Hockey season is upon us and fans are already making their plans for the opening game on October 3! The Montreal Canadiens are on the road to start the season, facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Buffalo Sabres.
Your Canadiens will be back in Montreal for the home opener against the Detroit Red Wings on October 10! Until then, you should think about where you'll be watching the first three games of the season.
Now, most of us probably don't have season tickets or access to a cable package so we're left to our own devices. I can't advocate streaming lest Rogers find out where I live, so the next best thing is a sports bar!
I hear some of you groan, of course, but Montreal has some incredible sports bars! Sure, they're loud and the food is what it is, but you're there to support the team, ok?
Believe me, there's no vibe like a packed sports bar during playoffs. It's the next best thing to actually being at the game.
Without further ado, here are the 12 best sports bars to watch the Montreal Canadiens for FREE this season!
Forum Sports Bar
What: Where better to watch a Habs game than in their former arena? Sure, the fact the legendary Forum is a movie theatre might depress you a little bit, but if you're looking, you might just spot one of those legendary Forum ghosts.
Where: 2313 rue Saint-Catherine O.
1909 Taverne Moderne
What: At 1909 Taverne, you'll find quite literally the largest T.V. in the country. And that's not an exaggeration, 1909 has the biggest T.V. screen in Canada! It's also conveniently located under the Bell Centre so you'll be close to the pulse of the action.
Where: 1280 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
What: With a tradition of laying out the opposing team's sweater as a doormat, you know that Pub Epoxy in Saint-Henri is going to be a good time for a Habs fan!
Where: 4210 rue St-Jacques
What: Ziggy's Pub is a veritable museum, absolutely decked-out in Habs memorabilia and merchandise. Even if there's no game, you should have a drink at Ziggy's and bask in the history of the NHL's most storied team.
Where: 1470 rue Crescent
What: Go for the 4-litre beer towers and stay for the hockey! Who knows, you might occasionally spot a former Habs player at this popular rue Peel institution.
Where: 1210 rue Peel
What: You can't go wrong with a Habs game, a few friends, and a 4-litre pitcher of Molson Ex at Peel Pub. Grab a basket of wings and enjoy yourself at one of the most popular bars in Montreal.
Where: 1196 rue Peel
What: Affectionately named "Chez Subban" after he was traded to the Nashville Predators, Chez Serge is a Montreal hockey bar institution, complete with a mechanical bull to embarrass yourself on after the game.
Where: 4281 boul. Saint-Laurent
What: Fitzroy is trendier than most of the bars on here, which might deter your regular sports bar fan. But Fitzroy is definitely not pretentious. In fact, it's one of the best viewing spots in Montreal, with a huge projector screen, pool tables, and plenty of beer.
Where: 551 ave. du Mont-Royal E.
What: A lot of you know Bar Frappé as the Main's main soccer bar. But during the hockey season, Frappé hosts all the Habs games in their spacious bar with TVs all over the place. There are even pool tables to keep you entertained between periods when Don Cherry won't stop talking.
Where: 3900 boul. Saint-Laurent
What: It might not be your first thought, but the cavernous Bier Markt is only steps away from the Bell Centre, so when the Habs win, you can join the parade of fans. Oh yeah, there are also more than 150 beers on tap. Try them all (not in one night though)!
Where: 1221 boul. René-Lévesque O.
Station des Sports
What: With TVs literally everywhere you look (even in the bathroom!), Station des Sports is a no-frills sports bar with lots of room and huge beer pitchers to keep everyone hydrated throughout the game.
Where: 2051 rue Saint-Catherine
La Cage Brasserie Sportive
What: Once known as "La Cage aux Sports," the recently re-branded La Cage has become a place not only for cheap wings and hockey games! They now serve some incredible foodie delights along with the classics and a huge selection of beer. The downtown location is legit built into the Bell Centre, so how much closer to the action can you be?
Where: Various locations around Montreal
Go Habs Go!
All research done in this article is by the author. Restaurants never pay to be featured on MTL Blog's "Best Of" lists; furthermore, this list represents a showcase of great spots and is not a numbered ranking.