During warm summer evenings, the residents of Montreal appear to have one goal: Get outside. There are more outdoor festivals than you can shake a smoked meat sandwich at taking place every night. Restaurant patios and terraces return from winter dormancy, sprouting from the sidewalks and spilling into the streets like welcomed weeds.
But before you visit any of those spots, please make your way to a nondescript pub down a scrubby alley. Pourquoi, you ask? Because, my friends, the pub in question has one of the most stunning outdoor dining spaces in the city. It puts conventional sidewalk cafes to shame.
Le Sainte-Elisabeth, a bar that is conveniently located on a street of the same name, has a dramatic outdoor patio where ivy grows several stories high on adjacent buildings and trees provide shade. It’s like a well-maintained jungle. Words can’t really do it justice, so I’ll pointedly tell you to go and see it for yourself. Order a beer, nothing too fussy, and relax. Arrive on the early side or make a reservation to ensure you get a seat outside.