Birks Café is located inside the chic Birks jewelry store on Phillips Square in downtown Montreal. It is part of the Europea restaurant group and offers brunch on the weekend, lunch during the week, and afternoon tea daily.
To find the cafe, climb the stairs at the back of the store. Look back from the top and you'll have a great view of the jewelry cases, chandeliers, and beautiful ceiling. Then turn back around and take in the upscale, serene cafe. Tables are placed spaciously among display cases for vases and other beautiful objects. Everything is simple but classy.
I have been to afternoon tea at Birks three times over the past year. The service and quality have been consistently good and the whole experience always enjoyable. Tea for two is served on a long, skinny silver tray set in the middle of the table.
The club sandwich in the middle of the tray is to be eaten first and the other items can be eaten sequentially across the tray from most savory to sweetest. Included for each person are three savory tea sandwiches, a chocolate, a macaron, and a small dessert in a verrine, as well as some jam and Devonshire cream. Two scones per person are served on the side, and of course each person receives a pot of tea. The tea choices, while somewhat limited, are all quality ones from Mariage Frères. The server can refresh the hot water on request.
Whether it's grabbing some tea with a friend after a day of shopping on Saint Catherine or spending a special afternoon with a loved one, Birks Café is a good spot to do it.
1240 Phillips Square
Dress: Smart casual. I would not feel comfortable entering the cafe in shorts and flip-flops, but it's not necessary to be dressed to the nines either.
Price: $35 per person including tax and tip
Highlights: Unusual and pretty setting. Smoked salmon tea sandwich with caviar from Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Housemade raspberry jam. A bag of delicious sweets to take home.