Photo cred - Brandon Marshall
St-Patrick's Day falls on a Tuesday this year, with the parade set to take over the streets the following Sunday, which basically means we get a full week to make like the Irish and do what they do best - Drink!
Montreal is just about overflowing with bars and pubs to whet your whistle in celebration of Ireland's patron saint, so we thought we would save you some brain power by compiling our top picks of Irish pubs found near or around the parade route to make your life just that much easier.
Not only does McKibbin’s Irish Pub host an awesome open-bar Ladies Nightevery Wednesday, it's also a top location to bring in St-Paddy's Day every year. Ideally located on the corner of Bishop and St-Cat, McKibbin's is the perfect place to meet up with your friends for an afternoon of partying before and after the parade. This year, McKibbin’s will be offering VIP contests, a full breakfast buffet (with Irish Coffee), live Celtic bands, and a DJ playing all day.
The Bishop location fills up fast, though, so get there early, but don't worry, the 4 other locations will also be celebrating St-Paddy's in style!
2. Sir Winston Churchill Pub
As the first pub to ever open on Montreal's iconic Crescent Street back in 1967, the Sir Winston Churchill Pub complex has become a major entertainment landmark in the city today. From the friendly pub downstairs with amazing drink specials, to Winnie's casual bar, to Karina's intimate lounge upstairs, Sir Winston's is a hot spot any time of the year, especially during St-Paddy's Day where you can grab an all-you-can-eat bunch buffet from 9:30-1:00pm, meet with Breakfast Montreal hosts Alexandre Despatie and Joanne Vrakas before and after the parade, and don't miss the Sir Winston Churchill Pub float!
Best known for their natural, sustainable, micro-brewed ales, as well as great food and free nightly entertainment, St-Patrick's Day at Brutopia is always a good time. Friendly staff and three different bars will welcome you in during or after the parade, with free live Celtic music performed by Haidrian's Wall who'll help you jig the day away while sipping on some tasty craft beers. The show will start following the parade (Sunday March 22nd) at 3PM.
Leading up to parade day, Brutopia will be featuring Irish music during the week to get you in the proper festive spirit:
Tuesday March 17 - Shane Murphy - The Irish session
Friday March 20 - The Stogies with Shamus McCluskey
Saturday March 21 - Graham O'Playford
4. McLean's Pub
McLean's is already a top spot for a laid-back drink with friends while cheering on the Habs, but they also know how to celebrate St-Patrick's Day with the best of them. Starting on the 17th, McLean's will be offering Irish-themed live music and events like Irish-accent sing-alongs, Irish hip hop and punk rock, with plenty o' drinking to go with. On parade day, they'll be serving up breakfast from 9am to 12pm, as well as hosting the 23rd annual The Life of Riley Band and the Macsimum Comedy Open Mic Night with $25 Gift Certificate for the best Irish jokes up for grabs.
With an authentic pub feel and a charming beer garden in the back, it doesn't really get more Irish than Hurley's, which is exactly why so many Montrealers find themselves here every year for St-Paddy's Day. Apart from their usual live Celtic music being performed throughout the day, Hurley's will be serving breakfast on Friday 21 starting at 6am for $17, and on parade day will have a full buffet breakfast starting at 8am for $20.
6. Irish Embassy
As the name implies, the Irish Embassy is a pretty obvious choice for all your Celtic celebrations. With a large selection of draught beers and an extensive menu featuring traditional Irish and Canadian dishes, Irish Embassy will kick off the festivities with live music from the Kenny Dupree Band on St-Patrick's Day, then host a Chom 97.7 live broadcast and breakfast on Friday 20 from 6am-10am for $12, and parade day will be a party all night long with live Celtic and rock music from Kitchen Party and That Jack.
7. Ye Olde Orchard
Ye Olde Orchard Pub has more than one location in Montreal, but if you are looking for somewhere to drink for the parade, the one on de la Montagne is your best bet. Super friendly kilt-wearing staff will be keeping the spirits flowing and the pint glasses full in honour of St-Patrick all week long, and Good Time Charlie will be performing some of their best toe-tapping sets on parade day starting at 3pm.
8. Cock n' Bull
Directly on the parade route itself, the Cock n' Bull is ideal for all your St-Paddy's Day rowdiness with your friends. They won't be offering any parade day specials, but the beer is already pretty damn cheap, so you won't really need them. Since the Cock n' Bull finds itself at the beginning of the parade route, it makes a great starting point for an epic Irish pub crawl.