The 21 best Downtown Montreal bars you need to hit up – Updated 2022
Downtown Montreal is chock full of fantastic restaurants and bars, but if you’re looking for a quieter spot where you can enjoy a drink and get away from the hustle and bustle, these are our top picks.
The 21 best bars in downtown Montreal include a wide variety of venues, each offering a distinct ambiance and atmosphere.
Whether you’re looking for a lively late-night drinking spot, a cozy corner pub, or an elegant cocktail lounge, these bars will help you find the perfect place for a relaxing night out with friends.
Where to find the best Downtown Montreal bars
1. Kampai Garden
In Shaughnessy Village, a 10, 000-square-foot beer garden has become a popular hangout for students and affluent residents alike.
Floral arrangements, neon-lit wall art, and hot pink barstools and pool tables all hint at a relaxed and trendy vibe in the expansive restaurant and bar.
It’s all about the Antonio Park-curated menu here, which features inventive drinks and high-quality Japanese fusion cuisine.
At the intersection of Union Avenue and Cathcart Street, this Japanese speakeasy-style pub is easy to overlook if you don’t know where it is.
Ryoshi’s chirashi bar has a slatted, wood-lined façade that descends through curtains into a darkly lit, elaborate bar upon arrival. Sofas that snake across the bar are a perk, as are sake-based drinks and Japanese bar food at the front.
Wine connoisseurs go to this downtown restaurant for a glass of wine and a charcuterie platter, one of the city’s earliest wine bars.
Natural wine, robust European classics, and more expensive bubbly are all on the ever-changing, by-the-glass selection, which has become a staple of the locals.
If you want the greatest view in the house, take a seat in a window booth. Hundreds of wine glasses have been strung together to form an enormous chandelier that hangs over the ground-floor bar.
4. Dominion Square Tavern
This downtown institution (together with its next neighbor Balsam!) is a piece of Montreal history, having been renovated from a tavern in 1927 to an expensive English pub and café.
The decor and well-used old furnishings evoke the Jazz Age, while the drinks and small plates do the same.
Scotch eggs, fish & chips, and Sunday roasts with a Quebecois flair may be found here, along with a traditional gin and handmade tonic or a mint julep.
This three-story microbrewery straddles the line between student dive bar and neighborhood drinking hole. There is a different atmosphere on each of the floors.
On the top floors, you’ll find a laid-back atmosphere and a pint of home brew (the honey brown is a fan favorite) perfect for catching up with friends, while the ground level generally has a live band playing on the corner stage.
Summer and much of the fall and winter months are spent relaxing on the back patio.
6. Bar George
Le Mont Stephen Hotel’s previous property, Sir George Stephen’s former home, has been transformed into a stylish English pub and restaurant since 2017.
It’s hard to miss the trendy uncle’s well-loved library ambiance with the wood paneled walls and crimson accents, but it’s the cuisine and drink that have locals coming back time and time again.
Menu items including Beef Wellington and Cornish Hen are served by chefs Kevin Ramasawmy and Anthony Walsh, while the wine and beverage selection is bolstered by Marco Gucciardi.
7. Cloakroom Bar
A decent hidden bar is always a welcome surprise. This classy speakeasy is tucked away in the coat check of a high-end menswear store.
In a luxurious, Prohibition-era-inspired environment, you’ll discover high-quality cocktails created to order by famous mixologists in a way that most current speakeasies have yet to achieve.
8. Stogies Cigar Lounge
Allow the waves of cigar smoke to wash over you while you relax. An indoor/outdoor cigar bar with a view of lively Crescent Street below, this popular spot is a haven for whiskey and beer connoisseurs both.
The humidor adjacent to the bar has a large assortment of cigars for you to choose from, or you may bring your own. More than 100 different martini combinations are available.
Nacarat, tucked away in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, is part of a new kind of hotel bar.
If you’re looking for a place to have a drink while looking out over the bustling streets of Paris, look no farther than Nader Chabaane’s cocktail menu, which includes squid ink, wasabi, caviar-infused vodka, and other unusual concoctions.
10. Pub L’Île Noire
This lovely drinking place is a must-visit for anybody who enjoys exploring new spirits, thanks to its rotating featured whiskey of the month and an extensive cocktail menu.
Pub and cocktail bar with a contemporary twist on traditional English pub design.
A hole-in-the-wall brunch spot, the pub’s electic décor and extensive whiskey and gin menu blend seamlessly together as you move from one side to the other.
11. Les Foufounes Électriques
‘Foufs is a topic that every student (or past student) will have a tale to tell you about.
Due to its close proximity to music venues, live entertainment, and its unbeatable drink pricing, this multi-level dive pub has long been a beloved institution among students and retired partygoers.
Once you’ve made it across the slick floorboards, grab a three-dollar beer and stroll outside to enjoy some people-watching on the terrasse.
12. Piranha Bar
It’s hard to argue with Piranha Bar’s reputation as one of the city’s most popular dive bars.
With a laid-back vibe and a focus on punk and metal, the multi-level music venue and bar is a great place to meet up with friends for a poutine and a beer.
Also, there are plenty of pool tables, darts, and old-school arcade games to keep you entertained throughout the night.
13. Le Sainte-Élisabeth
If you look behind the facade, there aren’t many downtown pubs that can transport you from the hustle and bustle of the city to your own private backyard.
Grab a beer and head to the rear of the bar where the vine-lined inner walls envelop the bar’s lushes in seclusion, making it feel like you’re entering into an urban English garden.
14. N Sur Mackay
When it comes to finding a bar that isn’t overly pompous, this underground cocktail bar and pub is a breath of fresh air.
N Sur Mackay is a nice place to go if you’re looking for a decent drink without having to dress up or feel like you have to schmooze with strangers.
Furco may be found on a quiet side street right off Sainte Catherine, the main downtown road.
This wine bar/club is owned by Café Parvis, which is located next door, but serves up a more refined cocktail menu and a wide selection of wine.
From a secluded hangout to a raucous dance floor, this spacious pub can change its vibe depending on the time of day and the crowd’s energy level.
16. La Distillerie
Ever had a need for Goldfish crackers with your beer? La Distillerie is the place to go.
One of Montreal’s earliest and most popular mason jar cocktail bars, this establishment has subsequently expanded its neon-colored alcoholic offerings to three other sites in the city.
Many of the components in these drinks are basic, but the mouth-puckering amount of spiced rum, bourbon, or tequila in them packs a powerful punch.
17. Le Saint Bock
This laid-back indoor/outdoor brewery is a great place to get up with friends and enjoy a couple specialty brews. If you’re looking for a range of unique and local Quebec beers, Le Saint Bock is the place to go.
Beers are available by the pint or bottle, and standard pub cuisine like poutine and pulled pork are also on the menu.
The terrace is a great place to have a few drinks in the summer while watching hockey or other sporting events on the large screen.
18. Le Mal Necessaire
Le Mal Necessaire, a tiki bar in the heart of the city, did not disappoint.
In the beginning, the neon lighted pineapple and the 70s style décor attracted a lot of Montrealers to Chinatown, but the inventive drinks and the kind bar staff have kept them coming back since it opened in 2014.
You may take advantage of the happy hour rates and the convenient Chinatown location to connect with pals from all over the city or to feed a large group at a round table.
This hip beer and more hangout is the perfect place to unwind with a pint of local artisan brew. On Saint Laurent Street, right across the street from the Université du Quebec à Montréal, Pamplemousse found a comfortable home.
As a wood-fired Caribbean restaurant as well as a Quebec beer showcase, this establishment has something for everyone. Those naanza? Even if they aren’t preparing pizza. What a great result!
20. Club Pelicano
Take a refreshing dip into a different sort of pool at this downtown cocktail bar. Natural wines and an Art Deco pool motif have helped this underground hangout swiftly establish itself as one of Montreal’s most popular hotspots for nightlife.
The 60-seat bar, which pays homage to Montreal’s long-forgotten bathhouses, is the perfect place to unwind with a creative drink in a dreamlike environment while listening to local and international DJs spin records.
21. Hurley’s Irish Pub
Students, young professionals, and anybody else looking for a well-poured pint of Guinness will feel right at home in this quaint, brick-walled pub.
When you spend an evening at this replica Irish bar, you get the feeling that you’re in control of your own destiny. There is no frills goodness to be found here, and there will be no frills goodness to be found there.
We’ve done the hard work for you by compiling a list of 21 amazing bars to go to in Montreal’s downtown core.
There are great places to sip on a beer on the patio, there are cozy lounges to hang out with friends after work, and there are some of the best places to get your groove on at night.
We even gave you some of our own recommendations as well as a few of our favourites.