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.