"Hidden:" The Secret Speakeasies Of Montreal
Updated: Jul 8
I like secrets.
I like secret bars even better.
And I especially like taking secret girls to secret bars the best.
It feels good to get all dressed up and glide through the hidden front door like I'm James Bond, sauntering over to the bartender of this secret establishment to order my favorite martini.
Shaken, not stirred.
Montreal may be one of the top spots to indulge in a speakeasy. It’s got that old school charm in an ultra-modern city that doesn’t exactly hide its dark past. Names like Nicola Rizzuto, Vincenzo Controni and Salvatore Cazzetta stir up old memories of the organized Montreal crime families that once ruled the streets from the shadows, and then rubbed shoulders in secret bars at night.
So here’s a list of five bars that will allow you to relive the more discrete days of the past. But keep them hush hush and don’t let the word get out to the public unless you want to end up in the St. Lawrence River, capisci?
640 Saint-Paul St W Suite 10, Montreal
This beautiful hidden bar is the newest addition to the underground scene. Located in a discreet alleyway near Ville Marie, it focuses on specialty cocktails and sublime bar snacks in a sleek and elegant decor. Knock on the unmarked door and wait to be led downstairs so you can enjoy handcrafted drinks based on specially developed syrups that complement their “no waste philosophy.”
R. Saint-Vincent and St. Amable, Montréal
“Follow the duck" is their motto as well as their directions to find them. But if that’s too cryptic for you, then look for a black door at the corner of St. Vincente and St. Amable to find the entrance to The Cold Room and ring the doorbell. Then you will be personally escorted by a bartender into the stylish cocktail lounge below. Refined classics are on the menu, as well as local wines and a selection of upscale bar snacks. You can also ask one of the knowledgeable staff for a personalized drink and they’ll be eager to excite you.
4005 rue Notre-Dame Ouest
This cozy Havana-like rum bar is hidden underneath the Paper Plane restaurant in Saint Henri. An extensive menu awaits, offering a fine selection of international rums and cocktails to suit every need. Try something familiar like Captain Morgan and coconut, or go for an exotic touch with a Lemon Hart Blackpool Rum from Guyana.
Take a step into Japan for a night through this hidden bar located behind the Ryoshi fish counter in the heart of Montreal. Enjoy cocktails that are authentic or made especially for you and indulge in expertly made Japanese sushi and sashimi from Chef Hachiro and his wife Aiko.
5295 Avenue du Parc Montreal
The bar formerly known as Le Bar Sans Nom (The No Name Bar) is hidden inside the Emerald Hotel, in Mile End. Staying true to their former name, they focus on prohibition-era drinks in a 1920’s stylized decor. Travel back in time for an evening full of live jazz music and specialty made cocktails as you relax on plush leather seats in this classy boutique hotel.
2175 rue de la Montagne
A true gentleman's establishment, The Cloakroom Bar surrounds itself in mystery and romance. This speakeasy specializes in handcrafted cocktails and specialty liquors made by award-winning bartenders, who are ready to serve your exact specifications and tastes. They will even personally hand stamp a fresh cut ice cube for you to order.
436, rue Saint-François-Xavier
A hidden bar inside of a hidden bar, Clandestino specializes in Tequila and Mezcal cocktails with an exciting Mexican flare. Tucked beneath BOHO, another fantastic establishment in Old Montreal, Clandestino offers a more private and refined experience, owing to its warm atmosphere and extensive tequila tasting menu.