Drinking, like almost everything else in Montreal, is a real pleasure. The best bars range from the intimate venues on the east side of town with great local music to the larger college and after work crowd bars in the west end and just about everything in between. Montreal is a great city for bar hopping too as many places are clustered around the main streets and neighborhoods. The drinking age in Montreal is 19 and government picture ID may be requested.
1. Koko Lounge Montreal
Koko Lounge Montreal is the hippest new addition to Montreal nightlife. Conveniently located in the Opus Hotel at the corner of St. Laurent and Sherbrooke, the Yabel Pushelberg designed interior is worth the price of a drink alone.
2. Fou Founes Electric Bar MontrealFou Founes (slang for electric ass) is a lively and eclectic spot at 185 east Ste. Catharine. It has been a downtown staple since the 80's. Fou Founes is pretty happening all year but the patio strewn and hung with oversize metal sculptures and cartoon figures set against a graffiti covered wall define the hip urban patio experience. Particularly good for the young. Regularly features local bands.
3. Bar Ste. Elizabeth Montreal Bar Ste. Elizabeth is a cozy after work spot filled with overstuffed old chairs and sofas located on a side street of the same name just off Sherbrooke near St Denis. To secure a seat, get here before the after work crowd shows up for the traditional cinq a sept (five to seven p.m. after work drink specials) which are extremely popular in this downtown/Latin Quartier location.
4. Le Chavel Blanc Bar MontrealOne of my favorite drinking spots is Le Chavel Blanc that's a bit out of the way on Ontario Street in Montreal's east end. A small, casual, semi-chic place with intimate low lighting where they brew great beers.
5. Billy Kun'sMore sophisticated sister bar to the above, Billy Kun's with the signature stuffed ostrich heads adorning the walls serves the same great brew on Mont Royal near St. Laurent.
6. Le Cabin et Sucre Bar MontrealThe name translates to sugar shack referring to the maple sugar huts found in rural Quebec. Cheap pitchers of beer in this St. Laurent establishment and good inexpensive food are the main draw. A low key, local hangout that can best be described as an old school sports bar that's comfortable, convivial and a great place to improve your french .
7. JoJo's Bar MontrealThis is a great place to dance to blues and old classic rock favorites performed by live local bands that caters to an older crowd, but like many bars in Montreal the ages tend to be mixed. Located below Sherbrooke Street on the east side of St. Denis its a stone's throw to the Saint Sulpice bar, another proud Montreal establishment that caters to a student crowd – both French and English.
8. Chaos BarFurther north on St. Denis and on the same side of the street its Chaos, a punky looking place with near metal music and great 3 or more for one beer specials – a hit with the young head banger set and University of Montreal students.