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Oct 29, 2013 08:07 PM

Unique/interesting establishments to settle in for tea or a drink?


I'd like to get some new ideas for elegant/interesting places to go for tea or a drink or snack, alone or with a friend. The quality of the food/drink is not of prime importance for the purpose of this request - I'm interested in the setting - establishments that have nice/unique interior design or architecture, or that may be of historical interest. Vintage or antique furnishings a plus. (I'm trying to avoid using that empty word "atmosphere" here...) Places that have character, that (in your opinion) are special, or simply cozy. To be clear, I don't care about how hip the place is, I prefer low-key anyway. No blaring top 40 music, to be sure.

I realize my question is pretty vague and hinged on subjectivity but basically I would like to visit some new-to-me places in the city and would love to read your suggestions! Anything from your neighbourhood haunt to a museum cafe or hotel bar... as long as it has *ahem* atmosphere.

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  1. Just to start things off - some places I have visited and enjoyed:

    Camellia Sinensis on rue Émery: I once sat in the back room for tea with a friend. It was lovely and quiet and intimate. Love the "no cell phones" rule.

    Dominion Square Tavern: The décor is nice, brass bar, tile floor and mirrors everywhere. It does all feel sort of affected but still worth a visit I'd say.

    1. In the late spring, summer and early fall the restaurant in the botanical gardens is nice. They have a nice terrace too.

      1. Capri, 2172 St Patrick. Faux Tahitian terrace.
        The Emerald, 5295 du Parc. Greenhouse/Middle Eastern Boudoir
        Flyjin, 417 St-Pierre. Gold leaf grotto
        Pullman, 3424 Parc. Braun-Braën knockoff of a Claudie Gagnon chandelier.
        Le Sinclair, 414 St Sulpice. Awesome terrace in the summer
        Institute d'Hotelerie, 401 Rigaud. Teak overdose
        L'Arrivage, 350 Place Royale Mirrors and a view of the river
        Orange Julep, 7700 Décarie Big orange (not elegant, but very interesting)
        Mei Yuan, 1425 Mackay Swings & Soup Dumplings (not elegant, but very interesting)
        Shea's, 1134 Ste Catherine O Old school Windowless restaurant (not elegant, but very interesting)
        Titanic, 445 St -Pierre Eclectic and intriguing
        Wilensky's Light Lunch, 34 Fairmount O Like being preserved in amber (not elegant, but very interesting)

        1 Reply
        1. re: EaterBob

          Thanks for sharing EaterBob!!!!!! You totally got my question :) This is a really fantastic list and I've never been to any except the Orange Julep. I've walked by Wilensky's a million times but never ventured inside, perhaps it's time. The Emerald too.

        2. You could try the high tea at the Ritz in the palm tree salon. Went once, was mainly fun because of the setting, food was good, but small and expensive. But since your request seems to be more about setting, history and architecture, you could try that.

          You could also try the Birks café they also serve tea service, have not tried it, but the Birks store is beautiful and also of some historical importance.

          Not sure if its what your looking for, but worth a try :)

          1. That's an interesting request. Have you tried the tea room Epicerie Fleur Fuchsia on Duluth? Lots of atmosphere. I like L'Express at breakfast (they open at 8 am), Kouign Amann if you don't need to sit for hours, or for a very inexpensive, leisurely apporter votre vin Bambou Bleu on St-Denis is nice. Bar L'Barouf has great chairs and vibe although it can be noisy.