The ladies of Sex and the City have been convincing women around the world that the ultimate girls’ nights are to be had in New York City. Sure, it’s tough to beat Manhattan – but why spend all your monies in the Big Apple when you can glam it up in the city of The Big Orange for less?
From bachelorette parties to girls nights, birthday parties to post-exam benders, Montreal is the ultimate Canadian destination for parties (sorry Vancity and The 6. Y’all know it’s true).
As a veteran of the nightlife scene here in Montreal (not that old, just started young), I switch up my spots depending on my mood. For low key nights, I head over to Voggas on Parc avenue for an ouzo with the staff and a few friends in tow. For non-stop dancing in a crowd of exceptionally attractive people, you can find me at Buonanotte with my main bae Rocco. And for every other occasion, there’s Joverse.
Then there are the special evenings; those nights that beg for a little extra glitz and glam, bubbly drinks and fuschia lipstick. Nails on fleek, hair done chic and the statement dress you reserve for the finest occasions. This special night might beg for a full day of prep. Common causes of these special evenings might be a Bachelorette ,the Let Me Post As Many Party Pics on IG so He Can See I’m Over Him night, or The B-Day Party. Whatever your reason, I’ve put together my personal foolproof guide to a night of affordable glamour in the city that sleeps in (then heads out to brunch).
**NOTE: ALL the options below could wreck your wallet if you 1) pop bottles instead of ordering drinks 2) go HAM on appetizer/s desserts/ specialty drinks 3) are a shopaholic. Think sales section, shared appetizers and 1-2 cocktails for budgets under 100$.
What to Wear
There are tons of places to shop in Montreal, but my personal favourite, non-chain shop is 1861 on Saint Laurent street. This quirky vintage-inspired shop offers a dazzling collection of unique dresses and outfits that are perfect for a girls night out. With dresses as low as 30$, you’d be hard pressed to find a more unique and sexy outfit for a better price.
- Be sure to check La Petite Garconne, 1861’s new casual chic collection for the perfect next-day brunch outfit!
- Complete your outfit with body art from AliBabaExpress. My summer obsession!
There are countless restaurants in Montreal; in fact, we’ve got the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, and second-only in North America to NYC. Among the dizzying selection of culinary establishments, one of my favourite go-to’s for a glam gal dinner is Deville Dinerbar. Sure, there are tons of fancier joints to break your wallet, like Santos or Harlow, but Deville’s affordability, chandeliers, and 50’s inspired décor win me over every time. I always order the fried pickles, while my most of my non-vegan friends are partial to the General Tao salad. Top it off with a selection from their martini and cocktail menu.
Now that you’ve downed your cherry coke martini and taken your Oscar-style selfie with your crew, it’s time to jump into an Uber. Where to now, Princess?
Are you into douchey, overcrowded bars full of basic bros and betches? Then the Mile End ain’t for you (and also, don’t come to my city. Were full.). If you do want a true, local, #culturetrav experience in a quirky bar that most non-locals and many locals don’t really know about, I suggest heading to The Emerald Hotel, otherwise known as No Name Bar. Walking into this tough to find hole in the wall is akin to walking through time; I can only best describe it as a Middle Eastern-inspired hotel lobby from the 1950s. Adorned with fake palm trees, mood lighting, hanging lamps/lantern hybrids and servers dressed up in bow ties, this is one of my absolute favourite haunts in Montreal. If you’re musically inclined/ drunk / have delusions of musical grandeur, feel free to impress the place with your Chopin or unimpress us all with Chopsticks on the random piano in the corner. Cheers!
One of the newer bars on Saint Laurent, Ecole Privee (Private School) is building up momentum in town. I was told that the club will soon be installing a massive chandelier right above the dance floor, which is surrounded by vintage style sofas and armchairs. You’ll have to take my word for it though; the club doesn’t allow people to take photos inside the club, enhancing it’s mystery and exclusive members-only atmosphere. Don’t worry, though; there’s a photobooth in the corner for those with severe selfie memento addictions.
My perfect summer night in Montreal usually requires three things: sangria, a terrace and the Old Port. Fortunately, you can combine all three at the Terrasse Place d’Armes on the roof of the swanky Hotel Place d’Armes. Reserve online, or try your luck before 11pm so you can grab a table and sip on champ with the sexy peoples.
If you’re jonesing for an evening with the girls to observe Tinder dates in action (almost as guiltily amusing as #planebreakup, really) Big In Japan on Saint Laurent and Rachel is the place for you. This mod speakeasy of sorts, which is nearly unidentifiable from the outside (no address; just a black door with Japanese characters scrawled on a small glass pane), offers mood lighting, a soundtrack featuring Bille Holiday and Sam Cooke, and hanging whiskey bottles. If you can manage to find the place, walk down a corridor where you’ll be greeted by a host in a bow tie. Walk beyond the thick curtains for an unforgettable evening.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your imitation Louboutins and let the glam times roll! Be sure to share your our love or haterade below – or better yet, hit me up when your in town so we can glam it up together!