Montreal loves its coffee, which means there is no lack of excellent coffee shops and cafés for a serious cup of java and some pastries. Whether you are up in the Mile End, or making your way downtown, here are some favourite stops to get your much-needed caffeine fix.
Parvis is located on a secluded side street, back behind busy Saint Catherine. Despite its somewhat obscure location, word has clearly gotten out that it is the place to be for your mid-morning coffee break, pretty much any day of the week. No matter when you go, it is packed, but the iced lattes and house-made juices are so worth it. Oh, and there’s brunch, which just happens to include pizza, so that definitely helps.
On a snowy, wet winter day in Montreal, there are few things that sound as appealing as cozying up in a café with a warm mug of coffee or hot chocolate. Especially if said hot chocolate comes topped with a luscious, homemade marshmallow. Should the weather get especially nasty out, you can stay at Arts from brunch straight on through dinner, and perhaps switch from coffee to a class of wine. You might never leave.
At Café Neve, the motto should be, “Come for the coffee, and stay for the massive, sugar-laden cookies.”
Yes, cookies, loaded with chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate; or chopped up Reese’s peanut butter cups, lest you be allergic to peanuts, in which case you’ll just have to order a latte and take pity on everyone around you and their soon-to-be massive sugar comas. The coffee is good, so it’s really not a bad situation to find yourself in.
Pikolo Espresso Bar
Given my unabashed love for chocolate, it is no surprise that I equally love melting it into my coffee. Having searched the city far and wide, I can say with confidence that Pikolo makes the best (or at least my favourite) mocha in the city. It is chocolatey without being too much so, so the coffee still comes through. And, as an homage to my hometown, Calgary, I also support the fact that it sells Phil & Sebastian coffee, so I can stock up when I’m feeling homesick.
Students and the downtown business crowd alike come together at Humble Lion, ideally situated on Sherbrooke, right across the street from McGill. This is no starving student coffee, although if you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong with its drip coffee. At a couple of bucks a pop, it beats Tim Horton’s any day.
With locations in Little Burgundy and near Jean-Talon market, Saint-Henri is roasting up tasty bean blends that you can either drink in-house or buy to take home, preferably both. The Colosseo is definitely the blend to choose; it is the perfect, chocolatey, decadent cup of Joe to start your day. You can also find its coffee at other stores and cafés around the city, including Boulangerie Guillame (just in case you need an extra excuse to stop in for some of the best bread in Montreal).
No, Rhubarbe isn’t technically a coffee shop, but yes, it makes great coffee. Great coffee that is even better when accompanied by stellar desserts. Why not enjoy that espresso while nibbling on a slice of chocolate and pear cake, or lemon meringue tart? If you’re struggling to come up with a rebuttal to that question, that makes two of us.