Before we get started, I have a complaint about Montreal. My complaint is with Rue Crescent. Please do not visit here. I wish someone had told me. This really is the worst street in Montreal.
Somehow famed for its nightlife, I cannot see anything noteworthy or significant. If you are interested in drunk 18 year old americans visiting from Vermont or some other strange people, then by all means, have a go.
However, I think I speak for 99% of the people in Montreal when I say this is the worst street in the world. It is an embarrassment to all anglophones in Montreal and makes us look like wankers. Avoid at all costs.
Fun Alternatives: For an entertaining experience try St. Laurent or St. Denis. The crowd is francophone (eg cooler than anglophone), and you will have a much better time.
Crescent Street is a tourist trap.
Tourist books seems to always recommend it based on other books that recommended it. Maybe its because American tourists feel more "at home" in that environment.
The attitude is negative. If all bars and restaurants were giving the low service-level seen on Crescent, Montreal would have the worse reputation. Its the only place I've been in Montreal where after not drinking for 10 minutes and half a beer pitcher left on the table, I was asked to leave even though the Winston Churchill Pub was half empty. Attitude...
The bars are crowded with tourists, and besides a few time like Formula 1 race week, I don't see much locals there. Every year, a flock of freshmen from McGill and Concordia goes to Crescent as the drinking age is lower in Quebec than in the ROC. In first year universite outside Quebec, ur still "underage", not in Quebec.
Don't let the "not helpful" ratings fool you...Crescent has its hardcore believers, not me
Unique Suggestions: Avoid the noisy rowdy places. Don't go alone as its not the right place to make friends...
Fun Alternatives: For good clubs: StLaurent
For good pubs: StDenis
For good restaurants: Elsewhere in Old Montreal, Plateau, Quartier Latin
If you really want to experience the nightlife of Montreal, dont go on Crescent street. To be honest, locals (except for some immigrants) dont really go out there as it is tacky, too touristy and expensive for nothing. The street is pack with underage American or Ontarian kids. Locals only go there a couple times a year like during the Grand Prix weekend, but dont have dinner there during that weekend as alot of the places hikes up their prices!
Unique Suggestions: The only spots that I recommend on this street are 1) Newtown (F1 racing driver Jacques Villeneuve's lounge / club / resto / patio complex at the corner of de Maisonneuve. They have a nice rooftop patio, which is great for happy hour even though it can be expensive. 2) Hurley's Irish Pub - located just below Ste-Catherine street. its a great place to go with friends, have a good pint and listen to a live band. 3) The Mad Hatter Pub (also below Ste-Cath. street) has a younger crowd, a little more artsy & alternative...but it offers good deals on beer and has a cool rooftop terrace. 4) Brutopia Pub just across the street from Hatter. Brutopia offers a wide range of beer. 5) the Libanese food joint at the corner of Maisonneuve next to Extreme Night Club has great food...especially at 4am!
Fun Alternatives: If you wanna go out and have fun, head off to St-Laurent Blvd instead which is where the real locals go out to! The Main might have the reputation to be a trendy pretentious street, but really, you can find all kind of bars, clubs, supper clubs there...anything from all-the-time 2 for 1 patio bar "Vol de Nuit" to exclusive supperclubs like Globe and Buena Notte!
Crescent street...oh my...where to start. Well, it's where polo wearing meat heads go to hang out with their Channel wearing ditsy girlfriends who all came here in their BMW's that daddy bought them.
Crescent street has a lot of eye candy that's for sure, and the bars here are all danceclubs whose primary customer is mister and misses meat head.
I wouldn't bother stopping here unless you are into danceclubs, or a meat head yourself.
Booze is expensive, the attitudes are bloated, and there's always a cover. But if you like to look at nearly naked hot ladies, then well, it's all good. But Montreal, land of the beautiful woman, has nearly naked hot ladies everywhere so you shouldn't have to deal with mister and misses meat head.
Unique Suggestions: Erm....go to nearby Amir's for a Shish Taouk.
Fun Alternatives: St-Denis street, St-Laurent, St-Catherines. St-.
I have to disagree with some of the reviews of crescent. Sure it may be a bit over priced and more anglophone, but that does not mean that it is not fun. If you are looking for a tamer crowd, you can always check out brutopia, which has pints for about $5, which isn't too bad. Sure the hard rock cafe and planet hollywood thing might be a bit tacky, but don't forget that Boustan, the best falafel in town, is on crescent.
The most artificial people and expensive club in Montreal, if you want to show your cash; it is the good place, if you want to make fun, it's not. I suggest Saint-Denis street with a lot of nice club and cafe, some parts of Saint-Laurent Boulevard ( the Main), Prince-Arthur street (Cafe Campus) , Old Montreal club and Boite a chansons. Dont go in Club in Laval or Longueuil, it is really boring.
Unique Suggestions: Go during the Grand Prix week-end to see nice car (a lot of Ferrari and Lamborghini). During the June month.
Fun Alternatives: Saint-Laurent
Crescent Street indeed has a busy nightlife, but it's usually filled with scores of tourists and anglophone students. It's great only if you're into the Hard Rock Cafe, overpriced pub kind of scene.
Unique Suggestions: If you must eat on Crescent Street, be sure to sit on a terrace. That way you can experience the full ambience and raucousness of the nightlife!
Fun Alternatives: Try finding somewhere to eat on St-Denis. It's kind of like the French equivalent to Crescent, and it's much quieter and more sophisticated.
Crescent Street. Don't go eat there, unless you want to feel VERY trendy and you have a lot of money to spend. The food isn't that good (unless you pay A LOT), and people only go there to see or be seen. You know, Montreal's snob 'jet set'. Of Course, if that's what you like, you should go!
Crescent Street. Strictly was made for the hordes of American tourists and unless you think Planet Hollywood is culture, stay far away. This is predominantly anglophone and does not represent Quebecois culture at all.
Rue Crescent (Crescent Street) has restaurants catering to out-of-town tourists and it features overpriced fare which is sometimes no better than far cheaper places throughout the city. Nevertheless, if you like to do the 'tourist thing' then this is where you want to head downtown. Most of the places there seem to be Irish pub-types. For a much more authentic dining experience, I reccommend the BYOB places on Avenue-Duluth or the large restaurants on rue Prince-Arthur.