A version of this article was first written for Tourisme Montréal.
Whether you prefer a cold brew made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or a classic latte made by topping a freshly brewed espresso with cold milk and ice cubes, iced coffee drinks take over Montreal’s cafés come summertime. Below are a few of my favourite Montreal chilled coffee treats to try this summer. I wrote a similar article last year and some of these are carried over from that article but most are new so read on and stay cool!
King coldbrew float
Café Noble‘s new summer thrill is this royal ice cream and coffee float. A custom developed vanilla ice cream by Quebec dairy farm Chagnon is added to cold brew by Zab roasters for a multilayered dream of a treat. According to Noble’s owner, the float is perfectly balanced in terms of sweetness and reminiscent of a tiramisu or a Coffee Crisp candy bar. It’s also addictive. You’ve been warned!
Vietnamese cold coffee
If you’ve never tasted a Vietnamese coffee, you’re missing out! While not a café per say, the Vietnamese restaurant Cafeden offer their excellent coffee to go. Hot espresso is poured over condensed milk, ice is added, and the result is a sweet and refreshing drink you will come to crave.
The perfect Italian summer treat
Italian café Baristello’s signature summer drink is a perfectly balanced frozen treat. The Scirocco chilled coffee concoction is crafted first by filling an “old school” glass with lightly sweetened espresso slush, and then topping it with warm, flawlessly frothed micro milk foam which creates a “perfect storm” inside the glass. Perfetto!
Tonic + coffee = the perfect match
Coffee tonic has touched down in Montreal at Australian-owned Café Melbourne. It is really as simple as it sounds: the dreamy pairing of a shot of espresso with tonic water. The result is a citrusy, refreshing beverage with a bitter aftertaste that goes down easy and smooth, especially on a hot summer day. (hint: Café Melbourne also serves spectacular brunches!)
Perfect combo of ice cream and coffee
Dispatch Coffee’s icy treat is their very own version of an affogato. The popular summer treat is traditionally made by pouring a hot espresso shot over vanilla ice cream. The ice cream in this case is homemade and contains chicory and condensed milk, making it somewhat similar in taste to Vietnamese coffee. Dispatch also serves an excellent cold brew, which they bottle and sell in concentrated format for you to enjoy at home.
Classic iced latte
Little Burgundy café Lili & Oli’s iced latte is probably the best in Montreal. A great take on a classic is always welcome and comforting on a smoldering summer day. Lili & Oli have been around for a decade now and are always a great stop for regulars and visitors alike who come here for the excellent coffee, whether hot or chilled.
Cold brew perfection
The Café Myriade cold brew coffee is steeped for 12 hours then poured over ice. The brew is acidic and complex and carries fruity undertones with a slight earthy finale. It tastes more like a complex tea than coffee. You can also order an iced latte made by pulling an espresso shot over ice and adding cold milk.
Nitro cold brew for the win
Café Paquebot is the first café in Montreal to serve iced coffee in the form of a nitro cold brew on tap. The coffee is treated with nitrogen, pressurized, then served on draft just like beer. This latest coffee trend even tastes like beer, is slightly effervescent and topped with a foamy head. Try their nitro coffee flight, which includes a draft latte and a lemonade coffee fizz.
Italian style caffè freddo
Café Ferlucci in Villeray makes the same Italian-style cold coffee you’ll find in Italy. The base brew is made by filling up a large jar with dozens of espresso shots and sweetening it lightly with sugar. You can order yours black on the rocks or with a shot of milk to be enjoyed on the quaint terrasse.
Oreo-coffee milkshake of your dreams
Hip Plateau spot Café Esquina’s new coffee concoction tastes as good as it sounds. The chocolatey caffeine-loaded icy drink is made with coconut sorbet as a base, which makes it vegan. It’s smooth, rich and oh so delicious and just may become your new summer addiction.
Smooth Greek Frappé
L’Express St-Zotique makes a smooth and rich Greek-style coffee frappe. The famous drink is made by mixing instant Nescafé coffee (yes, instant coffee!) with sugar and water (or milk) in a milkshake shaker. The result is a smooth and refreshing drink topped with a rich foam. If Greek summers had an official drink, this would be it. L’Express St-Zotique also makes some of the best sandwiches in Montreal!
Salted caramel iced latte
The newly opened Marché la Fontaine adjacent to Parc La Fontaine makes the velvety iced coffee drink of your dreams. Fizzy cold brew draft made with local Brûlerie Faro beans is topped with organic salted caramel syrup and certified Nordic milk. The effervescence of the draft coffee brings out all the subtle flavours of the caramel and results in a smooth refreshing drink. A vegan option is offered with the addition of a coconut beverage instead of milk.
Check out my map of Montreal’s best independent cafés to find the closest caffeine spot.