Montreal's Griffintown has had a complex history. It was first populated in the early nineteenth century by unskilled Irish laborers working on the Lachine Canal, the Victoria Bridge, and the Port of Montreal. By the 1940s other immigrant groups had replaced the Irish. In the 1950s "The Griff" would be re-zoned as "light industrial" land to make way for the Bonaventure Expressway and parking lots. Since 2012 and an official municipal "Griffintown Plan", the area has seen something of a miniature Brooklyn-style revival complete with new parks, playgrounds, bike paths, and condos. This gentrification/family-ification has brought many new and innovative restaurants and bars to serve the new residents. Here's some of our favorite places to grab a drink in Griffintown, let us know yours.
Brasseurs de Montreal Inc.1485 rue OttawaThis microbrewery and pub is a Griffintown best. There's good pub food: sandwiches, poutine, nachos, bavette, a truly impressive selection of homemade brews, and a nice humble atmosphere. Homebrewed Milliseme is a bourbon barrel aged Belgian-style beer with a thick malty sweetness and a high ABV. Ghosttown is an Absinthe infused stout with a notable Anise flavor that doesn't overpower the brew.
Le Vin Papillon2519 rue Notre Dame OuestLe Vin Papillon is the latest addition to the Joe Beef family. This precocious youth has everything: lettuce with Bottarga, haricots coco-romano, roasted eggplant with tomato and almond sauce, and roasted caulliflower with thyme and chicken skin --not to mention phenomenal desserts like baba au bluets.
Bar Drinkerie St Cunégonde2661 rue Notre Dame OuestCome for good music, the charcuterie plate, and cheap drinks. $6,50 for most wine, cheese, whiskey, and port. Happy hour from 3-10PM!
Le Bureau1642 rue Notre Dame OuestLe Bureau keeps to Griffintown's industrial roots with their decor: exposed brick, old wooden tables, leather banquettes, and steel vents make this place a relaxing and contextually correct environment. There's an extensive cocktail menu and all the classics are well made. The food menu offers tapas style plates with many differing influences. Spanish: codfish cakes, lime calamari, patatas bravas with chipotle lime sauce. And eclectic: harissa chicken, raïta, flambéed saganaki, and pancetta figs. --Closed now, Le Bureau will be back.
Code Ambiance1874 rue Notre Dame OuestCode is mostly renowned for innovative dishes like duck tartar, lamb ravioli, and seafood couscous, but they also have an impressive selection of wines and cocktails. Stop by for a drink and an appetizer for a great start to your Griffintown night.
Burgundy Lion2496 rue Notre Dame OuestAlthough not technically in Griffintown, this Montreal-classic nearby resto-pub deserves to make our Griffintown list. There's an expansive selection of whiskeys, wines, and beers, accompanied by more than adequate British pub foods: samosas, shephard's pie, fish & chips, scotch eggs, and sticky toffee pudding.
Cafe Griffintown1378 rue Notre Dame OuestThis breakfast spot/resto-pub does excellent bagels and lox, egg dishes, crab cakes, mac n' cheese, and and french toast. On the weekend there's live music and sports games (World Cup screenings too). The 5-7 drinks and snacks menu is one of our favorites.
Le Richmond377 rue RichmondThis gorgeous restaurant has stolen our hearts. Adorned with chandeliers, large windows, old wooden tables, heavy bar stools, the interior of this restaurant is gallery worthy. The prices for food are not low, so come for a drink and an appetizer (try the pesto and a glass of wine) to test it out for yourself.
Rufus Rockhead1726 rue Notre DameThis Little Burgundy bar has three floors with three differently themed bars, regular live DJs, and finger-licking food to match: fried chicken, crab cake burger, and gravlax salad, to list a few.
Brasserie Capri2172 rue St PatrickThe beer is cheap and the food is simple enough, try a pig knuckle for a real #QuePork experience.
For more on all things, follow me on my spanking new Twitter account @MaxWood33