As a coffee connoisseur, I appreciate a good coffee and I know what bad coffee tastes like. The iconic café atmosphere in Paris is just that: an iconic atmosphere. However, the coffee is actually horrible at the cute little patio cafés on the streets of Paris.
Along with the adorable atmosphere and traditional Parisian aesthetics, you basically have three options for coffee:
So, if you go to Paris, for sure go to a classic Parisian café like in the movies, and get the Café for the Instagram, but be warned. Once you do that, be sure to check out one of the newer trends in Paris: the specialty coffee shop. There are so many great, delicious coffee shops that use coffee beans that have been properly roasted at Parisian Roasteries. You can enjoy coffee in Paris that isn’t burnt and watery! I went to so many cute hipster coffee shops and I loved every single one. I even interned for one of my favorites!
Most of the specialty coffee shops in Paris are not owned or run by French, but rather expats (“An expatriate, often shortened to expat, is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country.” –Wikipedia). So, within the community of specialty coffee shops in Paris, there is so much friendliness and of course some healthy competition. But everyone within this coffee community knows each other and it’s such a cool thing to see, especially in such a big city.
My two favorite specialty coffee drinks in Paris were:
Here are a few coffee shops located in beautiful Paris that I loved and frequented:
Le Peloton Café
4th arrondissement / 17 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe
This is my favorite coffee shop in Paris. I absolutely adore this charming little place that always has such a sense of community and is very welcoming. The name “Le Peloton” translates to the word for a group of bicyclists at the front of a race. So, the décor inside the café is complete with a bicycle hanging on the wall and many Tour de France posters. The tables and chairs are a bright yellow, and every day, fresh yellow roses are placed in purple accented wine bottles on each table. And the coffee is absolutely delicious. I went so much, that when I would walk in, they would automatically start making me a latte because I always ordered the same thing! Oh and their waffles?! They are to die for. Order them with Nutella or go with a salty version, complete with cheese, egg and ham. The last day I was in Paris, I stopped by to say goodbye to this lovely little café in Le Marais, and oh how I miss those lattes.
3rd arrondissement / 106 Rue de Turenne
This coffee shop is the definition of minimalistic. The simplistic black and white color scheme and basic decor is extremely aesthetically pleasing. Even the sign’s font, which is all lowercase letters, screams minimalist. Café fringe is a dream. When you walk in, the cloud like lamps make the atmosphere peaceful and calming. The catch-phrase “coffee food photography” perfectly sums up this lovely café. The hipster food, from bouddha bowls to fancy open sandwiches, are delicious and the coffee and tea is delightful! They have a number of vegan and gluten-free options, but they are still very tasty. And to top it all off, they serve refreshing sparkling water on the house! While in Paris, I would spend hours here, editing photos among the many photographers and others who stopped by for meetings and coffee breaks. The atmosphere was perfect for a young photographer living in Paris and the walls were always filled with different photographers’ works. Café fringe is a cozy place that I will be revisiting as soon as I get back to Paris.
3rd arrondissement / 40 Rue Chapon
I found this cozy place during the last month of my stay in Paris. I wish I had found it sooner especially since it is near my favorite contemporary art museum in Paris, Centre Pompidou, and the little tattoo shop where I got my second tattoo. The warm décor and cozy benches lined with pillows invite you into the coffee shop. If you walk further, there is a little room with comfy chairs and mirror walls where I would sit and read. Even further, there are big tables and couches in a room of beautifully patterned walls. The room is perfect for the hours of studying and writing papers that I had during that last month in Paris. Their café crème is to die for and their customer service is excellent. They also have different sandwiches every week and they are always so unique and delicious. If you’re looking for a great, cozy study spot, this is the place for you.
Matamata Coffee Bar
2nd arrondissement / 58 Rue d'Argout
This adorable shop was one I just happened to stumble upon. I immediately loved the bright red cups and the floral décor on the logo and the wallpaper in part of the shop. It was such an inviting little place, with cute tables out front and friendly people inside. I sat and studied that first day for a while, and enjoyed a delicious café crème, my typical order. I went back a few weeks later and it was just as lovely as the first time, all decorated with live plants on all the tables. I met quite a few travelers and people just passing through Paris from all over the world- it definitely had that kind of atmosphere. Matamata is just a great place to sit and read a book or catch up with a friend.
10th arrondissement / 27 Rue du Chateau d'Eau
First off, the name of this café took me a while to catch onto. I think the idea is that it’s a play on the word “hope” and is also an acronym for “Objets / Homemade / Pâtisserie / Épicerie”. That translates roughly to “Objects / Homemade / Pastry / Grocery”. Basically, it is a café, pastry shop, and gift shop. You can sit and have coffee and pastries with friends and then wander around the little shop before you leave. The first time I went was with one of my good friends, Alexa. The pastries are created to perfection and the coffee (and tea) is wonderful. In the gift shop portion, there are handmade plates, cups and other trinkets as well as little food gifts. It is all so aesthetically beautiful and such a lovely atmosphere.
Each afternoon that I spent in a different coffee shop, made me want to start my own. Having my own café in Paris and meeting new people from all over the world sounds amazing to me. It may not happen, but for now, I will be dreaming of all the wonderful coffee that awaits me back in Paris.