Student Life

Pista: Rosemont’s turquoise caffeine heaven

This trendy Rosemont café is the perfect blend of a cozy and classy experience

After visiting café Pista for the first time last week, I finally understood what all the hype was about. Upon entering the café on Beaubien Street in the Rosemont neighbourhood, I was met with a serene feeling I had never felt at any other café.

Sometimes, small neighbourhood cafés can feel a little too noisy, a little too crowded. At Pista, thanks to good acoustics and spaced out tables, the environment is quiet, welcoming and stress-free, even though there are usually many people.

Pista is located on the corner of Beaubien Street and Saint-Vallier Street. Photo by Danielle Gasher

I was served by a kind barista who recommended their most popular drink: the chai tea latté. It was delicious—creamy enough, with well-balanced sweetness. Pista’s service style adds to the laid-back feel. After ordering, the barista brings your hot beverage directly to your table. The coffee has a strong, nutty taste that seems to be quite common among numerous small cafés in the city.

The décor is an important part of the overall experience. While the space isn’t too big—approximately the size of a small Montreal apartment—it is well laid-out, with enough places to sit comfortably and study. The walls are a pale turquoise and covered with abstract artwork and a beautiful black-and-white Asian temple photograph next to the window. The ceiling is impressive, painted gold with church-like detailing. It brings together the modern and minimalistic aesthetic of the café, and the touch of antiqueness gives it added charm. The spot’s music is also a highlight. They play a lot of underground hip-hop and some jazzy tunes.

The spot sells classic café treats such as pastries, but also have a brunch and lunch menu. Photo by Danielle Gasher

The café is appropriate for study sessions, business lunches and coffee with friends. In the fall, the spot introduced a breakfast and lunch menu. The menu includes healthy options such as salads, soups and trendy breakfast classics like granola, poached eggs and avocado on toast, or toast with ricotta, honey, nuts and fruit. While affordable, the prices are not particularly low or student-friendly. The breakfast and lunch menu prices range from $3.50 for toast and jam to $12 for a smoked salmon bagel.

Pista could even be a go-to spot for a first date because of its laid-back vibe combined with its trendy and classy atmosphere and décor. At the same time, the long tables in the back are the perfect place to camp out for a few hours and get those readings done. All in all, I would highly recommend this unique café to all Concordia students seeking a classy and cozy place to study far from campus.

Café Pista

500 Beaubien Street East

Open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Student Life

Would anyone Fancé a coffee?

New Plateau business creates a hybrid of the classic dépanneur and café

It’s common knowledge that dépanneurs are meant to be convenient. However, François Ste-Marie, a young Montreal entrepreneur, thinks they should be so much more.

On Sept. 9, Ste-Marie opened the dépanneur he’s been longing to see in the city. The result, frankly, is impressive.

Dépanneur Fancé is located close to the corner of avenue Des Pins and Saint-Dominique street. Photo by Danielle Gasher

Located in Plateau Mont-Royal, just a few blocks away from Montreal’s iconic Schwartz’s Deli, Dépanneur Fancé is a one-of-a-kind spot.

At first glance, the quaint shop stands out on the residential street close to St-Laurent Boulevard. The street doesn’t have much hustle and bustle. However, once inside Fancé, the street’s quietness becomes a forgettable detail as you are immediately faced with a colourful array of carefully chosen products. Vegetable chips, locally-produced soda drinks, kombucha and craft beers share the shelves with high-quality household basics, such as organic juices and cereals. The shop also sells meals and desserts made in store, available for take-out.  Most importantly, behind the counter is Ste-Marie, the owner and sole employee of Fancé, ready to serve you like he would a friend.

The store sells mostly local products. Photo by Danielle Gasher

Although Fancé offers typical “convenience” products, it is also appealing as a place to satisfy your gourmet appetite. Fancé’s tasteful creamy and nutty lattes are delicious, especially coupled with their croissants, or homemade cookies. The spot also has a breakfast and lunch menu.  The breakfast menu includes classics with a twist.  You can choose toast on artisanal bread with your choice of spread, or an iranian breakfast which consists of toast with feta cheese and nuts.  The lunch menu includes items such as feta and watermelon salad, homemade sandwiches made with fresh, local ingredients, and salads.

Ste-Marie is an ardent supporter of local ingredients and products. Most of his products are Canadian. The coffee he sells comes from Montreal’s trendy Café Saint-Henri and Calgary’s Café Phil & Sebastian, and he buys his chips and cereals from two British Columbia-based companies.

Prior to opening his own business, Ste-Marie worked as a manager at a clothing retailer in downtown Montreal. “My dad had a dépanneur when I was young,” he said. “I’ve always fancied the idea of having mine, but with the products I’d like to find. I love good food, good beer and good coffee. I wanted to appropriate the concept.”

Photo by Danielle Gasher

Ste-Marie filled his shop with just that—you can tell right away by his small inventory that he only sells his carefully chosen, and high-quality favourites.

Fancé, Ste-Marie’s Québécois spelling of “Fancy,” is sure to become the new Plateau hotspot to grab some beer and snacks for a night in, or your go-to café to enjoy a velvety latte to help you get through a study session.

The spot’s seating consists of a stylish and sleek bar with five chairs along the large window of the shop.  The bar, made of concrete, features only a few computer outlets.  Wifi is also available.

For now, Dépanneur Fancé is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m, however, Ste-Marie said the opening hours are subject to change as Fancé gets a feel for the neighbourhood.

Dépanneur Fancé is located at 3764 St-Dominique Street.

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