When I take a trip, it is rare that my itinerary is strictly “business” or strictly “pleasure.” That’s right folks, I often mix business with pleasure. But enough about my fashionista mullet!
In an age of the 60-hour workweek, chances are that you might need to reserve a couple of hours of your weekend to bounce those tedious expense reports back to your mulish boss. Or you might just be a Facebook junkie looking to satiate your social media addiction.
Whatever your reason for needing free wireless Internet, here are five Montréal cafés where the locals love to get (and stay) connected…
Laika (4040 St. Laurent Boulevard) – Located on ‘The Main,’ this chic daytime wireless café morphs into a groovy evening lounge with DJs spinning. My fave dish is the Grilled Cheese on nutty bread. Keep your eyes peeled for Michelle Blanc, Montréals most famous transsexual, who is a regular. Three sizes for your java: cup, glass or, for those who really came to work, a bowl.
Caféo (4177 Rue St. Denis) – One of my personal favourites, this little bistro at the bustling corner of St. Denis and Rachel has romantic Parisian influences. The menu is fairly standard, but for $5 you can get a Muffin Anglais (egg on an English muffin) served with a bit of fruit. Espresso-based coffees are average, but the wall of artwork (and cute server) keeps me coming back.
Kilo (1495 St. Catherine East) – THE place for cakes in Montréal (they often supply sweets and treats to many other Montréal restos), Kilo is an institution in the gay village. Depending on the time of day it might be a bit noisy, but that’s only because it’s filled with happy queers having a good time. I recommend the “Bart Simpson” cake, as it has 7 layers of chocolately goodness. It is almost as good as sex…For extra food inspiration in the gay village, check out my Village Culinary Tour.
Le Cagibi (5490 St. Laurent Boulevard) – Located in trendy Mile End, Le Cagibi is an interesting mix of hipsters, granola lesbians and Ubisoft programming geeks. There is a second salon behind the counter if there are no seats left in the front. I enjoy the BBQ Tofu wrap, followed by a cayenne brownie. You decide whether the lesbians or brownies are hotter.
Caffé Art Java (837 Mont Royal East) – After only a couple years on the scene, this Plateau café has quickly become a coffee institution. Espresso meets art as the baristas can do things with crema that makes a Monet look like finger-painting. Consider getting breakfast (even in the afternoon), as Caffé Art Java gets my vote for best home fries in the city.
Insider Info: Throughout the city, you might notice little stickers on windows that read “Ile Sans Fil” – this basically translates to “Wireless Island.” Ile Sans Fil provides free wireless to over 150 hotspots throughout the city. You’ll have to create a free account, but it’s easy and worth it.
Finally, if you’re eager to practice your français while in Montréal, here’s a helpful post by my friend Katerine on How to Order Coffee in Montréal.