Best Cafes In Montreal - No need to learn french
It's only fair after putting together a list of Best Cafes In Montreal - BUT you should learn french first to give those a little more averse to a linguistic blending in with the local Montreal culture a place to get their caffeine fix without whipping out an english to french dictionary to describe that they only want half whip on top of their frappuccino. We did our best to throw in a couple of Montreal's coffee shop "gems" in addition to the more familiar "stand-by" establishments of the region.
Best Cafes In Montreal - No Translation Needed
1432 Rue Mackay, Golden Square Mile - Montreal, QC
Happening upon the knowledge that this establishment was founded by Anthony Benda, a Canadian National Barista Championship finalist and Scott Rao, author of "The Professional Barista's Handbook" it becomes safe to assume that Cafe Myriade is in good hands, as will be the coffee passed to your own. Coffee snobs will be elated to learn that Cafe Myriad uses the famed Dutch commercial espresso maker Mirage which is the Batmobile of espresso machines (and looks just as cool) and the bean of choice comes from 49th Parallel. The result is a conceited cup of coffee without a drop of pretension from the servers or establishment as a whole which makes for an elegantly welcoming experience. The crowd is plentiful at Cafe Myriade but as with the coffee it is quite an attractive yet friendly clientele albeit coming at the expense of not finding a seat during "rush" hours of the day. The specialty coffees are of course splendid with a definite recommendation touting the expertly made Cafe Mocha using real melted chocolate in place of syrup and blended by a gold and glass decorated chocolate mixer proudly on display for the crowd to see. Cafe Myriade is a gathering place for the lovers of coffee, cafes, and indiscriminate culture frequenting the streets of Montreal.
124 Rue St-Viateur Ouest, Montréal, QC
Cafe Olimpico has been serving the trendy Mile End district of Montreal for over 30 years and has gained the reputation of being the best for consistency, comfort and for following a tradition of true coffee culture in a city that takes it very serious, but in a fun, casual way of course. A snap shot of the store front and terrasse could fool anyone into thinking this cafe came about the end corner of some small Italian village while the regional flags and soccer paraphernalia within only serve to aid in the cause. In fact, you may be better served in learning Italian as opposed to french if you intend on frequenting this establishment on a regular basis and not because of any communication concerns, but because you will want to keep a keen ear on the laughter inducing conversation that seems to bounce back and forth between staff and the Italian regulars that appear to have permanent seats at Cafe Olimpico.
Not known for their pastry or dining menu, Cafe Olimpico does not frown upon anyone that brings a light snack as long as you keep the espresso flowing into your cup and that is certainly something you will want to do. While not as fancy with the beverage menu options as some of the more modern coffee shops in Montreal, this Italian institution does what its culture is renowned for, mastering the art of making a perfect cup of coffee.
Van Houtte Cafe-Bistro
359 President Kennedy, Montreal (mapped above)
2020 University (President Kennedy), Montreal
With 23 Cafe-Bistros located in Montreal and a reputation spanning almost a century, this formerly Canadian company (recently acquired by Green Mountain Coffee from Vermont) may not be taken seriously by serious coffee connoisseurs for reasons that defy logic. Why should major chains be relegated to the sidelines when placing cafes on "best of" lists? These businesses became reputable chains for a reason, delivering great coffee to the public. Perhaps this is the jaded Quebec perspective because for those familiar with road trips through regions such as Western Canada, Van Houtte Coffee is only something you can find in the likes of Chevron Town Pantry gas station stops. The coffees and cappuccinos keeps drivers alert for hours while passengers sip from the warm and comforting English Toffee or French Vanilla variety while staring out the windows at the winding landscape. Good memories and an air of mystery regarding its origin resides in ones mind for those outside of Quebec in regards to Van Houtte coffee.
Nonetheless it is understandable to be picky when picking the best place for coffee bean consumption in a city ripe with options to die for, but Van Houtte deserves its place on the list for those looking for something familiar and risk free. Two of the 23 locations are listed above and are convenient stops for visitors to the arts and museum district of downtown Montreal (359 President Kennedy) and McGill University (2020 University). Aside from that, a drive, taxi, or even walk around Montreal will put a Van Houtte Cafe-Bistro at your footsteps sooner or later.
5526 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal Quebec
Shaiki Cafe is a cozy but cool, international styled cafe. In contrast to the dark wooden interiors of most top Montreal coffee houses, Shaika feels tropical at times with palms accenting the colorful furnishing within. Its a refreshing break from the standard cafe vibe without sacrificing quality in beverage or service. Recognizing that many people want more than muffins and pastries with their coffee, Shaika put together a comprehensive menu of sandwiches and wraps that further establishes its position as being unique to the industry. Their fresh dessert menu is worth the journey to the NDG district alone with a strong recommendation for pairing your latte of choice with Cheesecake Brownie Squares. In addition to coffee, snacks and desserts, Shaika Cafe has an art gallery in the back called Gallery V that showcases the works of artisans from around the world and around 9pm on any given night you will find musicians as eclectic as the art on the walls performing for the hip crowd within.