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Drinking My Way Through Montreal (Part 1): All the Coffee Shops I Visited in Two Weeks in the City

I have always coined Montreal as my favourite city in the world. The liveliness of the city… its abundance of art and culture… its food and drink scene. My love for Montreal means I visit the city multiple times a year (and I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve been to the city at this point). In late November/early December 2022, I spent two weeks in Montreal, and during this time, I made sure to dedicate time to partake in my favourite activity: visiting coffee shops.

Should you be visiting Montreal soon, I’ve compiled all the coffee shops I visited during my stay. The list of great coffee shops in Montreal is long, and I can’t wait to see what cafés I’ll hit up the next time I’m in the city.

Bar a Beurre – 348 Rue Notre Dame E (Old Montreal)

What I ordered: chocolate + orange latte (seasonal special), croissant, french toast butter ball (house specialty)

Bar a Beurre Montreal seating area with specialty latte and butterball

One of my best friends live in Montreal, and Bar a Beurre is one of her favourite spots to grab baked goods. After visiting for myself, I can see why. With a shop name that literally means “butter bar”, you would hope that the café is able to make a good butter croissant – and boy, did they deliver. The café serves a multitude of baked goods that it can be difficult to decide what to order. Asides from their croissants, you can’t go wrong with one of their butter balls, a house specialty that is like a large and dense, ball-shaped macaron. These are very sweet and buttery, so I highly recommend having it with a hot beverage (we brought our baked goods back to her house to share and I had it with tea - so good). The coffee at Bar a Beurre didn’t impress me much so, next time, I’ll probably skip out on it and just opt for the baked goods. If you do visit, I’d recommend enjoying your order in the café as their second floor seating area is so cute (seen above).

Café Leo – 1215 Rue Berri (Quartier des Spectacles)

What I ordered: amaretto latte (seasonal special), Alsatian pizza, gluten-free raspberry + chocolate brownie

Cafe Leo Montreal menu signboard and espresso bar

If I post similar blog posts like this one again, expect to see this café listed time and time again. On any given day, you’ll see the café full of people working on their laptops. With its bright lighting, ample seating, delicious food + drink options, and overall good vibes, why the café is busy is no surprise. I love that the café uses ZAB Coffee Roasters, one of my favourite roasters in the country. Because of this, the coffee at Café Leo is always great, but their November special, the amaretto latte, was especially delicious. Their food selection is also top tier; the pizza, albeit looking small, is very filling, and their brownie was flavourful.

La Cave a Manger – 386 Rue Saint-Paul E (Old Montreal)

What I ordered: ham + cheese croissant

La Cave a Manger croissants and baked goods in Old Montreal

Another one of my best friend’s recommendations, La Cave a Manger is a one-stop shop for baked goods, coffee, and wine. Predominately a bakery, you can’t miss out on the bread or baked goods sold here. I got my best friend’s favourite – the ham + cheese croissant served warm – and once again, her recommendation was top tier. The baked goods available vary by the day, so you may want to visit this café a couple times during your visit to the city depending on if you’re a sweet or savoury (or both) fan.

Chez Mere Grand – 800 Rue Berri (Old Montreal)

What I ordered: flat white, lavender scone

Chez Mere Grand Montreal coffee shop

Chez Mere Grand is a cozy café situated in the Old Montreal neighbourhood. What you’ll first notice about the café is its beautiful exterior, with its doorway covered in fake flowers. Inside, the space is just as lovely and eclectic with its use of varying furniture, art pieces + knick knacks, and fun signboard. There is ample seating, and the café’s atmosphere makes it perfect to grab coffee with a friend or date (what I’ll opt for in my future visit). Alternative to coffee: make your outing a brunch date; Chez Mere Grand serves a selection of breakfast and lunch items if you’re hungry for more than just baked goods. However, I was really impressed with the lavender scone I ordered; made with real lavender, the flavour was subtle and well-incorporated compared to the sometimes overpowerful flavour of lavender. The coffee was solid as well. The cherry on top? The staff working at the café. Kind and personable, you’ll want to visit the café again just for the chance to interact with them.

MELK – 1206 Rue Stanley (Downtown Montreal) [another location in Monkland Village]

What I ordered: dulce de leche latte, cheddar + scallion + cumin scone, banana choc scone

MELK coffee shop downtown Montreal location

There used to be multiple MELK locations in the city, but now only two in Montreal remain. And may I just say what a shame that is because this café has become one of my favourite in the city. From its cute milk carton logo, to its bright and welcoming interior, to its delicious food and beverage menu, the café is worth a visit to. Their location in downtown Montreal is quite small so don’t rely on scoring a seat, but the café is perfect for a grab-and-go (especially if you order what I did: that latte and savoury scone were top tier).

Olive et Gourmando – 351 Rue Saint-Paul E (Old Montreal)

What I ordered: sconewitch (house scone sandwich), croissant

Olive et Gourmando Montreal baked goods selection

There is a lot of media attention around Olive et Gourmando, and the café has started to become regarded as a “foodie destination”. My two cents… the hype is real. I visit Olive et Gourmando every time I visit the city and the simple reason why: they serve the best croissant in Montreal, and arguably, the world (I’ve eaten a LOT of croissants and have even been to France; this statement isn’t taken lightly). Along with their croissants, I’m also a big fan of their sconewitch (scone sandwich). I didn’t opt for coffee during my visit to Olive et Gourmando – it’s fine but there’s nothing inherently special about it - and instead opted checking out one of the other great cafés in the area after I grabbed my baked goods to-go. The café also offers eat-in brunch, but if you’re interested in partaking in that, be prepared to wait (with queues forming outside their doors before the café even opens).

49th Parallel Cafe – 488 Rue McGill (Cité Multimedia)

What I ordered: flat white, vegan pistachio + chocolate doughnut (seasonal special)

Originating in Vancouver, I was so excited to come across 49th Parallel Cafe during my Montreal visit (the only location outside of BC). Opening in the summer of 2021, the café’s has a very modern look with a lot of seating. Serving their own beans, the coffee is delicious no matter what you opt for. Equally tasty and shouldn’t be missed on your visit: their doughnuts. Baked fresh in the back with its café display getting consistently replenished throughout the day, you won’t be able to resist, nor should you.

49th Parallel Cafe Montreal location

Read the second half of this blog post here.

Have you visited any of these cafés before? Do you have any recommendations of where I should visit next time I’m in Montreal? Connect with me on Instagram and let me know!


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