12 great places to eat and drink before a Montreal Canadiens game

Hockey is back, and in case you haven’t heard, full-capacity games are back at the Bell Centre, too.

So if you’re one of the thousands to watch the Canadiens at home, it’s also important to warm up before the game.

Before throwing an arm and a leg over a beer in a plastic cup, it’s important to have a sturdy place to “stretch” before the game. Luckily, there are plenty of gems in town that are only a puck throw away from the Bell Centre.

Those days of blowing at Four Loko in the parking lot before the first half are over.

Here are 12 great places to eat and/or drink before a Canadiens game, all within walking distance of the Bell Centre.

While there are more than a few Keg steakhouses in Canada, this is the one and only for Canadiens fans.

A few steps from the house of the Canadians, this classic steakhouse offers great cuts of meat as well as delicious cocktails.

Some of their new staples include Fried Chicken Sandwich and Baja Steak Salad. But you can’t go wrong having one of their 10 steak dishes.

Address: 5 Place Ville Marie, rue Mansfield (an eight-minute walk from the Bell Centre)

Mckibbin’s is a cozy pub with a fun atmosphere. They carry over 20 imported beers on tap and have solid happy hour deals every day from 4-8pm, perfectly timed for your pre-game. Their menu is hearty and tasty – you can’t go wrong with their Irish nachos, fish n’ chips or bison burger.

Follow that up with a $5 happy hour pint and you’ll have a few bucks to spend on that Bell Center pretzel during intermission.

Keep your ticket after the game and they’ll exchange it for a free Jameson shot.

Address: 1426 Bishop Street (a nine-minute walk from the Bell Center)

Located in the heart of the always bustling Crescent Street, Burger Bar is the perfect place to go before the game if you’re hungry and don’t want to eat for the foreseeable future.

BB offers fantastic and majestic burgers at a reasonable price. Their “Hangover Burger” is award-winning, but Burger Bar’s mac and cheese is good enough to consider changing the name.

Their extensive bar menu is also impressive, but not as impressive as their homemade cheese sticks.

Address: 1465 Crescent Street (eight-minute walk from the Bell Center)

With its beautiful exposed brick, birch tables and kilted staff, Olde Orchard is your traditional Celtic-Irish pub. Its proximity to the Bell Center makes it very busy during Canadiens games, but not overwhelming like neighboring Bell Center restaurants.

They offer all the conventional Irish beers and their food menu is classic, tasty pub grub.

They are popular for their wings, fish, curries and bangers. If you are looking for an atmosphere similar to what the Bell Center will be like for a Canadiens game, Ye Olde Orchard is for you.

Address: 1189 de la Montagne (a three-minute walk from the Bell Center)

McLean’s is an English pub merged with a sports bar. Its various televisions feature a variety of sports while the oak beamed ceilings and hand carved fireplace create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Head upstairs to play pool, order food from their tasty menu, or round up your friends to try and complete the 10-litre beer tower. Yes, you read that right.

Address: 1210 Peel Street (six-minute walk from the Bell Centre)

La Station des Sports is a huge restaurant that offers an equally extensive menu, all for a relatively low price.

Their list of beers and spirits won’t impress you, but the number of TVs will. They have over 150 TVs in the restaurant and yes that includes the ones in the restrooms as well. If you’re looking to get into a real sporting state of mind before the game, grab a club sandwich and lose yourself in all the sports at the Station des Sports.

Address: 2051 Sainte-Catherine West (13 minutes walk from the Bell Center)

Hurley’s is a maze of pubs; it has two floors that both have different rooms that seem to never end.

This is an authentic Irish pub, perfect for exploring the three different bars rolled into one. Hurley’s is dark and cozy and you’d be hard pressed to find a bar that pours a better pint of Guinness than here. They offer traditional pub food at a good price and always have live music somewhere, you just have to walk to find it.

Address: 1225 Crescent Street (five minutes walk from the Bell Center)

The Brass Door may be quiet and small, but if you’re looking for stylish decor and a delicious menu, this is the place.

Some of their dishes stray from pub classics (like tacos or scallops), but everything is still delicious. They offer a small menu of beers and spirits but favor quality over quantity.

You can’t go wrong with their 25 cent wing offer, especially before the Bell Center’s inflated prices.

A candlelit table with cheap and delicious wings should be your go-to spot if the Canadiens are playing on a Wednesday.

Address: 2171 Crescent Street (10 minutes walk from the Bell Center)

La Belle & La Boeuf is a bar merged into a library and it’s absolutely stunning – just like their burgers.

LB&LB offers gourmet burgers and an impressive array of signature cocktails served in giant mason jars. The bar is dedicated entirely to Canadians and offers great deals on pre-game pitchers and cocktails.

Don’t come here if you’re hoping for a regular pint, you have to try their signature drinks. You’ll get lost in the decor of the bar and the walk to the Bell Center will do you good after devouring one of their well-stocked burgers.

Address: 1620, rue Sainte-Catherine (12 minutes walk from the Bell Center)

Danny’s Pizza

What Pizza Dany lacks in size, they make up for in delicious pizzas.

If you’re short on time before puck drop, head over to Pizza Dany, which takes up a small space inside what looks like an entrance, and toss in a few slices as you walk down the street to Center Bell.

Or give them 15 minutes notice and order a large pie for you and the gang that will surely be devoured before the doors of the Bell Center open.

Their spinach and garlic pizza is good enough to make you completely forget about the game.

Address: 1237 Rue de la Montagne (5 minutes walk from the Bell Center)

Joes Panini 24h

If you’re hoping to save a few extra bucks for the big game, consider some tasty sandwich options at Joes Panini.

Their famous chicken, steak and cheese, sausage, tuna, barbecue ribs, ham and cheese, BLT, meatballs, vegetables and roast beef panini are all $6.75.

Add a drink and you’ll be full for game time for just under $10.

Address: 1404 Drummond Street (seven-minute walk from the Bell Center)

Do you know what’s easier than walking to the arena after dinner? dinner at the Bell Center itself.

La Cage – Brasserie sportive is one of the largest restaurants/sports bars in Montreal. The Habs-themed restaurant has over 70 TV screens, two levels and enough space to seat 550 fans.

Nothing puts you in the mood for a game like being surrounded by Habs memorabilia while you enjoy your dinner.

It’s also the perfect place to go if you don’t have tickets but still want to feel the vibe and momentum of the game.

Address: Bell Center, 1212 Montreal Canadiens Avenue

Joshua B. Speller