I think everyone has something they like to collect, especially from their travels. I have a few different physical things I collect when I go somewhere new; like Starbucks city mugs and handmade jewelry. My husband collects microbrewery glasses and we both collect art prints, preferably made by a resident of the city we’ve been exploring. But I realized on this recent trip that I’ve been collecting something else that I can’t take home with me: cafes.
There’s something about a cafe that always pulls me in. I go to plenty in Chicago that I’ve written about, and I love trying new ones here, but I enjoy it even more when I travel because often the places I find are filled with locals. I love being able to tell who’s a regular at each cafe. Plus I have an unending love for a coffee and pastry combo. Here’s some I added to my “collection” in Montreal, Quebec.
Tommy Cafe – Old Montreal
Gorgeous architecture, yummy food, and a croissant donut with nutella stuffed inside. I don’t really think there’s anything else I need to say about this place. Go on a weekday morning, grab breakfast and coffee, then walk about 100 yards and visit the Notre Dame de Montreal. It’ll be an amazing morning.
Guillaume – Mile End
Primarily a bread bakery, the smell of Guillaume is unreal. It’s a huge industrial loft of heavenly carbs and you need to go. We split a sandwich, then got some mini pastries and coffee for dessert before wandering through the awesome boutiques of the Mile End.
Maison Christian Faure – Old Montreal
Bakery, cafe, and pastry school, this one is also located in Old Montreal and you might miss it if you don’t know what to look for. However, it’s definitely well known by Montrealers and is often busy, but you can grab some pastries to go! I opted for every flavor of macaron they had….because vacation.
Patisserie La Ruche – Mont Royal
Right near the Mont Royal park, this was where we decided to fuel up before our walk up the “mountain”. It’s bright, airy, and has killer quiche plus something that basically translates to “chocolate death”. The staff was super friendly and there were a few families popping in for their Sunday treats, which is now an idea I will be stealing when I have kids.
Crew – Old Montreal
Definitely photogenic, this cafe is in an old bank and the gold-framed glass teller windows still divide the space. One side is Crew, a collective work space that small businesses or entrepreneurs can rent out, the other is Crew Cafe. Get the affogato al caffe, it’s vanilla ice cream with a hot espresso shot poured over top. Yes, I’m serious. Our walking tour guide introduced us to it. She said other cafes will make them, but they need to have ice cream on hand, which not all cafes do.
Dans La Gueule Du Loup – Plateau Neighborhood
The name translates to “in the mouth of the wolf”, since this cafe is also a butchery specializing in pork. You can pick up deli-meat to take to your Airbnb or just have one of their house-made sandwiches, grilled or cold. Never has a ham and cheese tasted so fresh and unique.
I’m already excited to go back here and try more, because the number of cafes is astounding. Our tour guide mentioned that Montreal has the most food/coffee places to population ratio second only to New York City!
What do you collect when you travel?
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