Montreal's independent café scene has produced more than two dozen new coffee shops over the past year alone. Third wavers have colonized coffee bereft pockets of the city in Mile-Ex, Villeray, the Village, and beyond (Park Ex and Montreal North are next, surely). Now Masson's commercial strip in Rosemont has a new café to champion, from none other than Jean-François Leduc of Café Saint-Henri. Maesmi (for Masson à l'est de Saint-Michel) is part coffee shop, part bakery and pastry shop. "The café's ambitious goal is to produce all of our pastries and baked goods on site, from A to Z," Leduc recently told RueMasson.com. "My challenge is to make sure that all of it is as good as the coffee." After a rough patch at his original café on Notre-Dame Ouest in Sud-Ouest Montreal, Leduc has been buoyed by the support his new business has received from Rosemont. "The support from the community on Masson has been touching. I feel like the street was really missing a place like Café Saint-Henri. Residents here have been very clear on that subject."
Status: Maesmi, 3353 rue Masson, corner 12e avenue, (514) 903-7353, now open daily.
The Plateau recently got a new café as well, on Papineau, just north of Mont-Royal Est. Esquina is from Roxanne Matte-Guilbault, late of Pourquoi Pas espresso bar, where she worked as manager, and Café Art Java. Esquina sources coffee from Toronto's Pilot Coffee Roasters, and serves what Matte-Guibault calls "une simple cuisine végane." See photos of both Maesmi and Esquina below.
Status: Esquina, 4526 Papineau, (514) 903-4501, now open daily.
Mes petits nouveaux ce matin: pop-tart fraise-rhubarbe et muffin "gloire du matin" carottes, ananas, pommes, graines de tournesol et raisins secs! et vegan, évidement! #vegan #veganbreakfast #veganmtl #mtlcafecrawl #esquina #plateaumontroyal #fraiserhubarbe #morningglory #veganpoptarts #poptarts #papineaustreet