Proudly born in Montreal in 1959, with our root still here today, we love sharing the best-kept secrets of the city and the incredible people that make Montreal so special. In this profile, we are highlighting one of the best coffee spots in the city with an insider interview with it’s longtime barista.

Founded in 1970 by the late Rocco Forfaro, Café Olimpico is a mainstay in the heart of Montreal’s trendy Mile End neighbourhood. With its deep roots in the city and European flavour, this hot spot caters to the diverse cultures that make Montreal so special. From businessmen who stop in for their morning espresso to artists who spend their afternoons enjoying a perfectly crafted cappuccino, Café Olimpico embodies everything great about living in Montreal.

Recently, we had the opportunity of meeting Joey, a long time barista in the café, and he was gracious enough to offer us a unique look into this family-run landmark:

LC: What is your first memory of drinking coffee and how old were you?

JOEY: Having latte macchiatos was a daily thing with my family since I was 5 years old.

LC: When and how did you start working at Café Olimpico?

JOEY: I had been a client for years and then became an employee in 2010.

LC: What does it take to be a great barista?

JOEY: It is really important to pay attention to detail and to create relationships with the customers.

LC: What celebrities have you seen in Café Olimpico?

JOEY:  There have been so many I have lost track but the latest Jon Snow.

LC: How has the neighbourhood changed over the years since you started working there?

JOEY: Many more resto’s and bars are in the neighborhood. St viateur has become a street that all tourists make a point to visit during their stay in Montreal.

LC: What is your favourite place to eat in Montreal?

JOEY: I would have to say Le Filet on Mont-Royalit is known for their creative seafood dishes.

LC: How would you describe your style?

JOEY: Casual.


Shop Joey’s looks and more. Visit Joey at Café Olimpico (124 Rue St-Viateur West) next time you are in the area, we promise the coffee and ambiance won’t disappoint.