Walk into any coffee shop these days and you'll notice that the vast majority of clients are usually there alone. With access to Wifi, cafés make a great second office or an inexpensive escape from the house. While Montreal has more cafés than we know what to do with, there are a few spots that are perfect for when you want to take yourself out, enjoy a coffee, and not be forced to interact with anyone else.
Sometimes you just need a change of scenery, sometimes you realize that you haven't left the house in days and are worried that you've forgotten how to interact with others and maybe you should rejoin the world if only for an hour or two.
So, what makes a good coffee spot for when you want to have a solo date with your favourite person? The answer is simple, anywhere you're comfortable.
But there are a few other factors to take into account if you're looking for that perfect alone-but-surrounded-by-others space. It's all about the ambiance; decor, seating, and people.
It could be cozy or industrial modern but it has to be a space where you can be happy. Great seating is important — be it at a bar or tables that look out onto the street so you can people watch.
Take a look at seven of the best Montreal cafés for when you just want to be alone in the crowd.
Café Larue & Fils Waverly
Where: 6550 Rue Waverly
There are three Café Larue & Fils locations, and they are all great. But I have a special affinity for the Waverly location. The industrial spot is one of the few coffee shops where you don't feel strange sitting at the bar. The baristas are incredibly friendly and always up for a chat. If you're lucky you may even get a song.
The one negative about this location is that it does close early, 3:30 p.m.
Paquebot also has three locations around Montreal, including the Old Port and Mont-Royal, but the Bélanger location with its exposed brick and cozy atmosphere is a local favourite. You won't want to leave. The coffee is top-notch, the food superior, and there are plenty of places to plug in your laptop if you want to work.
If your solo date includes working, check out this anti-café. It works a little different as you pay by time; for $5 an hour or $17 a day you get unlimited drinks and snacks. There is also a location on Crescent but the St-Denis location, being only minutes from Mont-Royal metro, is super convenient. The whole space is welcoming and you can choose to work at communal tables or alone.
This warehouse-type space has communal tables where you can enjoy your coffee. But the best seats in the house are either the hanging chairs or the barstools, as both allow you to people-watch through the windows.
Maybe it's the abundance of plants, the playful decor, Café Saint-Henri coffee or the Lebanese-inspired homemade cakes — whatever it is, café Sfouf will make you want to hole up here and never leave. Its laidback feel complements a solo date where you can just sit back and take in one of the most beautiful cafés in Montreal.