FOOD AND DRINK
Where to Get Caffeinated in Montreal
While café culture is deeply ingrained in Montreal, serious coffee is a young pup and growing fast. Here are four spots to get your morning fix, whether you’re looking for a classic espresso or a painstakingly perfect pour-over.
When any discerning java hound visits Montreal, they go out of their way to make at least one daily pit stop at Myriade. It’s getting easier with two new locations: one uptown in Mile End, the other a stunning café inside the new Club Monaco on St. Catherine St. The original location near Concordia is especially fetching in summer, when the front opens to a generous terrace. Using beans sourced primarily from renowned Forty-Ninth Parallel, young baristas make extraordinary espresso-based drinks and pour-over coffee. If you’re partial to cappuccinos or lattes, you’re in for a treat: additive-free milk is sourced through small family farms, and it makes all the difference in the world.
1432 rue Mackay, 514-939-1717;
plus 2 other locations
In an area dominated by Big Coffee, this indie café is conveniently close to the Delta, Hilton and Hyatt Regency hotels. The svelte, cozy room gets a surprising amount of natural light, and since they – gasp! – cut WiFi service, there are way less McGill lollygaggers hogging the tables. It’s a great spot to grab a quick breakfast, whether it’s one of their fist-sized scones – try the bacon, Swiss and mushroom – or a thick slab of banana walnut bread. Using premium beans from roasters like Calgary’s Phil and Sebastian, the coffee is first-rate, especially their signature miniature latte.
3418B rue du Parc, 514-508-6800
Long before hipsters invaded Mile End – since 1970, to be exact – this corner café has been the neighbourhood’s social hub. No zombie freelancers pecking away on MacBooks here: from families, to artists, to wise guys, people actually talk to each other, whether it’s just catching up on gossip or arguing about last night’s Habs game. Don’t let the perpetually long line scare you: the baristas, who effortlessly flow between French, Italian and English, keep it moving quickly and pull excellent espressos, macchiatos and cappuccinos. In warm weather, grab a seat on the substantial patio or front benches and enjoy a primo perch for people watching.
124 rue St-Viateur O., 514-495-0746
Café Saint Henri
The slow and controversial gentrification of the former working-class neighbourhood of St. Henri has attracted many unique, independently owned businesses to Notre Dame West. This micro-roaster and café, the brainchild of arch coffee geek, Jean-François Leduc, is one of them. Organic, single-origin beans are roasted several times a week, and can be purchased for a unique treat to bring back home. Sparkling with acidity and tasting like amaretto, the espresso is a thing of beauty, and their 6-hour cold brew is a revelation. Leduc recently expanded his magic to a second location near the Université du Québec à Montréal.
3632 rue Notre-Dame O., 514-507-9696;
plus 1 other location