In many ways Montreal is a lot like Melbourne, a flurry of great bars and eateries all a relatively short distance from the last. We were told that to experience the city properly, visiting a mixture of these nightspots was essential and after doing so we’d have to agree. Here’s our Montreal Bar guide, each with its own unique appeal.
1425 Mayor St
Just a short stroll from our hotel on the outskirts of Place-des-Arts was the venue for our first drink of the holiday – Bar Furco. Bar Furco feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, the streets around it are dead as you descend on the right address questioning the legitimacy of the directions you’ve been given, and then suddenly you’ve arrived. The bar is expansive and full; we’re told it’s full every night. The open kitchen serves excellent share plates, we sampled the charcuteries and olives and beers from a range of Montreal local microbreweries. The crowd is a mix of hipsters and corporate folk but there’s a great energy in the room that carries throughout the entire evening.
Feels like: Nomad, Surry Hills
4483 Saint-Laurent Blvd
Le Belmont is dimly lit nightclub located in Mont-Royal that has been at the heart of Montreal’s live music scene for 20 years. On any given night you’ll find it full of students dancing to any genre of music imaginable. We managed to visit whilst the POP Montreal festival was on and caught Ben UFO confirming the venue sees its fair share of local and international DJ’s. The drinks are cheap and the crowd is young, a perfect place to meet new people and finish your evening.
Feels like: Revolver Club, Prahran
4115A Saint-Denis St
Nestled among a stretch of excellent bistros, nightspots and eateries is Diese Onze, an unassuming Jazz bar sunken into the basement of a Mont-Royal terrace. The relaxed bar features a small stage that consumes most of the room with tables spotted around it. We sat at the bar and drank $8 Negronis whilst an excellent jazz quartet performed. Cover charge was $10 each, $10 well worth it.
Feels like: Nothing Australian
111 Saint-Paul St West
Philemon is located amongst the cobblestone streets of Old Port of Montreal. Aesthetically the bar is very inviting, it looks like it’s going to be excellent but it lacked the same soul we’d experienced at previous venues. If you’re in the Old Port it’s worth popping by for a drink, but be prepared to wait for it.
Feels like: Front Bar Beresford, Surry Hills.
4234 Saint-Laurent Blvd
Montreal’s greatest strength is its cultural diversity and submersing yourself within it is essential to get a feel for the city. Divan Orange is not the sort of place we’d typically visit but the vibrant young crowd spilling out the doors drew us off the street. From our experience it’s a great live music venue, which featured some excellent Canadian artists over the course of the POP Montreal Festival. The crowd is young and carefree and drinks a mixture of local beers and cocktail pitchers. We had such a good time the first night; we went back for a beer the next afternoon and were treated to more great live music.
Feels like: Shooters, Canberra
Marche de la Villette
324 rue Saint-Paul Ouest
Old Port Montreal
After a visit to Philemon Bar we strolled the Old Port on the hunt for a glass of red and some local fromage and came across Marche de la Villette a quaint little charcuterie restaurant overflowing with people. Here they employ a very clever selling technique, they simply place the bottle of wine they have on special for the evening on the table before you sit. Subconsciously you want it and consequently you purchase it. We matched the wine with the best cheese board of the whole trip and left very satisfied.
Feels like: Delicado, Milsons Point