Sitting in a Parisian Cafe is truly a magical experience. Book in hand, you read a few pages while occasionally glancing up to watch the people go by. Your drink of choice, whether a café creme or a vin blanc sits on the round bistro table in front of you. You take an occasional sip, no rush in the world or pressure to move from your seat. In the summer you grab a seat on the terrace, letting the sun warm your face. In the winter, you cozy up in an inside corner. In a Parisian cafe you’ll see every type of person: the girl sitting on her own, two mothers talking away, or a couple holding hands, barely saying a word but taking it all in together.
Yes, the Parisian cafe is truly a wonderful place, and today I am happy to follow up on my first Paris guide by sharing with you all the absolute best cafes in Paris to experience what I described above.
Télescope (5 Rue Villedo, 75001 Paris, France)
A little hole in the wall, located right in the heart of Paris, Télescope is what I would call a cafe for a cold day. With no outdoor seating, it has a cozy inside, filled with pillow covered benches and tables right by the window. I recommend the cafe creme & the hot chocolate.
Royal Turenne (24 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France)
When my father and brother visited me in Paris, this was a place where we stopped for a mid-morning pick-me-up. What I did not expect was for this cafe to become one of my favorites in the city. Located right around the corner from Place des Vosges, the terrace of the Royal Turenne allows for excellent people watching as Parisians stroll through the Marais. What also won my heart are the bright blue table tops and kind waiters. I recommend the cafe creme and the hot chocolate.
Boot Cafe (19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris, France)
This tiny cafe is located in a former shoe store, explaining its somewhat silly name. Run by a group of Australians, it is rumored to serve the best coffee in Paris, and I must say it didn’t disappoint. I really enjoyed my flat white, and extra points for the art in the foam. One that can’t be missed by coffee connoisseurs. I recommend the flat white.
Fondation Cafe (16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, France)
What originally drew me here were rumors of a delicious and affordable avocado toast. The toast was parfait (served with a side of chili powder and sea salt) and cost a mere 4 Euros. A simple espresso is be a must as well. Artfully prepared with the cafe’s own blend, it’s not your typical cup of coffee. Bring a book and enjoy your drink/meal at a street side table with the other Paris hipsters. I recommend the avocado toast and an espresso.
Cafe St. Regis (6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris, France)
A Parisian cult classic with one of the best locations in the city (think back to this post), the St. Regis Cafe is a place you can’t miss. While you can also sit inside and enjoy a very delicious meal, for those of you on a budget, take a seat outside facing the Seine, order your 2 Euro espresso, and take it all in. The river, the people, and the always-present street musicians. Just take it in. I recommend the incredible outside view accompanied by an espresso.
Grand Mosque of Paris (Place du Puits 2a of the Hermit, 75005 Paris, France)
A little bit of an unexpected one, but Paris’ beautiful and colorful mosque is on my list for the delicious 2 Euro sweet tea and pastries served inside. Order your tea up front and take a seat inside. Don’t forget to look up and admire those beautiful ceilings. Every piece of tile in there is a work of art, only made more wonderful by the hot tea in your hands. I recommend the sweet tea.
Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France) A favorite of writers such as Albert Camus to my father when he was in his early 20s, Cafe de Flore was one of my spots during the year. I came here with out of town guests, on my own, with friends, you name it. Each time we took in the history, chatted hours away over our steaming cups of hot chocolate, and watched as cars and pedestrians raced by on the busy boulevards right beside us. It’s a little slice of old Paris, and I love every piece of it. And that hot chocolate…let me tell you nothing else will ever compare. Served in its own pitcher, it’s so rich that it’s nearly a meal in itself. I recommend the hot chocolate and the coffee creme (if chocolate isn’t your thing).
Coutume Cafe (47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France)
One of the best pieces of cake I had during my entire year in Paris was inside the walls of this cozy yet roomy (by Paris standards) cafe. Located right down the street from the Bon Marché, Coutume not only served me a wicked good cup of coffee, but also the second best (Winkel in Amsterdam wins) piece of apple pie I have ever had. More of a tarte, this apple pie was crunchy yet soft, cooked with love using tons of powdered sugar. I devoured it, as you will too. I recommend the apple pie (tarte) with an espresso.
Anti Cafe (79 Rue Quincampoix, 75003 Paris [my preferred], France & 10 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, France)
The Anti-Cafe is a revolutionary concept, one that was built for students and creatives. Instead of paying for the amount of food and beverage consumed during your stay, you pay for the amount of time you rest there (about 4 Euros an hour, less with a student card). In this time you get free wifi, can serve yourself food (everything from avocado toast to baked goods to veggies with hummus is available), pour yourself a drink (or ask the barista to whip you something up), and settle into one of their comfortable couches. You can even bring in your own food. Seriously a saving grace for anybody traveling on a budget, or who needs some time to relax and refresh. I recommend the mint lemonade, baguette with butter and jam, and the latte.
I hope you all have enjoyed this post! These cafes where the ones I came to frequent and love over the year, and I hope you will enjoy them exactly as much as I did.