Neighbourhood and areas
There are different areas in Montreal where you will find a higher concentration of bars, clubs and cafés. Downtown is where you will find Irish pubs, upscale suit-and-tie dance clubs (they even resurrected the old Limelight) and McGill and Concordia university student hangouts (like the Peel Pub). Most of the clubs are on side streets, the only thing you will find on Ste-Catherine street itself are strip clubs and... the Peel Pub (or maybe Sherlocks) and forget René-Levesque blvd., de Maisonneuve blvd. or Sherbrooke street, there are no bars there except hotel bars on Sherbrooke. The best known bar street downtown is Crescent street between Ste-Catherine and de Maisonneuve (eventhough it has lost some popularity these past few years, it's is still the place to go downtown). There are lots of pubs (for business men and their secretaries) and clubs (for the young westlisland English speaking crowd).
The quartier latin districts in other cities are usually the places to go for bars and clubs, and Montreal is no different. They are mostly concentrated in four areas:
- the "red-light" (corner of Ste-Catherine street and St-Laurent) where you will find mega-dance-clubs (like the Dôme), the Foufounes Électriques punk club, etc
- St-Denis street between de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke for its cafés and rock bars (for the CEGEP du Vieux Montreal and Universite du Quebec a Montreal mostly french speaking student crowd)
- St-Laurent blvd. between Sherbrooke and des Pins ave. for its dance clubs or Prince-Arthur near St-Laurent for the Café Campus or Nitebox which is close to Prince-Arthur
- the gay village (not technically part of the quartier latin... but it's close to it) where you will find cabarets (like L'Entre-Peau), pubs (like the Sky) and dance clubs usually open to everyone.
The Plateau Mont-Royal district is the place for local bars, cafés, hangouts and a few dance clubs like the Le Passeport (yes it's still open!) or the Jungle (industrial-goth) and are mostly located on St-Denis street south of Mont-Royal ave. and on Mont-Royal ave. itself. just east of St-Denis.
Old Montreal is not really a place for dance clubs but there are great hangouts like L'Air du Temps (great jazz club) or Les Deux Pierrots (pub-like with live local french musicians) although there are one or two dance clubs (like the salsa place whose name I can't remember).
There are obviously hundreds of other bars, clubs, taverns in other districts but this section of the guide is just starting so there will be more information added as time goes by.