In Paris, cafe culture runs deep.
Coffee culture, well—as others have reported, it’s still developing.
For many years, the only available coffee options in Paris were very average, at best. This is for a number of reasons, among them strict regulations for opening new cafes, France’s history of colonialism, and general lack of innovation in the field.
But as Paris begins to cater to a new generation of young working professionals, travelers and students, the coffee options have improved significantly.
There’s still the standard fare. Pop into any Parisian bistrot and you’re sure to find the classics: café (espresso), allongé (americano), noisette (ristretto), crème (latte), and so on. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more je ne sais quoi, these seven cafes are brewing up some of the best coffee in Paris.
A bustling shop right along the Seine River in the city center, Caféothèque serves up strong farm-to-table coffee drinks in a light-filled, rustic setting.
The wood-floored space has several different rooms for sitting and relaxing with a drink, as well as a counter for buying coffee beans. It also hosts cultural events and runs a barista school, so visitors are sure to encounter something interesting going on here.
With two locations—one on each bank—Dose is a great spot to grab a coffee to go without having to sacrifice one’s reputation by walking around with a Starbucks cup.
The Mouffetard location is little more than a hole in the wall, squeezed into a passageway between the streets of Mouffetard and Gracieuse. The other location, in Batignolles, caters to a different, trendier demographic, and sells itself as more of a hangout spot than strictly a coffee shop. If you’re not in the mood for coffee, Dose also sells fresh-squeezed juices to boot.
For an ethically produced coffee, head over to Malongo, located on a side street near Place Saint-Michel.
Malongo sources its more than 80 different types of coffee beans from “human and ecologically responsible” producers around the world. The interior of the shop always smells of roasting beans and the baristas are particularly passionate and knowledgeable about the craft of coffeemaking.
Holybelly was founded in 2013 in response to what its owners saw as a major shortcoming in the French coffee and food scene: an artisanal touch.
Now, with two locations, it serves more than just coffee—although it does plenty of this, too. Holybelly 19, the original location, is open for breakfast and lunch, while Holybelly 5 is known for its all-day breakfast menu.
5. Café Lomi
If you’re looking for a place to sit down with a strong filter coffee to do some work without feeling pressured to give up your spot (a common occurrence in more traditional Paris cafes), Café Lomi is the place for you.
Located in the north of Paris, it can be a bit of a trek for some, but the coffee and relaxed, professional vibe are worth it. Café Lomi has been leading the way in specialty brews since 2011, when it was named the best roaster in France.
6. Coeur de Baker
Come for the coffee, stay for the pastries.
Just blocks from the Luxembourg Gardens, Coeur de Baker is a little-known gem in the Paris cafe world. Its breakfast menu is hard to beat: a coffee drink, a freshly-baked pastry and a fresh-squeezed juice for just €6. With a long table in the back, it’s another great spot to get some work done.
Located right along the Canal Saint-Martin, this cute coffee shop also has a small kitchen where they whip up creative, healthy and well-priced meals. The coffee itself is excellent, and can be ordered to go if you’d prefer to sit along the canal.