Montreal may be a bilingual city, but that's not how you intend to occupy your tongue when you're there. That’s why we created this list of 8 totally sweet bars that covers everything from Canuck craft beer, to peppercorn ale, to aphrodisiac cocktails from La Belle Ville.
The 8 coolest bars in Montreal
1) Dieu du Ciel!
29 avenue Laurier Ouest; 514.490.5555
Offering their own house microbrews & exotic imports on chalkboard wall menus, Dieu du Ciel! has everything from chocolate stouts to peppercorn-infused red ales to "Aphrodisiaque" cocktails (sometimes known as "literally any cocktail").
2) Dominion Square Tavern
1243 rue Metcalfe; 514.564.5056
In the heart of downtown Montreal, just a street away from all the sinful lures of St. Catherine’s Street, Dominion Square Tavern's fashioned as a Prohibition-era saloon -- one that serves fancy variations on traditional Quebecois pub grub. Pour four drinks simultaneously with their fancy tabletop absinthe fountains, and your liver won't be green much longer.
3) La Distillerie
300 rue Ontario Est; 514.288.7915
The drinks at La Distillerie have a reputation for being really strong, and really big. Where else can you order booze by the liter and have it served to you in a mason jar? Also, you get jars of goldfish crackers to snack on while you drink. This place gets packed, so get there early.
4) Bílý Kun
354 avenue Mont Royal Est
Buzzing on any given night, Bílý Kun is one of the hottest watering holes in the trendy French neighborhood, Plateau (meaning it’s a stone’s throw away from about 4 late-night poutine joints, too). Also, they have a freaking wall of ostrich heads, which is not something you can ignore by just burying your… never mind.
5) Le Lab
1351 Rue Rachel Est.
Drinks are regularly lit on fire in this otherwise dimly-lit bar that has the feel of an ol’ timey speakeasy. Experienced "Labtenders" will be happy to mix up any classic, or something from their list of originals, many of which contain maple syrup. Sweet!
6) The Sparrow
5322 Boulevard St-Laurent
This detail-oriented, hipster-chic spot's always filled with Mile End neighborhood regulars, and's rumored to have the best-looking staff and clientele in the city. Don’t go too far after last call -- they’ll be serving up one of the best hangover brunches in the city the next morning.
7) Casa del Popolo
4873 Boulevard Saint Laurent
Stomping grounds for many of Montreal’s musicians (including the Arcade Fire), Casa’s a great place to take in a night on their patio or to catch a band in their second room. They serve up regular DJ's and nacho plates large enough to ensure you probably won't be able to dance to said DJ's.
8) Le Sainte-Elisabeth 1412 Saint Elizabeth
Down a seedy dark alley just off of the St. Catherine’s strip, you won’t find this place if you’re not looking for it. When you get there, make your way straight through the bar and refrain from gasping when you discover the amazing, vine-covered outdoor terrace; the barkeeps'll easily find another way to occupy your tongue.
1. Dieu du Ciel!29 Ave Laurier Ouest, Montréal
2. Dominion Square Tavern1243 rue Metcalfe, Montréal
3. La Distillerie300 rue Ontario Est, Montréal
4. Bílý Kun354 ave. du Mont-Royal Est, Montréal
5. Le Lab1351 rue Rachel Est, Montréal
6. Sparrow / Le Moineau5322 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal
7. Casa del Popolo4873 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal
8. Le Sainte-Élisabeth1412, rue Sainte-Élisabeth, Montréal
This microbrewery and pub features beers infused with everything from hibiscus to coffee. One of the most popular brews: a creamy cocoa vanilla stout aptly named the Aphrodisiaque (ooh la la!).
The Dominion Square Tavern first opened its doors in 1927 as a hotel restaurant and is still one of the classiest establishments in town, known for their traditional absinthe presentations.
If really strong booze served in really large mason jars is your thing, La Distillerie won't disappoint for a late afternoon cocktail. Goldfish crackers (also served in mason jars!) will help tide you over you while you wait.
Located in the trendy French neighborhood, Plateau, this friendly watering hole is a local favorite and is decked out with an entire wall of... yup, you guessed it... ostrich heads!
Located in the Plateau neighborhood, Le Lab has an extensive cocktail menu that changes regularly and churns out inventive concoctions like the Deer Hunter (Jägermeister, violet liqueur, and lime). It might not even be a stretch to say that Le Lab might just make some of the best cocktails in the country, and if it doesn’t anymore, it certainly paved the way for bartenders to aspire to fancy techniques that hadn’t even crossed their booze-addled minds. The bar is dimly lit and has the feel of an ol’ timey speakeasy, and if you don't like anything on the menu, the experienced "Labtenders" will be happy to mix up any classic 'tail, or something from their list of originals.
This resto & cocktail spot's always filled with Mile End neighborhood regulars who come back for The Sparrow's baller weekend brunch. On the must-eat list: banana and chocolate-filled donuts, smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, and a potato & cabbage dish called Bubble 'n Squeak.
This family-run neighborhood vegetarian hot-spot is part cafe, part live music space, and part resto-bar. Grab an order of their giant nachos and post up on their outdoor patio while you soak up the live tunes.
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.