Sure, Summer in Montreal isn’t exactly insanely long, but we do it really well. And part of capitalizing on the heat is knowing that all happy hours, brunches, and booze-induced naps will, from this month forward, take place outside -- preferably on a sunny terrasse. Thankfully nearly every bar or restaurant has one, but with that many, how to choose? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you, and power-ranked the best eight in town…
8. Le Sainte-Elisabeth (address and info)
It’s not officially Summer until you’ve sipped a shandy in the brick-walled patio of Le Sainte-Liz. Creeping ivy and a long beer list give this place inimitable ambiance and appeal. A symptom of its own popularity, it’s often impossible to get a table. The only solution: arrive early, drink all afternoon.
7. Terrasses Bonsecours (address and info)
This terrasse has, probably, the best view in the city. With the Old Port skyline spread out before you, lounge on the sexy patio couches under undulating palm fronds. What holds it back? Weak sangria and, as the night progresses, an escalating frat-party vibe. Unless super-tan undergrads and EDM are your thing, don’t stick around past 11pm.
6. Coop Touski Cafe de Quartier (address and info)
Grab a picnic table in the secret garden for a copious brunch or hearty menu du jour and rub elbows for some of the best -- and most organic -- food in town. Plus? Local beers are crazy-cheap ($3.75 a pint?!). Touski’s Eastside locale keeps it off the radar, but inconvenient for Downtown dwellers. Pro or con? That’s for you to decide.
5. Le Réservoir (address and info)
Overlooking the cobblestones of Duluth St, this cozy rooftop terrasse welcomes the Plateau’s beautiful and mustachioed elite. Microbrews, like the crispy Weizen or malty Scotch Ale, are delicious and reasonably priced, plus there’s the fantastic brunch menu (homemade donuts; veal tongue grilled cheese) and small plates. However, it’s tiny. People stake out prime real estate and camp out all evening. But can you blame them?
4. Terrasse Nelligan (address and info)
Classy en tabarnak. Take the elevator to the fifth floor for hand-made cocktails overlooking the Downtown skyline. It’s a happy hour mainstay for power suits. But you’ll have to pay to play, kids. Those fresh-squeezed raspberry mojitos will run you $15 a pop.
3. Blanc de Blanc (address and info)
This laundromat-turned-café has an Andalusia-style terrasse with hanging vines and flowering trellises. Kill time during the spin cycle with a sharp cheddar + avocado panini and flirty convos with hot Mile-Enders. The lack of beer and spirits is the only thing keeping this leafy refuge from topping the chart.
2. Alexandraplatz (address and info)
North of the high rises, this terrasse gets full sun nearly all hours of the day. Witness a beautiful sunset while sipping an artisanal soda cocktail or local cider. Its back-alley location and minimalist biergarten benches create a friendly atmosphere that’s free of pretension. Plus, there’s a taco stand. What would give it an edge? More beers on tap.
1. Terrasse St-Ambroise (address and info)
BBQ, brats, and microbrews by the water’s edge? This place does everything right. Located along the Lachine Canal, St-Ambroise’s sprawling terrasse has ample seating, cheerful parasols, twinkling lights, and flowing taps. In fact, the entire McAuslan Brewery is sitting right behind you. Take in the urban landscape of crumbling silos and refurbished factory lofts in the city’s most actively gentrifying neighborhood. Clearly number one.
1. Le Sainte-Élisabeth1412, rue Sainte-Élisabeth, Montréal
2. Terrasses Bonsecours364, de la Commune E, Montreal
3. Coop Touski Cafe de Quartier2361 Rue Ontario Est, Montreal
4. Réservoir9 rue Duluth Est, Montréal
5. Terrasse Nelligan106 rue St-Paul ouest, Montreal
6. Blanc de Blanc248 rue Villeneuve Ouest, Montreal
7. Alexandraplatz6731, av. de l’Esplanade, Montréal
8. La Terrasse St-Ambroise5080 Rue Saint-Ambroise, Montreal
Le Sainte-Elisabeth is tucked away in a back alley, but once you find it, you'll discover one of the most elegant and relaxing spots in Montreal. This European-style pub has tons of microbrews on tap alongside an extensive whiskey selection. The best part of this spot, however, may be its giant, vine-covered outdoor terrace. The terrace is shaded and has plenty of tables all arranged underneath trees. We recommend calling in for a reservation to grab a prime spot at this restaurant, which gets busy during the summer.
A bright and fun bar that attracts the city's 20-somethings like catnip, the Terrasses Bonsecours boats both breathtaking views of the port and some of the prettiest sangria you've ever seen. Located right in the Old Port, you can see the entire waterfront from the sunny terrace. Large couches and patio furniture fill the space with plenty of seating for lounging post-work or on the weekends. The pride of the bar is their multicolored sangria, which packs a punch and comes in all colors of the rainbow. Tapas-style small plates and bar snacks are available to offset the alcohol, and a DJ turns the place into a nightclub on weekend nights.
Hidden on the East side of town, this community co-op serves up the best homemade végé paté and vegan muffins around. Grab a picnic table in the secret garden for a copious brunch or hearty menu du jour and rub elbows with fellow organic activists.
One of Montreal's finest brasseries, Reservoir has a full bar with a handful of specialty beers, in bottles and on tap, and they also serve some killer brunch items and snacks. This microbrewery also has a killer rooftop terrasse, which overlooks one of the most beautiful streets in the Plateau. The menu is entirely vegetarian, so there's bound to be something for everyone to choose from while sipping an ice-cold just-brewed beer.
This elegant Downtown hotel is a hell of a place to stay because of the class and amenities, but its best feature is their rooftop bar and resto, where the drinks might be a bit pricey, but the view and ambience are top rate.
Located in Mile End, this laundromat-turned-café features a lovely leafy terrace with hanging vines and flowers, and a number of small bites.
This divey, converted garage space is a hip take on the classic German biergarten, with cheap beer, communal tables, and daily BBQ grub specials.
The St-Ambroise is a large outdoor patio outside the McAuslan brewery where you can enjoy seasonal and artisan brews (while you watch them being made). The terrace also has a BBQ menu with items like the Griffon Red pulled pork sandwich, which not only highlights the flavors in your beer, it's made with them. Another great aspect of the sweeping patio is that dogs are welcome, so bring your four-legged friend and chill out under the shadow of the silos.