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Montreal’s 9 Favorite Bars

A photo of Red logo
by Tim Forster
Updated June 22, 2022

Since the Prohibition era—and arguably, earlier—Montreal has been a hotspot for drinking, dancing, and all the revelry that comes along with it. So it’s not surprising that the city’s bars and restaurants know how to mix a mean cocktail and curate stellar beer and wine lists. Meet some of the city’s best places for a drink: some are watering holes, some hybrid “resto-bars”, in local parlance, and some are restaurants with lounge-like atmospheres—but all of them serve exceedingly good vibes.

A photo of Marcus restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1495)
CAN$30 and under
Unspecified
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Famed Swedish-American chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Montreal outpost is renowned for decadent seafood dishes, infused with Japanese flavors. But Marcus, set in the Four Seasons Hotel, also features an excellent bar: a short list of imaginative cocktails, such as a cardamom-laced espresso martini, and an intriguing bourbon-tea-maple concoction, set it apart. The ace wine list includes natural choices, to be enjoyed in a glitzy, Art Déco-inspired setting, or on an elegant third-floor terrasse looking over the city.


Top review
Tania
Dined 3 days ago
Always a great experience, looking forward to coming back soon ;)
A photo of Restaurant Gon Bui restaurant
4.6
4.6 (201)
CAN$31 to CAN$50
Contemporary Asian
Laval

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Gon Bui means “cheers” in Cantonese, so it’s little surprise that this part-restaurant, part-bar, is a great place for a 5 à 7—Quebec’s version of happy hour. The interior sets the scene, with Chinese market-inspired décor, a far cry from the ultra-suburban architecture of Laval, where it’s located. Cocktails with some southeast and east Asian twists feature on the menu: expect flavors such as yuzu, pandan, and ginseng to pop up in cocktails. If you’re hungry, there’s a tidy menu that fuses Chinese and Canadian flavors, resulting in plates like char siu ribs.


Top review
RaluKvip
Dined on Jul 19, 2023
Great restaurant, tried it for the first time! Excellent vegetarian tasting menu and our server was so nice and helpful!! Will go back ☺️
A photo of Modavie restaurant
4.6
4.6 (6575)
CAN$31 to CAN$50
French
Old Montreal

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About the restaurant

Part-bistro, part-jazz bar, and all class, Modavie is a relaxed alternative within Old Montreal’s sometimes raucous bar scene. Officially, it’s a wine bar, with plenty of Old World representation: the bottles are all privately imported, meaning it’s wine you can’t typically find in Quebec’s stores. There’s a short cocktail selection and beers from a local brewer, too. The deal is sealed with local jazz and blues musicians providing an incredible brass- and sax-laden soundtrack, seven nights a week.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Lamb pasta and bone marrow beef tartare was delish!
A photo of Bowhead restaurant
4.5
4.5 (76)
CAN$30 and under
Vegan
Downtown

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About the restaurant

At the heart of the buzzy Plateau, you’ll find Montreal’s first all-vegan pub. It’s a casual, low-key spot for an affordable drink, with plenty of beers on tap, from big labels to Quebec craft breweries. There are also classic cocktails such as gimlets and Aperol spritzes, plus a small wine and sangria selection. The vegan element dazzles on the food side: there are faux chicken tenders and wings, poutine, loaded fries, burgers, and mac and cheese, all prepared sans meat. In warmer months, there’s also a deck out on St-Laurent, which is great for people-watching.


Top review
AAlK
Dined on May 27, 2022
A great little pub/resto that I found in Montreal. I decide to go here because I am a bit of a burger fanatic and wanted to try theirs out. I was not disappointed with what I received. I tried one of their special drinks which was tastey. Then one of their local beer selections which was also good. The bowhead burger was my next choice and I would recommend it. I was just right as far as seasoning goes; they didn't overpower the burger. My only disappoint was I was hoping for a slice of their carrotcake for dessert but they were out...all in all probably better for me. If you are walking along the St Laurent strip, I would you drop in and try out the burgers and margharitas here!
A photo of L'idéal Bar & Contenus restaurant
4.4
4.4 (57)
CAN$31 to CAN$50
Wine Bar
Quartier des Spectacles

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

L’Idéal is a café, wine bar and podcast studio—a novel hybrid business model. Podcasts are sometimes recorded in front of a live audience, but there’s a separate room for that, if it’s not your thing. Regardless of where you sit, you’ll be treated to a stellar wine list, courtesy of sommeliers Frédérique-Anne Brosseau and Sydney Auger, with a focus on natural choices; a small yet creative range of cocktails and an array of craft beers fill out the list. The space is spectacularly designed with a mix of marble, leather, and wood: you’ll want to stay a while, and a delectable small plates menu helps you do just that.


Top review
JasmineF
Dined on Feb 10, 2024
Amazing place for a afterwork that turns into a dancing scene (but) only of you like ! The ambiance is top ☺️
A photo of Rasoï restaurant
4.4
4.4 (296)
CAN$31 to CAN$50
Contemporary Indian
Griffintown/St-Henri

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

This spot in Montreal’s southwest is one of the most creative Indian restaurants in town—but it’s also a great place for a cocktail, as hinted by an energetic house and hip-hop soundtrack. The menu leans into fruity and spicy flavors, from lychee to chai — the star player is the mango mojito. You can snack on crispy onion bhaji and an Indian-style salmon tartare, or splurge for a full meal. The vibe is fun, too: Rasoi’s eclectic decor mixes textures such as natural wood to brick, and includes eye-catching décor, inspired by Hindu symbolism.


Top review
Lisa
Dined on Dec 11, 2021
Nothing negative to say. Everything was excellent.
A photo of Nacarat restaurant
4.6
4.6 (172)
CAN$30 and under
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Downtown

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

Tucked in the lobby of the Fairmont-Queen Elizabeth, Nacarat is far from your average hotel bar. The bar’s glitzy space hints at a contemporary spin on glam rock, but the even-bigger star here is the cocktail program. With a cocktail menu arranged by flavor profile, there’s serious attention to detail here: Nacarat’s mixologists play around with elderflower and cherry-based liqueurs, and lean towards top-shelf spirits to make sure the drinks are impeccable. In the summer, there’s also a third-floor terrasse with views over downtown Montreal.


Top review
SabineG
Dined 5 days ago
Drinks are great, service is very good, music is very nice. Overall atmosphere is great.
A photo of BEVO Bar + Pizzeria restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1566)
CAN$30 and under
Pizzeria
Old Montreal

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About the restaurant

This vibrant haunt for pizza and drinks lies just a block from Montreal’s Old Port. It’s a firmly Italian affair: the drinks list has an array of Italian-accented options made with limoncello, prosecco, vermouth, and more; wine drinkers can dig into a predominantly Italian list, and there’s Italian lager for those craving something wheaty. With two floors, Bevo caters to groups, and it’s a charming ambiance, with exposed stone walls in an Old Montreal heritage building. As the name implies, pizza stars on the menu, along with a few pasta dishes.


Top review
JuliaL
Dined on Feb 15, 2024
Thank you John, excellent food and great service. Will be back for sure!
A photo of Nelli restaurant
4.5
4.5 (265)
CAN$31 to CAN$50
Bistro
Old Montreal

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

About the restaurant

A café by day and natural wine bar by night, Nelli is a stylish spot to stop by at almost any hour. Its plant-lined interior shows off the building’s heritage brick façade, creating an ambiance that’s in tune with the historic Old Montreal streets. As the name suggests, playful natural wines are a focal point here, but there’s a robust cocktail program too, with crafty remixes on classic beverages such as sours and negronis. If hunger strikes, there are some light bites, but the bar is part of Hotel Nelligan, so the adjacent Nelli Bistro is an option for a larger meal.


Top review
lex24
Dined on Jan 1, 2024
Delicious brunch to start the New Year. Reservations are a must. Place was very busy, the staff is super attentive & kind. Thank you.
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