Montreal’s Best Cafes For Productivity and Ambiance

As an entrepreneur, I really take pride in supporting the vast  small business community Montreal has to offer. When exploring all the different and unique concepts these businesses create and develop you can’t help but admire their motivation and aspiration. So much work is put in just to compete with big franchise competitors.

I started exploring cafes at a young age. I’ve had mixed experiences when doing my work in cafes but my best experiences were certainly not with the big franchises such as Starbucks and Second-cup but more with the smaller Cafes within the small business sector – they offer the best experiences and ambiance which is why they stand so strong.. their coffee tends to taste better as well ;)

Here are my top 8 choices for Montreal’s Best Cafes For Productivity and Ambiance:

1. Campanelli– St-Henri:

Best Montreal Cafes - Campanelli

Top Montreal Cafes - Campanelli

When I used to live up the street from Campanelli – I would order a coffee and sit to plan my day on my tablet in the morning. Every morning the coffee girl, Helen, would start my day off with a short, yet friendly, conversation. Their coffee is amazing and they make scrumptious sandwiches. There’s no Wifi so this would be a good spot for a short meeting or some non-internet work like scheduling/planning, typing or editing.

Titanic– Old Montreal:
Top Montreal Cafes - Titantic
Top Montreal Cafe - Titanic

This is an excellent spot for a lunch ”break” if you’re working in Old Montreal, Old Port or Downtown. Titanic has an amazing boat theme with an excellent food menu and quality coffee. They close at 4:30pm and only open through Monday-Friday. Highly recommended.

Lili and Oli – Griffintown:
Top Montreal Cafes - Lillie&Oli2
Lili and Oli’s crowd consists of people on their laptops or having brief meetings or quickly grabbing coffees to go. Whenever I go I can’t help but get absorbed in my work because that’s what everyone else is doing. The atmosphere is mellow yet motivating which is the perfect recipe for productivity. Their coffee tastes great and they have a beautiful mini terrace in the back!

4. Shäika Café– NDG:

Top Montreal Cafe - Shaika

Definitely one of my favorite cafes. Shäika Café has a really cozy atmosphere with a number of cozy spots to pick from and work for hours. They serve great food, good coffee and have a selection of teas. They also have a terrace out in front of their cafe and host live performances on certain nights during the week. They even serve sangria, beer and cider to cater to these performances – a great way to end a long day of work.

Although I do have to say – sometimes their internet doesn’t work…

5. Pikolo Espresso Bar – Downtown:
Top Montreal Cafes - Pikolo2
Top Montreal cafes - Pikolo
Small but great. They can make a coffee latte or tea latte. Pikolo Espresso Bar is tight but again is very cozy and offers that motivating atmosphere needed to get a lot of work done. I preper to go in the morning.

6.Rustique – St-Henri:
Top Montreal Cafes - Rustique
Rustique is more of a bakery rather then a cafe but they do serve good coffee, tea and of course delicious desserts.. There’s no internet connection but I love bringing my clients here for small 10-30 minute meetings. It has a quaint country decor that represents ”small business” perfectly. The staff are adorable!

7. Cafe Kali – Verdun:

Top Montreal Cafes - Cafe Kali

This is a really original cafe concept I stumbled upon recently. Cafe Kali is so special because it’s a cafe that caters to parents and their children. Often times I’ve been to cafes where parents bring their kids and they do tend to get unwelcoming glares which is where Cafe Kali comes into the picture. Parents can bring their children and feel welcome. They even created community for parents by running and hosting a number of events and workshops designed especially for parents and their kids. It’s the perfect working environment for a working parent!

8.Olive & Gourmand – Old Port:
Top Montreal Cafes - Olive & Goumand

Top Montreal Cafes - Olive & Gourmand

Top Montreal Cafes - Olive & Gourmand#2

If you really enjoy crowded spots Olive & Gourmand is the choice for you. Be sure to get there early or else you may be waiting a good 25 minutes before being seated which goes to show how amazing this place is. Olive & Gourmand has a concept and style that is very easy to fall in love with and so is their food and coffee!. There’s no internet connection so I would only recommend this spot for a short meeting or doing some quick work on your lunch break.

Let me know if you have any other cafes to add to this list, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the following cafes if you live in Montreal or decide to travel here.

Thanks for reading!

Katie Raspberry | Creative Business Blog

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8 thoughts on “Montreal’s Best Cafes For Productivity and Ambiance”

  1. I have to give props to Cafe Kali. The one photo looks like chaos but they have the right idea about differentiation in a sea of cafes aimed towards the hip and the business crowd.

    I like out of the box thinkers!

  2. Resonance in Mile End is well worth checking out. GREAT coffees, vegan eats, baked goods, a focus on local community, and instrumental jazz playing during the day. (Which I find much less distracting to work to than, say, loud rock music.) Lots of folks working on laptops and holding meetings. And at night, they dim the lights and the live jazz starts!

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