Montreal summers are scorching, especially compared to the frigid winters one has to endure to make it to the warmer seasons. When the sun is out, there’s only one logical thing to do; find your way to your local terrasse and don’t leave until you’ve downed enough refreshing beverages to cool yourself off. The terrasse (the French word for “patio” for all of the Anglos out there) is a Montreal necessity, and as a transplant to the city, these are some of my favourites to lazily waste away a summer day.
From the front, it may look like an old house; but around the back of Agrikol, you’ll find one of the most happening terrasses in the city. It is perfectly enclosed so you feel almost like you’re hanging out in a friend’s backyard. And with the grill fired up, you’re guaranteed not to go hungry, or thirsty, for that matter. Its outdoor bar serves all of your rhum-based cocktail wants.
Vin Papillon’s sprawling terrasse is exactly where you want to be when the temperature soars above 30 degrees and you can’t be bothered to do anything else. It recently expanded it to over double its original size; so as long as you show up early, you’ve got a good shot at getting a seat. Make a night of it and stay for happy hour drinks all the way through until dinner and dessert!
Every summer, Place Émilie-Gamelin at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Berri gets transformed into the best public beer garden in Montreal. Open seven days a week, this green space in the middle of the city hosts events throughout the summer. So check its calendar for details, grab a brewskie and enjoy!
This neighbourhood gem on Ontario street is removed enough from the tourist crowds of downtown, but is busy enough with local traffic to still be vibrant. It should be noted that it isn’t all about the laid back ambience either; the food and drinks at Grenade are well worth a visit in and of themselves. Order a selection of steamed buns and a tamarind margarita to start.
Dieu du Ciel
One of Montreal’s most believed micro-breweries, Dieu du Ciel’s terrasse is a consistent hot spot summer after summer. It may not have the most shade, so be sure to slather on the sunscreen and bring a hat, but the people watching is incredible. As long as the drinks keep coming, it’s easy to lose yourself for an afternoon.
Vices & Versa
Beer lovers rejoice! If you’re looking for the perfect spot with lots of unique brews to spend a hot afternoon in Montreal, the terrasse at Vices & Versa has you covered, literally and figuratively. With 35 Quebec beers on tap, the selection there will entice you to visit over and over again to try them all!
Off the radar compared to some of the other spots on this list, FoodLab, the restaurant at the Socièté des Arts Technologiques, has a rooftop terrasse that is practically an oasis from the craziness of the city in the dead of summertime. Enjoy an al fresco meal featuring seasonal ingredients and natural wines. It’s like a mini vacation as it were.
Not only do rooftop terrasses get you away from the hoards of humanity at street level, you can people-watch said humanity without having to come in direct contact with them at all. Unleash your inner voyeur at Réservoir, nestled above the busy Duluth street. They’ve got great microbrew beer, and the food is the brainchild of the folks from the now-closed Hotel Hermain, so it’s a winning experience all around.