- Katia Rose
Montreal Bar Recommendations
Taverne Toulouse might be fictional, but the legendary nightlife of Montreal is not. You may need to wait a few weeks (or months... *manic laughter*) to visit any of these places, but for the day Montreal rises again and everyone is able to safely head out and celebrate, here’s a little list of some of my tops recs for places to grab a drink in MTL:
La Distillerie has a few locations around the city, and for good reason! They are not, in fact, a distillery, but they do craft up some of the most interesting cocktails in Montreal. This place is all about quirky details, from the drinks to the decor to the little added touches they have on offer (you can play some Jenga while you snack on complimentary Goldfish crackers.) They switch their drink menu out seasonally, so there’s always something new to try.
This spacious brew pub is an excellent place if you’re looking for somewhere to grab drinks with a group. They serve small meals along with their brewed-on-the-spot beer. I can totally imagine Monroe from the Barflies series stopping by to sip some craft brews. The space itself is also really fun to hang out in, and the terrace is great for people watching and enjoying the magic that is Montreal in the summertime.
Big In Japan
If you want a true speakeasy experience, this is the place to go! We had to scour the block a few times before actually finding it; it’s that covert. Not to be confused with the Big In Japan restaurant a few doors over, the Big In Japan bar will have you feeling fancy AF. There’s a uniformed doorman, velvet curtains, and swanky seating arrangements under dim crystal lights. It’s definitely an experience and worth checking out for the chance to feel like you’ve been transported back in time.
Okay, so this isn’t actually a bar or even a place you can order drinks, but I had to put it on here because the experience is just THAT GOOD. Cirka is a distillery that offers tours and tastings for a super affordable price (which is a definite plus, considering you will find it next to impossible to leave without a bottle or two after trying their products.) There’s a real family feel to this place and its staff, and you can tell just how much love and passion goes into the work done here. The tour was funny, engaging, and very informative. I’d totally go back and do it again, and it’s one of my top recommendations for things to do in Montreal.
Bar Hopping on Avenue Mont-Royal
In my opinion, the true Montreal nightlife experience can only be had by heading out into the night without any real plans and seeing where it takes you. If you’d like to get a taste of the inspiration for Taverne Toulouse, I’d suggest going bar hopping on the one and only Avenue Mont-Royal. The pubs, taverns, and dive bars along this street all shaped the vision I had for Taverne Toulouse, and I always like to imagine I’m going to come across it one day when I’m strolling along.
While we all wait for the day we can cheers each other again, you can get a taste of Montreal in One for the Road!