​The essentials: 10 cafes where life is good

There are the well-kept secrets, the obligatory stops and those that are worth the detour. There are above all essentials of all kinds that are good to share. For the pleasure of your palates, The duty therefore imagined an appointment in the form of a gourmet notebook, one theme at a time. This time, we are talking about coffee destinations. Neither restaurants nor refreshments, barely a sandwich bar, the cafés we have set our sights on combine tasty nectars, a few pastries and a warm atmosphere in which to sit down, read and chat. In the lot, here are ten that have a little je-ne-sais-quoi!


Pikolo Espresso bar

Installed in the heart of the McGill ghetto for 11 years, the Pikolo was a small oasis, a refuge for students, visiting professionals and local residents who knew its secrets… starting with its coffee! And if in the past it has been credited with uncovering third wave cafés in Montreal, it must be recognized that even today, despite the swarming of addresses in the metropolis, the haunt of Marie-Ève ​​Laroche and her team remains a must in this regard. We are also delighted to know that its upcoming move to 1635, rue Clark, in the Quartier des spectacles, will allow a new clientele to discover it and dine there!

3418-B Park Avenue

Noble Coffee

It was in this little Mile End café that the author of these lines ordered her first golden milk coffee a few years ago. We already detected this desire to deviate from the classics. Since then, people go there as much for a cappuccino as for a cold brewed coffee float or a cone of soft ice cream with the flavors of the moment. Each time, the service is impeccable, the products are good, the atmosphere is sweet and joyful. A year ago, a second branch was added in Mile-Ex: same brightness, same quality and more space to take a pleasantly long break.

430 Laurier Avenue East

7060 Alexandra Street


We cannot ignore this Montreal institution which, like a few others, introduced us to the espresso worthy of the name. The original, on Saint-Viateur, is almost like the first day, when Rocco Furfaro created, in 1970, a place to gather the neighborhood around soccer games and real Italian coffee. The warm buzz that emerges from each of its addresses, their colorful fauna, the timelessness of their spaces and the constant quality of the tasty drink – just strong enough – make it a familiar place from the first time you set foot there. .

124 Saint-Viateur Street West

419 St. Vincent Street

1333 Robert Bourassa Blvd.

Take it easy

Beautiful story that that of Mollo. A love story for the Pointe-Saint-Charles district and the story of a family, that of Valérie Paquet and Alexandre Ouellette, who wanted to get involved in their community and contribute to the revitalization that has been taking shape for a few years. Mollo is a casual café that offers gelato in season and also, in a nearby location, an artisan bakery. On the coffee side, it’s in the image of the company: it serves with accuracy the whole range of possibilities – from cortado to iced coffee – thanks to Zab Café beans, from fair production, and milk creamy Henrietta. The supreme pleasure? A pot of gelato to make affogato at home!

2069 Wellington Street

The Finca

It was after a trip to El Salvador that Marie-Laurence Guindon and Geneviève Loignon-Houle decided to take a leap into the void and open their own café in Montreal. The idea was not only to offer a warm and soothing place in the heart of the city, but also to encourage direct and sustainable trade by serving as a crossroads between a clientele eager for good coffees and the producers they cherish so much. Here, no pretense, you can claim to be a neophyte in the matter and the team will be happy to advise you. The coffee served also changes with the seasons, which adds to the pleasure of returning. During the pandemic, we also redesigned the collaborative workspaces of the local light to install a grocery section stocked with Quebec products.

1067, rue de Bleury


The potion

Since the opening of Le Philtre in 2020, what has charmed us is the finesse and the desire to do things well that emanate from the café of Chantal Mathieu and Jonathan Jacques. It must be said that they had an exceptional source of inspiration: the Australian culture of third wave coffee. Upon their return to the capital, the owners decided to go into business and create a gathering place in the Saint-Sauveur district. Not only is the space cozy and welcoming, but the drinks here are well-made, flavorful, and have great depth—thanks to roasters Fantôme Café and Zab Café. And they are served by an eminently friendly team. Special mention to the pretty cups from Atelier Margot, which demonstrate the attention to detail that makes Le Philtre a great place to live.

504 Saint-Vallier Street West

Olive Coffee

Charming novelty in Quebec: the very cute Olive coffee, as pretty in appearance as in the cup. No space for flafla other than bags of coffee beans. So we focus on the usual drinks — and a popular affogato — thanks to Nomad Coffee beans and a manual espresso machine. The precision of the gestures as well as the result fills us with pleasure and reminds us that basically, being a barista is a title that has to be acquired. We swallow a few swigs of coffee leaning on the counter or we sip our drink while strolling on Cartier Avenue. In any case, we go back: the joyful atmosphere and the smiling service have the effect of a magnet.

1190-A Cartier Avenue


A must in the capital, Cantook is a pioneer in micro-roasting and fair trade coffee, but also in traceability and direct trade with producers since Simon Fabi took over the reins of the family business. This rare coffee enthusiast knows everything and transmits with verve his love of the grain and the work from the farm to the cup. Obviously, at Cantook, you can find bags of coffee roasted by Mr. Fabi himself (including some microlots in limited quantities) and drinks to be enjoyed on site. We fell in love with the chairs in front, which allow you to watch the onlookers go by while tasting one of the best cappuccinos in town. For the past year, a second branch has been serving enthusiasts in the Saint-Sauveur district.

575 St. John Street

208 Saint-Vallier Street West

The Kogi

Kogi is the name of a people from northern Colombia and a tribute to this coffee-producing region where Francis Carreiro settled shortly before the pandemic. Forced back to Quebec, he found a new project by taking over with his wife Camille Chamberland the former premises of the iX for Bistro, in the Limoilou district. The transformation is breathtaking! And the place, which has been open for a few weeks, already attracts wildlife of all kinds. The drinks are made from the original productions of Tatum coffee, which can be purchased in bags and in bulk. A few snacks and sandwiches are on offer, as well as a selection of little taste treats to take away, starting with roasts signed Fantôme Café and Intrus ciders. Note: the brightness of the place makes it a perfect place to work.

1104, 18e Street


Quai Roastery

A few steps from the water, in Carleton-sur-Mer, stands the Brûlerie du Quai, a fine proof that third-wave coffee has not only swept along the urban shores. Since 2005, this place has been a new kind of church square, where we dwell on the know-how of Dany Marquis and the details of each coffee, and where we meet from one day to the next. for a chat. From the roasting workshop comes a hot and full-bodied aroma, from the coffee corner resounds a warm hubbub, from the surrounding nature blows a fresh and soothing air: an appeal to the senses which makes it an essential destination. But still ? The adjoining Chaleur B chocolate factory is not to be outdone…!

200, rue du Quai, Carleton-sur-Mer

An alcoholic cream of cold brew coffee and oats

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