The first date tells a lot about you -- the type of music you like, the vibe you feel more comfortable with and your drinking style.That's why it's so important to choose wisely where you are taking your first date.
Luckily, Montreal has tons of great bar options. It won't be hard for you to know where to go, specially after going through our list.
Where: 3581 Boulevard Saint-Laurent (map)
It’s very unassuming from the outside, they don’t even have a sign so it can easily be missed. It’s at the corner of Prince Arthur and St. Laurent next to the Scotia Bank. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the decor, service, and of course, the food and drinks. There’s something about SuWu that makes you feel instantly at ease when you walk in. The decor is antique chic, kind of like a fancy wood cabin. Lots of wood, hanging lights, overhead ivy trellises, booths, high tables, sofas and all kinds of old stuff adorns just about everything. The vibe is very laid back during the day and on quieter nights, upbeat and borderline wild when it’s busy (think Thursday to Saturday). There’s a hip-hop soul to the place with drinks that go by the names Big Booty Ho, Brooklyn’s Finest, and Wu-Tang. To add to that they play some sweet hip hop tunes, both old school and new jams.
Where: 3807 Rue Saint-André (map)
This place is cheap and good. They have a nice selection of beers on tap and have some really cool Bloody Caesars with interesting toppings. Their house beer is also pretty good. This place serves excellent comfort at a price that brings us back a few decades. Tacos, grill cheeses, burgers and poutines are all delicious. Sizes are generous and each dish can be customized. Staff is laid-back and friendly. Atmosphere is excellent and their waiting area is probably one of the best in Montreal (they ask you to go wait in the park across the street).
Where: 1134 Avenue du Mont Royal Est (map)
Tapas are delicious, music is awesome (crazy, funky, old-school hip hop) and they have drink specials on a Saturday night. Plus, outdoor terrace in the back with heaters for smokers. Looks like it would be a lovely patio to eat & drink outside. They have pretty good Mojito and 56 different Rums in their menu.
Big in Japan
Where: 4175 Boulevard Saint-Laurent (map)
The Big in Japan restaurant is located on St. Laurent at the corner of Pine. Whereas the bar of the same name screams elegance and class with its low music, respectfully quiet clients and eclectic ambiance, the restaurant is more spicy and upbeat. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very casual – mismatched chairs, counter seating and fun tables fill the dining area. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations unless you’re a group of 8 or more.
Where: 354 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est (map)
This is a great bar in the Plateau with a cosy and relaxed ambiance. They have an extensive list of beers as well as the usual drinks for bars (wine, cocktails, etc). The prices are very reasonable given the area. Dim lighting, unique cocktails, ostrich heads. Great place to go if you've just started to date someone and need a few cocktails and sexy ambiance to get him/her to want to jump you.
Where: 250 Av Du Mont-Royal Est (map)
This place can turn into the French Canadian version of Coyote Ugly, sometimes. The staff are all really friendly and charismatic, the crowd is down to earth, and the prices are very reasonable. Their Sunday nights are probably one of the Plateau's best kept secrets.Good music, hipster crowd and fun. It's a great dive bar and has a cute little patio and outdoor standing area.
La Belle & Le Boeuf
Where: 1620 Saint Catherine West (map)
It would be easy to think this is another sidewalk café/sports bar, but don't be deceived. The feed is fantastic and wait staff is very accommodating.The decor and menu are quite funky, filled with jokes and pop culture references. This establishment is still working out some of the kinks in terms of its liquor license, so there’s no drinking if you sit outside though.
House of Jazz
Where: 2060 Rue Aylmer (map)
The atmosphere is like a 50's cabaret, chandeliers all over the place. The live music starts at 6:30pm. Pure Jazz! The food is also great and the service is excellent. Keep in mind there's a 10$ cover charge on Friday's & Saturdays which they add to your bill. They have a one drink minimum policy though -- which is nothing surprising if you're going to a bar.
Where: 151 Rue Ontario Est (map)
Prices are pretty normal for the kind of bar/location. $7 for a beer and $10-$13 for a drink. They have a food menu as well. The location is nice and spacious -- they have open windows. Good music, drinks, atmosphere. Fridays are the best nights to go to this place yet Saturdays are fun as well. It's not really a true bar nor is it a nightclub, it's a lounge. The music is chill yet groovable, they have tables inside and a couple of bars upon which everyone migrates. They have food that they serve until 11pm which consists of small shareable plates.
Where: 52 Rue Saint-Jacques (map)
This is a very cool bar with nice staff and ambiance. Great wine selection, private importations by the glass. Strong cocktail bar with powerful cocktail drinks. The other magic word is tacos, deliciously balanced combinations of multiple fresh ingredients. A huge sign of quality is the service, very professional. Joverse has nice terrace for the summer days and once you need to migrate inside there are two floors with bars, where you can continue sipping your drink. As the terrace is closed the front door gets peculiarly locked with huge chain and blocked with piece of wood, dark curtains fall over the windows and the bar suddenly gets this wonderful dimly lit athmospere.
Where: 111 Rue Saint Paul Ouest (map)
Philemon is a good loungey-bar to go to with a group of friends or a date while out and about in Old Montreal. It's industrial modern without being too much so, doesn't sacrifice comfort and good taste. There's a tasty list of house cocktails and waitstaff smart enough to know when to recommend a straight scotch or old fashioned instead. Not overpriced for the area, and totally a great option when not obnoxiously over-crowded, like on a winter Sunday with good company.
Where: 3424 Avenue du Parc (map)
The decor is chic and comfortable, but not pretentious in any way. It attracts an eclectic clientele, with a wide range of ages. The music is present, and reasonably loud, but not so you have to shout, or even pay much attention to it. It's the sort of place you can dress up to go, but at the same time, you won't feel under-dressed in jeans. The servers are billed as sommeliers, and definitely seem to know their wines. Also the tapas-style food offerings are top quality.
Le Cheval Blanc
Where: 809 Rue Ontario Est (map)
This place is the first handcraft brewery that opened in Montreal, and is still one of the best and one of the most affordable. You don't go there for food, they can sell you panini, olives or nachos, but they don't have a kitchen, so you usually don't take your meal there. You go there for the beers! The beer and service are outstanding. The bartenders are very friendly. A regular pint is only $6, which is totally reasonable for a craft beer bar. Nice place to relax if you don't like big crowds.
Le Nouveau Palais
Where: 281 Rue Bernard Ouest (map)
A great little diner with not-so-conventional diner fare. Great Burgers! And also good for drinks. Nouveau Palais makes so much sense. Relaxed vibe, drinks and good music. The menu doesn't reinvent the wheel but it does simple foods weirdly well. It's cozy and comfortable and always fun to people-watch on a Friday night.
Where: 2080 Rue Saint-Denis (map)
Great place on a late Friday night. Hookah is excellent and very reasonably priced. The mint and grape flavour are highly recommended. They also have some cool snacks as in deserts and drinks, even some really really cool unibroue beers on draft (amazing). The perfect place if you enjoy a quiet and relaxing vibe, good drinks and shisha.
Where: 343 Rue Saint Paul Est (map)
The exposed brick walls with polished metal surfaces convey that rustic elegance that defines La Champagnerie. Gramophones, metal-pipe contraptions, and other strange objects interestingly showcase a vintage aspect, and contrast the rustic feel. The staff truly care about you having the time of your life. They even allow us to play our own music. They have a great selection of bubbles and by the glass as well as cocktails. The cocktails are very good, but not particularly original. The bartender is very knowledgable about the list. Good DJ, nice atmosphere.
Where: 5800 De La Roche Street (map)
Very nice looking new room in Rosemont, especially at night. Owned by the same folks behind Pub St Edouard you can see a similar mix of the whimsical and tidy. Carved wooden bedposts decorate the bar, and the signature cocktail is the Made With Love winner topped with homemade jalapeno cotton candy. There is a beautiful oyster bar and windows that offer a glimpse into the kitchen where hearty Quebec bar treats like smoked meat sandwiches are carved and served. When looking for a beautiful, romanic spot for oysters and cocktails look no further.
La Buvette Chez Simone
Where: 4869 Avenue du Parc (map)
Its loud and dimly lit ambiance is perfectly fitting for the city at night. The flavours in the food are incredible, perfect with a bottle of wine. The liver pâté is excellent, as well as the beans. Highly recommended. They have a large wine list with decently priced glasses and bottles, good food, and good service. It can get loud on a Friday or Saturday night, but that's expected at a place like this.
Where: 115 Avenue Laurier Ouest (map)
Great drinks, better service and pleasant atmosphere. The noise level is perfect (music is at a comfortable level and the crowd is laid back but fun). Very diverse mix of ages and backgrounds with a sheik vibe. The Martini's are to die for and the apple cider is spot on. So if you want an exciting, up and coming place that serves mixed drinks, then bottoms up.
Where: 5550 Boulevard Saint-Laurent (map)
It's amazing how this dive-bar location was re-invented into a swank kind of speakeasy. A great place for a date (especially a first one). Located right on the corner of St Viateur and St Laurent, the exterior of this bar on a busy night is very inviting. Drinks and food are very good. The space itself is really great, full of small corners that are both sheltered and open to the rest of the space, on multiple levels. The music playing isn't too loud, is varied and just good overall background music. The ceiling is beautiful, covered in wooden slats arranged in a geometric pattern, so if you visit, be sure to look up!
Where: 913 Rue Beaubien Est (map)
It has a vintage video game area and a neat luchadore theme. They also have suspended swinging chairs at some of the tables alongside the bar, which is super cool. The ambiance, location and music are all great. Who doesn't love drinking beer while sitting on a swing? The swings alone give that place an extra star -- and also the Mexican wrestler pics all over the walls.
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