An enchanted forest in a downtown basement. A Japanese bar hidden behind a grey door on the Main. A Tiki bar tucked into the depths of Chinatown. Montréal keeps things interesting by forcing you to hunt for some of its most unique spots. Here’s a guide to the city’s secret bars, revealed one neighbourhood at a time.
Plateau Mont-Royal / Mile End
Carefully hidden at the corner of Rachel Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard, this bar serves up a tasteful ambiance and tasty cocktails made from Japanese spirits. It’s a subdued spot that’s perfect for a romantic rendez-vous.
This establishment keeps their address strictly under wraps. Want to find out where it is? Step 1: Become a member to get on their list (and to have the exact location revealed to you). Step 2: Challenge your brain to find the brick that activates the door. Once you go down all the stairs, you’ll be rewarded with burlesque performances and a Parisian-inspired patio that’s open year-round!
This place would be easy to miss. Set slightly back on Rachel Street, Le A Bar is one of those casual and affordable nooks that you and your friends will want to keep coming back to. Wondering what makes it really unique? You can bring your own food or even order from a nearby restaurant. For real!
Previously known to a select handful of locals as le bar sans nom (the bar with no name), The Emerald is home to two distinct environments. In front, it’s 1950s Havana, while the back of the establishment takes you to upscale Marrakesh. It goes without saying that cocktails dominate the offer here, and the stylish servers balance efficiency with sophistication. This is a great destination in the Mile End!
This Berlin-inspired summer pop-up bar features industrial décor punctuated by a bunch of long wooden tables. Though it’s hardly a secret anymore, this place is still a favourite with locals. Stop in to see Montréal-style art of living at its finest.
Located up on the top floor of the Société des Arts Technologiques, Labo Culinaire offers a seasonal menu centred on local ingredients and a list of natural wines. Its rooftop patio is one of the city’s nicest—and most popular—in summer.
Nobody would ever guess that this massive pub has one of the city’s greenest and most tranquil hidden patios in downtown Montréal. This is the perfect spot for early evening bevvies before you venture into the nightlife on Saint-Catherine Street.
If you want to find this place, look for the neon pineapple, then head down into the deepest depths of Chinatown. Inside, Mexican styling meets Tiki cocktails and cheap Chinese tapas. You have to see it to believe it!
This seductive speakeasy is hidden in a high-end menswear shop in the heart of the Golden Square Mile. Both chic and confidential, it only seats 25 people. If you’re looking for an even more intimate setting, ask to sit in their private alcove. The bartender will happily make your cocktail just the way you like it or offer you one of their latest inspirations. Immerse yourself in this modern and elegant throwback to the turn of the 1900s.
Sousbois is an enchanting environment that’s also the best place to take the pulse of downtown Montréal. Imagine a bistro featuring local food, a bar and a nightclub, all within an underground forest. Thursday through Saturday, this place shakes until 3 a.m. Magic!
This establishment is set up in a real 19th century coldroom hidden behind a black door at the corner of St-Vincent Street and St-Amable. Need a clue on its whereabouts? #followtheduck
Des sandwichs et une mystérieuse porte de frigo… 🍽 Bienvenue au Speakeasy! 🍾🍸💥🔫 #lespeakeasymtl #lespeakeasy #montreal #mtlblog #restomtl #speakeasy #mtlmoments #mtlresto #mtllunch #sandwich #120mcgill #mtllunch #mtlfood #mtlnightlife #nightlife #resto #restaurant #vieuxportdemontreal #oldportmontreal #chef
Le Speakeasy leads a double life. It’s a deluxe sandwich shop by day and gentleman’s watering hole by night. From 5 p.m. onward, look for the red light over the refrigerator door. A retro space with a rough-around-the-edges, gangster-chic appeal awaits!
Some of Montréal’s steamiest soirées happen at Velvet in the basement of Auberge St-Gabriel. This happening club attracts beautiful babes in search of high-heeled shoes, tight clothes and a hazy recollection of the night.
This sophisticated Asian pub turns into a high-energy club at 11 p.m. They have a wide selection of Japanese whiskey, sake, wine and exclusive beers.
Tucked away in the basement of Bird Bar, Le HENDEN is Kimberly Lallouz’s latest development. But its secrets have yet to be revealed, as the place officially opens its doors on February 9th!
Just a stone’s throw from the trendy Foiegwa diner, at the back of an ally, is an intimate—you might even say sensual—bar brimming with luxurious vegetation, welcoming bench seats and mirrors on the ceiling. The menu features 450 types of alcohol and 16 signature cocktails, all served in a flamboyant ambiance. Look out!