Montreal is the original “Sin City”. It earned its notorious nickname during the United States era of Prohibition when deprived Yankees would cross the border for a little vice-filled fun. While Prohibition in the US ended in 1933, Montreal still has an astonishing number of bars waiting to help you quench your thirst for all things slightly debaucherous. Here is a list of some bars we believe are the best of the best.
Start at Quai de Brumes, dubbed the poor man’s Ritz Carlton, you can join the motley crew that frequents this bar for happy hour drinks for a little touch of class. The ambiance is refined without being stuffy and will definitely give your night of drinking an air of respectability.
If you want to relive a scene from the Moulin Rouge, head over to Café Republique in the Boulevard Saint-Laurent area of the city. While there are no scantily clad women singing Madonna cover songs, the red velvet, gold fringed lamps and French café style seating give it that joie de vivre atmosphere.
Imagine going to your best friend’s basement; he has all the best toys; darts, pool tables, live music and his parents don’t care if you stay all night. The owner created Bar Populaire as an alternative to the drink pusher bars where you can find all the previously mentioned awesomeness. Here you can bring your own food, lounge around all day into the night all with no pressure to buy a thing! I think we may have found bar heaven on earth!
Hidden Gem Alert! Café Sarajevo is slightly off the beaten path but if you’re looking for a something a little quirky, homey and with live Gypsy music straight out of Eastern Europe then you have found your place. Hanging quite precariously on a cliff near bustling Boulevard Saint-Laurent, it should not be overlooked as a stop on your pub crawl.
Are you single and looking to mingle with beautiful people? If you answered yes, then you can’t miss Sofa, where you can relax in an opulent living room setting. If you’re lucky, you may just see an up and coming star or starlet on the seat next to you. Bring your camera, you may get your big break as a paparazzi.
A cigar smokers dream awaits at Stogies Café & Cigares. No ordinary cigar vendor, they only sell the cream of the crop Cubans, offering a range of brands and prices to those puffing aficionados. Just remember don’t inhale!
Put your dancing shoes on, specifically those platforms with the fish in the heel, a la Saturday Night Fever. A trip (literally) to GoGo will have you saying “Yeah, baby!” in your best Austin Powers impersonation. Greeted by a disco ball, lava lamps and super groovy décor you can’t help but get out on the dance floor to the funky beats. No lines here either, so you can get in and get down with your bad self in no time.
Whiskey is for lovers at L’Ile Noire a pub in the Latin Quarter. No ordinary pub in a foreign country gimmicks here; they offer great British and Irish beers, scotches and daily single malts for the bravest of hearts. And the atmosphere is romantic rather than raucous with plenty of nooks perfect for necking with that special someone.
Music is everywhere in Montreal but the best bar to enjoy some tunes is Le Petit Campus. The stage hosts up-and-coming Jazz and Rock artists to student-centered crowd. The place is noisy, lively and oh so hip. Hang out with the cool kids, come on everyone is doing it.
If you’re feeling a bit naughty Le Confessionnal has pew like seating and a quaint chapel atmosphere. Don’t come thinking you will be absolved of your sins; it’s quite possible you may add a few more to your list. I’m sure the bartender will hear your story if you really need to get something off your chest; as long as you order a drink or two.
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for here, there are plenty more where that came from! Leave a comment and tell us which is your favorite Montreal bar.