Nothing beats a Juan Valdez. Fresh brewed coffee of course is important, but with it, the charismatic ambience, the theme featured, and the underlying tones of a relaxed and rustic atmosphere of a cafe matters more for me. Parisian cafes have so far stood out for me in terms of the environment and decor they offer. The thing I miss out the most about Paris is exploring new cafes in unfamiliar streets.
I have compiled a list of my 10 favorite cafes in Paris (in no particular order) with highlights of each. If you like coffee, relaxed brunch places, or even a cool place to hangout, read a book, surf the net or catch up with a friend, you will find something in the list below to check out on your next trip to Paris.
13-a baker’s dozen
This cafe is a hidden gem. It is a bit difficult to find, as it is away from the main streets in a small alley in the 7th arrondissement. It is cozy little cafe, with beautiful interiors and bar-like seating. The staff is English-speaking and super friendly.
The cafe is good for breakfasts/brunches, and have a decent menu for food. I tried the café latte and a strawberry shortcake here, both were very good. I highly recommend to check this place out when you are in Paris.
Popular mostly for brunch, I finally had the opportunity to check out this cafe on my last trip to Paris. It is usually quite crowded, so make a reservation in advance if possible. The food is not from one particular place, and their coffee is also sourced from different parts of Europe. The ambience is relaxed, the staff speaks English, and the location is convenient. Definitely makes it a good choice for a weekend brunch.
A super artsy cafe located by the Seine. This cafe gives a homely feeling in case you want to spend an afternoon slouched on a chair with a good book. I tried a Cappuccino here, and it was really good. They also have a shop to buy locally roasted beans in the cafe. If you are into art, coffee, or cozy places, this cafe is recommended.
This cafe offers a variety of coffees, teas, cakes, and also breakfast and lunch items. The cafe is big enough on two levels to host meetings, or catch up with a couple of friends. Named after a small town in New Zealand, this cafe is conveniently located in the 2nd Arrondissement. They serve specialty coffee, and also have a small shop to buy souvenirs. Overall a nice coffee experience.
Le Pure Café
I first visited this cafe because of its movie location. This Parisian cafe was featured in “Before Sunset” with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reconnecting in Paris at this cafe. It is an old fashioned cafe with tiled floors and mirrors. It also represents a typical Parisan cafe with its corner location and vintage feel. The interior has a bistro setting with a bar in the centre and tables around it. They have an extensive menu with several items, good for brunch/lunch. This is a charming cafe to drop by when you get a chance, especially for its vintage Parisian feel.
Le Café des Chats
My favorite cat café. I am not a cat lover, but this cafe is a super cozy one especially on a rainy day in Paris. The interior is quite big, with lots of space. You will see a variety of cats strolling around, sleeping, and observing. It is also a nice family place, to enjoy a relaxing evening amidst cats. The staff is friendly. It is not allowed to touch or feed the cats. I had the hot chocolate here on a rainy evening, and it was delicious. Recommended for the cozy ambience.
This cafe was a fabulous find in Le Marais. The cafe itself is very small, but quite popular for French breakfasts. It has a refreshing atmosphere, a small menu and perfect if you are looking for a nice coffee and a quick bite.
Terre de Cafes
A modest cafe and a good brunch place. The cafe has nice coffee and friendly baristas. They have coffees from different countries to pick from. I had an ‘espresso du jour’ here. Recommended for wide choice of coffees.
The best place for hot chocolate in Paris. This cafe is situated in the touristy Rue de Rivoli, and is a bit pricey, but definitely worth checking out for its rich, creamy and delicious hot chocolate. The cafe is quite crowded, you have to queue up if you don’t have a reservation, but it is worth the wait. This cafe has a beautiful and traditional decor on the inside, and a small selection of pastries. Their classic pastry is the Montblanc, a dessert made of sweetened chestnuts and whipped cream.
A chain popular for Italian gelatos, there are several Amorinos spread all over Paris. They have decent coffee for the price, and are a good choice for a Coffee-To-Go, or even better a Coffee with Ice-Cream.
These are my top 10 cafes in Paris for now. Each visit brings with it a discovery of a new cafe amidst some 7000 cafes that exist in the Parisian area.
Coffee is always a good idea !!