If you ask anyone I know they will tell you I’m the brunch queen. As a night owl who wakes up late, brunch is without a doubt my favourite meal of the day. In the past 2 and a half years that I’ve lived in Montreal, I have been to all ends of the city for brunch and I’ve slowly narrowed down all the places and picked the very best 5. I promise that if you can trust me on anything, you can trust me on this. Here they are in descending order:
5. Laurence – I feel like my opinion on this one is a little blurred by my nationality. The food at Laurence has a strong British influence, their English Breakfast is undoubtedly the best in the city. I like to go here when I’m feeling homesick. It’s pretty small so you may have to wait for a little for a table but the atmosphere is wonderful and the staff are lovely. It gets 5th place because it’s quite far into the plateau but if you live over that way then be sure to make the most of it. I like to go here in summer because then I can make a day of it and walk/bike there and back.
My order: English Breakfast with English breakfast tea (above), followed by a Scone
4. Venice – This place is pretty new on the brunch scene, I think it’s been open less than a year and I would know because I went as soon as it opened and I’ve been back many times since. From what I can tell Venice has a strong Californian influence. It has a very chill, very beachy vibe and it serves quite healthy food (salads, smoothies, soups, etc.). It’s only rated 4th for a couple of reasons, first of all, it’s closed Sundays which breaks my heart because it’s my favourite brunch day, secondly, the coffee here isn’t the best (but you can get amazing coffee from Tommy nearby) and thirdly it’s more on the expensive side (I once paid $100 including tip for two). But don’t let you any of that fool you, the poké bowls here are to die for (the best in the city) and the toast is also incredible. It’s also probably the most instagramable place you’ve ever seen.
My order: Tuna Poké Bowl or Proscuitto Toast
3. Arts Café – This place embodies what I love in a Brunch place. Amazing coffee, amazing food, amazing service, amazing decor and the coolest lights. I’m actually worried I underrated it. The food is often a quirky twist on a classic but I really love that. This gets 3rd place because its a little far out (again in the plateau), which means I don’t get to go as often as I would like to, but location aside this place has everything you could ever need in a brunch place – look no further (actually do, read the rest of this post).
My order: The Benedict or the Shakshuka and a latté
2. Olive et Gourmando – After Rachel from Suits Instagrammed this place I doubt that it needs any more promotion but here I am promoting it anyway because the truffle Mac & Cheese features regularly in my dreams. Yes, you heard me right – truffle Mac & Cheese. If you ever find yourself in the Old Port of Montreal looking for somewhere unassuming that your taste buds will thank you for, this is the only name you need to remember. There is always a wait for this place because it’s not the biggest but I think that adds to its charm. It has great coffee, great food and great pastries. I would go as far as to say you could order anything from the menu and you won’t be disappointed. Their menu changes between winter and summer (so no Mac & Cheese when the sun’s out) but both are equally wonderful. They also recently opened a sister Restaurant called Foxy in Griffintown that I adore and would 100% recommend for dinner.
My order: The truffle Mac & Cheese in winter (above) or the OG grilled cheese, or a Panini and a latté
1.Café Parvis – If every other brunch place in Montreal closed down and this was the only one left standing I would be more than okay. Despite all of the other wonderful places I mentioned, there was never a doubt in my mind that this was number one. Café Parvis is right downtown which is amazing (and super close to me!) but it’s kinda hidden away which means that it’s not overly packed and you never wait longer than 10 minutes for a table. What puts this place above the others is that it does everything perfectly. The atmosphere here is so pleasant and enjoyable, it has quite a cool rustic/industrial vibe but it’s also super bright and airy with loads of plants. The staff are just a pleasure to interact with, extremely attentive and polite. But above all else, THE FOOD is the BEST EVER. They have something for everyone and it’s always a little out of the ordinary (which I love) but always so fresh and so delicious. My favourite thing to get here is the hashbrown with poached egg, bacon and hollandaise sauce, on a bed of seasonal vegetables (they change it every couple of months). They have really good coffee, a fresh juice special every day (my boyfriend is obsessed) and they also have incredbile baked goods. The Oreo chip cookies here are like nothing you have ever tasted, my mouth is watering as I write this. So good in fact, that this year on my boyfriend’s birthday instead of a cake, I ordered 20 of them. I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about this place, this is my go-to and my ride or die. If theres one place you should go to for Brunch in Montreal it’s Café Parvis.
My order: The hashbrown (above) or the breakfast pizza, a latté and a juice followed by an oreo cookie.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favourite brunch spots as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I hope some of you get the opportunity to try them out if you haven’t already!