Maelstrom Cafe in Saint-Roch Quebec

Coffee & Cocktails at Café Maelstrom Saint-Roch

Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by Pamela MacNaughtan

Tucked away on a quiet street in Québec City’s Saint-Roch neighbourhood, café Maelstrom is easy to miss. The building is square and ordinary, and the surrounding buildings appear to be empty, some in disrepair. The only evidence that Maelstrom Saint-Roch exists is a square white sign that juts out from the side of the building, and a small sandwich board standing just outside the door displaying a greeting and possibly some specials.

Welcome to Maelstrom Saint-Roch.

Exposed brick walls and faded plank wood floors, worn square tables with mismatched country style chairs painted in either white, black, or grey; exposed pipes painted in a brushed gold to given them a more industrial-chic feel; a bar with a white subway tile wall, industrial stools and lighting; Maelstrom is an urban café who has mastered the art of industrial-chic ambiance, and while there are no shortages of hipsters, the café attracts Québecers from all walks of life.

Maelstrom Saint-Roch, which opened its doors on November 5, 2015, is known for two things: their famous barista-owner Jean-Daniel Lajoie (he has two partners: Marie-Ève Leclerc and Mathieu Villeneuve), and their cold brew. The former learned the art of coffee making in Melbourne, Australia. The latter is one of the main reasons why people flock to Maelstrom.

Sitting at a table near one of the windows which face rue Saint-Vallier Est, I enjoy a chilled glass of draft cold brew coffee and marvel at its divine existence as I occasionally nosh on date truffles, rolled in cocoa.

During the day, the café is relaxed and quiet, a perfect spot for getting some work done while enjoying artisanal coffee (hot or cold) or a cup of hot chocolate (chocolat chaud). A perfect temporary workspace. In the evening Maelstrom’s vibe changes are locals arrive to enjoy draft beer or cocktails — some made with cold brew coffee.

on the menu at café maelstrom

The menu features a variety of coffee: espresso, latté, americano, cappuccino; and four different styles of cold brew coffee. A small selection of pastries are also on offer: croissants, pistachio or date truffles, or cupcakes. Our favourite: Draft cold brew (Fût) for $4.35

lgbtqia2s+ safe spacewhere: 181, rue saint-vallier est • saint-roch • 418-523-0700 • open: mon-wed 7h-23h, thurs-fri 7h-1h, sat 9h-1h, sun 9h-23h • price: $

Café Maelstrom in Saint-Roch, Quebec City
Bar seating at Café Maelstrom in Saint-Roch, Quebec City
Fun red chairs at a cafe in Saint-Roch, Quebec City