Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
May 8, 2009 11:05 AM

ISO the 'best' dive bars

What are some of the 'best' (your favourite) dive bars around town?

I'm branching this from some comments on the Delices de l'Ile Maurice thread, so let's start with porker's contribution there:

"Was driving along Lakeshore a couple of weeks ago and discovered The Green Hornet. Not a true bar since they only serve beer, but a dive with great regulars.
Main Street on St. Laurent comes to mind.
Dianna on St. Catherine.
Goldies on St. Jacques W
Ziggys on Crescent (OK, not a dive, but an oasis on Crescent)"

bigfellow added:
"The Green Hornet has been there at least since I was in High School 36 or so years ago. It was a dive then."

Hafta say I've never heard of any of these places*, but I guess I haven't been looking hard 'cause the best I can come up with is Miami, Barfly, and some no-name tavernes around Rachel, St. Hubert, & that vicinity (I don't consider Copa or Biftek drivey, just joints with cheap beer and more and more McGill kids each year).
*add: nope, I've been to Main Street, just didn't know it's name.

The grungiest place I've found by far - I mean a place where you felt a quart-shattering fight could break out among the grimey jean-jacketed 95% male clientele at any second (or maybe someone would just slip on spilt beer and crack their noggin on the yellow tiled floor) - was simply called Taverne Quebecois. It was on St. Hubert just below Ste-Catherine, kitty corner the Berri-UQAM square (you can imagine if you know the area). It's closed now, though.

Anyway, over to the peanut gallery...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The worst bar I've seen since I've been back in the city is called Diana, I think. It is on St Catherine near St Mathieu.

    I haven't entered.

    1. I've been to some bad bars, but thats not what I'm looking for in a dive; 1. cheap prices 2. colorful clientele 3. relaxed vibe.
      I wanted to mention Le Blues Club de Montreal (or something like that) which is on Cavendish, *just* below Sherbrooke. But to me, qualifies more of a hole than a dive.
      I consider Biftek pretty divey and its great!
      Theres a place in LaSalle (really a neighbourhood joint) called Le Petit Mene. A dive.

      3 Replies
      1. re: porker

        Don't get me wrong, I love Biftek. I go there and Grumpy's (which is sort of a hole) more than anywhere else. But its too mainstream to be a real dive. Not that I want to hang out in places where it feels like there's gonna be a fight, either. I took a look in Diana from on the street Saturday night and kept walking. The Boite a Karaoke bar on that stretch on Ste-Catherine is pretty divey, too, except in a good way.

          1. re: MartinSLR

            I consider the Wheel Club a tribute to the Taj Mahal compared to Montreal Blues Club ;-)
            Actually they are two very different places very close together. Wheel is country, and a dozen steps 'up' the street is Blues Club with a 5 year old temporary sign draped across its brickwork. Its physically in the same building (at the back) as Zacks Thai on Sherbrooke.
            Why its called 'Blues' is beyond me...well I guess I could understand, I was there once and left with the blues...

        1. Bistro de Paris on St-Denis across from Diable Vert could do it. Normand on Mont-Royal has gotten trendier because hokcey nights but it's still some sort of a dive when there's no hockey.

          1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Miami or Barfly.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Shattered

                Sorry about that, I guess I read too fast.