Welcome to Montréal, the cultural and economic hub of La Belle Province – the beautiful province of Québec, Canada!
When the city isn’t tucked away under a thick layer of snow, you can find Montrealers bustling through the streets in search of good food and a fun time. From snowy winter festivals to summertime street festivals, it truly seems like Montreal has it all. The one thing that has been in short supply for far too long is a good cup of joe.
But now, specialty coffee shops are opening up all over town, with skilled baristas serving up crème de la crème of Canada’s coffee roasters. I think it’s safe to say Montréal is on its way to be known for more than just poutine and hockey!
You might also like A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Vancouver, Canada
Tulip latte art.
Why These Five?
Cutting this list down to only five was a difficult task. It’s impossible to pick the five “best” coffee shops in a city… But these are some of my personal favorites. Not only do they brew amazing coffee, but the baristas and overall ambiance make them spots worth visiting.
So, while you’re strolling through the streets of this vibrant city, stop off for a coffee in one of these third wave cafés.
The bloom begins: brewing a pour over coffee.
1. La Finca Café & Bureau
Located beside Montréal’s financial district, La Finca is unmissable. Whether it’s a clean, complex Chemex or cortado, you won’t regret your order. Want a bit more space? La Finca also offers private workrooms – and if you’re there for a while, you can order a pastry to go with your coffee.
|Where||1067 Bleury Street|
|Atmosphere||Bright, fun, and energetic|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco|
|Grinder||Espresso – De Mello Palheta (micro-lot house roast)
Filter – A selection of De Mello Palheta’s filter roasts
|Retail Offerings||Fresh bags of De Mello Palheta coffee and a variety of teas|
|Food & Other Drinks||Tea, pastries, and a weekly food menu|
|Nearby Sights||Old Port of Montréal, Notre-Dame Basilica, and Palais des Congrès|
A barista slowly pours water into a Chemex at La Finca Café & Bureau. Credit: Café Climbers
Specialty coffee accompanied by vinyl records? If that’s your idea of heaven, Paquebot Café is the place for you. Rated as Montreal’s best third wave café (by local specialty coffee app Th3rd Wave), you can’t go wrong with this cosy spot.
And with two locations East of Parc Avenue – and now a third in the Old Port – you won’t have to venture far.
|Where||2110 Bélanger Street (Flagship)
123 Mount-Royal Avenue West
520 St. Laurent Boulevard
|Atmosphere||Punk meets cozy|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco|
|Grinder||Espresso – Zab Coffee
Filter – Zab Coffee
|Must-Try Drink||Any of their espresso-based drinks|
|Retail Offerings||Zab Coffee retail bags|
|Food & Other Drinks||Assorted pastries|
|Nearby Sights||Beaubien Park, Mount Royal, and Jeanne Mance Park|
Paquebot Café’s red-brick walls are illuminated by a purple neon “paquebot” – the French word for a passenger ship. Credit: Café Climbers
3. The Standard/Café Myriade
The Standard is a safe haven for specialty coffee lovers West of the Downtown area. For those who stick around the East, the owners also operate Café Myriade in Mile End. They offer a wide variety of roasted beans, sourced from all of North America, as V60, AeroPress, or espresso.
Each location has its own unique aesthetic, but you’ll get the same amazing coffee experience in them all. Great coffee from around the world, served up by top quality baristas in a gorgeous setting – hard to beat, eh?
|Where||5135 Sherbrooke Street West / 251 St-Viateur West|
|Atmosphere||Modern, chic and quaint|
|Espresso Machine||Kees Van Der Westen Spirit Triplette|
|Grinder||Espresso – Guest roasters change weekly (Pilot, Transcend, 49th Parallel, and Ritual, to name just a few)
Filter – Guest roasters on a weekly rotation
|Must-Try Drink||Cortado, cappuccino or V60|
|Retail Offerings||Roasted coffee, AeroPress, V60, and other Hario products|
|Food & Other Drinks||Pastries and bagels from various Montréal bakeries|
|Nearby Sights||Atwater Market, Westmount lookout, Mile End, and Plateau Mont-Royal|
Café Myriade serves a variety of roasters. Credit: Café Climbers
4. Le Club Espresso Bar
Welcome to Le Club Espresso Bar, where coffee and cycling meet. Montréal’s summers feel like they’re over before they even start, but cycling here on a sunny day and then cooling down with a coffee? It’s a feeling that can’t be beaten.
The great location, friendly staff, and welcoming decor (not to mention the indoor hanging bikes) appeal to all types of coffee-lovers. If you don’t believe me, just ask 2017 Giro d’Italia winner, Tom Dumoulin, who stopped here for an espresso with his team this past September.
|Where||3801 Saint-Denis Street|
|Atmosphere||Bright and energetic, with a cycling theme|
|Espresso Machine||Slayer Steam|
|Grinder||Espresso – Kittel Coffee (blend, or single origin espresso)
Filter – Kittel Coffee (coming soon)
|Must-Try Drink||The cortado is solid year-round, although on a hot summer day, you might prefer their housemade iced tea.|
|Retail Offerings||Cycling gear (helmets, socks, jerseys, nutrition, etc.), bike servicing/repairs, and 340 g bags of Kittel coffee or Traffic Coffee Club|
|Food & Other Drinks||Tea, pastries, and various brunch/breakfast treats|
|Nearby Sights||Lafontaine Park and Jeanne Mance Park|
Watch the cycling at Le Club Espresso Bar. Credit: @cafeclimbers
5. Café Pista
This amazing café and brunch spot is located in Montreal’s East End. Friendly, experienced staff combined with a rotation of some of Canada’s finest beans makes for an excellent coffee experience.
Visiting on a weekend? Be sure to try something from their market-fresh menu. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch their bike-powered coffee cart at one of Montréal’s many summer events.
|Where||500 Beaubien Street East|
|Atmosphere||Trendy and bright|
|Grinder||Espresso – Kittel, Zab, Pilot, Structure, Goth Coffee
Filter – Kittel, Zab, Pilot, Structure, Goth Coffee
|Retail Offerings||Roasted coffee|
|Food & Other Drinks||Pastries and brunch|
|Nearby Sights||Little Italy and Jarry Park|
People-watch with a cortado at Café Pista. Credit: Café Climbers
Tried these five and still thirsty for more? Check out Dessert Cafe Momo in Monkland Avenue or L’or en Grain on Rachel Street East.
The Old Port of Montreal.
Montréal is slowly becoming a specialty coffee powerhouse.
I’ve introduced you to my favorite cafés in the city. They all offer great coffee, great ambiance, and great service. So, the next time you’re looking for a citrusy Chemex or a full-bodied espresso, stop by one of these spots to satisfy your cravings.
But don’t hesitate to venture off the beaten track and try somewhere new, either. New coffee shops are opening all the time. As a city, Montréal is just getting started!
Enjoyed this? Check out A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Vancouver, Canada
Article written by Bradley D’Alessandro.
All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Montreal, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.
Want to read more articles like this? Sign up for our newsletter!