MONTREAL COFFEE GUIDE | 7 cafes to keep you warm this winter

MONTREAL COFFEE GUIDE | 7 cafes to keep you warm this winter

If you’re looking for some of the best coffee in Montreal, you’ve come to the right place!

Montreal is our home town and it’s a place with an amazing coffee culture, especially during the winter months. We’re not sure there’s anything better in winter than huddling up inside your favorite cafe with a good book or newspaper — watching the world pass by through the fogged up windows.

Having travelled quite a bit over the past few years, it’s safe to say that Montreal has some of the best coffee shops we’ve experienced anywhere. These small and unique places in this travel guide serve up some of the best coffee in the city.

Choosing them over the big chains is also a great way to encourage small businesses! So here are all our favorite places in the Montreal coffee scene that will warm you up on a cold winter day.

Pastel Rita

Located right on St-Laurent Boulevard in the oh-so-hip Mile End neighborhood, Pastel Rita has quickly become or go-to Montreal coffee shop.

This Montreal coffee shop has the most beautiful and unique pink interior which is sure to keep you warm on a cold day. The staff is also super friendly and their coffee is also consistently great. It’s a good place to work on weekday afternoons as it isn’t too busy, has good wifi and a few decent sized tables.

It’s also one of the few places in town that makes great coffee with soy milk — shoutout to our favorite barista Silvestre for those amazing soy flat whites!

On weekends, they also offer a full brunch menu!

How to get to Pastel Rita cafe : The 55 bus up Saint-Laurent drops you right in front. You can also walk from Rosemont metro station (15 minute walk)

Pastel Rita best Coffee in Montreal

Girl at Pastel Rita the best Coffee in Montreal travel guide

September Cafe

This beautiful, laid-back, luminous coffee shop is nestled in Saint-Henri. We also love this up and coming neighborhood a few kilometers west of Downtown Montreal. With so much light streaming through the floor to ceiling windows, it’s a perfect choice in the winter months.

Upon stepping inside, you get transported to a place where surf and coffee perfectly come together to create a space that is really different from anywhere else in the city. This Montreal coffee shop always reminds us of some of our favorite spots in Bali. Come for the space, stay for the coffee and the food! They also have a great little selection of craft beers.

How to get to September cafe: Walk 5 minutes from Lionel Groulx metro station.

September Surf Coffee Montreal
September Surf Coffee Montreal

Tommy Cafe

The Old Port of Montreal is a magical place to explore in the winter and Tommy is one of many cafes in the area you need to try.

If you’re looking for great coffee and bagels while wandering the snow covered cobble stone streets, be sure to stop by Tommy. Originally known for its gorgeous spot in a historic building on Notre-Dame Street, Tommy Cafe has extended to three beautiful spaces.

With it’s homey decor, the location on Saint-Paul is now one of our favorite spots in the whole city!

How to get to Tommy Cafe: All three locations are within walking distance of Place d’Armes metro station.

Tommy Cafe Montreal
Tommy Cafe Montreal

Le Bruloir

Our little hidden gem and a neighborhood favorite in Ahuntsic on the north side of the island (yes, for those that are new to the city Montreal is an island!). Popular with students and attracting a more local crowd, Le Bruloir sources and roasts their own beans at their roaster Le Labo across the street.

This cafe always has a great selection of sandwiches, pizzas & salads that change each day. Le Bruloir makes one of the best lunch spots in Montreal. It’s one of the more established coffee shops in the city and their amazing coffee & sense of community keep us coming back.

How to get to cafe Le Bruloir: Take the 180 bus from Metro Sauvé or if you’re driving, there is plenty of free parking in the neighboring streets.

Cafe Le Bruloir Montreal
Cafe Le Bruloir Montreal

Cafe Saint-Henri (Marché Jean-Talon)

The Jean-Talon market is a must for tourists visiting the city and a staple for Montrealers who love food and coffee.

The array of stalls selling everything from fruits and vegetables to local delicacies are sure to tickle your senses as soon as you step foot in this great outdoor/indoor market. Conveniently located at the market is Cafe Saint-Henri, an outpost of the craft roaster.

The knowledgable staff serves up a great cup of coffee and a small assortment of pastries. No visit to the market is complete without a stop at Cafe Saint-Henri, one of Montreal’s most iconic coffee shops!

It’s also high on the list of the most instagrammable cafes in Montreal!

How to get to cafe Saint-Henri : Walk 5 minutes from Jean-Talon metro station

Cafe Saint-Henri Montreal
Cafe Saint-Henri Montreal

Cafe Noble

You could never guess that this cute hole in the wall is actually one of the best cafes in Montreal!

Noble is located opposite Laurier metro station and the smell of fresh coffee gets you as soon as you come out of the station. As you get closer you’re hit with the smell of some fresh cookies and reminded of walking into your grandmothers kitchen.

Noble probably cranks out more takeaways than any other place on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take their espresso seriously. Take note that there aren’t any indoor seats so bring your reusable mug & take your coffee on a walk around the lovely neighborhood!

How to get to cafe Noble: Get out at Laurier Metro (Laurier Exit) and look to the opposite street corner. The white brick building has a few outdoor seats set up in the warm summer months.

Melk Bar a Cafe (Saint-Urbain)

Perfectly placed between the Old Port, Chinatown and the business district, Melk Bar à Café is another cafe with an irresistible decor. With twenty odd seats, we love its ceramic finishing, small stools and train station inspired split flat board menu. On a winter day, you’ll want to be sure to grab a fresh scone which are the best we’ve had in Montreal! Although the coffee is great, we’re seriously in love with their Chai and Matcha lattes.

How to get to Melk Bar a Cafe: Melk is conveniently located right next to Place d’Armes metro station. Turn right as you exit the station and it’s just a quick two minute walk.

Melk Bar a Cafe Montreal
Melk Bar a Cafe Montreal

How to get great photos in Coffee Shops

Montreal coffee shops are some of the best places in the city to get great photos.

Unfortunately, photo conditions aren’t always ideal. So here are some quick tips to help you grab better photos in these Montreal cafes!

Grab the seat with the most natural light

This one may come as no surprise, but it’s easy to just sit down at the first available seat. Then, when your coffee comes you realise that you don’t have enough light to take a photo!

Try and sit near the window as this makes for great diffused light, especially if it’s winter and it’s reflecting off the snow outside.

coffee by a window in the best montreal cafes

Don’t be afraid to use a higher ISO

Since coffee shops are often quite dark, don’t be afraid to increase the ISO on your camera. Most cameras these days can shoot up to 3200 ISO without being too grainy.

This will also allow you to have a larger value for your aperture allowing you to capture everything in focus. We often use this trick when it comes to getting the perfect coffee shop flat lay!

Edit your Cafe photos with Lightroom presets

Our mobile presets are a great starting point for pictures taken in coffee shops!

Some of our personal favorites are the Canggu and Montreal presets which give a cinematic and desaturated look to your photos. They’ll save you loads of time when it comes to editing and allow you to maintain a consistant look in your photos.

mapping along mobile presets

All the Camera Gear we use!

We hope you enjoyed our Montreal coffee guide, and that these cafes will all help you stay warm this winter.

If you follow us over on Instagram @mapping.along, you may have seen some of these over on our stories already. We’d love to update this post with new favorites we discover over time, so feel free to let us know your suggestions in the comments or by DM over on Insta.

We really love discovering new coffee shops and we’re always on the hunt for the best cup in the city!

Looking an amazing place for a weekend getaway from Montreal? Check out 3 out of the ordinary places to stay in Quebec.

Save this Travel Guide for Later!

Montreal Coffee Guide
Montreal Coffee Guide

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