The 18 best wine bars in Montreal to sip and savor right now
While most of us drink wine in restaurants or bars with friends, the real art is in the drinking. And the city of Montreal has quite a few great wine bars to serve up a good glass.
Montreal’s beautiful and eclectic Little Burgundy neighbourhood may not be a destination for fine dining or big nightlife, but its rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere makes it a great place to hang out and enjoy a glass of wine.
Here are 18 top spots for discovering the city’s best wines, craft beers, and spirits, and having a fun evening out.
Best wine bars in Montreal
Take a sip of whatever you’re drinking and look up in awe at the spectacular chandelier, a waterfall of downturned glasses, that hangs above you.
Then, return to the bottom of the page, since this is a great list: Over a hundred bottles of private import, at least 20 well-chosen wines by the glass, and flights that allow you to taste three different cuvées from the same producer without falling off your leather stool.
There are no wines on tap here since Pullman is licensed as a full-service restaurant, which means you must purchase a meal.
It’s a pleasure to do your job when you can have gougères, little bison burgers, or the famed “grilled cheese.” It’s time to eat!
2. Buvette Chez Simone
Someone should bottle whatever they were pouring in the water in the Bélanger household: While Catherine grew up to start Pullman, her sister Gabrielle (with four companions, including the eponymous Simone) founded Buvette Chez Simone farther up Parc Avenue.
The latter is simpler, all wood and chalked blackboards with a stomach-liner menu of charcuterie, cheeses and surprisingly refined small dishes where the veggies originate from their own farm.
Three things are unmissable here: The freshly-roasted chicken, the deep patio in summer and the wine list, which varies regularly but is consistently stocked with exquisite oddities, many of them French. Meal Required.
Marco Romanelli like to be referred to as ‘The Wine Guy,’ and this wonderful wine bar he and Roberto Cardillo founded in Little Italy in 2018 bears that moniker.
Having a separate import firm must make it easier for the pub to get its wine. Whether you’re looking at the wine list or the walls from one of the about 50 chairs (including patio), everything appears simple.
Instead of stacks of tantalizing Italian bottles, this one shows you the ones you can buy according on their color and area.
Gnocchi, risotto, and ossobuco are just a few of the typical dishes on the menu, and the generous servings make it easy to indulge in a Grappa, of which there are around a dozen options.
4. Vin Papillon
However, if you want to try Joe Beef, you’ll have to wait in line for hours just to obtain a seat. They don’t take reservations for their fantastic wine bar next door, although there are long lines.
Everything about this restaurant is worth the wait, from the funky decor to the out-of-this-world innovative food and one of the greatest natural wine lists ever created, all due to sommelier Vanya Filipovic.
As you go inside the restaurant, you’ll see blackboard menus adorning the painted-brick walls and lovely tiny meals adorning the tables, as well as the open kitchen and bar, where wines you’ve been dying to sample vie for attention and space.
One of Montreal’s greatest SAQs is only a ten-minute walk away, as is one of the city’s best wine bars. Maybe premium wine stores come in clusters, like grapes.
When you order a takeout lunch at Pastaga, you can get a bottle of wine for free, thanks to chef-patron Martin Juneau and his co-owners.
Opening a bottle of exceptionally nice wine (usually natural, organic or biodynamic in fact if not on label) and sitting in on one of the high wooden stools isn’t difficult given the menu’s oysters, wonderful beef tartare, and delicious pork ravioli.
6. Le Rouge Gorge
This Zébulon Perron-designed hangout, with its marble-topped bars, white-painted brick walls, and soft lighting peering through the ceiling slats, is one of the coolest in all of Montreal.
There is no surprise that Alain Rochard’s wine list is mainly focused on his native Minervois region of southern France.
He has a similar predisposition to his father Alain but knows when to call it quits: If you’re in the mood for pasta or ceviche, octopus tempura or BBQ ribs, you won’t have to leave your stylishly arranged table to sample the cuisines of Italy, South Africa, Hungary or Australia.
From the same team that owns Lawrence’s restaurant and butcher store, this dinky bar-café-restaurant boasts wines that are more fashionable than the meats served there.
You’re not required to eat, although it’s recommended: Although the charcuterie is undeniably excellent, the vegetable dishes and the toasties, such as flamkuchen and Welsh rarebit, are also really good.
The wines, the majority of which are private imports, span the world without breaking the bank.
To be honest, there are worse ways to spend nearly $200 than a Sicilian Zibibo or a Pyramid Valley Pinot Noir from New Zealand. For a fraction of that, there are some fascinating bottles.
One of the best natural wine lists in the city of Saint-Henri, this old bank’s gloomy interiors are lightened by an incredibly crimson bar-top, as well as a wonderful green patio and a wide selection of orange wines.
At this restaurant, diners may choose between clams with bacon and cheeseburgers on handmade bread.
Eduardo Torres Acosta left his home volcanic soil on Tenerife for Mount Etna in Sicily, and Equipo Navazos, who offer small-production sherries in restricted bottlings, are just two of the outstanding curiosities on the wine list.
9. Philémon Bar
Since 2010, Philémon has been a mainstay in Old Montreal. It was created by Zébulon Perron (who is also a co-owner), and Sébastien Langlois, of Buvette Chez Simone, is in charge of the wine list, which features exclusively private imports.
Mushroom toast and beet salad are just two examples of chef Misha Smarsik’s modest dishes of high-quality veggies. Beef tartare and charcuterie, along with a few hearty pasta dishes, are included in the menu.
Since the people are there to unwind after a long workday, it’s only appropriate that the bar’s beverage menu includes a selection of citrus and macerated wines.
There are more than a dozen wines available by the glass, as well as a number of magnums for those nights when the after-work festivities become the after-weekend ones.
10. Mon Lapin
A trip outside of Griffintown was made by the Joe Beef magic team in 2018.
There are just 35 seats at this little Italian restaurant in Little Italy, but the wait is well worth it: Chef Jessica Noel’s small meals are crafted with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, like as mussels from Salt Spring Island and Hochelaga oyster mushrooms.
Every everything, from the wine selection and menu, to the artful, casual décor, is completely in tune. In reality, the only challenge you’ll face while you’re here is making it home safely at the end of the night.
11. Les Cavistes
This Ahuntsic bistro-bar is a terrific location to sample mostly private-import wines, some of which have been aged for a few years. It also serves delicious French-influenced cuisine produced with locally sourced ingredients.
Bar stools in emerald leather complement the sinuous industrial lights, while the black-and-white checkerboard floor and emerald leather bar stools match the sinuous industrial lamps.
French onion soup with smoked pig broth or Jerusalem artichoke purée or boudin with celeriac and celeriac and Jerusalem artichoke purée are some of the most unique dishes on the menu.
12. Bar Furco
Wine-lovers in downtown Montreal have flocked to Zébulon Perron’s award-winning makeover of the Canadian Fur Company building, which features a pared-down look.
The wine list is full of unusual alternatives, including orange wines and unusual varietals, most of which hail from Europe, while the menu includes dishes like chile and caramel with the quail or marinated octopus with the sea bream.
Wines like Chardonnay and Bordeaux blends are available for individuals who don’t want to consume or drink charcuterie and cheese. You’ll be just as toasty as the CFC’s customers were when they walked out.
13. Le Diplomate
Despite its little size, Chef Aaron Langille’s dishes are packed with flavor.
A tall, wood-topped bar sits adjacent to his kitchen, where you can watch the meals come together while sipping on a glass or two of natural wine: More than half of the selection is from France, but there are also some excellent natural Australian wines on the list.
Langille’s experience in Barcelona is clearly evident, which is why tapas-style dining is prevalent, but Asian food also has a strong impact.
There’s umiboshi here, green curry sauce there, and XO sauce and dashi all over the place. This all makes wine pairing a fun and challenging endeavor! There’s always saké, of course.
14. Maison Saint-Paul
A bottle of fizz can be opened in an unusual way: via sabrage, which involves creating vibrations along the neck and causing the neck to sever in a spectacular fashion.
For those who don’t know, the sparkling wine from northern Italy known as Franciacorta makes most Prosecco appear like water.
In addition to great service and elegance, this Old Montreal bar-restaurant features a cuisine that ranges from raclette to Puglian burrata, shrimp stir-fry, and lobster and foie gras poutine on offer.
Who knew that drinking the wine most often associated with celebration could be so much fun? Plus, on weekends, DJs spin tunes as you dine.
15. Club Social P.S.
The creators of Nora Gray have built a small, brightly-colored bar in the same Saint-Henri building as their second restaurant, Elena.
There are 13 inside chairs and a terrace for those who want to sit outside. After that, you may start your day with a cup of single-roast Ethiopian coffee from De Mello Palheta, then go on to Roman-style al taglio pizza and Elena’s wood-fired pizza in the south of Italy in the evening.
The wine list here is natural, skewed towards Italy, and thoughtfully curated by co-owner Ryan Gray, who has a deep love for Italian wine. Italian pizza and orange wines: a match made in heaven? Take this opportunity to learn more.
16. Le Majestique
To get the most out of your meal at this restaurant, you’ll need to reserve room for the wine list and the menu. That’s not a problem at all: Toqué! alumni Charles-Antoine Crète and Dominic Lalonde appear to have taken full advantage of the opportunity to have some fun with their food and beverage offerings. When it comes to food, New York City is known for its foot-long hot dog covered in spicy mustard sauce, as well as for its private-label wines from small, handcrafted manufacturers. As a bonus, there is the lively, joyful decor of Thomas Csano’s long bar and modest wooden tables.
It’s one of Montreal’s best restaurants, serving up classic French cuisine and a wine list of more than 11,000 bottles. Mario Brossoit, the man in charge of that wonderful wine cellar, is responsible for most of the city’s best wine lists.
The aesthetic, designed by the late Luc Laporte, is right out of a mid-century French cafe movie: Large mirrors, scarlet bar stools, white tablecloths, a palm tree, black and white checkered floor tiles.
There are no sommeliers here, but rather servers who are knowledgeable about wine, according to Brossoit. That’s the best wine bar in the world.
18. Le Petit Alep
With Alep and Le Petit Alep so close to Jean-Talon Market, it’s hardly a disadvantage for a restaurant to be nearby. In the Syrian-Armenian culinary tradition, cuisine is classified as Syrian-Armenian.
Some dishes are well-known (such as the breadcrumb-based muhammara or the Levantine tartare kibbeh), while others have become universal (such as falafel and hummus).
Excellent and extensive wine list: French wine dominates, but so do Italian, Spanish, Slovenian, and Greek wines. In case there was any doubt, Syria is, in fact, a Mediterranean nation.
The 18 best wine bars in Montreal to sip and savor right now. They all serve their own version of what makes a good drink.
Some of the bars are even open late to enjoy the atmosphere and conversation. It’s a great way to connect with friends while enjoying a good cocktail or glass of wine.