Thinking of heading to Paris? Paris has a top-notch cafe scene. You can pretty much dedicate an entire day to hopping cafes (which I did)! Here’s an ultimate guide to exploring the quirkiest and most eclectic cafes in the city, and discovering the best coffee. You can combine some of the ones in the same neighborhood and make an afternoon/evening/day out of it!
Merci Used Book Cafe
A used book café with walls filled with books (mostly French, but some English too). Pricey coffee, but very cute ambiance – they also serve salads and smoothies. They also have a funky concept store attached to the back of the coffee shop with cool stationery, clothes and random knick-knacks – very much like Urban Outfitters.
An old shoe repair store converted to a cafe – it just has two tables indoors and a couple of stools outside, but makes delicious café crème and scones! They still have the old sign outside so you’ll spot it easily (cordonnerie = shoe repair store in French). Don’t miss this place – some of the best coffee I’ve ever had!
THIS is hands-down the best café I’ve visited in my life. I’ll let the photos explain – I’m a sucker for cafes with a unique décor, and this one definitely fits the bill!
They also serve rum and vodka-based cocktails so it’s a good spot to get to in the evening before dinner (they shut at 9pm in the summers). There’s also sandwiches and wraps.
A small café with only outdoor seating in the Jardin du Palais Royale. Come here for the outdoor ambiance – it’s quiet and beautiful! I spent a couple of hours with some gelato and tea (weird combination I know), writing out postcards 🙂 that’s my new favorite thing to do on my travels! Your friends and family will really appreciate it if you pick up this hobby <3 I can’t comment on how great the coffee was, but the gelato was pretty darn delicious!
Salon de Thé at the Grand Mosquée de Paris
Okay, this doesn’t exactly count as a “cafe” but I figured coffee shops and tea rooms fall in the same broad category of caffeinated drinks, right?
Not too many people have the Grand Mosquée de Paris on their sightseeing list. The mosque itself is skippable (it’s a 3 euro entry but worth a stroll through if you enjoy tile architecture). What is worth spending time at, though, is the mosque’s tea room, right around the corner from the mosque. What a gem hidden in the bylanes of Paris – you might forget you’re in the City of Lights for a few hours. Several dining and tea rooms open to sky, with trees and Mediterranean architecture. The waiter walks around with trays of sweet mint tea, and you can pick up glasses as you please (for 2 euros each). They also have great Middle Eastern desserts like baklava! The ambiance alone is worth it, and grabbing a table can be quite a task. You’ll wonder how you went from such a quiet street to such a populated tea room. Definitely not the spot if you want some peace and quiet, but it’s teeming with energy and charm – reasons enough to spend an hour or two here! This was definitely one of my favorite “cafes” in Paris – I like discovering spots with culture and character.
Here’s a list of a few more cafes that were high up on my list, and had come from personal recommendations or blogs I love reading. Unfortunately 6 days was not enough for all this caffeine!
Great for brunch, but often has long wait so make sure to get there early!
Arrondissement: 18th (Montmartre)
Some of the best coffee you’ll find in Paris!
Folks and Sparrows
An amazing café with a collection of old issues of the New Yorker
What are you waiting for? Book your flights to Paris now!