I probably love coffee shops as much as I do book stores, art and chocolate fondants with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and strawberries on top. I find the worst tasks to become a pleasure cruise when completed at a café and I particularly enjoy the time I spend there alone, to work or read.
But finding the right spot is essential: Whenever I move to a foreign country, one of my greatest pleasures is to embark on a coffee shop hunt nearby my new home.
My favorite cafés are usually airy, very luminous and punctuated by large picture windows in front of which are placed tables that are sufficiently broad for my laptop, my camera, a notebook and my steaming beverage. I appreciate when a special atmosphere is created, through original design and of course, thanks to a cheerful staff as well as talented baristas.
Since launching the blog, coffee shops have become my office and I’ve tried quite a few places to unearth my preferred ones.
I’ve noticed that while I loved working in some cafés, I found certain others to be more adapted for dates or gatherings with friends. That’s why I’ll write a review for each category of coffee shop.
This post will be dedicated to my top 3 favourite cafés to study or work:
1.The most welcoming: Café Sfouf
Owned by the ever so cheerful Gaby, this café is one of my absolute favourite. I love the uncluttered decoration accentuated by warm and thoughtful touches. The tables are embellished by plants, jelly jars from a famous French brand filled with brown sugar, glasses and bottles of water; making you feel comfortable and at home.
A lengthy table along the huge picture window overlooks Ontario Street. Two other big tables to share with strangers occupy the space. There is a tiny corner for kids, near which a cosy reading spot has been organised, with red velvet sofas and full bookshelves.
If you’re a little hungry, the menu offers delicious Lebanese (and Quebecer) cuisine inspired tartines (ndlr: slices of bread topped with various spread) that taste like my grand mother’s food; in other words, divine!
The labneh and zaatar tartine with cabbage salad
The mouth watering végépaté & labneh tartine with cabbage salad
Only adding to the charm of this place, and reflecting its owner’s warmth, all hot beverages come with a bite size sfouf, which is a Lebanese almond-semolina delicacy.
The hot chocolate
The green tea
You will LOVE it to study, work, read, or for a quick (business) meeting.
Address: 1250 Rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2L 1R6
2.The most beautiful: Café Tommy
Located in the old town, in the British Empire Building, Café Tommy is one of a kind; a satisfaction guaranteed type of place that will delight even the most demanding of you. The two-floor premises follow the edifice’s impressive architecture inspired by the Renaissance style, mixed with a modern and somewhat extraordinary interior design that sets the tone for the place’s ambiance, where chic and hipster meet with style.
Know of any other café that has a bar where you can actually sit and have your drink?
You may catch yourself staring at the ceiling, or the “balcony”, or even the bar’s design for a long minute before realizing the girl at the counter is patiently waiting to take your order. You may even attempt to take a hundred pictures before coming to terms with the fact that no photograph will do justice to this place’s beauty, and drinking your coffee before it cools down while enjoying the moment is the best thing you can possibly do.
The latte tastes good and you can actually go there for happy hour too.
You may also run into your favorite celebrity getting their caffeine fix at Tommy’s!
Ideal place for: pretty much anything from cerebral activities, to formal meetings, to dates or gatherings with friends. I personally enjoy working there because it’s very luminous.
Address: British Empire Building, 200 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T3
3.The hipster-ish: Café Névé
You can already tell, by the look of this window, why I love this place.
Headquarter to the hipsters, Café Névé will pleasantly surprise you by the friendliness of its staff that serves your order directly to your table and the atmosphere and the beautiful design that is rustic, modern and stylish all at the same time. Feel like relaxing on a sofa? A cosy space has been organized for that matter, with sofas surrounding a coffee table. The latte is all sorts of delicious and the baristas’ coffee art game is strong, which of course, plays a huge role in my enjoying a place or not.
Perfect to study and work or to catch up with a friend.
Address: 151 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2W
A latte to go