Now that indoor dining and seating are finally allowed, it might be time to further indulge in the creative spaces around the city by having a refreshing drink inside one of the creative cafés in Montreal. While most know Montreal is home to an extraordinary art scene, it may be less known just how simple it can be to come across art in the city!
The community of artists and creatives in Montreal is one that is tightly knit. So, it makes sense that so many cafés are affiliated with local creatives.
Why not combine your favourite drink with a space that’s sure to inspire you to get a little creative? Here are my top 5 creative cafés in Montreal.
Café Orr – 5368 Papineau Ave.
There’s no doubt that Café Orr is on this list of 5 creative cafés in Montreal. If you’re looking to support local, Café Orr might be your one-stop shop. This café prides itself on its local products. Here you can find local teas, beers, mugs and so much more.
Nevertheless, what makes Café Orr a creative café is its support of local artists and creative businesses. One of the most prominent creative features is its gorgeous mural, created by Montreal’s very own Stikki Peaches. Aside from this picturesque feature, the café is affiliated with the local creative business, Septembre Atelier. Their beautiful dried flower bouquets are available at the café and you can always place an order for fresh flowers too.
However, what makes Café Orr truly stand out is its cinema component. The café offers a café-cinema experience where you can watch movies as if you were right in the theatre. While they do screen mainstream movies, there’s more to their film selection. The café also showcases films highlighting local actors and created by local filmmakers. You can find their film program on their website.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded local experience with drinks, entertainment and art from across the province, a visit to Café Orr might just be in order.
Élémentaire Café – 6565 Somerled Ave.
This quirky café has a creative decor you don’t want to miss. With tabletops made up of old doors and a comfortable reading nook with a variety of books, the atmosphere is almost as good as their affordable food options.
Élémentaire Café‘s specialties consist of Vietnamese coffees, vanilla lattes and their own twist on classics like chai lattes and London fogs, making them unique to this café. Still, my personal favourite is their delicious, and affordable, breakfast sandwich.
What makes this café creative is that it has had artwork up on all the walls since its very opening. Every two months or so, the artwork changes and features new artists. In fact, the paintings just recently changed. If you haven’t visited the café in a while, you can expect new artwork to enjoy the next time you do.
Café de’ Mercanti – 6128 Monkland Ave.
If you’ve been down Monkland street, you may have noticed the mass of people in front of Café de’ Mercanti. This café is definitely one of the hot spots in the area. With the weather warming up, Café de’ Mercanti is more than prepared. Customers can enjoy the sun out on their terrasse while sipping their homemade espresso slush.
On top of that, the café has set up its indoor seating area as a gelato place for the summer. The seating portion of the café has always had artwork featured on the wall and they still do so now. Like many cafés, the artwork rotates different featured artists but it always remains a creative space. If you’re looking to cool down on a hot day and enjoy some local art, look no further! The current artwork featured in Café de’ Mercanti displays a variety of popping colours, much like their gelato.
Café les Oubliettes – 6201 Saint-Vallier St.
While the origami birds that normally hang from the ceiling are no longer up, Café les Oubliettes still holds an artistic feeling. Their staple mural and neon sign still continue to welcome customers into the creative café.
Café les Oubliettes holds true to the creative spirit in its partnerships with local creatives. The café frequently hosts pop-up shops in collaboration with Montreal companies. Their latest pop-up featured plants, vintage clothing, dried flower bouquets and candles from local creatives. Their next pop-up is just around the corner, taking place on June 20th. Why not make some fun Sunday afternoon plans at Café les Oubliettes? You can enjoy your beverage of choice while browsing through products from local merchants.
Café Sfouf – 1250 Ontario St. E.
Café Sfouf has always been a café where I found myself feeling inspired and creative. This might be because of the great ambiance the café holds. With garage-style doors that bring in an abundance of daylight, fresh greenery on the walls and welcoming staff, Café Sfouf provides customers with a comfortable space to have great conversations over coffee.
Aside from being a place that generates creativity in its customers, Café Sfouf has an extremely artistic staff. During the pandemic, Café Sfouf transformed their seating area into a space that sold artwork made by their very own staff. Beautiful prints, photographs, postcards and much more were available for sale.
With the reopening of the seating area, the artwork is no longer on display. However, the staff of creative minds still remains. This means next time you pop in, you can always be a little extra friendly with your barista if you find yourself looking for some art.
What about after your visit the 5 creative cafés in Montreal?
Montreal is known for its art scene and now with the sun shining, there’s no better time to take advantage of it. If you’re looking for more artistic things to do around the city, check out the latest edition of Art & the City.
Journalism student at Concordia University and travel enthusiast. Passionate about music, poetry, and getting to know the stories of new individuals- especially those inspired by their art. Olivia aims to create connections through her love of writing by sharing experiences and stories.