Montréal has all kinds of cafés: for working or studying, philosophizing or gossiping, people watching or just for idly sipping coffee as the world goes by. After a thorough investigation (and many coffees and viennoiseries), here are 10 cafés in Montréal with unbeatable ambiances where you can while away the afternoon.
Located in the old Banque Royale of Canada building, this cafe – most certainly one of the most beautiful in Montréal – keeps the spectacular right in sight. More than just a café, Crew Collective & Café is a co-working space, where you can reserve private meeting rooms or become a member and gain access to a amenities like a concierge service, 24/7 access, and private networking events.
For those who need to have a working lunch, this charming spot is for you. Le moineau masqué offers basic sandwiches, a variety of espresso drinks, excellent (and beautiful crafted) lattes, and WiFi. When it’s nice out, head to their outdoor space where they have wooden tables and colorful chairs, very reminiscent of a backyard picnic.
Love espresso-based drinks? The Pikolo is undoubtedly one of the best places in the city for an espresso fix! Take one of the few high-top tables and sip on a high-quality espresso made by baristas, who truly are passionate experts on the the beans and brewing process.
Close to the famous Square St-Louis, the Café Cherrier is best suited for brunches and coffee dates among friends. The café is old, looking a bit more like a diner than the minimalist artisan coffee shops we’ve seen gain recent popularity, but that’s part of the charm! The French cuisine and friendly space is so comfortable it’ll feel like home, guaranteeing that you’ll be back.
On the list of places to spend a caffeinated afternoon, the Butterblume is near the top. Their menu offers a decadent array of options. None of the egg salad sandwich or bacon and eggs nonsense; they serve cucumber and tomato soup, spinach and pork ravioli, and so much more. The in-house sourdough bread with a chocolate-hazelnut spread will make you fall to your knees because you’ve found heaven on earth.
A café with terrace seating worthy of Paris, once you go, you’ll want to go every day. Caffè in Gamba specializes in high-quality espressos by makers like Intelligentsia, Zoka, Novo, and Vergnano. Besides coffee, they offer viennoiseries and pizza—definitely worthy of a detour. The terrace seating is side by side, just like in Parisian cafes, making it a prime location for people watching.
Located in the center of Montréal, Café Parvis is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. The menu is extensive, affordable, and appetizing. The minimalist industrial look is softened by a multitude of plants, wood floors and furniture, and lots of natural lighting. For us, the prize for most beautiful café in Montréal is a tie between Café Parvis, and Crew Collective.
On a side street off the busy Côte-des-neiges road, the peace of the Caravane Café will lure you in easily for an afternoon of working. After the founders realized the vibrant neighborhood was missing a place to pass the hours, they opened the café and an accompanying space below. At Caravane Office, you pay by the hour to use the space and have access to self-serve coffee, snacks, and more.
A tiny café on Beaubien, Café Pista is perfect for an unplanned stop, an afternoon of studying, or a catch-up with an old friend. The decor is minimalist and the windows large, allowing for maximum natural lighting. And, always important, the people making your coffee are super nice. They offer a small (yet great) selection of food from 10am-3pm.
A café and micro-bistro right in the heart of Mile-End, Pagaille! brings a touch of edible freshness to your day. You can savor a wide array of exquisite dishes made with locally sourced ingredients in an intimate and warm ambiance. The full-wall windows bring in plenty of natural light, and there’s a corner with a bookshelf of books and small table to keep kids occupied.