Student Life

Cafes that are actually conducive to studying: West of campus edition

With midterms fast approaching, it’s becoming increasingly important for students to find study environments where they can focus to the best of their abilities. Thankfully, Montreal is home to a plethora of cafés, for those growing tired of McGill’s draining and dreary libraries. In addition to the many study spots around McGill and in the Plateau, the area west of campus boasts a multitude of trendy coffee shops for hitting the books. The McGill Tribune has compiled a short guide to help students find the best cafés West of campus for their study preferences.

Café Spoon

Address: 2183 Crescent St, Montreal, QC H3G 2C1
Opening hours:
Weekend (Sat – Sun): 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Weekdays (Mon – Fri): 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Located less than 10 minutes from McGill, this quaint cafe’s bright lighting, fast and free WiFi, and calm background music make it a uniquely cozy place to study. No need to worry about getting hungry throughout the day—Café Spoon’s menu offers a wide range of salads, soups, and sandwiches in the $9 to $10 range. If that’s too pricey, the cafe also offers smaller snacks and pastries—some of which are vegan and vegetarian. Also serving relatively-affordable coffees and teas, Café Spoon has the caffeine fix you need to keep your energy levels high throughout the day. However, with only 10 small tables, the lack of seating space and low number of outlets might not make this coffee shop the ideal place for working in a group or using your computer all day. Nevertheless, Café Spoon is a great place for a productive day of doing readings or studying in solitude.

Yelp rating: 4 / 5 stars
Tribune rating: 4 / 5 stars
Price: $$


Café Myriade

Address: 1432 Mackay St, Montreal, QC H3G 2H7
Opening hours:
Weekend (Sat – Sun): 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Weekdays (Mon – Fri): 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

A 20 minute walk from McGill campus, Café Myriade is a great spot for those who can only work with absolutely no distractions. Located on the serene Mackay Street, this cafe offers a serene environment for those looking to catch up on readings or study textbook notes. And with no free WiFi available, students won’t have the Internet to derail their focus. However, Café Myriade’s very limited food menu, small seating space, and scarcity of outlets mean this spot might not be your best bet during busy study times—especially as midterm season approaches. Its large windows and abundance of natural lighting, relatively calm background music, and variety of affordable drinks do, however, make it a nice place to study for a few hours. Overall, this a great place to grab a coffee or tea, but not necessarily the best place to work for a full day, especially if you find yourself needing Internet for any assignments.

Yelp rating: 4.5/5
Tribune rating: 3/5
Price: $

Cafe Aunja

1448 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3G 1K4
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. everyday

Located on Sherbrooke Street West, just past the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Cafe Aunja has a cozy, eclectic vibe. This Persian cafe serves a wide variety of teas, coffee, and unique breakfast and lunch items, including vegan options, with sandwiches priced around $9 and salads from $4 to $6. As you enter the cafe, you can see that the space is divided into two rooms. In the main room, the tables are large enough to get some work done under big windows and twinkle lights. The cafe is most suited to individual studying as it is mainly furnished with small tables, with only one or two larger ones for groups. Also, the main room is a bit noisy during busy times, so students looking for a quieter work space can take respite in the back room of the cafe, which is more isolated from talkative coffee-goers. In choosing when to visit, note that this cafe gets rather busy in the evenings with guests who come to enjoy live music over dessert, so make sure to come before or after rush time at 6 p.m.. Aunja is open until 10 p.m. every night, so for those who can focus in loud environments, this is the ideal spot for late-night studying.

Yelp Rating: 4
Tribune Rating: 4.5
Price: $$

Kafein Café-Bar

1429 Bishop St, Montreal, QC H3G 2E4
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday:  11 a.m. – 7 a.m.

Kafein Café-Bar is a two-story café and bar serving coffee and $6 smoothies during the day, and $6 to $8 wine and cocktails in the evenings. This makes it the perfect spot for students who enjoy studying in a social atmosphere or those who like to reward a long day of studying with a drink. In addition to their beverages, Kafein Café-Bar has a varied food menu, which includes $8 salads and sandwiches, some of which are vegetarian and vegan. After ordering your food from the bar on the main floor, head up to the upper floor of the cafe-bar to study. This space has large windows, exposed brick, and two-person tables. Try to grab tables close to an outlet as well, which, unfortunately, are few and far between. The café plays loud music, so bring headphones if you prefer to work in silence. Assuming you’re able to grab a large enough table and an outlet, the cafe’s expansive menu, unlimited WiFi, and long hours make Kafein a good place to study all day long. 

Yelp Rating: 3.5
Tribune Rating: 4
Price: $$

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