You may have noticed its eye-catching vine chandelier all over your friends’ Instagram pages — now, discover the stunning cafe it hangs in. Café Tommy opened three months ago on Notre-Dame West with one idea in mind: to become Old Montreal’s quintessential stomping ground.
Thomas Vernis, also the owner of Montreal favourites Santos Tapas Bar and Dolcetto & Co., was tired of the common notion that Old Montreal is good for little more than tourism. Vernis believes that the area is a dynamic “neighbourhood” that has yet to be defined as such. And, upon visiting upwards of twenty-five cafes in Brooklyn, New York, he discovered just what Old Montreal was missing: a laid-back neighbourhood cafe.
With prolific local designer Zébulon Perron on board, Vernis transformed 200 Notre-Dame West—built in 1874 and classified as a National Heritage site—into a fresh community gathering place. Combining the original design elements of the building with mid-century furniture, Scandinavian design, and lush plants, Tommy’s design is as eclectic as the City of Montreal. From retro booths and moulded plastic chairs to study nooks and meeting tables, Tommy is equipped with every possible seating arrangement. To top it off, the whole place is wrapped up in lavish, original mouldings, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and studded with “Brooklyn-inspired” window-side stools.
Yes, Café Tommy is gorgeous. But it would not be complete without an equally great menu. Sticking to traditional Italian dark roast Union coffee, their espresso has warm hints of chocolate and hazelnut. You can even ask them to serve it in an edible chocolate-coated waffle shot glass! Alternatively, if making coffee at home is your thing, they carry their very own custom blend, roasted by Union and appropriately named the “Neighbourhood Mix.”
To top things off, all of the food they serve is produced in Montreal. For lunch, they offer scrumptious quiche, paninis, and fresh, colourful salads. For dessert, try one of their decadent inch-thick cookies (the white and dark chocolate is amazing), velvety cannolis from La Cornetteria, or buttery croissants from Régal Matinal. For those looking for something a little more light, Tommy also serves cold-pressed organic juices from Dose and gluten-free lemon cake.
Tommy combines beautiful design with great food and company. Next time you’re in Old Montreal, stop by, grab a coffee, and feast your eyes on Café Tommy. As the baristas told us on our way out, “you can come back anytime!”
For more information, check out Tommy’s website or stop by in person at 200 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest.