5 Hidden Montreal Cafés Where You Can Get Tasty Coffee & Bubble Tea — If You Can Find Them
Energize where you exercise, or sip where stories unfold.
Montreal's café scene is as rich and robust as a shot of espresso, and its hidden gems are the crema on top. These spots nestled in other businesses offer top-notch brews, from lathered lattes to fruity bubble teas.
Not only can you hit up a café in a boxing gym (and caffeinate where you lift weights), but you can withdraw a light roast from a bank-turned-coffee shop, or take a tea where you read. Let these percolate:
Where: 475, boul. de Maisonneuve Est
Reason to go: Tucked discreetly within the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ), between the Savoie and Berri street entrances, this caffeinated alcove is a tranquil oasis amid a sea of knowledge. For those who stumble upon the café, it feels like uncovering a secret. There are 35 new self-service seats and a quaint terrace where you can work, sip and eat at the library (the rest of the space doesn't allow food). Plus, Le Parva's menu means your taste buds are in for a literary feast. Those with an appetite might enjoy "Le Nicois" sandwich, made with bread peppered with black olives, tuna, egg, and a zesty chipotle mayo ($8.25). With Berri-UQAM metro station just a stone's throw away, so it's the ideal pit stop before diving back into the city's rhythm.
Where: 640, rue Saint-Paul O., Suite 020
Reason to go: Working out doesn't need to grind you, just your coffee. Ludo Café, inside Old Montreal's Panda Boxing Gym, offers an exercise break with your pick of scrumptious smoothies and espresso-based bevs. You'll see people wearing their boxing best while sipping protein shakes at the counter. All drinks are available with non-dairy milk alternatives. Paired with inspiring art on the walls and upbeat music, it's easy to get pumped about this place.
Where: 1000, rue Sainte-Catherine O.
Reason to go: This downtown café can be found in the basement of designer clothing store Club Monaco. A trip down the stairs leads to a distinct tiled floor and an elegant coffee counter. Myriade's brews are made from beans roasted by 49th Parallel and other local guest roasters, like Traffic and Rabbit Hole. Pair your americano with a freshly baked croissant from Hof Kelsten and feel your taste buds sing.
Otaku Manga Lounge
Where: 3623, rue Saint-Denis
Reason to go: Manga meets mango at this tasty tea counter among stacks of newly minted Japanese comics. The shop has over 900 possible bubble tea flavour combos, including passion fruit bubbles, strawberry syrup, homemade tea and mango juice. Specialty hot teas are also an option, like the "Sailor Moon" (oolong, peach & cardamom) or "Goku" (orange, apple, bamboo & hibiscus) combos. Nani?!
Where: 360, rue Saint-Jacques
Reason to go: This Old Port café is unassuming from the outside, but makes a major impression once you walk in. Based out of a former Royal Bank of Canada building, Crew Café has vaulted ceilings and ornate deco to accompany the caffeine boost of your choice. Cheque out their range of herbal teas, like chai masala or mint, or get a return on investment with a macchiato or flavoured latte. What mocha'd you want?
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