These ten best cafes in Montreal need to be on your bucket list if you’re heading to the Canadian city this summer. Spending a week in Montreal was such an amazing experience (check out my complete travel guide). I popped into so many coffee shops and cafes while exploring the city. Whether for a latte, a quick bite or an espresso pick me up, cafes and coffee shops were the where I spent the most time in during my visit. Of all the cafes I visited, ten of them were standouts. Most of these cafes aren’t just for coffee. They have a great ambiance, incredible food and most of all, damn fine coffee.
TEN BEST CAFES IN MONTREAL
Tommy in Old Montreal was one of the first cafe’s I stumbled into after walking from our Hotel on Rue Saint Catherine to Old Montreal. It was a Saturday morning and the patrons were seated having brunch. The first thing you notice upon entry is the Instagram-worthy decor of palm leaves, nautical stripe couches and pops of color from the Veuve Clicquot vignette by the window. They also make a mean bloody Mary during brunch.
It was love at first sight when I ventured into Barley, Montreal’s first cereal bar. The cafe is in the Little Burgundy neighborhood on the corner of Notre-Dame and Charlevoix streets. They have over 200 different cereals on tap and can be served as a breakfast with milk, blended in smoothies for an afternoon pick me up or as an ice cream for dessert. Calorie-conscious patrons can opt for the healthy granola menu instead.
3. Pigeon Espresso Bar
I was enticed by Pigeon Espresso Bar’s slogan of “World’s Worst Coffee,” after a long day of sightseeing. I needed a pick me up and a shot of espresso and a croissant was just what I needed to keep me going. Turns out they have amazing coffee, go figure! They roast Stumptown, a personal favorite, and Montreal roasters Kittel so you know it’s actually amazing coffee that’s being served. It’s a tiny cafe but the unpretentious menu of americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, tea, drip coffee, and hot cocoa is worth popping in.
4. VertU Bar Santé
After a night of gorging myself on foie gras at Au Pied de Cochon, I needed a healthy lunch to pay penance for such debauchery at the night before. I heard about VertU Bar Santé from my Uber driver, who raved about their vegetarian and vegan dishes. VertU Bar Santé has an impressive menu of healthy and savory burritos, acai bowls, poke bowls, sandwiches, soups and chili bowls. The tuna poke bowl, which has fresh tuna with pineapple, edamame beans, soba noodles dressed in a sesame oil, soy sauce, sweet chili, and lemon, is to die for.
5. Cafe Olimpico
I went to Cafe Olimpico after an afternoon of shooting my polka dot jumpsuit at the Hotel William Grey. The cafe is nestled inside the hotel and next to OTH Boutique. They serve strong coffees, Italian pastries, and espresso drinks. They also have a second location in the Mile End neighborhood.
6. Régine Café
I love any cafe that serves brunch all day every day. Régine Café is one of those cafes and it did not disappoint. They have an impressive menu with trusted brunch favorites like French toast and bacon, eggs and cheese on a baguette. I opted for Le Champi, which is made up of Scotch eggs served on top of a rustic bread with mashed potatoes, red pepper compote and mushrooms sauce. The oeuf & boeuf – Beef cheek cooked 8 hours in molasse, Panko egg, grilled focaccia is also a hit.
7. Cafe Myriade
Cafe Myriade is a Montreal institution and beloved so much so that after two locations, it’s owner Anthony Benda was tapped by Club Monaco to open another location inside its store on rue Sainte-Catherine. Cafe Myriade is on the ground floor of the Club Monaco store on Ste-Catherine, though you can access the café via a separate entrance. When I stopped in for a coffee, Club Monaco was actually not yet open so I sat in the tufted blue couch and indulged a latte and a croissant while waiting for the store to open.
8. Cordova Coffee & Cocktails
Named after one of the streets he grew up on, Cordova Coffee & Cocktails is another cafe owned by Anthony Benda (Cafe Myriade) and his business partners Aaron Polsky et Elayne Teixeira-Millar. The cafe and bar also pay homage to Aaron’s favorite Spanish cuisine. It’s a European concept of a one-stop shop restaurant that serves coffee, apéro for lunch and cocktails late into the night. They serve a variety of coffees from Heart Roasters, 49th Parallel, Square Mile Coffee, Ritual Roasters, and Monogram Coffee. They also serve craft cocktails and a moderately priced tapas menu.
9. Cafe Chiado No. 28
The Chiado café is named after a popular district in Lisbon. Their coffee comes from a Portuguese roaster and they offer all types of coffee drinks. The decor is very welcoming and freelancer-friendly. Which means you can bring your laptop and work while into the night since they’re open ’til 9pm. They also serve soups, sandwiches, croquettes and more.
10. Aloha Espresso Bar
I actually went to Aloha Espresso Bar to grab a juice but stayed a while for its ambiance and the food. They serve Kona Coffee, acai bowls, dragon bowls, poke and shave ice. This cafe, like Tommy, is very Instagram worthy with it’s Hawaiin themed decor.