Café Vito: Villeray's Espresso Drive Thru

Service window at Café Vito
I took advantage of the early sunny autumn day to go for a walk on Villeray. I stopped in for a latté at Café Vito, a fairly new edition to the Villeray landscape. As I walked through the door of this café, which also doubles as a laundromat, I was greeted by the familiar face of Vito Azzue. He served many a latté and espresso at Café Olimpico on St. Viateur in the Mile End. I spoke to him briefly about his new digs before taking my latté to a tiny table outside, just as two of Montreal's finest in their dress blues walked in and ordered.

In addition to the usual Italian coffee fare, Vito and his sons serve gelato and sandwiches at 151 Villeray, at the corner of Casgrain. The inside is quite small, but it appears that most patrons order from the side window. "I got the idea for a service window when I was in Italy a few years ago," said Vito. As I sipped my latté and enjoyed the sun, I saw a man pull up to the curb in a silver Mercedes, order his espresso from the sidewalk, pay as he stepped up to the counter, down his beverage on the spot, then wave to Vito, say "Well worth the stop," and then hop back into his car. Seconds later, the Mercedes was replaced by a white pick-up truck with another thirsty patron who was also in a hurry.

The wide sidewalks of Villeray make it an ideal place for outdoor cafés, but for the time being zoning is strictly residential, and the borough apparently has no plans to allow for such extensive commercial ventures. For now, Vito is only permitted to have a few tables pushed next to the building.

Café Vito is well worth your stop if you're looking for that perfect latté, but don't feel like going inside anywhere. You can also bring your dog, as the owner has set up two stainless steel water dishes for canine patrons. If you want to try some great gelato, Vito's lemon is divine.

Other posts about Villeray
Pots and Pans Protest of Bill 78
Felines: Friend or Foe?
Food: Villeray's Subtle Rawsomeness
Buying Local: Slak on Villeray


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