Because summer is way too short in the most European city in North America, Montrealers LOVE their terraces and enjoy them as soon as possible each year. If you are planning a visit in this dynamic and indefinable metropolis this summer, note that in Montreal terms, summer starts in May even if you need a jacket until mid-June, and ends when the first snow flake appears, which is usually around October. The joie-de-vivre is contagious in this bilingual and multicultural city that likes to party, enjoy life and mostly, be outside as much as possible. To help you plan ahead and fit all the best options into your next trip to this city that is in full touristic bloom, we have compiled a list of the best Montreal terraces to visit this season.
One of the most anticipated and impressive openings in the last decade was the stunning Four Seasons Hotel Montreal, which opened this spring. Considering every detail of that property is amazing, imagine the terrace. There, highly acclaimed and renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson takes the traditional brasserie in exciting new directions with restaurant Marcus. What interests us the most here is the restaurant’s expansive terrace, which quickly became Montreal’s hottest new destination to dine, drink and connect, all that in a decor conceived by Montreal’s most wanted designer, Zebulon Perron. And let’s not forget about the unbeatable views of downtown and the impressive lobby bar that are all available on the same floor.
Every Montrealer knows that Auberge Saint-Gabriel isn’t a “real” auberge (where you can spend the night, we mean). It is a place to party, drink and eat. With its hidden terrace on the street and speakeasy bar in the basement, “l’Auberge” for those in the know was built in 1688 and was the first “auberge” in North America to receive a liquor license, on March 4, 1754. If l’Auberge Saint-Gabriel’s walls could talk, they would tell many tales of the events that have marked Quebec’s history. Today, Auberge Saint-Gabriel is partly owned by Guy Laliberté, who founded Cirque du Soleil, and this historical institution is now home to one of the trendiest spots in a city internationally renowned for its nightlife and over-the-top events.
3 | New City Gas
Located directly in the heart of the very cool Griffintown District, the heritage building that is home to New City Gas has become one of Montreal’s hottest spots. Today, the New City Gas complex has been transformed into a multifunctional event space encompassing over 40,000 square feet on two floors. On top of that, the New City Gas terrace is one of the most popular destinations for happy hours and massive parties. With live DJs, a massive and festive crowd and a “jungle”-inspired open-air decor, New City Gas is certainly the most festive and also the largest patio in the city.
In the heart of Old Montreal and surrounded by numerous historical buildings, the magnificent garden courtyard of Vieux-Port Steakhouse is perfect for your next 5 à 7 (that’s how we say happy hour in Montreal). The picturesque stone walls that surround it and its beautiful greenery make it the perfect place to enjoy the summer weather in complete privacy. New decor has been installed for the season, including amazing flowers and plants. Guests can also now enjoy a new outdoor bar, ideal for after work drinks.
6 | Perché
Perched on the 4th floor of Old Montreal’s très chic Hotel William Gray, and overlooking Place Jacques-Cartier, is Perché. A fairly new terrace that offers a sophisticated and lush decor inspired by the tropics. This urban oasis offers a healthy culinary menu with a fresh mix of hues and textures inspired by the California culture. The terrace is heated on cooler evenings and equipped with retractable awnings to protect you from the sun when it gets too hot. This is your new secret (and very comfy) hideaway to enjoy the views.
What used to be a Grand Prix’s favorite pop-up has now become, by popular demand, a summer tradition in Montreal. Indeed, the sumptuous Ritz-Carlton Hotel Montreal used to open their front porch terrace to the public only during the Grand Prix festivities. The posh patio that was facing Sherbrooke Street was serving Ruinart champagne by the glass and bites from the famous Ritz kitchen team, but it was so popular that it now stays open all summer long. Perfect for people-watching at one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. We suggest you book a table at Maison Boulud by Daniel Boulud while you are there, as it is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in town since its opening in 2012.