Seriously though, I can’t keep up with the rate of cafes openings in Montreal lately! I am self employed and I often work in cafés and even I can’t keep up! Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that so many great independent coffee shops are opening up allowing us to never go without bad coffee in Montreal ever again! It’s great to stay well caffeinated, which I have been while visiting all 21 of these cafés for this article. I’m nothing if not dedicated to good coffee and to you. So drink up and please let me know if I’ve missed any in the comments below.
Baristello & Cie
Baristello, aka Piero Ciampoli, has finally opened his own Italian-style bar! The cute little space serves up great coffee and delicious tramezzini and foccacia by partner Jonathan. This is a place to chat and catch up, not to work so leave your laptop at home!
An Italian-style café in the heart of downtown, Parma imports all their products from Italy. They have a full menu of Italian specialties and a gorgeous space to sit and eat.
From a former Café Olimpico barista comes Felice (or actually, Les p’tits enfants de Felice), a new Italian-style café that just opened on Parc Avenue in the Mile End.
I really like this bookstore/café combo space! What’s better than books, coffee and pastries? You can sit among books, sip on a latte and do some work or grab a snack. Highly recommend it.
If you ever find your self in the north part of Montreal, near Chabanel or Marché Central and you’re in need of a caffeine fix, Gentile is there for you. An Italian-style café where you can eat, have coffee and chat.
Café Chiado #28
Café Chiado just opened in a neighbourhood that was a coffeeshop desert. The space is super cute, decorated in recycled wood and colourful, textured tiles reminiscent of Portugal’s azulejos. Must admit that it wasn’t the best cup of coffee or croissant I’ve ever had but the space and the ambiance are cute.
I didn’t expect much when I visited Café Lali and was pleasantly surprised to find a tiny, double height, light-filled store that is also an art gallery. The coffee is great, with a choice of two different beans being offered to patrons before making each cup, and the welcome very friendly.
From the designer that gave us Majestique comes the magnificent Darling space! Rich textures, extravagant light fixtures, eclectic objects (some of which are really strange, I’m looking at you, creepy dolls encased in plexiglass domes!), warm tones and plush leather couches will make this your new favourite place to settle down for a few caffeine-fueled hours of work before moving on to drinks and bar snacks such as charcuterie and cheese boards (served after 5pm).
Esquina bar à café
A small café on busy Papineau Avenue, Esquina serves great coffee (in beautiful handmade ceramic cups!) and good food. It gets busy in there but if you can find a spot, it’s a nice place to spend time working or chatting.
Located on a street corner in the heart of the downtown core, hvmans is a nicely lit space saving sandwiches, salads, pastries and Intelligensia coffee among other things. The space is airy, filled with little potted cacti (what is it with the plant craze in cafés?) and I really liked the little triangular cement seats.
Located in a semi-basement spot on Crescent Street, right under the Soupe Soup, whose family it belongs in. I found out about Spoon’s recent opening via a fanfare of photos posted on Instagram during their grand opening. They serve Cantook coffee roasted in Quebec as well as some light snacks, such as pastries and grilled cheeses.
Pigeon Espresso Bar
The people behind Pigeon espresso Bar have a twisted senses of humour that I like. They self advertise as the “world’s worse coffee” when in reality they sell some good brew, mainly Stumptown and Montreal-roasted Kittel. The spot is tiny, more a store front window than an actual café but the green plant canopy and the high ceiling make it fell airy and they do have a small terrasse now that summer is here so do stop by.
I used to live in Café Shaughnessy’s neighbourhood years ago and I’m sure I would’ve appreciated having around back then. I spend some time working there a few days ago. It was filled with students studying for their finals. It’s a quiet and comfortable space and the coffee is good.
I’d been seeing Leaves Café posts on Instagram for a while now so I had to try their matcha latte that everyone seems to order. It’s a vegan café so I ordered a matcha latte with almond milk and it’s as tasty as it is pretty. The space is small but it has the advantage to be right in the middle of the downtown action.
Archive is my neighbourhood of Villeray’s first third wave coffee shop! Located inside a fashion and surf boutique (yes, surf!), Archive’s space is beautifully minimalist with clean lines and gorgeous materials. There are no tables per say, just benches to sit down and linger for a while. They serve delicious Anchored Coffee from Nova Scotia.
A combo ballet school and café, Les Impertinentes has the most perfect Pinterest-worthy interior. They serve coffee, tea and pastries and are adjacent to a boutique selling ballet-paraphenelia as well as some other products. You can sneak a peak at the classes happening next door through a window in the café.
Sunrise café & collections
A cute and sunny (pun intended) boutique/café combo in the heart of the Mile End, Sunrise is the Montreal incarnation of a Brooklyn concept. It serves coffee from Dispatch and pastries from La brioche à tête, a small Mile End pastry shop. The boutique sells a well chosen collection of Montreal-based brands as well as others.
Dispatch Coffee’s third location at 4021 Boulevard St-Laurent) is a gorgeous light-filled space on Montreal’s Main serving Dispatch’s own beans roasted a few kilometres away in the Mile Ex. The minimalist space offers great food, a couple of tables to work and quite a few seats to linger. Dispatch owner Chrissy Ducak is absolutely passionate about her craft and it’s a pleasure to watch her evolve on the Montreal coffee scene. Watch their social media accounts for coffee workshops offered at the new store!
Le Petit Brûloir
A cute and diminutive space selling coffee roasted by Montreal-based Le Brûloir. You can grab lunch here too as well as homemade pastries and cakes. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the coffee was here and will go back there for sure.
Kleine Shoppe just opened in the space where Buck15 used to be. It serves gluten free food in a cute space with an antique sofa on one end and some stools on another. Don’t expect more furniture than this, which might not make Kleine an ideal space to work but the welcome is friendly and the ambiance fun.
Aloha Espresso Bar
Aloha is a Hawaiian-themed café that just opened in Old Montreal. The tropical decor and the Hawaiian beans are somewhat unique on the Montreal coffee scene and the Instagram game is strong here.