Whether you've accepted it or not, back to school season is here for us Montreal students. Yes, this means that you're soon going to have to start thinking about things like learning how to hold a pen again or how to take notes AND listen at the same time. There is one saving grace, however: going out at the end of the day with all of the friends you didn't get to see over the summer.
When it comes to partying in Montreal the options are seemingly endless, which is great, but it also makes it a bit tricky to choose where to go, especially when you're a student. You want somewhere that you can be sure is going to be a good time, but that isn't going to cost you half of your tuition. Trust me, I know the struggle. As a Montreal student myself, I've tried out a number of bars, pubs and clubs in the city - maybe more than I should admit - but I've now found a few go-to favourites to celebrate returning to school.
1. Club Muzique
Nothing says "back-to-school celebrations" quite like going out with your friends, throwing back a couple drinks, and dancing the night away with your fellow Montrealers. Muzique is the perfect place to do just that. It's one of the most famous, trendsetting clubs in Montreal, known for the huge artists that they bring in and the generally very attractive crowd. Chances are you've already heard of it, and have probably even been there a time or two and saw first-hand just how awesome it is. Now I know clubbing can be a little hard on the wallet for most students (those drinks are seriously expensive!), but Muzique is celebrating its sixth year of being open for business by offering up insane bottle specials every Saturday of 2015 - perfect for us broke students that still want to go out in style. The only catch is that the earlier you get there, the better the prices are. From 10:00-10:30 a bottle is $100, from 10:30-11:00 it's $130, and from 11:00-12:00 it's $160. Muzique is also throwing in free admission to all students who turn up before midnight for the month of September - all you have to do is show a valid student ID!
2. Les 3 Brasseurs
For somewhere you can go after class that has amazing food and even better beers, Les 3 Brasseurs is where you need to be. I can't tell you how many different birthday and post-exam celebrations I've been to here. It's a heritage microbrewery hailing from Lille, France that prides itself on offering the true craft-beer experience. Many of their locations in Montreal even have exclusive neighbourhood beers to highlight the specific culture of that location. Take their West Island location for example, they have "The Meuniere," the beer of the west. It's a cream ale at 5.8% alc made with 100% Bramling Cross hops, and you definitely need to try it! On top of that, each location has an extensive menu with super tasty food and specialities inspired by the north of France. And if you're like me and aren't too knowledgable when it comes to beer and knowing what flavours go with what, they tell you which beers pair best with your food.
3. Sir Winston Churchill
Thanks to it being the oldest pub on Crescent street and its central location to many of Montreal's schools, Winston Churchill's is a go-to for Montreal students. I can't even count how many times I've been there. The best part is that it's divided into 3 floors, each with its own unique ambiance, so it's perfect no matter what kind of night you're looking for. The first floor is the pub which is great for grabbing a drink with friends. They have nightly specials, including $2.50 Tuesdays, happy hour deals, and a heated terrasse with an amazing view. The second floor is Winnies, the bar, which on top of having an awesome happy hour with live DJs, has a great menu with daily lunch specials. Oh and the sangria there is not to be missed! On the third floor, you'll find Karina, the night club. With happy hour specials from 8 pm to 11 pm and $5 drinks and $6 beers from 11 pm to 3am, it's a great place to bring your friends and bust a move.
Moomba Theatre is like the Las Vegas of Montreal - it's always a good time, filled with nonstop entertainment, making it the perfect way to blow off steam after class. With a bistro and a discotheque on site, you have all your bases covered. Head on over to the bistro for a delicious meal of oyster shots, cheeseburger dumplings, calamari and more - there's really no wrong choice when it comes to ordering. They also have an amazing cocktail menu with a lot of weekly specials at the bar, so get yourself a drink or three. Once you've filled yourself with some tasty treats, the dance floor is where you need to be. The club has different themes every night, including my personal favourite, Thursday's Old-School Night. There's also EDM Fridays and Latino Night on Wednesday, so there's really something for everyone.
Set on Montreal's Crescent street, Brutopia has been a go-to for students since 1997, and it only gets more amazing every year. They have tons of flavourful beers, all brewed right on the property using local, sustainable malts from Quebec farms. Happy hour happens every day of the week, with deals on house beers, cocktails and wine - perfect for us students looking to save some cash. On top of this, there's also nightly entertainment. Brutopia's home to Montreal's longest running Open Mike night (which happens every Sunday), and why not put what you've learned at school to good use at Monday's Trivia Night? You and your friends will be able to settle once and for all who really is the smartest one of the group. And when you start to get hungry, just order something off of their mouth-watering menu, filled with a variety of international dishes - whatever you get will be sure to satisfy all of your food cravings. Brutopia also accommodates big groups and reservations so you can turn up with your crew.
6. 1240 Pub Asie
With a few years of experience, I can safely say that no school year will go by in Montreal without at least one trip to a Karaoke bar, and after a visit to Pub Asie, it will definitely become a regular thing. This new karaoke pub in the heart of downtown has a cool atmosphere with dimmed lighting, trendy decorations, and of course, a great stage for you to get up on and show off your chops (aka horribly embarrass yourself). They also have a menu full of tasty and unique Asian-inspired dishes, perfect for splitting with your friends. Don't worry about indulging too much, you can just dance it all off later.
Sat in Côte-des-Neiges, TabascoBar is every student's one stop shop for a good time - it's a resto-bar, pub, and night club all in one. The first floor houses the resto-bar, which has amazing food and cold drinks, and when you make your way up to the second floor you'll find pool tables and more of a pub atmosphere. There's a dance club located in the basement which is always filled with people looking to have a good time, so get ready to party the night away. Tabasco really is a prime location for students that want to let off some steam after their first few days back at school.
8. Peel Pub
Already well-known among Montreal students, Peel Pub is always guaranteed to be a super fun place to grab a drink (or four) with friends and catch the latest game. With 30 TVs spread out over 3 floors, you'll be sure to get a great view. What Peel Pub is best-known for, and what makes them so beloved to all of us broke students, is the drink specials! They have different ones every night, each one more enticing than the next, including $0.99 shooters on Thursdays. They also have karaoke night, an awesome terrasse, and a menu featuring some truly delicious pub fare - I personally always go with the nachos. Oh and if you mention that you saw this post between September 10 and the end of October, get 10% off any regular priced item.
9. Le Tequila Bar Saint-Henri
Located in Saint Henri, Le Tequila Bar may be a bit of a trip for some Montreal students, but it's oh so worth it. For a night filed with delicious Mexican food and even better drinks, this is the place you need to be. The bar is stocked with more than 50 premium exclusive Tequilas, a huge beer selection, and the ingredients for just about any cocktail you can think of. My advice would be to go for any of their margaritas - you can't go wrong with them. They're open seven days a week, until 3am, so you can let loose all night to the sounds of their awesome DJs on Friday and Saturday nights, who use actual turntables and don't just press play on a laptop. Get ready to have one of the best nights of your student life.