I’ve been running my own web development & consulting company for more than five years already. When I’m not slow travelling around the world, I try to enjoy Montreal as much as I can and that includes visiting plenty of coffee shops.
Being one of those people who shows up with a laptop, I’ve come to learn that some places dislike remote workers and that’s their right. Many coffee shops have a mission to bring people together and have them socialize while other places are more about having a cool & chill vibe to get work done.
When I find a place that’s more open to people like me, there are a few factors that come in to decide if I’ll be back:
- How comfortable/high are the tables & chairs;
- Can I charge my computer without having people trip over the cable;
- Can I leave my laptop at my desk for a quick bathroom break or a call outside?
I’m happy to share 3 adresses that I have been visiting regularly lately and that never fail me.
There are so many reasons why I love Paquebot and their initial location on Bélanger. The coffee shop is in a big open space and only has shared tables. Each table is equipped with plenty of electricity outlets and there are so many seats that you’ll probably be able to take two of them without being rude.
They only play vinyls from their beautiful wall collection and the music is always on point. The menu is probably my favourite part with so many house-made drinks including Kombucha, nitro cold brew & coffee lemonade. It’s always a treat to visit this place. 💕
I fell in love with Café Pista as soon as I went inside for the first time. It felt like I was back on the West Coast in some of my favourite coffee shops from Vancouver & Los Angeles. The place feels homey while providing a modern & chic vibe. The music is always good and the layout lets the sun in as much as possible and that makes me so happy.
Café Pista is split into two sections: the front with small tables & a strict no laptop rule during lunch hours and the back with two communal tables & the freedom to work for as long as you wish. I love that setup because when I don’t feel like being surrounded by computers anymore, I can move to the front and take out my book for a break.
Their coffee menu is not about special drinks but more about working with solid coffee beans and sharing the love about what you’ll be drinking. I like that they bring your order to the table too because I’m the worst when it comes to taking my hot beverage to my seat!
Les P’tits enfants de félice
Félice is my number one stop when I feel like working from the Mile-End. Opened by some of the nicest previous Olimpico employees, this coffee shop brings that same Italian social gathering vibe to Parc Avenue, but with a modern look.
The coffee shop has plenty of tables and for some reason, the nicest ones in the front (where all the daylight comes in) are always free! It’s not a place I really appreciate for its music but once I have my headphones on, I can really get productive while enjoying the energy of others around me.
A few rules, while we’re on the subject…
It’s one thing to visit a café just to grab a coffee quickly but it’s another to use it as your office. Nothing in life is free (as my dad always told me) and it’s important for everyone to understand a few basic rules if you’re going to squat a seat or table for hours:
- Reach out to a new café. There are new places opening all over the city. Not all of them are good with laptops and instead of having my first work visit being unpleasant, I always take the time to contact them & see how they feel about it. I haven’t been to 2-3 places so far because they replied that it wasn’t the vibe they wanted. Instead, I will visit them on a day off for a bite and that’s just as exciting for me.
- Spend money. That coffee & croissant you ordered 3 hours ago is not going to be enough. I make it a rule to order something new every hour that I stay in a coffee shop. It can be a drink, a meal or a snack, just as long as I can spend a minimum of $5 and tip the staff for letting me use their space for so long.
- Don’t make noise. If you have a business call, go outside or find a place where you will not bother the people in the café. If you’re with friends, keep a regular noise level. And please, don’t ever play a video game on your laptop with your speakers on. What is wrong with you?
- Help the staff. Unless it’s clear that there are bus persons, gather the dishes of your orders and take them back to the counter before leaving. It will help the next person feel welcome to take your seat as well.
- One person != 3 seats. So you showed up early and found plenty of free seats. You decided to put your jacket on your right & your bag on your left leaving you super comfortable in the middle, yay! That’s cool and we all do it. But if someone shows up & asks if the seat on your side is available, don’t give a bitchy face while removing your stuff.
Okay, this becomes too passive aggressive. 😂
I think that those few rules are pretty important though and could help make your regular visits much nicer. It’s always fun when the staff looks happy seeing you again.
Where do you like working from in Montreal?