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Snuggled in 

These are the places to go if you are the type who hates crowds and blaring tvs.

T om's Little Havana (5428 Doyle) is the coziest downtown pub and always wins a Coast award for Best Place to Drink Alone. It's a welcoming, well-lit bar and there's booths in back for a tete-a-tete. Then there's Freeman's (6092 Quinpool), open till late, with high, well-worn old Naugahyde booths. Sure, your butt might stick to the seats, but many nights have been spent snuggled away from the cold, drinking beer and eating pizza with friends in the dead of winter. Upstairs at 2182 Gottingen there are three cozy nooks in the Menz Bar, away from the dance floor, with fireplaces and high-backed chairs. Several cozy places to drink beer are restaurants that feel like bars. You might have to order food to drink, but they are all convenient neighbourhood places with decent beer selections on tap and in bottles. The Armview (7156 Chebucto) is better from Thursday to Saturday, and there's a DJ at the end of the bar on Fridays. Their kitchsy '60s space is low lit and formica-nouveau. The Brooklyn Warehouse (2795 Windsor) might be better after the dinner rush, from 8:30 onwards. The Cellar (5677 Brenton) has been around for ages and has reliably good beers. The Old Triangle (5136 Prince) is huge, but they have private snugs where you can escape the crowds. Possibly the quirkiest bar in the city is Joe's Pub on Portland Street in old Dartmouth: It's a laundromat with a little bar attached. Last time I was in, two guys were playing chess at the little bar and drinking Olands. I don't know if they were doing laundry or not. ---A.M.

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