Yum or Yikes! Café In Vivo

Photo by Ashley Fish-Robertson

On a busy Monday evening, I happened to stumble across Café In Vivo in a mere twist of fate.

Strategically located in the Olympic Stadium, Café In Vivo is the perfect place to study or to simply wind down, with easy access to Pie-IX metro. Situated behind tinted grey glass walls, this charming café will take you by surprise. Their meals often include meat but they offer vegan and gluten-free options as well—there is essentially something for everyone.

If you don’t stay for the espresso, you’ll stay for the décor. The airy vibe and bubblegum-pink booths are ideal for those seeking an insta-worthy photo-op. Café In Vivo is the perfect low-profile spot for students, especially those looking for a quaint spot to focus. With plenty of comfortable seating and an abundance of natural light, this café appeals to those who seek tranquility amidst the bustle of the city.

Ambience: 4.5/5

While I’m not one for drinks that induce a sugar rush, their iced coffee manages to deliver just the right amount of sweet without sending you into a sugar overload. The espresso is inexplicably velvety and not too bitter; I have yet to find anywhere else in Montreal that serves espresso like this one. The only downside to their iced coffee (and several of their hot beverages) is that there is not much of a selection when it comes to the to-go cup sizes; it’s more of a one-size only. This might not seem like such a deal breaker to some, but after you’ve indulged yourself in their espresso, it’s nearly impossible to settle for the small cups they offer. I recommend ordering drinks in their mason jar cups, as you end up getting a bit more.

I also decided to try the special of the day: a hearty cassoulet with sausage and harvest veggies to soothe the winter chills. The hot meal portions are very generous and they include a fresh bun on the side. The assortment of sweet and salty goods are baked fresh daily.

Food and drinks: 4/5

Be prepared to spend around $15 for their main hot dish of the day with a drink of choice. The portions are plentiful, so come prepared to eat. Their sandwich, salad and bakery options range between $2 to $9 if you’re craving a smaller bite. Their beverages are priced averagely, ranging from around $3 to $5.

Price: 3.5/5

A line can start to form quickly at lunch hour (as most places near the metro do) but come anytime before or after lunch and you’ll often be delighted with the quick service and selection of seating. The staff is friendly and well versed with the array of drink and food options—so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

Service: 4/5

Photo by Ashley Fish-Robertson

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