For a great start to the workday, winding down the weekend in bed, as a little midday snack, or just any old time, we’ve come up with a selection of some choice addresses in le Vieux for the best chocolatines, croissants, and coffee.
Maison Christian Faure is a classic institution when talking about viennoiseries and pastries, and is not to be missed. Christian Faure, possessing the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, and his team have taken it in turn to perpetuate a unique knowledge and craft. Whenever we’re in here, we love ordering a cappuccino to accompany their pain au chocolat, whose soft centre and light, golden flakes make us melt. And of course, we cannot resist ordering some of their lovely, chewy lemon-frosted madelines to keep us company throughout the day!
Prepared with specially-selected butter, the pastries at Moulins La Fayette just scream decadence. Everything about this boutique – from the playful, flamboyantly coloured windows, to the juxtaposition of aged stone and modern fixtures – is coordinated to enhance everything found in their display cases. Just as a warning, their chocolate counter is as likely to attract your attention as their bakery selection will! It’s a location in the middle of Old Montreal made by gourmands, for gourmands!
The small, but famous, Saint-Vincent Street is home to some delightful stores, including the Montreal mainstay, Olimpico. You may have made the mistake of simply passing by this store on any of your trips to le Vieux during the past nearly three years. Here, you can taste Italian authenticity, and the barista, David, is the fervent guardian of this European café way of life. One taste of their cappuccino had us floating in the clouds.
A bright décor, warm welcome, and quality ingredients are what you can expect from Dandy.
The minimalist, trendy interior in this lovely Saint-Jacques Street boutique will instantly draw you in to stay, but if you’ve got a busy morning, you can also pick up something to go from their coffee/pastry counter. We suggest pairing a cortado or a macchiato with some pancakes or one of their brunch dishes when you can drop by. This place is not-to-be-missed.
The Café Macchiato booth has opened up in the Old Port for the summer season. For those who want to enjoy an espresso, a latte, or a cappuccino while they behold the outstanding view over the river, this is the right call! We love ordering to go so we can sip it during our morning walk, on the way to the office, or even just hanging around in front of la Grande Roue. You’ll want to try their iced lattes on those hotter summer days.
The cute white cups with the pink lids from Cafécito now have a reusable counterpart. Sporting an image of the building with their neon signature of “Hola Hermosa” proudly etched on the wall, we really appreciate the pep shared by both the owners and their café, as well as how easily the cup fits in our bag to take home or bring to the office. Here, it’s a hard choice between one of their chocolatines or a gourmet stacked Cuban sandwich. Whether you eat in, or take your order to go, the lively warmth of this café is a true gift, bringing Havana straight to Old Montreal.
Fine cuisine, colourful dishes, and a warm, cozy space: come relive some childhood memories at Mère-Grand! As soon as you cross the threshold, you’ll feel like you’re at home! A nice coffee menu is at your disposal, and you’ll be hard-pressed to make a final decision. Our favourite choice though, is the “Brunch” package, which includes a croissant (or pain au chocolat), a canelé, some granola, and even a sandwich (or bagel), accompanied by a LOOP beverage, for only $20. “It’ll make even the Big Bad Wolf drool”, as they say, and we can agree!
“An iced coffee and a St-Viateur bagel with the house jam, please! Oh, actually, how about one of your amazing lattes with the latte art and your signature beignet? Or maybe...” Common refrains at Nelli Café, inside the atrium of Nelligan Hotel, this is a great place where you can enjoy a high quality coffee and start your day off on the right foot. If you don’t have time to visit in the morning, the space is transformed into a wine bar during the evening; there’s no excuse for you not to come check this great place out!
With its blend of modern design, vintage furniture, and Victorian architecture emphasized by the hanging plants inviting you in, Tommy on Notre-Dame Street is, if not maybe an occasional victim of its own success, a sound choice for a trendy brunch or a coffee break. From the common espresso, to the Cubano, the macchiato, and not to mention the ever-famous latte, a wide selection of coffees are offered here, and their viennoiseries are good at any time of day. It might interest you to know that a second Tommy location awaits you at Place-Royale and their décor there is just as excellent!
Le Marquis on Saint-Paul Street is a Quebec bakery brand specialized in exclusively gluten-free pastries since 2012. Here everything is just as amazing to look at as it is to eat. When dining-in, you have a choice between a ready-to-eat plain chocolatine or chocolatine with almonds to eat without the wait. But you can also buy half-baked chocolatines: just thaw them, cook them for 15 minutes, and enjoy a king’s treat in the comfort of your own home.
You have doubtlessly noticed this place during your walks down the river, with its unmissable and promising pink-fuchsia colour! The solar-powered Félix & Norton truck has parked in the Old Port for the summer to our great pleasure! Okay, they don’t exactly count as pastries, but really, how can you resist cookies from a business with a proven track record of success since 1985? A great pairing for your coffee, their delicious “mobile cookies” are fresh from the oven. But if you don’t have time to enjoy these little bites of joy in the neighbourhood, the truck offers bags of cookie mix that you can prepare at home!
If you want a really ritzy morning, head to Café de Mercanti and look for their Nutella and cream-filled horns, among their other delicacies. Situated on Notre-Dame Street, these impassioned and fine connoisseurs of coffee produce their own blends from beans that are specially selected with a careful eye. We love the unique flavor of their signature drink, which you can also make at home, thanks to the packaged coffee they sell in-store!
L’amour du Pain, at Place d’Youville, is a peaceful and charming place that’s nestled within the walls of the boutique Maison Pépin. Here, you can eat while you shop! Their golden viennoiseries are as stunning as they are delicious, their specialized bread are worth the detour, and their award-winning baguettes are too! We love their “healthy cookie”: oats, dates, raisins or compote, and shaved coconut – a perfect companion for your morning latte.
Are you out exploring the neighbourhood? Don’t hesitate to tag us in your visits with #explorelevieux, and share your thoughts and suggestions. Le Vieux is truly a foodie neighbourhood, bursting with gourmet establishments that we couldn’t possibly sum up in one article!
© Photo Credit 1: Boulangerie Le Marquis
© Photo Credit 2: Moulins La Fayette
© Photo Credit 3: Maison Christian Faure
© Photo Credit 4: Chez Mère-Grand