Great Bars in Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal has a bar for you, whether you want a glass of wine, a craft cocktail or a pint of beer
Downtown Montreal has a bar for you, whether you want a glass of wine, a craft cocktail or a pint of beer | © David Giral / Alamy Stock Photo
Tess Boissonneault

If you’re looking to wet your whistle, there are many great bar options to choose from in Montreal’s downtown core, whether it’s a friendly pub, stylish speakeasy, chic wine bar or bustling beer garden. Here are some of the best drinking establishments in the center of Quebec’s largest city.

1. McKibbin’s Irish Pub

Pub, Irish

In the heart of Concordia University’s downtown campus, McKibbin’s is an Irish pub with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The bar itself spans several floors, catering to those looking for a pint and a hearty meal as well as those wanting to dance the night away. On special occasions, you can even catch a live-music set at the downtown joint.

2. Le Mal Nécessaire

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

Le Mal Nécessaire has achieved something unique in its ambience. In the basement of a restaurant in Chinatown, the bar has brought a distinctly cool element to the tiki-bar theme. With dim green lighting, stylish furniture and tropical cocktails served in pineapples and coconuts, Le Mal Nécessaire draws on the flavors of tiki with only a touch of kitsch.

3. Club Pelicano

Bar, Nightclub, Peruvian

Club Pelicano, which opened in 2018, has made a big splash on the downtown bar scene in Montreal. The underground cocktail bar-nightclub lies beneath the Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Tiradito (its sister establishment). But what makes it really special is its decor inspired by the art deco Molitor swimming pool in Paris. Beyond the playful pool theme, Club Pelicano serves up impeccable drinks, many of which integrate the Peruvian brandy, pisco.

4. Pullman

Wine Bar, Wine

While there are plenty of places to grab a pint of beer in downtown Montreal, there are also great options for wine lovers. Chief among them is Pullman, a chic bar à vin on Park Avenue. Pullman offers an extensive selection of more than 400 wines alongside small dishes and delectable charcuterie and cheese boards, perfect for an aperitif or a distinguished (or boozy) evening.

5. Cloakroom Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

Though Prohibition is a century behind us, there is still a certain illicit appeal to the speakeasy, and in Montreal, Cloakroom Bar fits the bill. The downtown spot is a menswear shop in the front, but if you head to the back, you’ll find yourself in an intimate, modern cocktail bar. The speakeasy doesn’t have a menu, adding to its mystique. Tell the bartender your preferences, and they’ll mix up a bespoke cocktail.

6. Kampai Garden

Restaurant, Japanese, Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian

Kampai Garden is the shining star in the refurbished Faubourg, a once ageing downtown mall. The Asian brasserie puts a spin on the classic beer-garden concept, serving up fun cocktails and wine in an expansive verdant setting – indoors to boot. The drinks are complemented by an eclectic food menu, including ramen, poke bowls and shrimp tacos.

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