Sunday, 27 October 2013

Montreal coffee shops

Today is less of a blog, more of a reblog. A late one at that. I went to Montreal at the beginning of October with work and was lucky enough to get a few days to explore the city. With time being of the essence, I was very lucky to be able to rely on Brian (of Brian's Coffee Spot fame) for some recommendations. His excellent and detailed blog post and personal tips on Twitter saved the day, letting me enjoy some of the best coffee the city has to offer even on my tight schedule.

Pikolo Espresso Bar
3418B Parc Avenue, Montreal, QC, H2X 2H5

With tables full of students tapping furiously away on their laptops, my friend and I felt a little out of place chatting in this tiny espresso bar. Cleverly installed seating alongside the narrow, galley-like counter and a mezzanine level gives some extra seating but at 11am on a weekday we were hard pressed to find a seat! Ordering a flat white and eponymous piccolo, we soon realised why the place is in such demand. 
The coffee was smooth, expertly poured and came with free wifi and a soundtrack which incorporated two of my favourite artists (Lykke Li and First Aid Kit) in the short time were were there. Result. Would definitely suggest you give this a try if ever in the area.

Le Conteau (The Knife)
4627 Rue St Denis, Montreal, QC, H2J 2LA
We sought this place out for a well earned rest after a morning 'stroll' up to the top of Parc du Mont-Royal. We were hungry, thirsty and tired, and the laid back aesthetic of Le Conteau turned out to be the perfect tonic for our fatigue. Self-described as an artisan cafe, we were greeted by friendly service, amazing (gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free) brownies and B-E-A-UTIFUL coffee with beans from 49th Parallel. I went for a piccolo latte (which was basically a flat white) and enjoyed it so much I bought a bag of beans to bring home with me!
It's a fair way up Rue St Denis, but definitely worth the walk and there's some other great restaurants and shops around the top end of St Laurent Boulevard and Mount Royal Avenue.

Humble Lion
904 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC H3A 1G3
Another student haunt, Humble Lion is directly opposite McGill University. Lovely and spacious with plenty of free seats and homely touches like bookshelves and school desks, the place feels like a labour of love. We went mid morning on a Saturday so it wasn't too busy with the students mostly off-campus.
I went for a latte, which was well poured with silky smooth milk but a little over-extracted which meant I was looking around for the sugar bowl. My friends had hot chocolates and, clearly,  someone was in the mood for showing off because they looked stunning and I am reliably informed tasted great too.
Humble Lion is close enough to town that it's easy to get to and chilled out at weekends (I imagine it gets pretty busy with students in the week) so worth a visit if you're going to take a look at the University Campus or on your way to Mont Royal.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had such a good time. Also very envious that you made it to Humble Lion, since that was the one I missed out on! Oh well, there's always next time :-)

    Thanks for the plug :-)