The essentials: 10 cafes where life is good

There are the well-kept secrets, the mandatory stops and the ones that are worth the detour. There are, above all, essentials of all kinds that are good to share. For the delight of your palates, The duty that’s why he imagined a meeting in the form of a gourmet notebook, one topic at a time. This time we are talking about coffee destinations. Neither restaurants nor refreshments, just a sandwich maker, the cafes that we glimpse combine tasty nectars, some pastries and a cozy atmosphere to sit, read and chat. On the lot, here are ten that have a little je-ne-sais-quoi!


Pikolo Espresso Bar

Set in the heart of the McGill ghetto 11 years ago, Pikolo was a small oasis, a haven for students, visiting professionals and locals who knew its secrets… starting with the coffee shop! And if in the past the discovery of third wave cafes in Montreal was credited, it must be recognized that even today, despite the swarm of addresses in the metropolis, the haven of Marie-Ève ​​Laroche and her team remains a must in the city. this respect. We are also delighted to hear that your upcoming move to 1635 rue Clark in the Quartier des spectacles will allow a new clientele to discover and dine there!

3418-B Park Avenue

Noble Coffee

It was in this small café in Mile End that the author of these lines ordered her first golden café au lait a few years ago. We have already detected this desire to deviate from the classics. Since then, people have gone there for a cappuccino as well as a cold brewed coffee or a soft ice cream cone with the flavors of the moment. Each time, the service is impeccable, the products are good, the atmosphere is sweet and cheerful. A year ago, a second branch was added to Mile-Ex: the same shine, the same quality and more space for a pleasantly long break.

430 Laurier Avenue East

Rua Alexandra 7060


We cannot ignore this institution in Montreal that, like some others, introduced us to espresso worthy of the name. The original, in Saint-Viateur, is almost like the first day, when Rocco Furfaro created, in 1970, a place to gather the neighborhood around football games and a true Italian cafe. The warm noise that emerges from each of its dwellings, its colorful fauna, the timelessness of its spaces and the constant quality of the tasty drink – strong enough – make it a familiar place as soon as you step there for the first time. .

Rue Saint-Viateur, 124 West

Rua Sao Vicente 419

1333 Robert Bourassa Blvd.

Take it easy

Beautiful story by Mollo. A love story for the neighborhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles and the story of a family, that of Valérie Paquet and Alexandre Ouellette, who wanted to get involved in their community and contribute to the revitalization that has been taking shape for some years. Mollo is a casual cafe that offers seasonal gelato and is also nearby an artisan bakery. On the coffee side, it is in the company’s image: it precisely meets the entire range of possibilities – from cut to iced coffee – thanks to Zab Café beans, of fair production, and Henrietta creamy milk. The ultimate pleasure? A jar of gelato to make affogato at home!

2069 Wellington Street

The farm

It was after a trip to El Salvador that Marie-Laurence Guindon and Geneviève Loignon-Houle decided to take a leap into the void and open their own café in Montreal. The idea was not only to offer a cozy and relaxing place in the heart of the city, but also to stimulate direct and sustainable trade, serving as a crossroads between a clientele eager for good coffee and the producers they cherish so much. Here, without pretense, you can claim to be a neophyte on the subject and the team will be happy to advise you. The coffee served also changes with the seasons, which adds to the pleasure of returning. During the pandemic, we also redesigned Local Light’s collaborative workspaces to install a grocery section stocked with local produce.

1067, rue de Bleury


the potion

Since the opening of Le Philtre in 2020, what has enchanted us is the finesse and desire to do things well that emanate from the café of Chantal Mathieu and Jonathan Jacques. It must be said that they had an exceptional source of inspiration: the Australian third wave coffee culture. Upon returning to the capital, the owners decided to go into business and create a meeting point in the Saint-Sauveur district. Not only is the space cozy and welcoming, but the drinks here are well made, tasty and with great depth – thanks to the Fantôme Café and Zab Café roasters. And they are served by an eminently friendly team. Special mention goes to Atelier Margot’s beautiful cups, which demonstrate the attention to detail that makes Le Philtre a great place to live.

504 Saint-Vallier Street West

olive coffee

Charming novelty in Quebec: the very cute Olive Coffee, as beautiful in appearance as it is in the cup. There is no room for flafla other than bags of coffee beans. That’s why we focused on the usual drinks – and a popular affogato – thanks to Nomad Coffee beans and the manual espresso machine. The precision of the gestures and the result fills us with pleasure and reminds us that, basically, being a barista is a title that must be acquired. We sipped our coffee against the counter or sipped our drink as we strolled down Cartier Avenue. Anyway, we’re back: the cheerful atmosphere and smiling service have the effect of a magnet.

Avenida Cartier 1190-A


Unmissable in the capital, Cantook is a pioneer in micro-roasting and fair trade coffee, but also in traceability and direct trade with producers since Simon Fabi took over the reins of the family business. This rare coffee connoisseur knows it all and passionately conveys his love for the bean and his work from the farm to the cup. Of course, at Cantook you can find bags of coffee roasted by Mr. Fabi (including some microlots in limited quantities) and drinks to be enjoyed on site. We fell in love with the front seats, which allow us to see spectators passing by while enjoying one of the best cappuccinos in town. Last year, a second branch served enthusiasts in the Saint-Sauveur district.

Rua São João 575

208 Saint-Vallier Street West

The Kogi

Kogi is the name of a people from northern Colombia and a tribute to this coffee producing region where Francis Carreiro settled shortly before the pandemic. Forced to return to Quebec, he found a new project by taking over with his wife Camille Chamberland the former premises of the iX for Bistro, in the Limoilou district. The transformation is breathtaking! And the site, which has been open for a few weeks, already attracts wildlife of all kinds. The drinks are made from the original productions of Tatum coffee, which can be purchased in bags and in bulk. Some snacks and sandwiches are offered, as well as a selection of goodies to take away, starting with the Fantôme Café signature roasts and Intrus ciders. Note: the brightness of the place makes it a perfect place to work.

1104, 18and Road


Quai toaster

A few steps from the water, in Carleton-sur-Mer, is the Brûlerie du Quai, beautiful proof that third-wave coffee has not just swept the urban fringes. Since 2005, this place has been a new kind of church square, where we live in the know-how of Dany Marquis and in the details of each cafe, and where we meet from one day to the next to chat. From the roasting workshop comes a warm and full-bodied aroma, from the corner of the cafe resounds a warm commotion, from the surrounding nature blows a fresh and comforting air: an appeal to the senses that makes it an essential destination. But still ? The nearby Chaleur B chocolate factory is not far behind…!

200, rue du Quai, Carleton-sur-Mer

An alcoholic cream of cold coffee and oatmeal

to see on video

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