Flat White at Le Couteau, Montreal, coffee, coffee art

In Pursuit of the Perfect Flat-White, in Montreal.

Flat White at Le Couteau, Montreal, coffee, coffee art

When it comes to coffee, I am, I confess, a massive snob. With Aussie and Kiwi coffee shops popping up all over London in the past four years, I have painlessly adapted to the taste of superior coffee and the perfectly produced and delivered flat white – anything else will not do. So it has become a habit, wherever I travel to, to seek out the best place/s to have coffee.

On my recent visit to Montreal, I decided to try out as many coffee shops as possible within two days (not an easy feat!) to produce a ‘starter’ guide to coffee in Montreal.

Le Couteau (The Knife)
4627 Rue Saint Denis
Montreal, QC H2J 2L4

Vibe: Ample outdoor seating, rustic interior with communal wooden tables offering power points for laptops and mobile phones (yes, there’s free Wi-Fi). A bright, airy and laid-back space with friendly staff, exuding a warm and welcoming ambience.

I drank: Flat-White
Verdict: Excellent! Delicious, fragrant, strong and silky smooth with pretty coffee art. As good as my London local, Foxcroft and Ginger.

Food: Le Couteau offers an array of delicious cakes, muffins and pastries, catering also for vegan diets.

Flocon Espresso
781 Mont-Royal Avenue East
Montreal, QC H2J 1W8

Vibe: A tight narrow space with tired pseudo nautical decor. The staff here are friendly, but Flocon painfully lacks atmosphere.

I drank: Flat-White
Verdict: My flat-white was not a flat-white, but had I ordered a latte, I’m sure I would have been appeased.

Food: Flocon offers sandwiches, cakes, muffins and cookies.

Café Neve
151 Rue Rachel East, Montreal.

Vibe: Very cool décor with rustic and comfy furniture. A distinctly young and trendy vibe, yet uniquely, also family friendly. Warm and vibrant ambience.

I drank: Flat-White
Verdict: Cappuccino sized and more milky than I would have liked, but nevertheless enjoyable.

The Australian barista was curious to know why I had ordered a flat-white and as he laid my ‘flat-white’ down on the table, he asked and I replied that it was my drink of choice since it had been introduced to coffee drinkers in London some years ago. He was a little confused with my choice and explained to me that traditionally a flat white is a short black coffee with powder milk and widely known in Australia to be an inferior coffee drink. What are your thoughts?

Food: I had a chocolate chip cookie – one of the best I’ve tasted.

Café Sardine
9 Fairmount Avenue East
Montreal, QC H2T 2L9

Vibe: Café Sardine resides in my favourite part of Montreal, the Mile-End. A small, intimate, invitingly shadowy and trendy interior creates a snug ambience. The staff are courteous and welcoming.

I drank: Cappuccino
Verdict: A good cappuccino, but it’s largely the vibrant atmosphere that would have me returning to Café Sardine.

Food: A creative menu of tapas style food, but what Cafe Sardine is renowned for, is its extensive variety of delicious donuts.

Café Myriade
1432 Rue Mackay
Montreal, QC H3G 2H7

Vibe: An intimate space, with simple wood furnishings, friendly and knowledgeable staff and a haven for local students and hipsters.

I drank: Cappucciono
Verdict: Excellently prepared and delicious!

Food: Café Myriade is foremost a specialist coffee shop, but it does offer muffins and pastries. The apricot Danish is lovely.

Pikolo Espresso Bar
3418 Parc Avenue
Montreal, QC H2X 2H7

Vibe: An intimate but beautiful space with high ceilings, stylish lighting and friendly staff – a super cool cafe. Popular with students and hipsters. Free Wi-Fi available.

I drank: Flat-White
Verdict: Almost perfect had it not been for the slightly sour aftertaste. Still enjoyable though.

Food: Pikolo serve a variety of baked goods, including vegan and lactose free muffins.

Montreal boasts many many more espresso/coffee bars and of course, is a city of a plethora of mouthwatering flavours – it is fair to say this city requires multiple visits and I hope to visit again, soon!

You can read more about my trip to Montreal on my blog.

Akeela Bhattay is a Brummi born, London based freelance creative writer, storyteller and sometimes fashion stylist. Her work has been published on Huffington Post UK, ABTA Magazine, Welcome to London magazine, Haute Arabia, Amelia's Magazine and The Longest Stay. She can be found ferociously typing away at her laptop or sharing images of her travels on Instagram, whilst enjoying the perfect espresso. Lover of vintage, gadget geek and Xbox gamer and has a penchant for hurtling off into a daydream coma.

  • LandGirl1980

    I am an avid non-coffee fan – but – hats off to the most thorough research. I am assuming all these places sell other hot beverages – so if I am every lucky enough to be in the area – I shall check them out!

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