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Caffè Della Via: a Northern star is born

It takes guts to open an Italian cafe on the edge of Little Italy. At Caffè Della Via though, the gamble is paying off. The cafe is located a block north of Jean Talon, on the half-residential, half-small business thoroughfare that is Rue de Castelnau. The storefront has large picture windows, through which sunshine streams. The decor is modern but homey – large pots of bright yellow chrysanthemums line the front steps, and repurposed wooden chairs with a hint of turquoise sit at every table. 

Open for about a year now, the cafe hosts a mixed clientele featuring lots of locals: twenty-somethings studying textbooks and tapping at Netbooks, families with strollers in tow drinking hot chocolate, and older couples drinking allongés and sharing cookies. The coffee has crema, the milk has microfoam, and the prices are reasonable. On a sunny day it’s hard to find a seat.

The menu is short and snappy - a selection of panini sandwiches, a handful of cookies and baked treats, and some beverage alternatives for the non-coffee set. A sticking point: the tea selection is woefully underwhelming. On the other hand, this keeps the focus on the coffee, which is of excellent quality, but disappointingly not fair trade. A few minor quibbles aside, Caffè Della Via is a success – both a beautiful cafe and a great neighbourhood commodity. One look at the baby footprint in the concrete on the terrace, and you know the owners are invested in their community.


Caffè Della Via | 244, de Castelnau E.