mtl // café venosa

Ever heard of cat cafés? I'm assuming you have - they were all the rave a few years ago, and they've regained in popularity ever since one opened in NYC (which, by the way, is probably impossible to get into).

Until recently, I was only aware of the existence of two cat cafés in Montreal: Café Chat l'Heureux and Café des Chats (the first of its kind in North America!). Back in February, however, my roommates and I walked past a mysterious new cat café on our way to Mount Royal Ave., and decided to give it a shot. Plus, Lydia's birthday (part two) was the perfect excuse to take a study break and get a nice meal in good company, a.k.a. cats (but also, friends). On a Sunday evening, we thus headed to Café Venosa.

Café Venosa was a lovely experience from the minute we walked in. As we push past the two doors designed as a kind of decompression chamber to avoid a potentially catastrophic escape from occurring, we are immediately greeted by a large and cuddly ginger cat. The latter follows us until our party of four is seated around a nice, cozy table.

In line with the establishment's animal-friendly values, the menu is completely vegan. Yay! We each order something different: soup, salad, panini... and everything is delicious. Shoutout to the big fellow who jumped onto our table and was rather persistently trying to sample my little bowl of butter. Luckily, I finished my bread before he got any hair in there.

We also each order different desserts. Meghan opts for the hot chocolate, while I get the Tomcat, a mini hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream inside. Lydia tries the chocolate mousse, which she really enjoys, and Ingrid gets a red velvet cupcake (from Sophie Sucrée), which leads us to have a passionate discussion about the best cupcake flavors. Brooklyn Blackout for me - no question.

My favorite aspect of Café Venosa is the fact that all cats are adoptable. They're also not kittens, which is a refreshing change from the other cat cafés.


Bonus pic: my friend Raphaëlle and her roommate fostered a beautiful, cuddly lady by the name of Babouche this past year. She's still up for adoption, so let me know if you're interested!