As the temperatures dip and the roads turn into one endless skating rink, you might be wondering how best to fill your time after the first major blizzard hits.
Rather than stress, here’s an idea: suit up, boot up, and grab your board or skis.
Let’s face it, the only thing more rewarding than making the first tracks on a powder-laden hill this winter will be knocking back a few cold ones after a full day of shredding.
Cue the infamous après-ski.
The question that remains is where are the best venues for young professionals to go when they’re ready to unclip.
Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve got the answers right here.
As if you already didn’t know, about 90 minutes from Montreal sits a skier and rider’s paradise. It not only boasts the highest peak in Quebec’s northern Laurentians, but also offers up enough shops, bars, and clubs to put a serious dent in anyone’s wallet.
To be honest, when it comes to the Tremblant Village après-ski scene, we could go on forever.
After much thought, however, we managed to narrow our list down to just one off-the-hook drinkery that offers up the perfect mix of mingling and madness.
Voted the best après-ski bar on the east coast for over 10 years by Ski Canada magazine, Le P’tit Caribou’s daily post-slope festivities are – simply put – a MUST.
You’ll find locals and tourists chatting and/or dancing up a storm; all of them rosy-cheeked and ready to work the room…though we can’t quite speak for their motives, if you know what we’re saying. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. (They want to hook-up.)
For those with kids, this Tremblant Village haunt isn’t exactly young’un-friendly, so leave them behind and prepare for an evening of blurry deep conversations, shots, dancing, more shots, and other forms of well-earned debauchery.
Also north of Montreal, but a quite a bit closer than Tremblant, is Mont Saint-Sauveur – a modest hill known for its affordable lift-tickets and great night skiing.
As for its après-ski scene, we’d go with T-Bar 70, aptly named after the very first lift to make its North American debut, and conveniently located right at the foot of the hill.
But don’t let its location fool you. Both trendy and fun, this resto-bar offers up something special for everyone.
Its modern-meets-rustic décor, impressive wine list, and full menu, which boasts standard fare as well as tapas, quality cuts of meat, pizza, and more, are but a few of the many qualities that put this après-ski joint on our radar.
Head south-east for less than an hour and you’ll hit the Eastern Townships, where sits Mont Brome, otherwise known as Bromont, the closest major ski resort to Montreal and the only one in the east to offer night skiing.
Whether you’re there to hit the slopes or just unwind and relax (Spa Balnea just happens to be a quick 15 minutes away), if you want to get your drink on after a day well spent, Edgar Hyperlodge is where you need to be.
This microbrewery has it all…
A mouth-watering menu – check.
Locally brewed beer – check.
A solid wine list – check.
Swing by around 4pm, stay for dinner, knock back a nice digestif by the bonfire, and once the clock strikes 10pm, strap on your dancing shoes and prepare to get your party on.
Another notable alpine destination east of Montreal is Sutton – a hill for glade-lovers, mogul-riders, and beginners alike.
As for where to head once your legs cramp up and your toes go numb, we suggest Pub Mocadore, an Irish pub best known for its friendly staff and great live tunes.
However, those wanting to see and be seen, be warned. If you’re more into the who’s who of an après-ski than the people you’re rolling with, you may be disappointed.
If you’re in search of a major rager, you can always try getting an early one in at Bar Le Tucker, or play it safe by heading back to Montreal and hitting up one of these next few hotspots.
So, you’re back in town after a full day of bombing, shredding, and/or face-planting.
You’ve retired your uncomfortably-moist balaclava, damp snow pants, and wet socks, and you’re ready to paint the town red.
Well, where to?
L’Orignal wins in the chalet-chic department, and if you’re hungry, their late-night menu is sure to hit the spot. Poutine and deer Sheppard’s pie anyone? (That is not a question.)
If good conversation is what you crave and you’re willing to pass on a hearty late-night meal, we suggest hitting up the Mile-End.
And if taking it up a notch in the merrymaking department is what you really need, head over to Bar Le Confessionnal, where a young crowd, great beats, and a steady flow of liquor are sure to warm you up.
Now that you know a little more about our thriving après-ski scene, all that’s missing is a thick, white blanket of glorious powder to christen our mountaintops.
Any day now, Mother Nature.
Any day now.
Cover photo: Mont Tremblant