Montreal is an old city that was built for horse, buggy and foot men- and still has all the mazing tiny streets that frustrate drivers yet charm locals and tourist on foot. This old school architecture, coupled with relatively inexpensive commercial rent, has led to MTL being the ideal breeding ground for new cafes sprouting up WEEKLY.

Much like Paris, it’s a city where you can walk around a corner and spy a tiny caffe inside the laneway between 2 buildings or a sudden terrace behind an art gallery. We’ve noticed a lot of “HIDDEN MONTREAL CAFES” lists are of cute hipster cafes that are in plain sight (likely in paid listings) & on very well known and large streets… so we have gone out of our way to spot the truly hidden ones. There are a lot of hidden Montreal cafes nestled in the city’s bustling neighbourhoods and there are def our fave of the hidden Montreal cafes to reveal! For us, for a hidden cafe to qualify, they must either have a surprising location (under something, behind, side street) or a secret garden or something out of the ordinary that would surprise and delight the customer.

TITANIC CAFE BISTRO
On St-Pierre street, a less travelled Old Montreal street for tourists, TITANIC run by old friends Patrick & Rob, has a few secrets! Did you know that once you go downstairs this cute cafe and bistro you have basically entered a ship! Look around and you will see a lot of ship and sub themed decor. They also do catering and throw awesome little parties in their space. Because Patrick can’t stop curating & collecting, the space itself is an evolution of fun retro oddities that he has acquired over the years. Come by for the best damn lunch sandwich in town or to talk to the quirky owners of this iconic & nestled away cafe.

LA DISTRIBUTRICE
Behind a tiny service window, exists North America’s tiniest little cafe. Just large enough for a barista to serve some pretty damn good espresso. Easy to miss if there if there is no line, but there usually is a little trickle of people eagerly waiting for their caffeine! We will keep this description ironically tiny 😉

SALON DE THÉ CARDINAL
Fasten your time travel belt and get ready to go back, wayyy back to 1920’s London where you can enjoy a variety of quality tea and freshly baked pastries. Don’t let the exterior fool you, behind the door – a retro and ridiculously fashionable crowd awaits you. Reasonably priced and super eclectic, a must for those perusing the plateau and Mile-end! Go early though, this place fills up quickly.

CANAL LOUNGE CAFE FLOTTANT
If after TITANIC, you want another boat-feel business, It is exactly what it sounds like, a cafe on a boat! All aboard this EPIC cafe you will feel like you have embarked on a 50s adventure with Bardot in the South of France as you fell the gentle Lachine canal beneath rock you like a baby… Tropical riviera lights & lush plants will make you feel like you are in a private Cannes marina party! Sip your favourite cup of joe or embark on an alcoholic beverage ride as they have those too! Great place to go on a date, or catch up with an old friend Canal lounge cafe flottant is def hidden Montreal cafe at its best!

CREW CAFE
Extremely location hidden, this cafe takes up the space of the Old Royal Bank head quarters in the Old Port! They have re-purposed all the banker booths and turned them into co-working spaces and they offer memberships to those who need meeting spaces and business lounges. A fave among the bustling IT start up communities of Montreal and NYC, Crew is a hub of new tech ideas and potential and also offers amazing espresso and somewhat pricey lunch options. If you think that after paying for a $15 sandwich you may just find a job opportunity networking in the lobby – then worth it!

There is one last hidden Montreal cafe not listed here! #Shh you will have to check here to find out as we have reviewed it on its own!