As the author of the Christelle is Flabbergasting blog, Christelle knows a thing or two about good cafés and restaurants in Montreal. She's lending her aficionada status here to share some of her go-to places for a good cup of coffee in the Plateau and Mile End. She even reveals a well-kept secret! That is, until now.
Why is it that I love Brooklyn so much? Is it the kindness of its owner Nathalie (nicknamed Brooklyn), the labneh bread, the smoked trout plate, the tasty and comforting mezzés, the porridge bowls, the generous lattes, or the vintage decorative items in the café? It must be a bit of everything. And this is undoubtedly my true Montreal love!
I have long lived a few blocks from the cafe Réplika, which has somehow managed the feat of drawing crowds at all hours of the day. Of course, I live for their coffee, but also for their "simit" – fully-loaded Turkish bagels, their omelets with feta and soujouk (spicy Turkish sausage) – and the atmosphere that prevails: the chairs and tables are all mismatched, the musical atmosphere is soothing and on cold days, a soft light filters through the large frosted windows of the cafe.
Located at the crossroads of two major streets – avenue du Parc and rue Sherbrooke – Pikolo Espresso Bar serves up outstanding coffee that is soft, velvety, and not too acidic. This is my favourite in Montreal in terms of taste! The place is discreet, perfect for catching up with friends, burying your nose in a book or writing notes in a pretty notebook purchased at the Nota Bene stationary store just next door.
Prepare to be transported into another universe – somewhere in nineteenth century England – as you climb the stairs leading to the Cardinal Tea Room. This is an excellent place to meet and chat with friends, or share secrets while feasting of the best oven-fresh blueberry scones in town and egg and watercress toast (to die for!). Happiness is smoked tea or cardamom coffee for sipping in the winter, and delicious lemonade on the small terrace in the summer (I've just told you the best kept secret in town!).
If the freshly roasted coffee of the original Myriade coffee shop has been the delight of workers in the Guy-Concordia area for several years, then its arrival on the eclectic rue Saint-Viateur has delighted more than a few – including this author! At this coffee bar it's advised to grab some pastries prepared by local artisan-bakers, all while browsing the aisles of the men's clothing store Savoie Fils. Warning, you might not have enough hands!
You should never have to pass up a good coffee, even during a race! Before hopping on the bus, stop for a few minutes at the tiny local shop La Distributrice on avenue Mont-Royal and order a latte through the elongated window, prepared by genuine, always friendly baristas. Just missed the bus by a hair? The bakery Au Kouign Amann isn't far away: a good croissant and a cup of coffee, there's no better combo to help you wait.