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Feb 20, 2014 07:27 AM

Cafe or tea lounge around Place des Arts (or McGill or lower Main)

Hi gang,

I'm seeking recommendations for good cafes or tea lounges near PdA, preferably non-chain but if it's cozy a chain will be fine. Must be open weekends. I'll go as far as lower St-Laurent (below Pins to Chinatown) for the right place.

I know about Pikolo, Mundo cafe, Chai tea lounge on Parc, but I'm not too fond of those places because they're used as study lounges by student squatters & the coziness of seating (and availability thereof) mostly reflects that, just like most chain places. I go to cafes for dates, so it needs to have some atmosphere, not eerie silence, and softer light helps too.

Places I like: Kahwa on Mont-Royal, Camellia Sinensis on Bishop, Cafe Pi on St-Laurent, Kafein on Bishop (downstairs).

Anything like that around PdA, McGill ghetto, or lower Main?

p.s. If more places banned laptops & by extension their squatting users like Camellia Sinensis and (possibly unofficially) Cafe Pi, they would get my business. I'm not alone, am I?

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  1. Excentris has a very nice cafe run by Soupe Soupe in their atrium. Kitsune on Prince Arthur is a hipster joint that isn't always crowded. Godley & Creme on Sherbrooke and Saint Urbain. Café Parvis on Mayor. Caffè Art Java on President Kennedy. And finaklly Café CC on Sainte Catherine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: EaterBob

      Godley & Creme: good call. I live right around the corner and never even noticed this place. The seats are wood, but it is still cozy, has fresh loose tea, and the owners were very nice. The one major problem, though, is they close at 5pm. Not an option on weekdays. But I will check it out on weekends.

      I already thought of Kitsune. It unfortunately has one of the worst set-ups with stool-like chairs (stools with small backs) around large wooden communal tables. Not cozy and date-conducive at all.

      Parvis has the same problem. It has kitchen or school chairs around long white tables, like a cafeteria. Not a sofa or cushioned chair in sight. I don't get the attraction of either place, but hey, hipsters are a strange bunch.

      Cafe CC is by Beaudry metro.

      However, your mention of Art Java got me thinking... Cafe Imagination on Sherbrooke at Bleury fits the bill. Some small armchairs, plus they have alcohol license and restaurant area, open til 8pm every night including wkends, and best of all, laptop squatter free!

      Caffe e Cucina just west across Bleury on Sherbrooke also works. It has nice chairs and padded benches, and is open til 10pm even on weekends. It's more of a restaurant but you can get just coffee or tea, too.

      Thank you for your suggestions, EaterBob.

      1. re: Shattered

        My pleasure. and last I checked Cafe CC is at 374 Sainte Catherine W, in the Belgo building. I was unaware that they had another location in the village.

        1. re: EaterBob

          Ok, the 1219 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est one was first several google hits. There's also one at 1440 Stanley. They aren't on the same google+ listing, so maybe they're independent but have the same names.

    2. Camilla Sensis near St. Denis , across from the cinema. Is there one on Bishop too?

      3 Replies
      1. re: williej

        Thanks, I mentioned that one as an example of one I like alot - it's probably my fave actually, just a bit out of the way. Their other location is just behind Jean-Talon market. You're probably thinking of Kafein on Bishop.

        1. re: Shattered

          The one behind JTM has no place to sit.

          1. re: hala

            Thanks for the heads-up. I've never been, just saw they had another location on google maps.

      2. I have a couple of suggestions, they are on the fringes of your target area:

        -- Presse Café on De Maisonneuve x Metcalfe

        -- Veritas on the Main just below Notre Dame. (May have shortened winter hours)

        1 Reply
        1. re: rwarren

          Thanks for the recs, but unfortunately Presse Cafe is closed on wkends, unlike the hrs posted on their website which says open til 7pm 7 days. Grrr.

          However, the Van Houtte at Place Canada Trust (street entrance at 2027 Metcalfe) is a nice spot for that part of downtown, open til 5:30pm wkends.