There's nothing better than a good ol' cup of joe to start the morning, and there's no place better to get one than Montreal. Chic decor, expert staff, and delectable coffee come together to create cafes so charming you'll be hard pressed to leave. Some of the very best of these coffee houses are right in the middle of it all - downtown Montreal. From latte art that rivals the Mona Lisa to gourmet blends that will make your taste buds sing, these ten cafes represent the best of Montreal's downtown coffee shops.
1. Cafe Differance
Only working with freshly roasted coffee beans, this cafe's talented, friendly baristas make some of the best coffee in town, often decking out their drinks with pieces of masterful latte art. Cafe Differance's relaxed atmosphere is perfect for catching up with friends or business meetings. You can also buy their coffee beans.
2. Porquoi Pas Espresso Bar
Boasting coffee beans from around the world, Porquoi Pas Espresso Bar brews one of the best cups of joe in the Village. With a chic, charming atmosphere, it's a great place to stay awhile, chatting with friends and even the friendly staff. Their undying passion for all things coffee is infectious, and a chat with them will undoubtedly leave you loving coffee even more (if that's possible).
3. Pikolo Espresso Bar
Known as one of the best coffee spots in Montreal, this busy espresso bar boasts excellent coffee and a friendly, knowledgable staff. With an upper seating area looking over the main entrance, it's a great place to people watch or catch up on studying. To-die-for coffee aside, their tasty baked goods and latte art masterpieces will have you coming back time and again.
Photo cred - Cafe Aunja
4. Cafe Aunja
This homey Persian cafe's unique decor is hard matched by any other coffee shop. With comfy chairs, delightful art and dangling lightbulbs, its charming vintage atmosphere will instantly hook you. It's perfect for visiting, studying, or paging through your favourite book. It also has excellent food and drinks, with a mix and match tea selection that allows you to think outside the teabag and make your own blend.
5. Cafe Castel
With a great selection of sandwiches, salads, and pastries, Cafe Castel is an excellent place to enjoy lunch with your coffee. Its quaint, friendly atmosphere makes it easy to stay for hours on end, whether chatting it up with a friend or studying for finals. Perhaps the best part of the Cafe Castel experience, though, is the latte art. Customers often find dragons, cats or even images of the Statue of Liberty adorning their drinks.
6. Cafe Myriade
With fresh-roasted coffee to die for, Cafe Myriade is a must-visit. It also boasts amazing pastries and a hot chocolate you'll be willing to order even in the sweltering heat of Montreal summers (yes, that's right). With a small interior and patio area, it can be difficult to find seating, but its quaint atmosphere is worth waiting for. If you're planning to stay awhile, bring books or a friend for company as Cafe Myriade doesn't have WiFi.
7. Cafe Bistro El Mundo
With spacious tables and comfy seat cushions, El Mundo is the perfect cafe to come with a group of friends for an afternoon hangout. Between its well-priced salads and sandwiches, unique selections of juices and delicious coffee and pastries, it has something for people of all tastes, from health nuts to starving students. Popular amongst McGill students, its quiet, relaxed atmosphere is perfect for catching up on readings or cramming for finals.
8. Espace Cafe
Forget Notre-Dame. After you taste Espace Cafe's espresso, you'll be going to Old Montreal just for the coffee. Its amazing food, friendly staff and delicious coffee fuse to create a homey atmosphere, perfect for taking a break from the cold or heat on a day out in Old Montreal.
Photo cred - Tunnel Espresso Bar
9. Tunnel Espresso Bar
Located underground, this tiny espresso bar sells some of the best coffee in the city. With no place to sit, it's a great place to grab coffee on-the-go to enjoy while browsing the Eaton Centre or as you're on your way to work. They also sell amazing, freshly baked pastries.
10. Kitsune Espresso Bar
The vintage set-up of this coffee shop is one of the most unique in Montreal. With long, community-style wooden tables, it's an excellent place to get work done - its low-hanging lightbulbs are sure to keep your readings and papers well lit. The friendly, committed staff brew a mean latte - not to mention, their pastries are delicious. Due to its limited seating, try to grab a seat when you get there if you see one open!