Ever walked into a bar and felt completely at home and a bit out of place all at once? You probably walked into a dive bar. They are the antidote to the Muzique’s and the Ivy’s of this town. Unpretentious, welcoming, dark and as casual as it gets. There are no expectations at a dive bar; no one is there to start a fight with you or sell you some drug you’ve never heard of. Everyone is there for the same reason, to have a good time and get a little bit wasted. No yelling into your friend’s ear or dealing with a bouncer who won’t let you in cause your skirt is too long. It’s an anything-goes type of place that is there to provide you with a clean surface and enough liquor to make your night into a legendary one.
3702, Saint-Laurent, Montreal QC, H2X 2V4
A staple of the Saint-Laurent nightlife scene, Bar Bifteck has been serving cheap pitchers and free salty popcorn for years. A great place to get drunk and play some pool before hitting the clubs, or just to chill and meet some local students. They’ll blast your favourite rock tunes and keep you well-liquored and happy all night long.
Cock n’ Bull
1944 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC H3H 1M4
Ask your dad about Cock n’ Bull and he’ll probably have some drunken story of a night out at Cock n’ Bull. Established in 1967, they’ve been serving cheap drinks and warming hearts ever since. Lots of free entertainment, a manly smell, cheap bar food and now serving 4 litre pitchers of beer for under $20, you can’t skip over Cock n’ Bull on your next bar hop.
Photo cred - Duffy's
1060 Herron Road, Dorval, QC H9S 1B3
It’s fair to say, Duffy’s is a genuine roadside watering hole. But instead of sitting aside some southern highway, like some skizzy tavern from True Detective, it’s on the side of the 20, so you can literally exit at Dorval, grab a few tall boys of Labatt 50 and get back on your way. But I think once you get inside, you’ll be more than happy to stay and listen to some Led Zeppelin on the Touch Tunes. Once populated by regulars, Duffy’s is now hopping on any given night of the week.
239 Guy, Montréal, QC H3H 2K5
You’ve probably walked by Andrew’s pub 100 times and never walked in. Walk in next time and you’ll be forever grateful. One of these laid-back places with a great atmosphere, it is situated across from the Faubourg building on the corner of Guy and Sainte-Catherine, so you know it’s full of arts students. Shoot some pool, drink some cheap tall boys and relax because no one is there to judge you for wearing the wrong brand of t-shirt or rocking a fauxhawk.
1886 Du Centre, Montréal, QC H3K 1H9
Pub Griffin is about as swanky and awesome as it gets. A real local joint of Pointe-st Charles, you're likely to meet all kinds of colourful characters and chat with the hilarious bartender who looks like he just came from a Megadeth show. You may never know where a night at Pub Griffin will take you, but you can be sure that it's going to be one hell of a good time.
Bar Vol De Nuit
14 Rue Prince Arthur Est, Montréal, QC H2X 1S3
Another antidote to the Saint-Laurent club scene, this tasteful little place is located just off the main, across from the midnight madness that is Cafe Campus. As advertised, $5 pints a great terrace, and some of the friendliest wait staff around. Get there fast in the summer if you’d like to sit on the terrace cause it tends to fill up pretty fast. It’s been through a lot of changes over the years but now it seems like the Vol De Nuit that you know and love is here to stay.
1693 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K4
Located in Montreal's quartier latin, this pub is dark, cheap, extremely welcoming, and has one of the best terraces in Montreal. Catch some live music, shoot some pool at this unpretentious hang-out spot after a hearty meal of ribs and cornbread at neighbouring Diablo's BBQ. I mean, is there really any bigger luxury in life than BBQ and beer? I think not.
Photo cred - _login
22 Valois Bay, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R 4B3
Just look for the Taverne Taverne Taverne Taverne sign and you know you're home. If you're in the West Island and you want a place with regulars, bar food and a house cat, this is definitely the place to be. Serving tall boys and good drunken times, The Mayfair is a Pointe-Claire classic, open since 1956.
1470 Rue Crescent, Montréal, QC H3G 2B6
Some see this neighborhood pub as one of the best in Montreal. Full of regulars, it’s a great place to watch the game, and almost feels like a small museum, with the walls lined with all kids of sports memorabilia, showcasing the immense history of this place. In the summer you can sit out on the terrace, enjoy a beer and a cigar and watch the Crescent madness unfold as the night rolls along.
Brasserie Le Village
295 Lakeshore Rd, Pointe-Claire, QC H9S 4L4
Ever since the rise (or downfall depending on how you look at it) of Pioneer, the adjacently located Brasserie Le Village has been booming with youngsters just trying to stay away from the Pioneer crowds and get a few good games of pool and Loterie Video in. Reasonably-priced pitchers and a friendly bartender who looks like she came right out of the 70’s disco scene, this place is most certainly one of the prime dives of the West Island.
1242 Rue Bishop, Montréal, QC H3G 1S6
Located right in the centre of the Montreal bar disctrict, Grumpy’s is a perfect place for great drinks and great food. Two doors over from Irish Embassy and down a little flight of stairs, you’ll find the little hidden gem that is Grumpy’s. It’s got a real cozy feel, the kind of place where you’ll feel comfortable kicking back, having a few beers and some good laughs. After a few pints, you’ll definitely be wishing this was your local bar.
4062 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Y8
Barfly is definitely a quintessential dive bar of the Plateau, bustling with happy people and great times. With $5 pints before 9pm and live music almost every night of the week, Barfly maintains an incredible atmosphere that keeps its customers coming back. Sunday nights they host the Barfly Bluegrass Jam, where various Montreal musicians get together and hammer out some classic bluegrass tunes . With all the habs paraphernalia, drunk pictures and christmas lights behind the bar, it almost feels like you’re in Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Only difference is that we’re in Montreal and it’s still far from being sunny.
Photo cred - Yer'mad
901 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Est, Montréal, QC H2L 1Z2
Breton for Cheers, Yer'mad is a perfect spot to grab some beers with friends and play some foos ball on a classic table. The basement location, the wood paneling, and dimly lit corner booths will help you put the world on pause while you drown out your sorrows. Filled with an ecclectic mix of yuppies, students and punk rockers, Yer'mad is a great dive bar.
Photo cred - Chez Serge
5301 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1S5
Ask any Habs fan where is a good bar to drink and watch the game and they'll tell you Chez Serge. This Mile End dive bar specialize in Molson beer and hockey. It's loud, it's sticky, there's a collection bras hanging on the walls, and it is pretty much packed all the time even when the Habs aren't playing. Add to that sexy ladies dancing on the bar or trying their luck on the mechanical bull, and you've got yourself a damn good time.
Photo cred - Lauren V.
1208 Crescent, 1220 Rue Crescent, Montréal, QC H3G 2B1
Mad Hatter has been around since 1993, and has moved around a bit over the years, but has never strayed away from the Crescent Street area, and has largely made Crescent what it is today. Friendly staff, decent pub food, cheap drinks, and the perfect atmosphere for a sloppy evening. Don't forget to check out their awesome rooftop terrasse.
Bar de Courcelle
4685 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H4C 1S7
This St-Henry neighbourhood favourite delivers that laid-back, let's get fvcked up vibe, with it's dimly lit ambiance and a woodsy cabane a sucre casual feel. They have a solid cocktails and whisky list, and the music generally kicks ass, with a little something for everyone. Get there early though, cause Bar de Courcelle tends to fill up towards the end of the night, surely when all those looking to get a few more in before they stumble home.