I'd always been curious about La Croissanterie, like many of the hole-in-the-wall shops and eateries west of Concordia on Ste-Catherine. I don't remember exactly when Ezra and I finally walked in to the café; we were always fans of the weekend brunch and were probably drawn in by the promise of free wi-fi.
La Croissanterie is much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside; looking in from the outside, you can see the 70s era display case and the linoleum flooring, but the area further inside is completely done in wood panelling with vintage sewing tables serving as tables. The Spanish (?)-speaking lady who works during the week intimidates me for no reason, but on weekends there is a larger, red-haired bearded guy who is the nicest.
La Croissanterie serves up a fair selection of cheap café fare, including soups, salads, cakes and—of course—sandwiches on their signature warm, fluffy, flaky croissants. They do all-day breakfast combos, which are usually a sandwich, bagel or croissant with a café latte that range from $3.75 to $4.60, as well as lunch specials which include a soup and a coffee with your main dish.
The atmosphere is casual and friendly, perhaps what Starbucks was looking for when it tried to set up stripped down, "neighbourhood" coffeehouses. Well Starbucks Observation Team, take note - at La Croissanterie, classical music is always playing in the background courtesy of CBC Radio 2, you wander in, grab a coffee and some food, then stay even long after your dishes have been cleared from your table. Generally it's nice, but during exam season it gets a little crowded with Concordia students taking advantage of the cozy atmosphere and plentiful plug-ins.
And the food! For a cheap little place, they do churn out delicious coffee (though I must admit I'm no coffee connoisseur) and their lattes do not have any pretentious designs. Don't expect gourmet food here, but I *love* their almond croissant with its subtle, not-too-sweet filling, and have always wanted to try their pastries, like the apple turnover and carrot cake. It's comfort food in a comforting atmosphere, and during my week-long trip I went *twice*, if that tells you anything.
1909 Rue Ste-Catherine O
Montreal QC H3H 1M3
Open from 8 AM - Midnight daily.