Best neighborhood tavern in Montreal?
I'm not looking for a nightclub.. or even a bar... I'M LOOKING FOR WHERE THE OLD MEN DRINK. The neighborhood people. The places that have 80 cent drafts. No jukeboxes blaring or poker machines in the corner. Just a couple of TVs, picked eggs in a jar and ice cold fresh beer. A place where people speak only french, and even then mostly in grunts... and they give you the evil eye when you come in the door, if they bother to notice you at all. Any suggestions?
To my mind, the bar that best amalgamates trashy atmosphere, cheap cold beer and sports on TV with a few old men is Bar des PIns, on Parc between Prince ARthur and DesPins. THey recently built a new McGill residence down the street, but no worries; these youngsters rarely attend, unless (and you should watch out for these)they come in a large group, make a huge table and talk as loud as they can about whatever they learned in intro to Philosophy that day. Goddamn hippies. THe bartender is Quebecois but speaks english.
The other place you might try is 'verres sterilisees' on duluth and christophe colomb. or maybe Rachel and C.C. I hear this is a true quebecois tavern, where 'Les Cowboys Fringants' used to hang out. or maybe still do.
Ignore everyone else's answer! The best place to go is Magnan's on Charlevoix in Pointe-Ste-Charles. A true institution - they also serve the best roast beef you can find anywhere. It's just across from the Atwater Market on the Lachine Canal - north of Charlevoix metro station (green line). I took my parents last week - they're from Halifax (a true tavern city) and were most impressed.
re: Stephen Hurst
Magnan is correct, but I don't think that it is the kind of place you are looking for. To my point it is more or less an tavern ambiance, but whose prices are made for executives... (and actually more business man when there for lunch that true alcoolics)
For the kind of place you are looking for, there are actually plenty, specifiaclly in district like Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rosemont, Point-aux-tremble, etc...
I would suggest the ones were I personnly enjoy going:
-La Brasserie Chérier, on St-Denis corner Chérier.
During the week it is typically an alcoolics hangout, wich change in student-alcoolics hangout during the weekend. This is the place were signer Plume Latraverse (wich is well known for his likeness for that kind of place) used to hang out before he was ban for a reason that the waiter will tell you if you become an used customer.
-Le Frontenac, on the corner of Frontenac and Rachel. Just a place to sit and drink beer. (it is may tavern since it is just across my street)
If you are to hang-out in such place be sure to be in touch with Montreal's sports team (especially the Canadians...), since this will be your introduction if you want to talk to the others customers.
You have a death wish or something?? LOL..
Well honestly your best bet is to go into any french areas...Rosemont, Villeray, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve etc... Roam the streets around 5 or 6 pm and follow the people to the taverns.... There seems to be a few good ones on Masson street in Rosemont..
Just know, nowadays, you will find video pokers in all Taverns and bars....goverment has to make its money somewhere, and where better than in a place where bitter, older, lower class education men hang out!!! They'll never know!!!
You're romanticizing. Such places don't offer fresh ice-cold beer for 80 cents. You'll get moderately chilled not-so-fresh domestic draft for $3.
Try Bar Diana on rue Ste. Catherine (a block or so west of Guy, on the north side). It's one of the last remaining downtown dive bars. You see grizzled pensioners in there reading the paper over their draft beers at 8:30 in the morning. There are contrasty photocopied posters for C&W singers with names like CHANTAL TREMBLAY! scotch-taped up on the walls. Lots of Export-A butts around.