On Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Rue Sainte-Catherine, Club Soda is at the epicenter of the downtown core, and hosts appropriately on-point acts accordingly. Its intimate 800-people capacity makes it a favorite for comedy shows, especially during the Just for Laughs festival (Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman and Jay Leno have all shone here). For music shows, the sound is top-notch. Acts here have included PJ Harvey, Rufus Wainwright and Ben Harper, though unless you get there early enough to nab a table, the sight lines are tough. The best bet is to hang near the back of the first floor, somewhere between the two facing bars, near the sound booth – you’ll be free to roam and tipple at your convenience. To make it a night, grab dinner first in Chinatown, a couple of blocks south, or at the popular restaurant of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, a couple of blocks west.
Photo: Susan Moss