Chalk it up to the French-Canadian culture and European-inspired architecture, but Montreal has a tendency of bringing out the sophisticated side of its visitors.
Going to a bar a vin (wine bar) is practically a rite of passage for any traveller spending time in the city. And with the vast selection of nightlife options, even just choosing a location (let alone the perfect bottle) can be a task in itself.
Luckily, most of Montreal’s evening haunts have nailed the art of sips and nibbles. With a range of bars specializing in everything from all-natural and organic wines to vintages paired with local cheeses, even the most discerning of grape aficionados will find what they’re looking for. And if you’re new to the wine scene, there’s no better place to dive in with the help of a local sommelier.
Whether you’re in the mood for a laid-back bar in the Mile End or a sleek experience in Old Montreal, the city is generously peppered with must-visit establishments.
We’ve narrowed it down to Montreal’s 4 best wine bars.
3424 Avenue du Parc, pullman-mtl.com.
With one of the most extensive wine selections in all of Montreal, Pullman has become a mecca for wine connoisseurs from far and wide. Housed inside a stunning three-story townhouse on Avenue du Parc, this revered wine bar also boasts a sleek atmosphere (take a peek at the incredible chandelier made out of over 100 wine glasses!) If you’re having trouble choosing from their menu of 300+ wines and select gourmet tapas, just ask one of Pullman’s many qualified sommeliers to guide you towards a glass (or a trio flight) of bliss.
Le Vin Papillon
2519 Rue Notre-Dame
Specializing in natural and organic Old World wines made by small producers, Le Vin Papillon is designed for those with an adventurous palate. As the third restaurant owned by chefs David McMillan and Fred Morin of Liverpool House, foodies will be in their glory while sampling French cheese and small plates. But make no mistake, at Le Vin Papillon, the food comes secondary to the grape. The staff here knows its wines. This artsy-chic 25-seat restaurant does not take reservations, making it somewhat of a challenge to nab a seat on some nights. But a glass at this Old Montreal haunt is most definitely worth the wait.
Buvette Chez Simone
4869 Avenue du Parc, buvettechezsimone.com
When Buvette Chez Simone popped up on the scene, Montrealers unanimously approved. Finally, an affordable wine bar that didn’t compromise on quality. Serving up several charcuterie options, this piece of heaven in the Plateau is the perfect joint to pop by with a group of friends for celebratory drinks. Its lively summer terrace is especially lovely and can get a bit rowdy (in the best way possible) with joyful Montrealers during the cinq à sept happy hour. There are a few places in Montreal where you can truly feel the local joie de vivre in full bloom and this is one of them.
4) Philémon Bar
111 Rue Saint Paul O, philemonbar.com
Old Montreal isn’t just for fine dining and chi chi cocktail bars. Take Philemon, a casual haunt that attracts hipsters, suits and fashionable young professionals for its casual yet stylish vibe. The equation here is simple: good wine and good people make for a good time. So, if you’re in the mood for an uncomplicated evening of wine, upscale bites and conversation, this is the place to be. All the magic happens around Philemon’s horseshoe-shaped bar, while local DJs spin indie jams and crowd favourites like MGMT and The XX. Given the cool ambiance and stellar wine list, it’s no wonder this Old Port anomaly remains a go-to hot spot in Montreal.