Best Montreal 5-a-7: Part 1

Posted on August 26th, 2009 by .

Ah, the Montreal 5-a-7, a beloved local tradition that is basically just a “happy hour”. Why is it so popular? Perhaps it’s no more complicated than this: Montrealers are social people who love being out and about, so who wants to wait until late into the evening to meet up with some friends for martinis, cocktails and other great drinks? To help you find out where Montrealers go for their favorite 5-a-7s, I’ve assembled a list of the best in Montreal…

I certainly have my favorite places for 5-a-7s in Montreal, and several are listed here below. But I’m only one man and can only have so many drinks in so many places at once. So, I took to Facebook to find out where other Montrealers like to spend their after-work/I-just-really-wanted-a-drink time. Judging by the overwhelming and immediate response, I’m not the only one who loves a 5-a-7.

To simplify matters, I’ve put 5-a-7 destinations together in a couple categories to help you plan out your (early) evening…

    The Fancy 5-a-7: First stop, Pullman. The space, which used to house a carpet store, might fool you at first, but take one step in and the gigantic chandelier and opulent furnishings should let you know you’re in for a classy time. They do have great tapas, but the real pull here is the extensive wine list, which contains some wines not found anywhere else in the city. Next up, Koko located on the beautiful back patio of the Opus Hotel. Though it’s open every day at 5pm (until “late”), Thursday is their big night, and it will be packed with a slightly younger, albeit no less well dressed (“downtown chic” according to their website) crowd than Pullman.

    The Relaxed 5-a-7: Just north of Mount-Royal Ave., in the hip Mile End neighborhood, is Buvette Chez Simone, a relative newcomer to Montreal’s bar scene. It’s got a great patio overlooking Parc Ave., some great food choices and an excellent wine list. And despite being fairly new, Montrealers absolutely love this place, so I wouldn’t get there too far after 5 pm. Another great option, located in the Plateau neighborhood just a couple blocks west of St-Laurent Blvd., is Else’s. A very friendly, low-key spot, Else’s is always filled with regulars who flock to the huge windows that line the place. A friend of mine once saw Will Ferrell in there eating samosas – I’m not sure if that fact is of any help to anyone, but I just wanted to share it…

    The Wild 5-a-7: Here are a couple places that may not make it into most tourist guides – they’re a ton of fun, but you’ve been warned. First off, Foufones Electriques: a sprawling complex of bars and live music stages (which hosted Nirvana, back in the day), populated by crowd of punks, rockers, Goths and people who aren’t afraid of those people. But hey, huge patio and $2.50 beers. On the rooftop of the Hotel de la Montagne is the Terrasse Magnétic, which boasts great sangria and an incredible view of downtown Montreal. It also has a pool, which is open to 3 in the morning with a DJ playing alongside. So, as you can imagine, things don’t stay very formal there for long…

This is by no means all of Montreal’s best 5-a-7s, just a couple favorites. If you take a look through the other bars and nightclubs I’ve featured, you’ll find even more choices. And if you have any specific questions, why not add me on Facebook and ask for a more personalized list…


  1. chana

    / May 10th

    hey do u have any top lists for bars and clubs taht are super fun and not sketchy guy pickup places…
    and do u have tips on which places have ladies nights on which days? i wana go out every night next week lol

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