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Montreal’s Best Bars for Crying in Public, Mapped

Go on, let it out.

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Crying: it’s a corporeal purge that’s often best done in the privacy of one’s own home. But since variety is the spice of life, sometimes what the moment calls for is a wistful weep on the metro, a howling bawl in a secluded ruelle, or, when you really need to let it all out, a sobbing wail at the local watering hole — especially in times as dire as they are now. So, drawing on many years of experience in the art of crying in public, here is a highly scientific list of the best bars to cry in in Montreal.

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La P’tite Place

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Ambiance is a crucial ingredient for a cathartic cry. This bar has it all: the smell of stale beer, the pallid glow of video poker machines, and the mournful crooning of drunk patrons on the karaoke mic. Cue up “Nothing Compares 2U” and let the waterworks begin!

Bar Le Ritz PDB

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The sheer variety of entertainment at this bar makes it a perfect place to cry for just about anyone—just make sure you’ve pre-planned. On any given night you’ll find metal bands, cult classic movie screenings, drag shows, or Britney Spears-themed DJ and dance nights. Pick a mood, show up, and break down! (Note that Le Ritz only opens on evenings where it has scheduled events.)

Notre-Dame-des-Quilles (NDQ)

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If you’re queer and have spent more than 72 hours in Montreal, chances are you already have cried in this bar. Remember that time that you walked in to find your ex on a date with your roommate’s ex’s ex and immediately got jealous of how cute they looked in their matching chokers? That was a rough night. But the cheap cocktails, great pizza, and lovely staff made up for it. 

Sparrow

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This Mile End favourite has many of the trappings of the perfect public cry spot: dark walls, comfortingly warm, woody tones, and a highly Instagrammable bathroom in which to take a selfie and capture that post-sob glow. But the best feature by far is the large mirror behind the bar. Pull up a seat and watch yourself cycle through the emotions — melancholy, distress, grief, hope, strength, self-assurance. You are the star of your own public breakdown. 

Snack'n Blues

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Sometimes people cry because they feel empty. One way to fill that emptiness is by going to therapy or developing healthy habits such as waking up at 6:30 a.m. to go for a run or volunteer at the puppy shelter. But one much simpler way is by accessing a spread of bottomless free snacks — and this bar has an entire table filled with just that. If that’s not enough to convince you that this is the perfect place to weep, please refer back to the name (literally Snack’n Blues), which seems to imply that it’s a good place to show up hungry and sad. (The “blues” part also refers to the live music on-site, which can drown out those sobs.)

The Emerald (formerly No Name Bar)

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Head here for the Porter Airlines of emotional breakdowns: it’s crying, refined. With crisp cocktails and vintage décor straight out of a high-end furniture catalogue from 1976, this bar is the perfect location to sit alone and quietly shed a single, restrained tear while you ponder your deepest regrets. 

Sky Bar

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This is not the spot for a casual weep. With four floors and multiple sound systems, you can easily turn this gay nightclub into your very own fun house of personal misery. Shed a tear in the hip hop room before really letting yourself wail on the techno floor: It’s loud and crowded enough that no one will notice. End your night with a misty-eyed gaze at the city on the rooftop patio. 

La Distillerie (multiple locations)

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Most of the drinks at this cocktail bar already include an elaborate six or seven ingredients. That doesn’t mean you can’t add your own twist by letting your tears act as an extra layer of seasoning. They also come in large mason jars to catch those tears.

If a public cry is not self-indulgent enough, pull the ultimate treat-yourself move and order Jiao’s $100 dumpling infused with cognac.

Dom Perignon Bar

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Crying in a bar can certainly look pathetic, but if you choose the right backdrop it can also look mysterious and possibly even sexy. With sleek furniture, signature cocktails, and a dome ceiling, this bar has everything you need to feel like the star of a TV drama about rich New York teens with emotional problems. If you prefer an anonymous cry, this is your spot: you’re unlikely to run into anyone you know. Most patrons will be passing-through hotel guests, and you know that none of your friends can really afford to drink at the Ritz-Carlton anyway. 

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La P’tite Place

Ambiance is a crucial ingredient for a cathartic cry. This bar has it all: the smell of stale beer, the pallid glow of video poker machines, and the mournful crooning of drunk patrons on the karaoke mic. Cue up “Nothing Compares 2U” and let the waterworks begin!

Bar Le Ritz PDB

The sheer variety of entertainment at this bar makes it a perfect place to cry for just about anyone—just make sure you’ve pre-planned. On any given night you’ll find metal bands, cult classic movie screenings, drag shows, or Britney Spears-themed DJ and dance nights. Pick a mood, show up, and break down! (Note that Le Ritz only opens on evenings where it has scheduled events.)

Notre-Dame-des-Quilles (NDQ)

If you’re queer and have spent more than 72 hours in Montreal, chances are you already have cried in this bar. Remember that time that you walked in to find your ex on a date with your roommate’s ex’s ex and immediately got jealous of how cute they looked in their matching chokers? That was a rough night. But the cheap cocktails, great pizza, and lovely staff made up for it. 

Sparrow

This Mile End favourite has many of the trappings of the perfect public cry spot: dark walls, comfortingly warm, woody tones, and a highly Instagrammable bathroom in which to take a selfie and capture that post-sob glow. But the best feature by far is the large mirror behind the bar. Pull up a seat and watch yourself cycle through the emotions — melancholy, distress, grief, hope, strength, self-assurance. You are the star of your own public breakdown. 

Snack'n Blues

Sometimes people cry because they feel empty. One way to fill that emptiness is by going to therapy or developing healthy habits such as waking up at 6:30 a.m. to go for a run or volunteer at the puppy shelter. But one much simpler way is by accessing a spread of bottomless free snacks — and this bar has an entire table filled with just that. If that’s not enough to convince you that this is the perfect place to weep, please refer back to the name (literally Snack’n Blues), which seems to imply that it’s a good place to show up hungry and sad. (The “blues” part also refers to the live music on-site, which can drown out those sobs.)

The Emerald (formerly No Name Bar)

Head here for the Porter Airlines of emotional breakdowns: it’s crying, refined. With crisp cocktails and vintage décor straight out of a high-end furniture catalogue from 1976, this bar is the perfect location to sit alone and quietly shed a single, restrained tear while you ponder your deepest regrets. 

Sky Bar

This is not the spot for a casual weep. With four floors and multiple sound systems, you can easily turn this gay nightclub into your very own fun house of personal misery. Shed a tear in the hip hop room before really letting yourself wail on the techno floor: It’s loud and crowded enough that no one will notice. End your night with a misty-eyed gaze at the city on the rooftop patio. 

La Distillerie (multiple locations)

Most of the drinks at this cocktail bar already include an elaborate six or seven ingredients. That doesn’t mean you can’t add your own twist by letting your tears act as an extra layer of seasoning. They also come in large mason jars to catch those tears.

Jiao

If a public cry is not self-indulgent enough, pull the ultimate treat-yourself move and order Jiao’s $100 dumpling infused with cognac.

Dom Perignon Bar

Crying in a bar can certainly look pathetic, but if you choose the right backdrop it can also look mysterious and possibly even sexy. With sleek furniture, signature cocktails, and a dome ceiling, this bar has everything you need to feel like the star of a TV drama about rich New York teens with emotional problems. If you prefer an anonymous cry, this is your spot: you’re unlikely to run into anyone you know. Most patrons will be passing-through hotel guests, and you know that none of your friends can really afford to drink at the Ritz-Carlton anyway. 

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