Our top 10: the best coffee in Paris
While café culture is famously French, the coffee in Paris itself has always been regarded as infamously bad.
In his influential coffee column Ristoretto, NY Times writer Oliver Strand attributed the meagre standard of coffee to anything and everything: from the poor quality of the beans, to the use of UHT milk, to the fact that Parisians just don’t care.
With the French sticking to a sip of espresso and tourists flocking to Starbucks, the coffee scene was far behind that of Melbourne, San Francisco or even London. And the scene was set for a revolution.
With young caffeine-aficionados realising that there was more to coffee than a swallow at the end of each meal, an influx of new cafés exploded onto the Parisian scene. Filled with adventurous baristas and the very best coffee beans – often ground on site – these new cafés offer coffee to rival any cup you might find in the coffee capitals of the world. We’ve collated a list of the best ten, so the next time you fancy indulging yourself, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Brewing some of the best coffee in Paris is Café Coutume, located in the heart of Paris’ trendy left bank. Owned by two of the coffee revolution’s father figures – the café has been praised by the Vogue Living Blog as “leading the change” – just a quick look down the café’s Trip Advisor page will more than confirm that the coffee here is outstanding.
Named by The Hip Paris Blog as one of their favourite spots in the city for a delicious cup of coffee, this should be at the top of your list.Coutume Café
47, rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
Tel: 01 45 51 50 47
The Broken Arm
Located in the heart of the Marais, the Broken Arm is a concept store as much as a café, offering a unique atmosphere and excellent coffee.
Stocking well-chosen French fashion as well as upmarket coffee, while this café might not be the cheapest on the list, it’s one of the most interesting and quirky. And, without a doubt offers some of the best coffee in Paris.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying nearby, you’ll no doubt find yourself turning into a regular…The Broken Arm
12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris
Tel: 01 44 61 53 60
Not so much part of the Parisian coffee revolution, La Caféothèque has long been regarded as the only place to get a delicious coffee in Paris. And although it now has some fierce competition, this friendly café remains one of the very best.
Serving coffee mainly from South America, you can also purchase from a wide selection of beans. After sampling what they have on offer, you’ll want to stock up!La Caféothèque
52, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 75000
Metro : Pont Marie or Hotel de Ville
Tel : 01 53 01 83 84
Sugarplum Cake Shop
Famous for its elaborate cakes, the Sugarplum Cake Shop also serves up an excellent coffee. And there’s no lack of things to look at while you kick back and relax – the café is happy to show-off it’s speciality: custom-made cakes for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.
Even though its focus isn’t on coffee, it serves up one of the best café crèmes in the fifth arrondissement!Sugarplum Cake Shop
68 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris
Metro : Cardinal Lemoine
Tel : 01 46 34 07 43
Located in the 10th arrondissement, not too far from Gare de L’Est, Ten Belles is a quaint, typically Parisian café, popular among the French and expats alike.
Serving some high-quality, strong coffee alongside homemade cakes, muffins and scones that the British will surely appreciate, this is trendy, but typically French.Ten Belles
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris
Metro : République
Tel : 01 42 40 90 78
The baristas are happy to cater to any taste, need or preference and come highly recommended by Lost in Cheeseland’s Lindsey Tramuta.
“I was so impressed by the machinery and their poised expertise that I immediately felt compelled to imbibe myself with what would turn out to be an inordinate amount of coffee,” she says.Télescope Café
5 Rue Villedo, 75001 Paris
Tel: 01 42 61 33 14
Café culture feels most prevalent in the artists’ quarter of Montmartre. Blending their own coffee, Café Lomi is a wholesale supplier to many other coffee shops in Paris, but their delicious home roasted blend should be enjoyed in their own peaceful café.
Café Lomi also houses a roastery, and offers regular tasting sessions.Café Lomi
3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris
Tel: 09 80 39 56 24
Free wifi, English-speaking staff and a terrace to die for (in summer at least) this charming little café is the perfect place for expats to enjoy a cappuccino.
With free magazines to read, wooden chairs and tables and frothy coffee on demand, this café – deemed “uber trendy” by The Hip Paris Blog – is an ideal location for a delicious coffee (and we’ve heard the Chai Tea isn’t half bad either!)KB Cafeshop (Facebook) (formerly Kooka Boora)
62 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris
Tel: 01 56 92 12 41
With a glowing report on French yelp, Café Craft not only offers one of the best flat whites in Paris, it’s also an excellent place to spend a few quiet hours.
With a studious, yet relaxed atmosphere, this café is popular among freelancers and even retraités looking to escape the four walls of their apartment. And with a top-of-the-range Italian coffee machine – La Marzocco – supplying the drinks, you really can’t go wrong here.Craft Café
24 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris
Metro : Jacques Bonsergent
Tel : 01 40 35 90 77
Relatively new to Paris’ coffee revolution, this small café located in the Marais is serious about quality. Importing its blends from everywhere from Café Coutume to the Coffee Collective in Denmark, Fragments Café is picky, and so can be relied on for a delicious hot drink.
Comfortable, reasonably priced and with some irresistible decor – we guarantee you won’t want to leave.Fragments Café (Facebook)
76 rue de Tournelles, 75003 Paris
Metro: Chemin Vert
Enjoy great coffee in Paris wherever you are – we’ve mapped our favourites for you on Foursquare!
Who do you think makes the best coffee in Paris? Share your recommendations in the comments below, or on Twitter – @maviefrancaise #pariscoffee.Image credits:
1. Coffee, by Jot Peh, via Flickr.
2. Coutume Café, by Premshree Pillai, via Flickr.
3. The Broken Arm, by Lalaina R. on Yelp.
4. Cappuccino + croissant, by Fabian W. via Yelp.
5. P1020700, by PreteMoiParis, via Flickr.
6. Ten Belles tiny loft, by Emilio + Emily, via Flickr.
7. Cappuccino @ Télescope Cafe, by Premshree Pillai, via Flickr.
8. Café Lomi, by Yelp Inc. via Flickr.
9. Kooka Boora Café, by Premshree Pillai, via Flickr.
10. La Marzocco Strada EP, by counterculturecoffee, via Flickr.
11. Fragments, by Yanique F., via Flickr.