Link Picks: Nightlife

  • Graphic Jayde Norström

Montreal is known for its timid nature. It’s often referred to as an introverted city, a lonely haven for hermits and old souls to come settle down and sleep out the rest of their lives in perfect harmony.

…Just kidding. Montreal knows how to fucking party. Check out some of our favourite picks from the seemingly endless supply of places to let loose on the weekend.

BARS

L’Escalier, 552 Ste. Catherine St. E.: Don’t miss the tiny set of stairs under this bar’s even tinier sign. Go up one floor and you’ll find delicious food, alcohol and tiny music shows. Every piece of furniture seems to have been tastefully thrifted or saved from the garbage—just sitting there feels awesome.

The Sparrow, 5322 St. Laurent Blvd.: Reading nights and fancy drinks are the perks of this Mile End bar. Try the Brazilian caipirinhas or just have a beer with some friends while enjoying the live DJ sets. Nominated for raddest coasters in town (seriously, just take one and have it framed).

Bily Kun, 354 Mont-Royal Ave. E.: If you like dim lighting, cocktails, hipsters and mounted ostrich heads, this place is for you.

Else’s, 156 Roy St. E.: A tad more expensive than your thrifty Thursday night bar, but totally worth it if you want to impress a crush by demonstrating how refined you are. The only downside is that you have to order their (delicious) food if you want to drink.

La Petite Idée Fixe, 4857 Parc Ave.: Named after the little dog in the Asterix and Obelix comics, this dive bar has a laid-back vibe, but don’t expect a smile from the staff. If you’re not quite convinced, cheap bottles of 40 oz. beers might be enough to pull you in.

Brutopia, 1219 Crescent St.: Considered by some to be the best beer in Montreal, Brutopia has three floors of delicious microbrew and a warm atmosphere, often with free live music, and home to the legendary “Drink with The Link.”

Cheval Blanc, 809 Ontario St. E.: One of the friendliest microbreweries in town, Cheval is a great place to grab a pint at any time of day. It has some of the weirdest decorations of any bar, which makes it all the better.

Dieu du Ciel, 29 Laurier Ave. W. : A great place for the beer connoisseur, this microbrewery is packed most nights between 10:00 p.m. and midnight, so go early or make it a last stop. Featuring an ever-changing selection of unusually flavoured beers, such as coriander. Yep. Pints, glasses or degustation prices.

Crobar, 1221 Crescent St.: Next door to the ever-crowded Brutopia, they have lots of space and a terrace that is begging to be used on warm nights.

TRH-Bar, 3699 St. Laurent Blvd.: One of the more unique spots in the city, this bar is a skateboarder’s paradise, featuring a half-pipe and concrete pools to shred—but remember kids, don’t drink and skate transition.

Le St-Sulpice, 1680 St. Denis St.: A vast complex of a bar—four floors, featuring a dance floor on the top and karaoke on the bottom, and a “library room” filled wall-to-wall with books for the intellectual-types. Before the chilly winds come back from vacation, there’s a huge terrace that packs of students flock to.

Notre-Dame-des-Quilles, 32 Beaubien St. E.: What’s better than drinking and bowling? This dive bar delivers on cheap drinks, unpretentious hipster atmosphere, peeling decor—and Cadence Weapon likes to DJ there often.

Le Ste-Élisabeth, 1412 Ste. Elisabeth St.: The stretch of Ste. Catherine St. between St. Laurent Blvd. and St. Denis St. may seem like a lost cause until you stumble upon this hidden beauty. Turn on the abandoned-looking Ste.
Elisabeth St., make your way through the average-looking pub and walk out onto one of the most beautiful and isolated terraces in the city.

MUSIC & PARTY

Le Quai des Brumes, 4481 St. Denis St.: With a name that literally translates to “the broom closet,” this venue is best known for more intimate shows. Come hang out at night or just have a beer in the late afternoon.

Le Depanneur Café, 206 Bernard St. W.: Sip on an espresso, tea or juice while enjoying an eclectic mix of live music from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day.

La Rockette, 4479 St. Denis St.: An unpretentious bar in the heart of the Plateau that attracts rockers and dancers from all walks of life, but be prepared to pay the cover charge and coat check.

Le Cagibi, 5490 St. Laurent Blvd.: Catch a local show or grab some lunch, often both—they have a resto licence so you can’t get a drink without buying food.

Divan Orange, 4234 St. Laurent Blvd.: Mostly rock, indie and folk shows are featured at this venue, but it’s a solid choice on any weekend.

St-Ambroise Terrace, 5080 St. Ambroise St.: Beers on a hot afternoon are never displeasing, especially if you sip them by the Lachine Canal. Totally worth the walk from downtown.

Casa del Popolo, 4873 St. Laurent Blvd.: Always home to a warm atmosphere even during the chilliest of nights, this place doubles as a bar and a music venue. Has most likely the cheapest cider pints in town, and is complete with Distriboto’s DIY craft vending machine.

Le Belmont sur le Boulevard, 4483 St. Laurent Blvd.: Home to Hip Hop Karaoke MTL, this venue has a fun and close-knit atmosphere. There’s an accessible bar just a few feet from the stage, and a balcony for better vantage points. Things get crazy on Wednesdays.

Le Salon Daomé, 141 Mont-Royal Av. E.: Good electro vibes in a safari-chic loft space. It has a cover charge and pricey drinks, but it’s totally worth it if you wanna dance your ass off to some minimal techno.

Le Metropolis, 59 Ste. Catherine St.: One of the bigger mainstream venues in Montreal, this renovated theatre hosts sold-out shows of big-name bands—but beware the line for retrieving your coat after your favorite group finishes their encore.

Café Campus, 57 Prince Arthur St. E.: As the name implies, this is a hoppin’ spot for students to pass through. Complete with crazy lights, a big bar and an upstairs balcony/catwalk encapsulating the dance floor.

Il Motore, 179 Jean-Talon St. W.: An old converted garage off the beaten path (blue line) near Little Italy, you can discover a new band and new neighbourhood all at once.

La Societe des Arts Technologiques (SAT), 1201 St. Laurent Blvd.: A chic, futuristic arts venue with multiple floors. The coolest shows are held in the “SATosphere,” an immersive full-dome space that’s like dancing in a planetarium under the stars. Shows are often a little pricier but well worth it.

Royal Phoenix Bar, 5788 St. Laurent Blvd.: Vegan-friendly, queer-friendly and student-friendly, featuring constant drink specials and almost nightly events.

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