The Best Parisian Cafes

Thanks to a brigade of artisanal coffee hounds and supremely talented baristas, delicious coffee of all sorts—filtered, iced, with milk or with a bit of mocha—can be found. Be sure to caffeinate at one of these top coffee shops during your next trip.

47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
The Paris café scene has always been compelling, but the actual café (coffee) is often forgettable. That’s all changing, thanks to places like Coutume, Kookaboora and Telescope, where obsessive (and often mustachioed) baristas are redefining the French coffee tradition. Using freshly roasted beans and frothy Normandy milk, they’re producing delicious fuel for the real raison d'être for any Parisian café—the people watching. Coutume, 47 Rue de Babylone, 33/(0) 1-4551-5047. Kookaboora, 53 Avenue Trudaine, 33/(0) 1-5692-1241. Telescope, 5 rue Villedo.
5 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
Frenchie (the restaurant) is nearly impossible to get into, but the wine bar across the street provides a taste of chef Gregory Marchand’s housemade charcuterie and pasta, as well as small plates such as homemade smoked trout and burrata cheese with pickled pear. And the prices are wallet-friendly too.
12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France
The limited-edition Nikes and kiosk of independent magazines (Corpus, Out of Order, System) at this brilliantly edited multibrand boutique in the upper Marais recall the city’s renowned concept shop Colette. But its abundant natural light, and market-fresh, Scandinavian-influenced café make it a place of its own. Minimalist, rustic decor and sparsely furnished racks reinforce a feeling of calm. An in-house florist is in the works. 12 Rue Perrée, 33/(0) 1-44-61- 53-60. This appeared in the October 2013 issue.
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris, France
If the coffee scene in Paris is as robust as it is today, it’s thanks in large part to Thomas Lehoux, one of the city’s star baristas and co-owner of Ten Belles, just off Canal St-Martin. He collaborated with two Englishwomen, Anna Trattles and Alice Quillet from Le Bal Café, to open this intimate espresso bar in the fall of 2012, and success was immediate. Lehoux and his team turn out some of the finest, if time-consuming, drip coffees in the city, while Trattles and Quillet serve up a small menu of comforting fare—soups, sandwiches, and salads—that rotates daily. The Anglo-inspired desserts—cakes, scones, peanut-butter brownies, and raspberry crumb bars—go down beautifully with a host of coffee drinks. Escape the crowds by heading to the mezzanine, where there are usually seats available, along with a view of the bar from above. But if the weather permits, grab one of the stools and take your coffee outside, or opt for a takeout cup and enjoy it alongside the canal.
14 Rue Lally-Tollendal, 75019 Paris, France
The specialty coffee scene was slow to sprout in Paris but thanks to a brigade of entrepreneurial career baristas, the march toward change in consumption and taste is putting the city on the global bean map. At the vanguard of the movement are David Flynn and Thomas Lehoux, both veritable stars in the milieu. David, formerly of Télescope, and Thomas, currently the co-owner of the Canal St. Martin coffee shop Ten Belles, pooled their talents and brought in Anselme Blayney, owner of Le Bal café, to open a roaster in the 19th arrondissement. In a quick few months, the trio’s top-brass beans are popping up all over town in shops like Fondation and Holybelly. The space is reserved for roasting during the week but opens for public cuppings on Saturdays from 11:30am-6:30pm - a prime opportunity to chat with and learn from the city’s best.
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