extensive and impressive as the bourbon list.

Look Inside Cold Room, the Basement Cocktail Bar Under Jacques-Cartier Place
Cold Room
Randall Brodeur

Clandestino

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This plush, cavernous space is hidden away beneath beachy Old Montreal restaurant Venice and its next-door bar Boho. Hope you like Mexican spirits, since tequila and mezcal are the focus here with over 100 private imports on hand — get them in tasting flights or in cocktail form. Those not interested in cactus- and agave-based spirits should probably remain upstairs at Boho.

This Old Port supper club oozes sexy, neon vibes — once would-be customers manage to find it. Dinner service with a Japanese flavour rolls over into a clubby, DJ’ed atmosphere as each night moves on here, so it’s a spot to both enjoy some solid sashimi alongside cold, fresh cocktails.

Nhâu Bar

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This Vietnamese-tinged spot is the newest basement bar on the scene, housed right beneath the also-rather-new Restaurant Hà in Old Montreal. Expect cocktails that integrate a range of pan-Asian flavours from saké to pandan, and order fine Vietnamese bites from the upstairs restaurant. —Tim Forster

Nhâu Bar
Karel Chladek

Maison Cloakroom

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Though this 19th century building in the heart of Golden Square Mile first appears to be a high end tailor shop from the outside, venture in further to visit their in-house barber, and this cocktail bar serving up signature drinks overseen by Andrew Whibley.

A cucumber Corpse Reviver
Maison Cloakroom

One of a few restaurants and bars to take advantage of some extra basement space of late was Griffintown fried chicken spot Le Bird Bar, adding this nook to its basement in 2017, complete with inspiration drawn from the Playboy Mansion (minus Hugh Hefner, mercifully).

Atwater Cocktail Club

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A back alley bar located behind Foiegwa in St Henri, ACC (as it’s known by regulars) is great for a 5 à 7 or to come for a 2 a.m. night cap (be warned: line-ups can form on busy nights). Come for creative cocktails mixed with inspired ingredients like truffles or smoke.

Bar Kabinet

Not “hidden” per se, but subtly tucked alongside clubby Datcha, this cozy space serves as an espresso bar by day and a cocktail bar by night, boasting one of the best Moscow Mules in the city (partly thanks to fresh ginger). Prepare to rub elbows with other patrons at the bar as there is only one table in this snug abode. Note that later on some evenings

Bar A

Many have likely walked by this unassuming Plateau favourite on the way to Café Névé. Come for the comprehensive wine and beer list, stay for the warm atmosphere and good company.

Big in Japan

The bar counterpart to Big in Japan restaurant just down the street, this elegant, dimly lit bar with curtained walls and candles aplenty is intimately tucked behind a nondescript red door on the Main. Whisky connoisseurs can rest assured when they order their most expensive preferences - the bottle will be safely suspended from the ceiling and reserved until their return.

Le 4e Mur

The details of this bar are kept under wraps to the point where the address is only divulged to members. Entertainment is an added extra here: guests have been treated to burlesque shows and each cocktail comes with a detailed story.

A post shared by Le 4e mur (@4emur) on

Le Mal Nécessaire

Let the neon green pineapple be your guide down the steps into this tucked-away Chinatown gem from Dave Schmidt. A modern take on Tiki awaits, stocked with the requisite novelties, such as drinking a cocktail straight out of a fruit. For those more classically inclined, all of the usual cocktail suspects can be found here too.

Cold Room

Look Inside Cold Room, the Basement Cocktail Bar Under Jacques-Cartier Place
Cold Room
Randall Brodeur

To enter, ring a doorbell next to a nameless black door and wait to be received into the basement that housed a 19th century cold room serving vendors in Jacques Cartier Place above. Manners reign supreme at this velvety underground bar where the servers’ cocktail knowledge is as extensive and impressive as the bourbon list.

Look Inside Cold Room, the Basement Cocktail Bar Under Jacques-Cartier Place
Cold Room
Randall Brodeur

Clandestino

This plush, cavernous space is hidden away beneath beachy Old Montreal restaurant Venice and its next-door bar Boho. Hope you like Mexican spirits, since tequila and mezcal are the focus here with over 100 private imports on hand — get them in tasting flights or in cocktail form. Those not interested in cactus- and agave-based spirits should probably remain upstairs at Boho.

Flyjin

This Old Port supper club oozes sexy, neon vibes — once would-be customers manage to find it. Dinner service with a Japanese flavour rolls over into a clubby, DJ’ed atmosphere as each night moves on here, so it’s a spot to both enjoy some solid sashimi alongside cold, fresh cocktails.

Nhâu Bar

Nhâu Bar
Karel Chladek

This Vietnamese-tinged spot is the newest basement bar on the scene, housed right beneath the also-rather-new Restaurant Hà in Old Montreal. Expect cocktails that integrate a range of pan-Asian flavours from saké to pandan, and order fine Vietnamese bites from the upstairs restaurant. —Tim Forster

Nhâu Bar
Karel Chladek

Maison Cloakroom

A cucumber Corpse Reviver
Maison Cloakroom

Though this 19th century building in the heart of Golden Square Mile first appears to be a high end tailor shop from the outside, venture in further to visit their in-house barber, and this cocktail bar serving up signature drinks overseen by Andrew Whibley.

A cucumber Corpse Reviver
Maison Cloakroom

Henden

One of a few restaurants and bars to take advantage of some extra basement space of late was Griffintown fried chicken spot Le Bird Bar, adding this nook to its basement in 2017, complete with inspiration drawn from the Playboy Mansion (minus Hugh Hefner, mercifully).

Atwater Cocktail Club

A back alley bar located behind Foiegwa in St Henri, ACC (as it’s known by regulars) is great for a 5 à 7 or to come for a 2 a.m. night cap (be warned: line-ups can form on busy nights). Come for creative cocktails mixed with inspired ingredients like truffles or smoke.

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