Food & Drink

The Best Coffee Shops in Paris

Published On 06/29/2016 Published On 06/29/2016

Paris has perfected the café culture of sitting for hours, reading, sipping, discussing, and observing the passersby -- the only problem is that baristas in most cafés never really perfected the coffee part of this equation. In the past 10 or so years, coffee culture, influenced from the UK, USA, Australia, and beyond, has brought a new wave of coffee shops to Paris. Whether you’re a coffee snob who likes to discuss beans and roasts, or just someone who wants a good flat white, here’s your list of the best shops currently open in Paris.

Photo Courtesy of Nico Alary

Holybelly

Canal Saint-Martin

Less of a coffee shop and more an innovative eatery, Holybelly has become a sort of legend by the Canal. The young and the cool flock here for a table and a chance to dive into their pancakes and eggs. The menu changes quite often, but everything that comes out of the kitchen is memorable. Stop in for a coffee when there’s no mad breakfast or lunch rush and you’ll get some of the city’s finest drinks.

Ten Belles

Ten Belles

Canal Saint-Martin

This tiny shop right off the canal is a staple of the hipster coffee scene, serving up fresh brew from the now-famous Belleville BrĂ»lerie, a roaster located not far from the shop. One of the first real coffee hotspots in the area, this place has remained popular due to their great coffee, simple lunch, homemade cakes, scones and jam, and thick hot chocolate. Space is limited, so consider getting it to-go and sitting along the canal’s banks. 

Hardware Société

Montmartre

Hailing just this year from Melbourne, Hardware SociĂ©tĂ© brings the best of down under to the Parisian table. Located in touristy Montmartre, the shop is just far enough away from the bustle to feel hidden. French pastries round out a menu filled with fruit-topped French toast, eggs, bacon, salmon, and other brunch staples. The cold brew coffee and chai lattes are the best you’ll find in the area. 

Café Craft

Canal Saint Martin

Part coffee shop, part coworking space, Craft is a bit more grown-up feeling than the other neighborhood hangouts. This shop serves up excellent coffee drinks, both espresso and filter, from local roaster Lomi. You can grab a seat in the back and spend some time getting work done, but if you want that Wi-Fi password, you’ll be forced to buy coffee and a cake or cookie. Poor thing, you.

Fondation Cafe

Fondation Café

Upper Marais

Run by an Australian alumni of Ten Belles, Fondation is a tiny shop just a stone’s throw from the greenery of the Square du Temple. If one of the dozen or so seats isn’t available, take your cup to go and check out the scenery in the square. Fondation always has a solid filter coffee, including an iced version when it’s hot -- which is not a given in Paris. Their beans hail from Belleville Brûlerie, and their small selection of cakes is excellent. Go for the banana bread if you love yourself at all.

Coutume

Coutume Café

Sèvres-Babylone

Roasting since 2010, Coutume is for serious coffee lovers who care about things like Chemex, AeroPress, and cold brewing. For newcomers to coffee nerdery, it can all seem very scientific and overwhelming when you walk into their shop, which is just down the street from the Bon Marché department store. But fortunately, the baristas are ready to help you pick the drink that’s best for you, and you can feel like you learned a little something along the way. This crew also runs a second shop, Instituutti, which is located in the Latin Quarter.

Boot Café

Upper Marais

Seating is at a premium at this former cobbler’s shop where locals spill onto the street for their espresso kicks. The cookies and cakes often piled at the bar are tempting, but the draw here is the coffee. Like an Italian café, you probably won’t mingle too long in the shop with your drink -- mostly because you can’t. If you’re lucky enough to grab one of the few seats, know that everyone who arrives after you will hate you. But at least you’ll be comfortable.

CREAM

Cream

Belleville

Graduates of Ten Belles (it’s a rite of passage), the owners at Cream have conquered new coffee territory up in Belleville. The nearby Belleville Brûlerie supplies the beans, but the cakes and treats are all fresh from the oven. There’s even a little terrace just next door to take advantage of any good weather.

Bryan Pirolli/Thrillist

LA Caféothèque

Marais

One of the original roasters in Paris, La Caféothèque lacks some of the stylish appeal of the other shops around Paris, but it’s still a favorite for coffee connoisseurs, who have been drawn in by the smells of freshly roasted coffee in the storefront since 2005. The advantage here is plentiful seating, so you can enjoy your drink and one of their gluten-free pastries without feeling rushed. Bonus points for being able to buy from a large selection of roasted beans that they’ll grind for you.

Dose Dealer de Café

Latin Quarter (& 17th)

Few people expect to find exceptional coffee at any of the cafés along tourist-laden Rue Mouffetard. Dose, however, has changed all of that. With a tiny terrace located in a passage and a handful of seats inside, it’s an ideal hangout for students from the Sorbonne campuses located in the vicinity. The coffee is solid, and as these little shops are taking over Paris, they’ve opened a second location in the 17th district. Spread the love, right?

Blackburn

Strasbourg-Saint Denis

This little corner of town is slowly gentrifying, and though it’s not quite there yet, Blackburn is on the forefront. This little shop, with its rustic, wood-covered walls, high tables, and smooth angles is an oasis of good coffee and delicious fresh food. The freshly baked muffins and cookies are a good change of pace from buttery croissants -- although nobody’s exactly complaining about those -- but the major perk here is that you can usually find a free seat. That’s not a given at most of these places.

Courtesy of Loustic

Loustic

Marais

Just a few blocks north of the Centre Pompidou, Loustic is super-fashionable, with plush pillows and patterned floors, but the coffee here is also excellent. Go for a flat white, a filter, or anything in between -- these baristas are serious about their brews. Space is limited, but there’s usually room to find a couple of seats.

Café Kitsuné

Palais Royal

Under the arcades of the Palais-Royal, fashion brand Kitsuné opened a coffee shop with arguably the best location of any address on this list. Tables in the garden overlook the fountain and flowers in this seemingly secluded nook of Paris. However, this place is no secret, and neither is the fact that the coffee, hot chocolate, and chai lattes here are on-point.

Café Oberkampf

Oberkampf

Many Parisian coffee shops seemingly equate good coffee with scant seating, and the rule holds true at Café Oberkampf. The coffee and cold brew here are lovely, and the food doesn’t disappoint either. Peppery shakshuka and weekly toasties are on the menu alongside cakes, cookies, and muesli. Their Instagram account is drool-worthy, with captions in both English and French that are as confusing as they are delightful.

The Broken Arm

The Broken Arm

Upper Marais

Fashion labels and coffee shops go hand in hand, and at The Broken Arm you can follow up some shopping with a little shot of caffeine just next door. The café has seats overlooking the greenery of Square du Temple, which usually catches a few rays of sun. Breakfast and lunch here beat any regular café, with an ever-changing menu of tartines, soups, and other light fare. Don’t skip out on their desserts, either.

Institut suédois

Café Suédois

Marais

While this isn’t a big contender for anyone into serious coffee, it’s the only coffee shop in Paris housed in a 16th-century mansion. Yeah, good luck topping that one. The coffee and cakes here are all influenced by Swedish cuisine, since it’s all part of the Swedish institute. Grab a seat in the beautiful courtyard to sip a cup of rich filter coffee and be grateful you chose this place instead of one of the more fashionable spots next door. 

Lomi

Café Lomi

Marx Dormoy

Often forgotten in this northern corner of Paris, Lomi roasts beans and supplies many of the other shops on this list. The industrial chic décor and wooden furniture host serious, laptop-tapping creative types during the week, and brunch enthusiasts during the weekend. The joe is always good here, and the vibe is much more local than some of the other more central boutiques.

KBCafeshop -South Pigalle

KB CafeShop

Martyrs

At just five years old, this is one of the senior coffee shops in Paris, and still serves up the best coffee on bustling Rue des Martyrs. The street is full of some of the city’s most delicious pastries, but KB holds its own with homemade cakes and scones, as well as lunch and brunch offerings. There is plenty of terrace seating, which means sun and views of the Sacré-Cœur basilica, but the inside is seemingly reserved for anyone with a Mac. Be warned.

The Beans on Fire

Voltaire

Launched by the team behind KB, the location in the middle of the 11th arrondissement isn’t the most obvious. But coffee aficionados will want to head to this new kid on the block to get the good stuff. They have the requisite pasties and sandwiches, and the shop also has been known to prepare donuts from time to time. The café has a sizeable terrace next to leafy Square Maurice Gardette, if you need to do a few laps to work off the buzz afterwards.

Le Bal Café

Le Bal Café

Clichy

Located a few blocks west of Montmartre, Le Bal doesn’t usually attract too many tourists, and this art center and café is well-worth the trek. The coffee and pastries that made it a popular hangout a few years ago have given way to real lunch menus and a selection of wines. But fear not, both brunch and afternoon teatime are still very much alive at Le Bal. Come here especially for the fresh juices and ginger beer, in addition to the cappuccinos and espresso.

Terres de Café

Marais

With five shops in Paris, Terres de Café is one of the city’s more recognizable coffee shops, but it’s got less of the cool factor than many on this list -- which is precisely why it’s a local favorite. On top of that, their coffee is top notch. Their new boutique in the Marais has space for cupping classes, and a warm welcome always accompanies each drink ordered, even if you’re expecting the usual gruff Parisian service.

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Bryan Pirolli is a Paris-based writer, photographer, tour guide, and PhD candidate at the Sorbonne who is more than likely currently drinking wine. Follow him on Twitter right here.

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1. Ten Belles 10 rue de La Grange aux Belles, Paris, 75010

Ten Belles is a tiny shop right off the canal and a staple of the Paris hipster coffee scene, serving up fresh brew from the now-famous Belleville Brûlerie, a roaster located not far from the shop. One of the first real coffee hotspots in the area, this place has remained popular due to their great coffee, simple lunches, homemade cakes, scones and jam, and thick hot chocolate. Space is limited, so consider getting it to go and sitting along the canal’s banks.

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2. The Hardware Société 10 rue Lamarck, Paris, 75018

Hailing from Melbourne, The Hardware Société brings the best of down under to the Parisian table. The Montmartre restaurant is all about the all-day brunch -- fruit-topped French toast, eggs, bacon, salmon, and other staples make appearances on the menu, which is filled out by all the essential French pastries. The coffee has a definite Australian flare (think cold brew and chai lattes over espresso), but the Paris cafe vibe is alive and well with tiny bistro tables, shiny marble, and tiled floors.

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3. Café Craft 24 Rue des Vinaigriers, Paris, 75010

Part coffee shop, part coworking space, Cafe Craft is a bit more grown-up feeling than the other neighborhood hangouts. Filled with busy working adults rather than loitering university students, the vibe here is oriented more towards work than relaxation. The shop serves up excellent Australian-style coffee drinks (meaning bold espresso taste and sweet, frothy milk), both espresso and filter, from local roaster Lomi. There are seats out back on the patio ideal for getting work done, but if you want that wifi password you’ll be forced to buy coffee and a cake or cookie (brought in from local bakeries).

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4. Fondation Café 16 rue Dupetit-Thouars, Paris, 75003

Run by an Australian alumni of Ten Belles, Fondation is a tiny shop just a stone’s throw from the greenery of the Square du Temple. Fondation always has a solid filter coffee, including an iced version when it’s hot, which is not a given in Paris. Their beans hail from Belleville Brulerie, and their small selection of cakes come from a rotating selection of the best of local bakeries. There are only about a dozen seats in this tiny cafe, so either be prepared to wait or take your coffee to go.

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5. Coutume Café 47 rue de Babylone, Paris, 75007 (St Germain Des Pres)

In the heart of the 7th arrondissement, Coutume Café is far from the traditional Parisian cafe. For one, it sources its speciality coffee from all over the world. Its drip coffee, espresso, and cold brews are popular with the expat set, and it also serves sweet and savory breakfast and lunch dishes. It has a modern, industrial decor that looks more Portland than Paris.

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6. Boot Café 19 rue du Pont aux Choux, Paris, 75003

Called out by Vogue Magazine and all the fashion-minded bloggers, this charming blue-washed, antique-faced shop offers cookies, cakes, and above-average coffee for the generous taking. Like an Italian café, you probably won’t mingle too long in the shop with your drink -- mostly because you can’t. If you’re lucky enough to grab one of the few seats, know that everyone who arrives after you will hate you. But at least you’ll be comfortable.

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7. Cream 50 rue de Belleville, Paris, 75020

This Belleville spot attracts all the neighbor's coolest kids, with bike racks, sunnied and well-dressed patrons, and a graffitied facade paying accurate testament to that claim. The nearby Belleville Brûlerie supplies the beans, but the cakes and treats are all fresh from the oven. There’s even a little terrace just next door to take advantage of any good weather.

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8. La Caféothèque de Paris 52 rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, Paris, 75004 (Le Marais)

Guatemalan native Gloria Montenegro has been roasting a wide variety of beans at this cozy Paris cafe since 2005. What it lacks in style, it makes up for in seating, so no need to rush through that robust cup of coffee. You can nosh on gluten-free pastries here, too.

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9. Dose - Dealer de Café 73 rue Mouffetard, Paris, 75005

Laid with cool blue tiles and imbued with an even cooler urban vibe, this Sorbonne-centric spot offers a casual hangout for students from the schools located nearby. The tiny terrace makes for a popular meeting area, and the coffee is solid, as is the fresh ginger carrot juice and mint water.

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10. Blackburn Coffee 52 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, Paris, 75010

This freshly decorated, smart coffee shop waxes nostalgic with rustic, wood-covered walls, glassed cake cases, high tables, and freshly baked pastries that harken to your mother's kitchen. Best of all, you can actually find a free seat here, so you can sip on your fresh fruit juice or espresso in slow peace.

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11. Loustic 40 rue Chapon, Paris, 75003

This trendy Centre Pompidou hangout attracts the fashion elite. The space is brilliant decorated with patterned floors and fancy pillows, but the coffee is the real draw. Go for a flat white, a filter, or anything in between -- these baristas are serious about their brews. Space is limited, but there’s usually room to find a couple of seats.

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12. Café Kitsuné 51 galerie de Montpensier, Paris, 75001

This hidden cafe -- an offshoot of fashion brand Kitsuné -- facing la jardin de Palais-Royal imbues an already internationally renown spot with even more trendy capital. The espresso-based menu offers coffee, hot chocolate, and chai lattes, while the garden includes tables that overlook fountain and a flower garden that bodes well with the shop's charming atmosphere.

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13. Holybelly 19 rue Lucien Sampaix, Paris, 75010

Located in the 10th, this innovative eatery by the Canal is perfect for a classic breakfast. Dive into their pancakes and eggs, or stop in when it's less busy and slowly sip some of the finest coffee drinks in the city.

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14. Café Oberkampf 3 rue Neuve Popincourt, Paris, 75011

This tiny coffee shop, just off rue Oberkampf, offers up chai tea and cold brew coffee. It’s Aussie-run, so you can be sure the coffee is as good as it’ll get in Paris. If you can get a seat during lunch, try one of their weekly sandwiches followed by something from their Instagrammable pastry case.

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15. The Broken Arm 12 rue Perée, Paris, 75003

The Broken Arm is a trendy cafe that pairs high quality coffee with cutting edge fashion. Fancy Parisian labels sell clothes in this stark white industrial space, which also serves espresso and snacks. The café has seats overlooking the greenery of Square du Temple, which usually catches a few rays of sun. Breakfast and lunch here beats any regular café, with an ever-changing menu of tartines, soups, and other light fare. Desserts, brought in from local bakeries, are not to be missed (but that's true of all of Paris, so.)

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17. Café Lomi 3 ter rue Marcadet, Paris, 75018

You'll find creatives on laptops at Café Lomi, lured in by its artisanal roasts, free Wi-Fi, and assortment of pastries and other baked goods. A hidden gem of sorts, it's tucked in a northern corner of the city, but the trek is always worth the quality joe and the local vibe.

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18. KB CaféShop 53 avenue Trudaine, Paris, 75009

Located on a busy strip of Rue des Martyrs, KB differentiates itself from the neighboring cafes with its own with homemade cakes and scones, as well as lunch and brunch offerings. There is plenty of terrace seating, which means sun and views of the Sacré-Cœur basilica, but the inside is seemingly reserved for anyone with a Mac.

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19. The Beans on Fire 7 rue du Général Blaise, Paris, 75011

The team behind KB launched this spot in the middle of the 11th, which coffee aficionados will not want to miss. Pastries and sandwiches are regulars on its menus, and if you're lucky, you'll catch them on a day when they offer donuts, too. Situated next to Square Maurice Gardette, the café has a sizable terrace for you to soak in all its beauty.

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20. Le Bal 6 impasse de la DĂ©fense, Paris, 75018

A neighbor to Montmartre, you won't find many tourists in this art center and cafe -- only delectable pastries, a full lunch menu, ginger beer, and a selection of wines. It's a popular brunch hangout, too, which you should be sure to wash down with their fresh juices, a cappuccino, or both.

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21. Terres de Café 40 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, Paris 04 Hôtel-de-Ville, 75004

A small chain in Paris (five shops in total), Terres de Café is a go-to for a solid cup of coffee. "Chain" doesn't exactly scream "chic," but the quality of their beans, roasted in-house, and the atypically warm service are what have patrons flocking to this local favorite.

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