TOP 10 PLACES TO WATCH HABS GAMES

Posted on April 13th, 2011 by .

Montreal’s collective obsession with hockey borders on mania. The Canadiens are now in the playoffs, which means “hockey fever” in Montreal is at an all-time high. Since I’ve been called up to cover sports and leisure for the Montreal Buzz, I’m going to start with an initiation into the anthropologically rich world of Montreal hockey fandom. These are sport bars in Montreal where hardcore fans go…

Taverne Normand is a favourite local Plateau haunt, with a raucous but cozy feel, where sport is king (“Là ou le sport est Roi”). Each table is assigned a player’s number and if your guy scores, Normand himself brings a round of free shots to the table. (1550 Mont-Royal East, 514-525-8748)

Chez Serge offers hipster denizens a way to avoid sacrificing clubbing over hockey, marrying the two. During ads and intermissions, it’s all DJ tunes, light shows and pole dancing. Oh, and don’t miss the TV on the men’s washroom ceiling! (5301 St-Laurent, 514-270-3262)

Champs Bar & Restaurant is a classic sports bar located on St-Laurent that’s as packed with customers as it is with sport paraphernalia. There’s a big hall with banquet tables on the top floor, so you can bring your team. (3956 St-Laurent, 514-987-6444)

Le Drugstore is where lesbians and gays turn a queer eye on the hockey guys. A behemoth bar on 4 levels, this gay village hotspot offers plenty of distraction to compliment your hockey watching: pool tables, a hair salon, ice cream parlour, and even post-game drag shows! (1366 Sainte-Catherine, 514-524-1960)

La Cage Aux Sports is the mother of all Quebec sport bar chains. The downtown Bell Centre location is next to the action. With two levels, 70 television sets, and 4 giant screens you feel like you’re in the game. Plus, the menu features… a wine list! (395 Rue Lemoyne, 1212 de la Gauchetière, 514-288-1115)

Rachel Rachel: Brasserie Rachel Rachel is the hot new place to watch the game on the Plateau. Headed up by “anarchic” chef and rabid Habs fan, Bob Le Chef, this place serves the perfect food (and drinks) for the game and gets absolutely wild when the Canadiens are playing. (500 Rachel East, 514-524-4446)

Not only does Café Olympico serve up the winningest café in Montreal, it also provides an amicable atmosphere for multi-sport carousing. (124 Rue St-Viateur W.)

La Station des sports offers sports fanatics 20 screens and 4L pitchers are only 18$ (pitchers at 4$)! (2051 Ste-Catherine W., 514-931-5559)

Located in the West end, Claremont Café is a hopping bistro run by locals fixated on watching and playing hockey. Try the house special: duck poutine! (5032 Sherbrooke West, 514-483-1557)

Not everyone can agree on watching hockey? Next to Concordia University in the basement of the Faubourg Shopping Center, Sharx is a sports bar, pool hall and bowling alley, all in one. (1606 Ste. Catherine W., 514-934-3105)

Every corner in Montreal features a local dive you can call home – at least for a one-night hockey-watching stand. Bistro 1815 is one example, but go ahead, try your luck! Any bar with a TV will be tuned in to Habs hockey. (1815 Laurier, 514-521-6125)

Photo: Eric Kearns

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