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Montreal design firm Zebulon Perron is responsible for Le Royal’s look.
Le Royal/Facebook

20 Essential Montreal Cocktail Bars

Trusted spots for drinking in the city

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Montreal design firm Zebulon Perron is responsible for Le Royal’s look.
| Le Royal/Facebook

Montreal’s cocktail scene impresses — even if the pandemic has dealt a major blow. And now that establishments dedicated to boozy beverages have reopened from their third lockdown in two years, we’re taking stock: A couple of the cocktail bars that once appeared on this map have sadly closed; others remain dark and dormant, but the majority are back at it (or will be very soon).

From a basement bar serving speakeasy vibes below a Vietnamese restaurant to a breezy, Italian-style spot out in Mile-Ex, the bars on this map demonstrate the creativity and passion making Montreal such a great place to drink. New additions include spots like Taverne Atlantic and Milky Way, part of a cohort of newer bars garnering local praise for their mixing skills. They appear alongside mainstays on the scene, like Cold Room and Atwater Cocktail Club — two 2016 openings where meticulously crafted drinks are the priority.

On the lookout for something newer? Our bar heatmap keeps track of watering wholes that have opened in the last year. We’ve got maps for Montreal’s best breweries, wine bars, and dive bars, too.

For updated information about the coronavirus situation and related regulations, please visit the official sites of the Quebec government and Montreal’s public health authority (Santé Montréal).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

132 Bar Vintage

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Cocktail expert Jean-Maxime Giguère may have opened this neighbourhood bar nearly 10 years ago, but he continues to prove that Fleury Street is a strip to be reckoned with. It’s Ahuntsic’s go-to spot for libations — both classic and original.

Bar Le Record

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Travel back in time to this vinyl record bar brimming with Mad Man-era vibes. With a half-moon-shaped bar at the back, a cocktail list that focuses heavily on gin and bourbon, a small snacking menu featuring chorizo and pizza, and a collection of 2,500 records, it’ll satisfy most of the senses.

Bar St-Denis

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Housed in a former dive bar of the same name, Bar St-Denis is perhaps the best spot to grab a drink in La Petite-Patrie at the moment. Expect stunning cocktails, affordable natural wines by the glass, and a food menu far superior to what you’d expect from any “bar.”

Bar Cicchetti

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Named after the small bites served in traditional Venetian bars, terracotta-hued Cicchetti is an expert at the deviled eggs, charcuterie platters, polenta fries, and crustless sandwiches that’ll effectively pad an evening of drinking. Spritzes, bellinis, and other Italian aperitivo cocktails are the standard play here — and in the summer, they can be enjoyed from a sunny terrasse.

Taverne Atlantic

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Whether for indoor dining or rooftop lounging, Taverne Atlantic has a comprehensive beverage program (beers, ciders, wines, and more) and a solid food offering. It covers all the bases — and does so exceptionally well. For cocktails, expect Quebec booze, like Menaud vodka, Cirka gin, and Kayak vermouth, to be given pride of place on a short though exciting list. And make sure to add a poutine to the order — you won’t regret it.

Pub Bishop & Bagg

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Though a pub by name, this Mile End haunt from the Burgundy Lion group isn’t all burgers and beer. Serving hearty, English pub fare, it doubles as a gin bar, impressively stocked with more than 250 bottles from around the world to serve up one mean Negroni.

Bar Henrietta

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This Portuguese-influenced tavern replaced once-upon-a-time cocktail heavyweight Baldwin Barmacie in 2015, taking its drinks just as seriously. Consider the “Rosa,” made with gin, honey vermouth, hibiscus, and lemon, or the “Robert,” with bourbon, grapefruit, Aperol, apple brandy, lemon, and bitters.

Le Royal

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From the team that brought us standout Plateau wine bar Rouge Gorge is this cocktail spot in a moody, marble-clad underground space from leading Montreal designer Zebulon Perron. It’s a hard-to-beat pick for sipping cocktails and slurping oysters in the Plateau.

Bar Renard

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Located in the Village, amid the bustle of pedestrian-only (in warmer months) Ste-Catherine Street East, Bar Renard’s cocktails are easygoing, with one-litre options of basil mojitos and Scotch lemonade — ideal for group drinking.

Bar Cloakroom

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Cloakroom serves up speakeasy vibes and stone-cold stunning cocktails from an ultra-chic space hidden inside a menswear shop. Drinks are uniquely tailored to each customer’s liquor and taste preferences, meaning there’s no menu to pore over aimlessly; instead, let the bartender be your guide.

Bar George

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Located in the Mount Stephen Hotel, Bar George was a welcome addition to the downtown core’s cocktail repertoire back in 2017. Drinks are well made, and with chandeliers, wallpaper, and intricate woodworking, its space is beyond stately.

Le Mal Nécessaire

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This tiki-style bar occupies a somewhat unlikely underground locale in Chinatown but certainly isn't off the radar for the city's savvy drinkers. Expect libations that spotlight tropical fruits (vessels, garnishes, or the main ingredient), regular DJ sets, and a keen eye to sustainability.

N sur Mackay

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There used to be a deplorable lack of good cocktail bars downtown — until places like this started stepping in to fill the void. N sur Mackay is a low-key, no-nonsense hangout for exquisite and affordably priced cocktails.

Nacarat

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Don't be put off by its placement in a hotel bar (located in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth): Nacarat has one of the most serious cocktail games in the city. Its menu is organized by flavour profile instead of base spirit, and it barrel-ages its own Negronis.

Club Pelicano

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Under Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Tiradito sits this basement bar evoking Montreal’s public bathhouses and 1940’s Parisian swimming pools. While its menu frequently rotates, expect reinterpretations of classics like the Paloma and Pisco Sour.

Cold Room

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Cold Room might be in prime-time Old Montreal, but minimal signage and an inconspicuous doorbell mean it’s mostly hidden from tourists. The drinks are exceptionally creative and thematically fit the history of the space and surrounds, with 18th-century elements like fruit-vinegar shrubs. Check out nearby sibling establishment El Pequeño for Cuban cocktails in an itty bitty space.

Nhậu bar

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In the basement of popular Vietnamese restaurant Hà lies Nhau Bar, a speakeasy that takes on its upstairs neighbour’s Southeast Asian influence. Focusing on floral liqueurs and often tropical ingredients, this Old Montreal spot excels at fruity, creative options and tends to fill up quickly.

Atwater Cocktail Club

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Tucked in a back alley on the edge of St-Henri, Atwater Cocktail Club was a game-changing addition to the city's cocktail scene back in 2016 — with a swank, dimly lit design from the Gauley Brothers to boot. Cocktails look to the south with flavours like hibiscus, jalapeño, and agave and are known for their show-stopping quality.

Milky Way Cocktail Bar

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Neon lighting, draping plant life, and striking marbles and velours converge at this fashionable Pointe-St-Charles destination — a near-instant hit when it landed on the scene in 2019. Cocktails lean tropical, refreshing, and vacation-inspiring with options like Island in the Sun (gin, rum, absinthe, lemon, grapefruit, hibiscus, and pine) or Le Swan (rum, dry curaçao, peach liqueur, lime, passion fruit, coconut, cucumber, mint, vanilla, and cardamom). Bonus: Drinkers can bring a pizza from sibling establishment Fugazzi downstairs.

Bar Palco

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Shortly after Verdun lifted its decades-long embargo on booze, this petite bar landed on the scene. Palco covers all the bases with classic and creative cocktails, alcohol-free drinks, pitchers, beers, and a tidy snack menu, featuring $1 oysters on weeknights.

132 Bar Vintage

Cocktail expert Jean-Maxime Giguère may have opened this neighbourhood bar nearly 10 years ago, but he continues to prove that Fleury Street is a strip to be reckoned with. It’s Ahuntsic’s go-to spot for libations — both classic and original.

Bar Le Record

Travel back in time to this vinyl record bar brimming with Mad Man-era vibes. With a half-moon-shaped bar at the back, a cocktail list that focuses heavily on gin and bourbon, a small snacking menu featuring chorizo and pizza, and a collection of 2,500 records, it’ll satisfy most of the senses.

Bar St-Denis

Housed in a former dive bar of the same name, Bar St-Denis is perhaps the best spot to grab a drink in La Petite-Patrie at the moment. Expect stunning cocktails, affordable natural wines by the glass, and a food menu far superior to what you’d expect from any “bar.”

Bar Cicchetti

Named after the small bites served in traditional Venetian bars, terracotta-hued Cicchetti is an expert at the deviled eggs, charcuterie platters, polenta fries, and crustless sandwiches that’ll effectively pad an evening of drinking. Spritzes, bellinis, and other Italian aperitivo cocktails are the standard play here — and in the summer, they can be enjoyed from a sunny terrasse.

Taverne Atlantic

Whether for indoor dining or rooftop lounging, Taverne Atlantic has a comprehensive beverage program (beers, ciders, wines, and more) and a solid food offering. It covers all the bases — and does so exceptionally well. For cocktails, expect Quebec booze, like Menaud vodka, Cirka gin, and Kayak vermouth, to be given pride of place on a short though exciting list. And make sure to add a poutine to the order — you won’t regret it.

Pub Bishop & Bagg

Though a pub by name, this Mile End haunt from the Burgundy Lion group isn’t all burgers and beer. Serving hearty, English pub fare, it doubles as a gin bar, impressively stocked with more than 250 bottles from around the world to serve up one mean Negroni.

Bar Henrietta

This Portuguese-influenced tavern replaced once-upon-a-time cocktail heavyweight Baldwin Barmacie in 2015, taking its drinks just as seriously. Consider the “Rosa,” made with gin, honey vermouth, hibiscus, and lemon, or the “Robert,” with bourbon, grapefruit, Aperol, apple brandy, lemon, and bitters.

Le Royal

From the team that brought us standout Plateau wine bar Rouge Gorge is this cocktail spot in a moody, marble-clad underground space from leading Montreal designer Zebulon Perron. It’s a hard-to-beat pick for sipping cocktails and slurping oysters in the Plateau.

Bar Renard

Located in the Village, amid the bustle of pedestrian-only (in warmer months) Ste-Catherine Street East, Bar Renard’s cocktails are easygoing, with one-litre options of basil mojitos and Scotch lemonade — ideal for group drinking.

Bar Cloakroom

Cloakroom serves up speakeasy vibes and stone-cold stunning cocktails from an ultra-chic space hidden inside a menswear shop. Drinks are uniquely tailored to each customer’s liquor and taste preferences, meaning there’s no menu to pore over aimlessly; instead, let the bartender be your guide.

Bar George

Located in the Mount Stephen Hotel, Bar George was a welcome addition to the downtown core’s cocktail repertoire back in 2017. Drinks are well made, and with chandeliers, wallpaper, and intricate woodworking, its space is beyond stately.

Le Mal Nécessaire

This tiki-style bar occupies a somewhat unlikely underground locale in Chinatown but certainly isn't off the radar for the city's savvy drinkers. Expect libations that spotlight tropical fruits (vessels, garnishes, or the main ingredient), regular DJ sets, and a keen eye to sustainability.

N sur Mackay

There used to be a deplorable lack of good cocktail bars downtown — until places like this started stepping in to fill the void. N sur Mackay is a low-key, no-nonsense hangout for exquisite and affordably priced cocktails.

Nacarat

Don't be put off by its placement in a hotel bar (located in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth): Nacarat has one of the most serious cocktail games in the city. Its menu is organized by flavour profile instead of base spirit, and it barrel-ages its own Negronis.

Club Pelicano

Under Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Tiradito sits this basement bar evoking Montreal’s public bathhouses and 1940’s Parisian swimming pools. While its menu frequently rotates, expect reinterpretations of classics like the Paloma and Pisco Sour.

Related Maps

Cold Room

Cold Room might be in prime-time Old Montreal, but minimal signage and an inconspicuous doorbell mean it’s mostly hidden from tourists. The drinks are exceptionally creative and thematically fit the history of the space and surrounds, with 18th-century elements like fruit-vinegar shrubs. Check out nearby sibling establishment El Pequeño for Cuban cocktails in an itty bitty space.

Nhậu bar

In the basement of popular Vietnamese restaurant Hà lies Nhau Bar, a speakeasy that takes on its upstairs neighbour’s Southeast Asian influence. Focusing on floral liqueurs and often tropical ingredients, this Old Montreal spot excels at fruity, creative options and tends to fill up quickly.

Atwater Cocktail Club

Tucked in a back alley on the edge of St-Henri, Atwater Cocktail Club was a game-changing addition to the city's cocktail scene back in 2016 — with a swank, dimly lit design from the Gauley Brothers to boot. Cocktails look to the south with flavours like hibiscus, jalapeño, and agave and are known for their show-stopping quality.

Milky Way Cocktail Bar

Neon lighting, draping plant life, and striking marbles and velours converge at this fashionable Pointe-St-Charles destination — a near-instant hit when it landed on the scene in 2019. Cocktails lean tropical, refreshing, and vacation-inspiring with options like Island in the Sun (gin, rum, absinthe, lemon, grapefruit, hibiscus, and pine) or Le Swan (rum, dry curaçao, peach liqueur, lime, passion fruit, coconut, cucumber, mint, vanilla, and cardamom). Bonus: Drinkers can bring a pizza from sibling establishment Fugazzi downstairs.

Bar Palco

Shortly after Verdun lifted its decades-long embargo on booze, this petite bar landed on the scene. Palco covers all the bases with classic and creative cocktails, alcohol-free drinks, pitchers, beers, and a tidy snack menu, featuring $1 oysters on weeknights.

Related Maps