Montreal’s Top Terrasses

Posted on August 4th, 2009 by .

To understand why Montreal is a must-visit destination during the summer (a whirlwind period of music, comedy, arts and culture festivals, an unending night of long dinners, drinks and after-hours merriment), one need look no further than Montreal’s winters. Montrealers, contrary to popular belief, don’t love the cold. They tolerate it- where do you think all that moody art and music comes from? So they reluctantly hole up in their houses and apartments, confident with the knowledge that, come June, they won’t be inside for a second more than necessary.

From this seasonal dichotomy springs the all-out Montreal summer. It is why, on any night of the week, you will see the bars of St-Laurent and St-Denis filled with people. It is why a quiet dinner out becomes an all-evening affair. And it is why, on a sunny day, every patio (known in Quebec as a “terrasse”) in the city is filled from the second it opens until several moments after it closes. Being a city of endless variety, there is a terrasse for every type of occasion, mood, whim and/or fancy. Here then are some of Montreal’s top terrasses…

    Sainte Elizabeth (1412 RUE STE-ELIZABETH): One of the cities’ most popular drinking destinations, the Sainte-Elizabeth is famed for its “5-a-7” (a “happy hour” which occurs, loosely, from 5pm-7pm). Just off of busy St-Catherines, its humble exterior hides a huge multi-floor, pub and a massive (45 metes high) vine-covered courtyard filled with fun people, great beer (including their own microbrew) and a decidedly relaxed atmosphere.

    Pica Pica (1310 BOULEVARD DE MAISONNEUVE EST): An inventive tapas restaurant in Montreal’s Gay Village, Pica Pica is an impeccably designed modern loft-style space filled with wonderful people of every orientation. Though they’ve got great food (try the Gambas Bravas), drinks and music (house DJ Angel Moraes is one the owners), the real draw here is their spacious, elegant terrasse and in its in-demand hammock.

    Tokyo Bar (3709 BOULEVARD SAINT-LAURENT): If you want some dance with your drinks, Tokyo is the place for you. Though this DJ hotspot features two distinct indoor rooms (one a lounge, the other more up-tempo), it is Tokyo’s two terrasses that bring the people in. One is a smaller, more intimate space, the other a funky music blasting open-air affair with a perfect view of the pretty people partying on St-Laurent.

    Magnetic Terrasse (1430 RUE DE LA MONTAGNE): Sitting on the 20th floor roof of the Hotel de la Montagne in downtown Montreal, this terasse features an breath-taking panoramic view of the city separated onto two floors: the first a no-nonsense bar, the second a pool area replete with half-naked people and a DJ. The atmosphere is, let’s call it a little “Miami”, but everyone is having a blast and they make a good sangria.

    Restaurant Verses (100 RUE SAINT-PAUL OUEST): The rooftop of the Hotel Nelligan, winner of several prestigious international awards, has one of the best of the best terraces in historic Old Montreal. Featuring an incredible view, this is an upscale location making premium drinks at fairly premium prices. Watch your step after trying their white sangria- the streets surrounding this boutique hotel are all cobblestone.

    Cafe Olympico (124 RUE ST-VIATEUR OUEST): Not every terrace needs to be alcohol-oriented: Olympico, located in Montreal’s trendy Mile End neighborhood, is the focal point of the neighborhood’s music and arts scenes. Featuring some of the best coffee in the city (find a Starbucks if you want drip coffee), its terasse is filled to overflowing every day with hipsters and local residents who’ve lived in the area for generations.

    Koko Restaurant + Bar (8 RUE SHERBROOKE OUEST): The epitome of the beautiful (fairly young) people drinking beautiful drinks in a beautiful place type of establishment. At the corner of St-Laurent and Sherbrooke, Koko is part of the Opus Hotel Montreal and the boutique hotel’s high concept design extends out into a terrasse covered in sleek couches and a spectacular tent. Just seconds away from some of St-Laurent’s most popular nightlife destinations, it’s the perfect launching pad for an evening out.

    Le Figaro Croissanterie (5200 RUE HUTCHISON): Located in the quietly upscale neighborhood of Outremont, La Croissanterie is the perfect place to get a real taste of life a la Montreal. Its wrap-around terasse features French bistro food, great coffee, a solid wine list and some of the most attractive waitress in town.


  1. Audree

    / May 4th

    I wonder what the Mirror’s Best will be this year for terrasses. It’s always the same ones.

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