The absolute best bars to get a Kir Royale across Canada

We all know that the French are impressive. Lore would have you believe that French women don’t gain weight, everyone’s fashion sense is both effortless and chic, and duh, they invented champagne. One of the more quintessentially French cocktails is Kir. It’s named for Felix Kir, a WWII resistance fighter and former mayor of Dijon, who enjoyed serving a dash of crème de cassis with white wine to his dinner guests.

However, if you substitute champagne for the wine, you get a thirst quenching, spring-like drink known as a Kir Royale.  In honour of spring’s arrival, and the fact that we could all use a little more French living in our day-to-day, we present the best places in Canada to order and savour a Kir Royale. No translation required.

Cassis Bistro (#105 2505 17th Ave. SW, T3C 1J7), @cassisbistro

Okay, if you have ‘Cassis’ in your name then you must serve a good Kir Royale. Owner/operator Gilles Brassart grew up near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. Having run two restaurant and bar projects in California, Gilles moved to Calgary in 2008 where he opened Cassis Bistro. Brassart must be doing something right; he now has a sister location called Suzette Bistro.

L’Abattoir (217 Carrall St., V6B 2J2), @labattoir_van

This gorgeous exposed brick restaurant is located in a refurbished building in an historic part of the city’s bustling Gastown. The menu is French-influenced West Coast and since there is a “Wine Director” on staff, you know that l’Abattoir takes its drinks very seriously.

best bars kir royale
The One Eighty Bar

The One Eighty (55 Bloor St. W., M4W 1A5) @the51stfloor

Be prepared to hear your ears pop and have your mind blown as you ascend to top of the Manulife Centre in the heart of Toronto’s luxe Yorkville. The One Eighty, (once known as The Panorama Lounge) is a legendary location, good for the tourists, good for the locals and good for the breathtaking views. The cocktails are pretty good, too.

A photo posted by Garance Doré (@garancedore) on

Balsam Inn (1237 Metcalfe St., H3B 2V5), @balsam_inn

The brains behind Balsam Inn are clearly shaping the nightlife scene in Montreal—the owners also run Dominion Tavern, Bar Henrietta and Whiskey Cafe. The kitchen crafts modern Quebecois that focuses on quality local ingredients in the city’s downtown. And the venue lives up to its name too, it was once was a hotel.

@braddycakes made me do it. #champagne #royalkir

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The Marc (9940-106 St. NW, 100 Sterling Place), @themarcyeg

Situated in the city’s downtown core, The Marc is the latest offering from veteran Edmonton restauranteur Patrick Saurette. Recently ranked one of the best restaurants in Edmonton by Avenue Magazine, the ambient bar here is apparently constructed out of marble reclaimed from the CN Tower.