Montreal Terraces, Terrasses, Rooftop Patios: Only the Best

  • 01 of 21

    Montreal's Best Terrasses: From Ground Floor Terraces to Rooftop Patios

    Montreal terrasses, terraces and rooftop patios that are the best of the best?
    ••• Maremagnum / Getty Images

    Montreal terraces, or terrasses as locals call them, are an omnipresent city feature come springtime, an integral part of the Montreal lifestyle which stays put as long as the weather warm enough to enjoy patio life, a season lasting some time between April and October, weather (and outdoor heater) permitting.

    From posh spot to watering hole, casual pub to date-worthy restaurant, they're everywhere: on high-rise rooftops, lining sidewalks for all to see or nestled in courtyards privy to only those in the know. But which Montreal terrasses are the best? Click through this slideshow to find out.

    And a quick note to smokers. If you're caught smoking or even vaping on Montreal's commercial patios as of May 27, 2016, you risk having to pay a hefty fine.

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  • 02 of 21

    Jardin Nelson

    Montreal terraces, terrasses and rooftop patios that represent the best the city has to offer? Jardin Nelson is on the list.
    ••• Montreal terraces, terrasses and rooftop patios that represent the best the city has to offer? Jardin Nelson tops the list. Courtesy of Jardin Nelson

    I've heard some locals call Jardin Nelson a tourist trap. But I think they're mixing up this Old Montreal restaurant with its location, Jacques Cartier Square, an area teeming with underseasoned, overpriced meh. And you know, I sometimes wonder if those naysayers have even been here. I'll be the first to admit Jardin Nelson isn't the end-all in local gastronomy, but so what. Jardin Nelson offers solid bistro fare and it's a FANTASTIC brunch spot. Think about it. Where else can you sip on a mimosa in a flora-lined courtyard and watch a live jazz band footsteps from the Old Port? And wait until you see the courtyard out back. I mean, REALLY. You've GOT to see this. Get there before rush hour to skip any potential lineups. Jardin Nelson's terrasse is open light rain or excessive shine courtesy of awnings and giant parasols. Also open early and late in the spring/summer/early fall season courtesy of outdoor infrared heaters. Family-friendly environment.

    Terrace...MORE type: front terrace, back courtyard
    Venue type: restaurant
    Neighborhood: Old Montreal
    Crowd: casual or posh, locals, tourists, all ages
    Food: brunch, crêpes, bistro, European
    Get There: 407 Place Jacques Cartier, corner of St. Paul Est (map)
    More INFO

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  • 03 of 21

    Pub Saint-Élisabeth

    Montreal's best terrasses and rooftop patios include the terrace at Pub Sainte-Élisabeth.
    ••• © Evelyn Reid

    You'd never guess by the front door and scuzzy side street that one of Montreal's loveliest courtyards is hidden away a few steps out back in the form of a terrace with trees sprouting through the outdoor tiles, a moderately sized space surrounded by four 45-metre (147.6 feet) tall walls covered in ivy. Conveniently located just a few blocks east of Place des Festivals, Montreal's summer festival epicentre. Advice? Try the house beer, the Ste. Élisabeth.

    Terrace type: hidden courtyard (outdoor heaters extend the season)
    Venue type: pub
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: casual, student-heavy
    Food: standard fast food (pizza, poutine, etc.)
    Get There: 1412 Sainte-Élisabeth, corner of Ste. Catherine (map)
    More INFO

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  • 04 of 21

    Six Resto Lounge Terrace

    Hyatt's Six Resto Lounge Terrace
    ••• Hyatt's Six Resto Lounge Terrace. Courtesy of Hyatt

    My very favorite rooftop patio in the city, it's amazing how few people, including locals, even know it exists. Granted, Montreal has a lot of beautiful terrasses, but how many of those patios are in the shape of a belvedere filled with gardens wrapped around the sixth floor of a high rise? How many Montreal patios have actual patio lounge chairs, and offer a view of Place des Arts and the city's outdoor festival hub? I can't think of a better way to be in the heart of Montreal's summer action without actually being smack in the middle of a heavy crowd.

    Terrace type: belvedere lookout, highrise/rooftop, garden terrace
    Venue type: hotel
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: varied, a mix of hotel patrons, visitors and locals
    Food: tapas, bistro
    Get There: 1255 Jeanne-Mance, corner of Ste. Catherine (map)
    More INFO

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  • 05 of 21

    Brasserie T

    Brasserie T is one of Montreal's best terrasses, the ultimate spot to linger with a loved one during the city's biggest summer festivals.
    ••• You couldn't ask for a more choice location for a terrasse in Montreal. A chunk of Montreal's hottest summer events unfold right where that water jet is spurting. Courtesy of Brasserie T

    Brasserie T is one of Montreal's best terrasses, no doubt, the ultimate spot to linger with a loved one and friends during the city's biggest summer festivals. But I bet you didn't know Brasserie T is one of Montreal's best bistros*. The food is WONDERFUL. No surprise to locals, mind you. One of the city's -no, the country's- top chefs is the brainchild behind the place.

    Terrace type: standard patio
    Venue type: bistro / French brasserie
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: varied, a mix of visitors and locals
    Food: French and Québécois bistro
    Get There: 1425 Jeanne Mance, corner of Ste. Catherine (map)
    More INFO

    * I know, I know, it's a French brasserie... not the same thing as a bistro. The two are often confounded in North America. Montreal bistros are often so comparable to the classical French brasserie -and vice versa- that the terms have become practically interchangeable.

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  • 06 of 21


    ••• Courtesy of Pandore

    Rooftop patio aficionados with cash to burn and a craving for killer cocktails are going to have a soft spot for Pandore's terrasse. Consider sticking around as the sun goes down for some impromptu cabaret performances.

    Terrace type: standard patio
    Venue type: cabaret, bar, nightclub, restaurant
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: varied, a mix of visitors and locals
    Food: tapas, bistro
    Get There: 12 Ste. Catherine, 5th Floor, Montreal, Quebec (map)
    More INFO

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  • 07 of 21


    Café Santropol
    ••• Courtesy of Café Santropol

    Open since 1976, it is such a pleasure to sit in Café Santropol's backyard of trees and wild flower garden plus fish pond with their mammoth sandwiches in hand. Even if the terrace is full, Santropol's interior is comparably pleasing. The problem is everyone else in Montreal knows this and lineups to get in can be fierce unless you get there after 2 p.m. weekdays. Weekends are a different story: arrive between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. OR between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

    Terrace type: garden courtyard (outdoor heaters extend the season)
    Venue type: restaurant/café
    Neighborhood: Plateau/Mile-End
    Crowd: hipsters, non-hipsters, all ages
    Food: soups, salads, sandwiches, ample vegetarian and vegan options
    Get There: 3990 St. Urbain, corner Duluth (map)
    More INFO

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  • 08 of 21

    Le Saloon

    Le Saloon is one of my favorite Montreal terrasses.
    ••• Le Saloon is one of my favorite Montreal terrasses. Courtesy of Le Saloon

    When have I NOT had fun at Le Saloon?? I LOVE the vibe on or off its terrasse. And staff are adorable. Great team. A Montreal Gay Village staple chock-full of elaborate yet affordable cocktails and DELICIOUS sangria pitchers, Le Saloon also proposes 5-à-7 drink and food specials.

    Terrace type: sidewalk terrace
    Venue type: restaurant, café, bistro, bar
    Neighborhood: downtown/Gay Village
    Crowd: LGBTA and LGBTA-friendly hipsters, non-hipsters, all ages
    Food: soups, salads, sandwiches, bistro fare, vegetarian and vegan options
    Get There: 1333 Ste. Catherine East, corner of Panet) (map)

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  • 09 of 21

    Montreal Botanical Gardens

    Montreal Botanical Garden terrace
    ••• Courtesy of Montreal Botanical Garden

    I've gone on record more than once over my belief that Montreal Botanical Garden grounds are the most beautiful in the city. So just stop for a moment and imagine its terrasse. Another thing I love about the Botanical Garden terrace is the prices. They're fair! Even wine by the glass is affordable. Live music and 5-à-7 specials (which run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with music starting at 5:30 p.m.) are offered every Thursday, Friday and Saturday mid-June through Labour Day.

    Terrace type: garden courtyard
    Venue type: nature museum, garden and greenhouse exhibitions
    Neighborhood: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
    Crowd: all ages, all types, especially older crowds and families
    Food: tapas, bistro
    Get There: 4101 Sherbrooke East, corner of Pie-IX (map)
    More INFO

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  • 10 of 21

    Terrasse Nelligan

    Terrasses Nelligan
    ••• Courtesy of Terrasses Nelligan

    Rooftop to the posh and professionals who work in the area during the day, Hôtel Nelligan's rooftop terrace offers a stunning view of Old Montreal, notably the Notre-Dame Basilica among other landmark treats.

    Terrace type: rooftop terrace
    Venue type: boutique hotel
    Neighborhood: Old Montreal
    Crowd: posh, professionals, tourists, seen-and-be-scenesters
    Food: tapas, contemporary French, fusion, bistro
    Get There: 100 St. Paul West, corner of Côte de la Place d'Armes (map)
    More INFO

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  • 11 of 21

    Bistro des Moulins

    Bistro des Moulins is without a doubt one of Montreal's best terrasses.
    ••• Courtesy of Bistro des Moulins

    If you're a nature nut like me, you won't want to leave the Bistro des Moulins and its waterside patio come bill time. With the view and sound of an adjacent watermill and rapids rushing by, the Bistro shares space with one of Montreal's largest parks, parc-nature Île-de-la-Visitation. Food quality exceeds its affordable price range and bistro proceeds go towards maintaining the on-site history museum's mills and 18th century architecture. Explore the grounds and view exhibits for free. Honestly? This place would be ridiculously popular if it were centrally located. But since it's out of the way, the Bistro still has this best-kept-secret feel to it. Unless you live in the neighborhood, the best way to get there, apart from the usual gas guzzling car, is by bicycle. Consider making Bistro des Moulins a pit stop on your next cycling itinerary. That's how I originally discovered the place back in 2006.

    Terrace type: waterside patio
    Venue type: restaurant, heritage...MORE site, museum
    Neighborhood: Ahuntsic
    Crowd: casual, all ages
    Food: brunch, French bistro, soups, salads, sandwiches
    Get There: 10897 du Pont, north of Gouin East (map)
    More INFO (in French) 

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  • 12 of 21

    Bar Le Saint-Sulpice

    Among Montreal's best terrasses is of course Bar Le Saint-Sulpice.
    ••• Among Montreal's best terrasses is of course Bar Le Saint-Sulpice. Yves Marcoux / Getty Images

    Popular with UQAM university students while attracting a hodge podge of age groups, Bar le Saint-Sulpice's terrasses are as huge as the four-floor bar, making it a convenient meetup spot for large groups. But it's just as appropriate for a casual, afternoon tête-a-tête. A safe option if you want to go out but don't know where.

    Terrace type: multilevel patios in front, courtyard with trees and fountain in back
    Venue type: pub, watering hole and nightclub/pick-up spot in one
    Neighborhood: Quartier Latin/edge of downtown Montreal
    Crowd: casual, student-heavy, all ages
    Food: standard fast food (burger, poutine, nachos)
    Get There: 1680 St. Denis, corner de Maisonneuve East (map)
    More INFO

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  • 13 of 21


    Montreal's best terrasse? The Benelux brewpub in Verdun might just be it.
    ••• Montreal's best terrasse? The Benelux brewpub in Verdun might just be it. Courtesy of Benelux

    If you think Benelux's courtyard is gorgeous, wait until you try the beer. EVERY single brew on the menu has been house brewed. Benelux is admittedly my favorite microbrewery in Montreal if only for its accent on Belgian-style brews -the team also brews IPAs, stouts, American ales, Pilsners, you name it.

    There's also the convenience of its original downtown location which was a haunt of mine for a while, my go-to pub after catching a show at Place des Arts, a contemporary arts exhibit or as a brewski wrap-up after a day of downtown window shopping or catching free shows at the Jazz Festival. But that terrasse in the photo? Short of legal blindness, it's impossible to confuse it with the downtown patio I frequented all the time, which truth be told isn't quite so glorious. It does the job, mind you. Nope, that vision of leafy splendor is Benelux's newer location on Wellington Street in Verdun, a roughly 10- to 15-minute metro ride from downtown. Worth the trip though,...MORE don't you think?

    Terrace type: hidden courtyard
    Venue type: pub, microbrewery
    Neighborhood: Verdun
    Crowd: casual, all ages
    Food: paninis, eurodogs, bars snacks
    Get There: 4026 Wellington, corner of de l'Église (map)
    More INFO

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  • 14 of 21

    Bota Bota

    Montreal's best terrasse?
    ••• Montreal's best terrasse? Well this is definitely Montreal's best floating terrasse. Courtesy of Bota Bota

    Montreal's best terrasse? How about Montreal's best floating terrasse, or Montreal's best spa terrasse, one located right on the water of the St. Lawrence. You could spend the day doing Bota Bota's Scandinavian style spa water circuit and then conclude with a glass of wine and salmon tartare by the water of the Old Port. OR you could skip straight to the wine (or cocktail, or beer).

    Montreal's only boat spa doesn't have a problem with folks dropping by for a drink and a bite without booking any spa services BUT there's a chance you might get turned away if you only want to drink and eat since spa patrons get priority access to the terrace. On weekends, the boat fills up fairly consistently with folks booking the water circuit or a massage. By the way, the dishes? This is not that bland spa food -dry tuna wraps spring to mind- you've come to expect. The menu is executed by Old Montreal's nearby Auberge St. Gabriel.

    Terrace type: floating
    Venue type: boat...MORE spa
    Neighborhood: Old Montreal
    Crowd: tourists and locals, all ages, slightly posh
    Food: French fusion bistro fare, vegetarian and vegan options
    Get There: Old Port of Montreal, by the water near the corner of McGill and de la Commune (map)
    More INFO

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  • 15 of 21

    Il Cortile

    Montreal's best terrasses include downtown Italian restaurant Il Cortile.
    ••• Downtown Montreal Italian restaurant Il Cortile features one of the city's best hidden courtyards. Courtesy of Il Cortile

    There are very few places in Montreal that feel like an Italian village alleyway, places that can boast a secret, narrow, flower-lined courtyard in the heart of downtown, this, in close proximity to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. With that visual in mind, consider that it's nearly impossible to casually "notice" or stumble upon Il Cortile since the Italian restaurant is nestled in the backside of a beautiful, posh grey stone fronted office building. Either you know about it. Or you don't.

    So the setting is idyllic. Romantic. Perfect. Food wise though, my experience has been spotty. Veal? Overcooked. Steak? Same story, even when requesting medium rare. Not the best cut I've ever had either, considering the upscale prices. But anything with shrimp is generally fabulous and the gorgonzola gnocchi? BEST in the city. This, coming from someone who can't stand blue cheese. I could eat that gnocchi every day. Incidentally, it's Il Cortile's signature dish. So...MORE if you go and you're not familiar with the menu, ask for guidance. Find out what the chef loves to cook and go with that. And the gnocchi.

    Terrace type: alleyway courtyard
    Venue type: restaurant, fine dining
    Neighborhood: Museum Quarter
    Crowd: mostly regulars, older, posh
    Food: classic Italian
    Get There: 1442 Sherbrooke Street West (map)
    More INFO

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  • 16 of 21

    New City Gas

    New City Gas
    ••• Montreal's best terrasse for singles and hot times? I'm calling New City Gas. Courtesy of New City Gas

    Single and on the prowl? I've got just the spot for ya. World class EDM club by night -the kind with used condoms peppering nearby concrete, my own observation- and trendy a 5-à-7 destination by spring and summer's day, New City Gas has a huge outdoor courtyard perfect for after work drinks.

    Located in a slightly out-of-the-way industrial zone that's gradually gentrifying, New City Gas is a 15-minute walk to the closest metro station. Another thing. Staff has been known to get rough and tough when the venue switches from swank happy hour mode to EDM club so think twice before causing a scene as the evening progresses. Dress to impress. Terrasse open Thursdays only (as of May 26 in 2016).

    Terrace type: courtyard
    Venue type: club, bar, nightlife destination
    Neighborhood: Griffintown
    Crowd: late teens, young to middle aged professionals, occasional douche vibe
    Food: pop-up kitchen serving tacos, ceviche, etc.
    Get There: 950 Ottawa, between Ann and Dalhousie (map)
    More INFO

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  • 17 of 21

    Jardins Gamelin

    Montreal's best terrasses? Jardins Gamelin's patio made the cut.
    ••• hm.pix / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

    Downtown public square Place Emilie-Gamelin was a sketch fest for as long as I can remember, conspicuous drug deals, unwanted altercations with the publicly intoxicated in broad daylight and rampant signs of homelessness popping straight to mind. In recent years, free events and activities have characterized Place Emilie-Gamelin every summer, an ostensible effort to attract families and change the very face of the once run down public space.

    In 2015, Jardins Gamelin took the square's revitalization a step further, turning the square into a playground of free daily activities, shows and performances augmented by a temporary terrasse space complete with food and drink kiosk. In 2016, Jardins Gamelin is open from May 12 to October 2, 2016 and features a repeat of the previous year's generous and eclectic event and activities and agenda.

    As per the organizing committee, "the new facilities include repurposed shipping containers hosting bar and restaurant services, a large patio...MORE covered by a luminous canopy, a stage, areas dedicated to urban agriculture and a local produce market (at the end of summer). A new architectural video projection on a building adjacent to Place Émilie-Gamelin will be unveiled, as will a superb hanging illuminated work."

    Terrace type: public square
    Venue type: public square
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: anyone and everyone
    Food: yes
    Get There: corner of Ste. Catherine and Berri (map)
    More INFO

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  • 18 of 21

    Marché Jean-Talon

    Montreal terraces, terrasses and patios that are the best of the best include the Jean-Talon Market.
    ••• Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

    In need of coffee? Grilled merguez? Croissants made from butter? Maybe a sweet crêpe or a side of fried calamari? Even the pickiest eater will find something they like in North America's largest market which, incidentally, features terrace space. 

    Terrace type: public market
    Venue type: public market
    Neighborhood: Little Italy
    Crowd: from babies to great-grandparents
    Food: without a doubt
    Get There: corner of Ste. Catherine and Berri (map)
    More INFO

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  • 19 of 21

    Maison Boulud

    Montreal terraces worth the visit include Maison Boulud.
    ••• Courtesy of Maison Boulud

    Duck pond? Check. Waterfall? Yep. Zen landscaping? Par for the course. Maison Boulud's reputation in the kitchen precedes itself. But chatter is quieter when it comes to its impeccable patio space. Join those in-the-know with a fabulous brunch experience, one of the best multi-course meals of your life, or a choice glass of bubbly with charcuterie overlooking the garden.

    Terrace type: landscaped garden
    Venue type: upscale hotel restaurant
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: elegant, well-to-do, and hotel guests from the Ritz-Carlton (Maison Boulud's location)
    Food: yes
    Get There: Sherbrooke West, corner of Drummond (map)
    More INFO

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  • 20 of 21


    Montreal terrasses, terraces and patios to check out include Grenade.
    ••• Courtesy of Grenade

    A charming pub one block southeast of Parc La Fontaine, Grenade proposes killer cocktails -think Bloody Kimchi, an alternative to the standard Mary made with vodka, saké, rice vinegar, soy sauce, clamato juice and sriracha- at wonderfully affordable prices, less than $9 at last check. Or try their Lucky Sangria, an unexpected combo of peach vodka, saké, white cranberry juice, ginger beer and fruits.

    And you can score wine by the glass -like a sultry Spanish Rioja or bubbly Cava- for under $8. Add to that an Asian fusion snack bar menu filled with steamed buns, dumplings and other savory gems and you've got yourself the perfect evening out.

    Terrace type: backyard patio
    Venue type: pub/restaurant/bar
    Neighborhood: at the edge of the Gay Village and the Plateau
    Crowd: a mixed bag, youth-heavy
    Food: yes
    Get There: Ontario East at Rue de Champlain (map)
    More INFO

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  • 21 of 21

    Les Enfants Terribles (Au Sommet PVM)

    Au Sommet PVM
    ••• Above: just one of several vantage points available on the 46th floor of Place Ville-Marie. Courtesy of Au Sommet PVM

    Could your terrace view possibly get better than this?? 

    Terrace type: skyscraper
    Venue type: pub/restaurant/bar
    Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
    Crowd: everyone and anyone
    Food: yes
    Get There: Place Ville-Marie 
    More INFO