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Montreal’s Crazy Cafés by Killa

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Don't let NYE catch you with your pants down.

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To continue the push of providing you with the best Montreal has to offer, and not only in the arcane world of nightlife and partying, we thought that you should learn about where to grab a coffee the morning after a brutal night of hopping from one nightclub to the next.

Yes, nothing says "hangover die" like a good cup of coffee. Nothing puts your thought into perspective better, making it clear that all you said and did last night was probably a huge mistake.

If you demand the best from your beer, whiskey, burgers or music, then you should also demand the best from your coffee. And this is where comes in. If we have perfected the art of procrastination and letting Facebook become the big-shit while we linger on, that's mainly because we have perfected the art of spending our free time sipping on good coffee and pretending to be intellectuals.

So here it comes, all the places where you might spot one our amazing writers or programmers, pretending to work on the website, while checking out the young men and women crossing the streets.

Santropol (3990 Rue Saint-Urbain)

This place is a little hippie paradise right next to the Mont-Royal Park. They serve good coffee, which you can also buy at Montreal's best supermarket, PA. To complement the coffee, you should try their cheese cake, a treat for your mouth like none others. What I like about Santropol is their outside back-yard terrasse: invaded by cats, trees and plants, you feel like you're resting in an enchanted forest. Should you decided to spend your Sunday afternoon at Santropol, after a hefty week-end of drinking all kinds of fermented drinks, I also recommend you detox with one of their amazing soups and home-made bread.

Café Olimpico (124 Rue St-Viateur Ouest)

This is the real thing. Real Italian espresso machine manned by real Italians, flags of Italian football teams all over the walls and Rai TV speaking to you in Italian in the background. It doesn't get more authentic than that in Montreal, and so the place has gained a cult status. Café Olimpico also has an outdoors terrasse, on which you can soak the sun with a tasty caffè-latte in your hand, and observe the liveliness of St-Viateur street. Don't forget to tip the guys making the coffee, it's a tradition there.

Club Social (180 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest)

Le Club Social is another coffee place on St-Viateur, from the outside very similar to Café Olympico, but actually quite different. They make real good coffee too, but they also serve alcohol to the members of their club, which you can join on the spot. So if you're one of those who like to follow a good thing with another, you can nurse your hangover at Club Social with a few coffees, until it gets late enough for you to start drinking, at which point you can exchange your coffee for a beer.

Café Saint-Henri (3624 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest)

Compared to the 3 places mentioned above, Café Saint-Henri is a new comer to the game of coffee selling. Yet, the place embodies the new wave of coffee making. First, lots of emphasis is put on the origin of the beans, everything is fair-trade and that to very high standards. Second, lots of emphasis is put on the art of roasting ("torréfaction" in French) of the coffee beans; all the roasting is made in-house, and the place also offers courses to people interested in learning more about the art of roasting coffee beans. Located on Notre-Dame street, Café Saint-Henri is part of the South-West renaissance we've been telling you about for a while now (you heard it here first).

La Croissanterie Linda (1909 Sainte-Catherine Street West)

You know these hipster places that buy old 50ies kitchen tables or old working tables, and use them in their joint, to make the place look artsy and cool. Well, at La Croissentrie you will eat on old Singer sowing machine tables, except that they're not there to attract the American Apparel wearing crowd but just because that's the tables they have. There is nothing pretentious about La Crossanterie, it's an old joint, doing the same thing it's been doing for years: selling you coffee, all sorts of croissants and other goodies to eat. Yet the atmosphere is so authentic, so truly stuck in a time warp zone, that it is always a pleasure to get a coffee and read the Saturday newspaper there. Classical music playing in the background, old wooden chairs (they remind me of the old Peel Pub chairs, can anyone confirm this?) and the enchanting sweet smell of coffee and croissant aux amandes; it's the morning bliss distilled to perfection. Make sure you try the cheese croissants, you'll hank me latter.

Alright, this is as far as I want to go today. Obviously there are dozens of other very goof cafés in Montreal, the five above are just a small sample, pretty much the ones I like to go to for hitting the reset button on our battered brain after a long week of working and partying. If you think I have forgotten the best Montreal café, feel free to leave an angry comment in the comments section bellow, or even get a conversation started on our message board.

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