Enjoy a sip of Montreal’s Exuberant Cafe Culture…
Montreal – the tradition bending Canadian city that supplies you with a dose of classic French charm and contrasting big city splendour, whilst leaving you pleasantly filled to the brim with the country’s finest coffee. During your time in Montreal, you’ll undoubtedly be overwhelmed by its sheer beauty, underlying grace and history, accompanied by its new innovative, laid-back and creative lifestyle. You’d be a fool to not spend a large portion of your time uncovering its numerous Cafes and tasting first-hand the most delectable coffee in the whole of Canada. Here are a few of my favourites from across the city.
200 Notre-Dame Ouest Vieux Montreal
Situated in the heart of Vieux Montreal, otherwise known as old Montreal, Tommy Cafe captures the essence of old meets new, elegantly pairing its historic building and architectural features with trendy beverages and fashionable decoration. The interior is spacious and light, with an array of places to sit and enjoy your coffee. There are booths and tables on a variety of levels, supplying it with a really individualistic appearance. Tommy Cafe is located a matter of meters away from the tourist hotpot of Basilique Notre-Dame, the breath-taking nineteenth Century Cathedral, so its definitely difficult to overlook. Furthermore, for a coffee house placed in the presence of so many tourist attractions and unmissable sights, the food and drink here is priced incredibly reasonably. On average, you’d expect to pay around $3 for a filter coffee, which is fairly large, and around $2-3 for a pastry, whilst sandwiches and salads range from around $8-10, and it’s totally worth it. A trip to Montreal means a trip to Tommy Cafe, as you’ll find yourself returning again and again whenever you’re in the old town district; its interior, staff and coffee are unbeatable, and well worth the visit.
Cantinho De Lisboa
356 St-Paul, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A6
This Portuguese Market style cafe gives you the chance to shop around and purchase homemade, organic goods inspired by the authentic Portuguese Charm, whilst also being able to sit back, relax and enjoy fresh coffee and pastries. Upon arrival at Cantinho De Lisboa, you’ll experience bright, dazzling colours like nowhere else. Overwhelming oranges and yellows strike a sense within of being in Portugal itself. This Old Town hotspot is constantly busy and bustling with tourists and locals alike, all with the same intention – drinking the beautiful coffee it serves. The coffee here is absolutely gorgeous; you’ll discover strong yet soothing aromas, and subtle yet powerful flavours that linger upon the palette for some time after. Like most places in Montreal, Cantinho De Lisboa is exceptionally reasonable in terms of pricing, for a city that exudes so much elegance and charm, you’ll expect to dish out around $5-7 for one of the café’s delicious coffees and freshly baked pastries. Any ideal day in Montreal involves a visit to this coffee hotspot, whether it be a lunch stop, or merely a chance to rest your legs and catch up on some people watching!
Pikolo Espresso Bar
3418B Avenue du Parc Montréal, QC H2X 2H5
An espresso from Pikolo is guaranteed to make you question what coffee should be. The aromatic charm of this miniscule coffee bar lures you to its world of unique and earthly tasting espresso that is so deeply rich both in colour and bitterness, you’ll find yourself subconsciously comparing all future coffees to it. Situated upon Avenue du Parc, located near notable tourist destinations such as Places des Arts and the University grounds, the espresso bar encompasses student and artistic lifestyle. Flaunting its laid-back approach to coffee and stripped back style, Pikolo feels strangely homely. People from across Montreal flock for a taste of Pikolo’s unique charm. Given that it is a fairly small coffee house, people are crammed into all corners and sharing tables, which funnily enough adds to its individuality and friendly nature. Pikolo most definitely takes you back to a different time and place, delivering excellent service and coffee.
Olive et Gourmando
351 Saint Paul W. Montreal, QC H2Y 2A7
Olive et Gourmando is one of the most beautiful artisan cafes in the whole of Montreal. Serving possibly the world’s most photogenic food and coffee, you’ll be swept off your feet as soon as you step inside the door. The smells that are released from this total haven of freshly baked pastries and breads are to die for, and the entire interior is bursting with life and customers at all hours of the day. O&G is located in Montreal’s old town, almost hidden amongst the demanding exterior of historic buildings that somewhat mimic the cobbled streets of Paris. Ranging from breakfast, to brunch and lunch, the main theme of meals served at O&G is of French cuisine with a quirky Montreal twist, supplying it with the trendy edge it deserves. This artisan bakery and cafe is constantly busy, as so many locals and tourists alike are desperate for a taste of its magic, so unfortunately you may be required to wait a short while before you can be seated, but believe me, you won’t regret it!
990 rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal, QC H2W 1K2
Cafe Santrapol is on a totally different level to anything you’ve seen before – expect piled-high sandwiches that prove your eyes are bigger than your stomach, and exceptional coffee in a beautiful setting. Predominantly a vegetarian style restaurant with outdoor seating and rooftop garden, Cafe Santropol looks merely like a house from the outside, but as soon as you enter, you’re bombarded with life and the rich scent of freshly brewed coffee. Like most cafes in Montreal, anything goes, so when it comes to Cafe Santropol, your coffee will be served in a mug you’d expect to find in your own kitchen cupboard. All the mugs are completely different and random, giving the place a really homely feel. The interior is bursting with shelves of books that you can purchase and shelves stacked high with independently grown coffee beans and more. The perfect time to visit Cafe Santropol would be on a warm summer’s day, where you can sit out on the patio, with a book, a sandwich and a delicious cold beverage.
Do you have a favourite coffee shop in Montreal? Let us know…