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Montreal Cafés

By Staff | Last updated : 12/Dec/2012 15:00
Although Montreal suffers from the chain café syndrome to roughly the same degree as other large North American cities, there are enough quality cafés in the city to keep you warm, comfortable, and caffeinated.

We are no despots and try to be flexible, accepting the fact that strong gourmet coffee may not be everyone's cup of tea. In fact, just a cup of tea may very well be one's cup of tea. So we accept three café “flavors” as completely legitimate options: cafés specializing in coffee, tea, or pastries.

The minimal criteria for the inclusion on this list are very simple:

  • For cafés specializing in coffee:
    1. The establishment has to offer at least the most basic varieties of espresso drinks - i.e., espresso, café latte (or its local version, café au lait), and cappuccino.
    2. Coffee beans must be ground fresh for each order (i.e. no pre-ground beans sitting in a dispenser for hours on end).
    3. The supplying roaster's product has to be of high quality (needless to say, 100% arabica coffee - not a robusta mix).
    4. The baristas have to be at least moderately skilled, comfortable with all aspects of coffee preparation, including the handling of beans, the timing (an “espresso” made in five seconds is not an espresso!) and the steaming of milk.
    Sound simple and commonsensical? (Assuming you're a coffee fan?) Well, those four simple criteria safely eliminate about 95% of the cafés out there, starting with all the chains.

  • For cafés that are really more about tea, there's really only one requirement: there has to be at least half a dozen loose leaf varieties, all served in a pot. No teabagging! (Pause for juvenile snickering)

  • For café-bakeries, our main requirement is that they be what they promise to be - in other words, that they make their own pastries.
Now, onto the listings:

Showing 8 places of interest:

  1. Veritas (Café Santé Veritas)
    480 Boulevard St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
  2. Café Névé
    151 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1E1
  3. Pikolo
    3418B Avenue du Parc, Montreal, Quebec
  4. Café Myriade (Myriad Café)
    1432 Rue Mackay, Montreal, Quebec
  5. Camellia Sinensis Tea House (Camellia Sinensis Maison de Thé)
    351 Rue Emery, Montreal, Quebec H2X 1J2
  6. Nocochi
    2156 Rue MacKay, Montreal, Quebec
  7. Olive + Gourmando
    351 Rue St-Paul Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
  8. Caffè in Gamba
    5263 Avenue du Parc, Montreal, Quebec