Link Picks: Coffee Spots
The life of a student can be stressful, and coffee can be the ideal pick-me-up ahead of some late-night studying or early in the morning before class. While there are many coffee chain franchises near the downtown campus, Montreal’s neighbourhoods are also home to some unique and charming independent cafés that are well worth a try.
Kafein : Just across the street from Concordia’s Webster Library, Kafein has a trendy vibe, friendly staff and cozy atmosphere, complete with exposed brick walls and regularly changing artwork. The coffee counter and kitchen are on the upper floor, while a cocktail bar that opens in the evenings can be found on the lower one. Kafein serves espresso-based drinks and delicious sandwiches, as well as smoothies with some unique combinations of ingredients.
Café Myriade _(1432 Mackay St.):_ A Concordia staple, Café Myriade’s cappuccino will make your morning class bearable. It’s been said that Café Myriade brings a distinctly West Coast flair to Montreal’s café scene, focusing on artisanal roasts and serving coffee from the likes of Vancouver-based Forty Ninth Parallel. Patrons also have a choice of brewing methods, from French press to siphon brewing.
Thé Kiosque : Just outside the EV building is this shop, a tea lover’s dream come true where you can watch the world—or at least Concordia students—go by. A modern but cozy boutique, Thé Kiosque offers prepared teas and tea lattes, as well as some incredibly refreshing flavours of iced tea. They also sell miniature-sized pieces of cheesecake and loose teas.
Café X _(1395 René-Levesque Blvd. W. & 1515 Ste. Catherine St. W.):_ Café X is Concordia’s student-run Fine Arts café. It serves some legitimately good coffee at both its locations on the SGW campus, in the VA and EV buildings.
N.D.G. / Montreal-West
Pâtisserie de la Gare : Pâtisserie de la Gare may not be quite as trendy as some of the other cafés on this list, but it serves up decent coffee, freshly prepared sandwiches and excellent pastries, all at reasonable prices. It’s a short walk west of the Loyola campus and just a stone’s throw away from the Montreal West train station. It’s worth noting, though, that the café doesn’t have wireless Internet and closes at 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 5:30 p.m. on weekends.
Café 92° : Café 92° is a few blocks east of the Loyola campus along Sherbrooke Street in N.D.G. With wireless Internet available, large windows in the front and a diverse array of art on the walls, this café has a nice atmosphere and is a pleasant place to enjoy a good book or catch up on some studying. Their sandwiches are offered at student-friendly prices, and there are also a few Mexican-themed options on the menu.
Café Grand : The classy Café Grand is both a coffee shop and a restaurant, giving you the option of either taking one of their excellent coffees to go, or sitting down and being served by a waiter. Their sandwiches and salads are always delectable, made with fresh ingredients that are sure to please the taste buds, but they’ll also set you back between $13.00-$16.00. Located at the corner of Grand Blvd. and Sherbrooke St., this bistro is a short bike or bus ride away from the Loyola campus, and there’s a Bixi bike-sharing station right next to the building.
Melk Bar à Café : This recently opened café is in the heart of Monkland Village, a charming section of Monkland Ave. just three blocks west of Villa-Maria metro station in N.D.G. Like Café Myriade downtown, Melk Bar à Café sells beans from Forty Ninth Parallel in Vancouver. The coffee shop also has a variety of tasty baked goods, from muffins to scones, and a terrace out front that’s perfect for people-watching.
Plateau Mont-Royal / Mile End
Café Olimpico : In the heart of the Mile End you’ll find Café Olimpico, a family-owned shop that takes coffee seriously—its lattes are always velvety smooth in taste and texture, and never bitter. That it closes daily at midnight also doesn’t hurt! Opened in 1970, Olimpico is a charming and lively hangout spot, where the televisions and projector screen are often showing a soccer or hockey game. Several Italian desserts, such as cannoli and tiramisu, are available.
Le Couteau / The Knife : The Knife offers a variety of coffees from different locales as well as a selection of brewing methods, so you’ll get a perfect cup made exactly how you like it. Tea lovers will also be pleased to know that there are several types of teas and tisanes, some of them organic. The café isn’t really “cozy” per se—it has an unashamedly sparse interior, with whitewashed walls and wooden benches, giving it a minimalist vibe.
Café Plume : Café Plume is often full of students working on their laptops, and it isn’t surprising why—this coffee shop in the Plateau neighbourhood has a pleasant atmosphere, with colourful artwork and comfy banquette seating along one wall. The coffee is delicious, and there are some sandwiches and baked goods available too. Be advised, though, that laptops are banned from half of the space on weekends.
Au Festin de Babette _(4085 St. Denis St.):_ This place may not serve coffee, but it makes this list nevertheless because it has one of the best hot chocolates in town. It’s rich and creamy, all you could possibly want in a cup of hot chocolate. In the summer, you can also cool off on their terrace with homemade ice cream.
Café St-Henri : Café St-Henri is more than just a coffee shop—it’s a specialty coffee roaster that supplies other restaurants and cafés in Montreal. The coffee doesn’t disappoint and you can, of course, purchase a bag of coffee beans to enjoy at home. The café has a modern interior, but repurposed church pews that serve as seating give the space a hint of formality and tradition too. Located in the working-class neighbourhood of Saint-Henri, it’s not far from the Atwater Market, one of Montreal’s four main public markets.
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