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Montreal has a vibrant and diverse bar scene and, though I must admit to having retired my shot glass a few years ago, I still adore a good 5 å 7 (that's Happy Hour in Montrealais) or even a night of energy-busting dancing. The best neighbourhoods for bars are Old Montreal, the Plateau and, more recently St. Henri. No matter what anyone tells you, don't go out on Crescent Street, unless you're only interested in meeting other tourists. Here are some of my Montreal faves.
In Old Montreal stop by Philémon, especially on Thursday for the lively after-work crowd. Furco is new to the downtown scene and wildly popular among chic Montrealers, as are Baldwin Barmacie in Mile End and Bily Kun in the Plateau.
If you just want to sit down and relax over a drink and some good food, head to the Plateau to Else's or mingle with students reading papers over pints at Laika. For house-brewed beers hit Dieu du Ciel in Mile End or les Soeurs Grises in Old Montreal.
Dance the Night Away
Putting your dancing shoes on and head to the Velvet Speakeasy at Auberge St. Gabriel in Old Montreal for a Gothic-themed evening. Catch a show at Griffintown's New City Gas or see and be seen over bottle service at Wood 35 on Blvd. St. Laurent.
For a predominantly French city, Montreal has its share of excellent Britsh style pubs. I love the Burgundy Lion for a get together with friends, and NDG's Ye Olde Orchard is always an easy evening pick. Head to Hurley's Irish Pub if you're downtown and wanting a pint over some live music, and definitely on St. Patrick's Day.
Wine and Cocktail Bars
Our french roots mean Montrealers are majore wine lovers. I love to relax over a glass at Pullman (the grilled cheese is a must) and, though I've never been, I've heard great things about Bu. Buvette Chez Simone has a fabulous patio for the summer months. But if it's cocktails you crave, try the creative mixologists at Lab or get old-fashioned at Dominion Square Taverne.