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Montreal’s 9 Favorite Bars

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 Otlogo
Tim Forster
9 Restaurants
Updated June 22, 2022
Restaurants:Marcus, Restaurant Gon Bui, Modavie
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:International, Contemporary Asian, French
Neighborhoods:Downtown, Laval, Old Montreal
A photo of Marcus restaurant

Marcus

$$$$
International
Downtown
4.6
933 reviews

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.


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

A photo of Restaurant Gon Bui restaurant

Restaurant Gon Bui

$$$$
Contemporary Asian
Laval
4.6
189 reviews

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.


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

A photo of Modavie restaurant

Modavie

$$$$
French
Old Montreal
4.5
4744 reviews

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.


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

A photo of Nelli restaurant

Nelli

$$$$
Bistro
Old Montreal
3.9
119 reviews

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.


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

A photo of Bowhead restaurant

Bowhead

$$$$
Vegan
Plateau Mont-Royal
4.3
76 reviews

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.


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A photo of L'idéal Bar & Contenus restaurant

L'idéal Bar & Contenus

$$$$
Wine Bar
Quartier des Spectacles
4.4
18 reviews

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.


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

A photo of Rasoï restaurant

Rasoï

$$$$
Contemporary Indian
Griffintown/St-Henri
4.4
297 reviews

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.


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

A photo of Nacarat restaurant

Nacarat

$$$$
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Downtown
4.2
111 reviews

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.


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

A photo of BEVO Bar + Pizzeria restaurant

BEVO Bar + Pizzeria

$$$$
Pizzeria
Old Montreal
4.4
1254 reviews

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.


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

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