This new generation of artisanal cafés are serving more than just the bitter beans of French coffee’s past.
While cafés are a fundamental facet of Parisian life, the coffee itself has not always been the main event. Bitter coffee is the general preference in France, and the beverage is often regarded as a necessary part of the day rather than a pleasurable experience to be savored. The last ten years have brought about a rise of specialty coffeeshops in an effort to transform the city’s lackluster coffee culture. Check out these 16 artisanal cafés for a new and improved take on the French caffeine fix.
5 Rue Villédo, 75001 Paris, France
Minimalistic in décor yet cozy in atmosphere, Télescope Café was opened in 2012 by former fashion photographer Nicolas Clerc. Télescope is at the forefront of Paris’ new wave coffee culture, bringing awareness to the intricacies of coffee brewing methods and internationally sourced beans. Here, you’ll find pastries from a nearby bakery and beans from Scandinavian roasters. If you elect to sit in the café, expect to hear a wide-ranging variety of music from jazz to tango while you sip. Tastings are held in the shop’s vaulted cellar downstairs if you’re looking to learn more about the art of coffee crafting.
30 Rue Dussoubs, 75002 Paris, France
At Substance Café, the focus is entirely on high quality coffee, and the sparse menu is a reflection of the time and effort that goes into each drink. You can choose which coffee beans you want, all in which are roasted on the premises in small batches to ensure freshness with each cup. There are no pastries, no sugar, and no individual tables; Substance Café has 15 seats around a horseshoe-shaped counter where guests can sit and watch the brewing process. The café specializes in the Omakase tradition, which entails a 2-hour immersive experience tailored to your own coffee preferences. Note that there are no to go cups here; Substance is where you go for the full coffee enjoyment experience, not just a quick cup.
106 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France
Doubling as an espresso bar and photography space, Scandinavian-inspired fringe is the perfect spot for artistic coffee connoisseurs. The café often invites artists to exhibit their work here, so expect different art on the walls every visit. The available roasts are changing all the time too, so there’s always something new to try, and alternative milks are available for the dairy averse. Coffee is the main event here, but the teas and hot chocolates won’t disappoint. Check out the seasonal food menu featuring local organic ingredients and beloved specialties such as open-faced sandwiches served on freshly baked bread.
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris, France
Housed inside of a former cobbler shop with the cordonnerie sign still painted atop, Boot Café is an understatedly cool specialty coffeeshop with Insta-worthy décor reminiscent of something you might find in Southern California. The space itself is quite small, with only 3 tables along white tiled walls full of postcards and vintage surfer photos. Its blue exterior certainly makes it stand out from other establishments on the street – yet it’s deceptively easy to pass by without even realizing it’s a coffeeshop. Boot Café uses locally roasted beans, with the Chemex pour-over coming highly recommended, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
40 Rue Chapon, 75003 Paris, France
They take coffee seriously here at Café Loustic, a chic spot serving single origin espresso in brightly colored cups and saucers. The menu boasts seasonal blends specifically roasted for milk-based drinks, but Loustic doesn’t stop at coffee; they also serve pastries and local favorite lunch items such as soups and sandwiches. The café is partnered with Roasters Caffènation, largely regarded as one of the best independent specialty roasters in Europe, a testament to the quality of the drinks served here.
16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, France
Name inspired by the on and off button found on coffee grinders, i/o Café is a certified hidden gem of the Paris specialty coffee scene. Here, they offer the highest quality coffee, grown in Colombia and roasted in Denmark. The shop is quite small, but there’s a seating area outside on the sunny terrace, perfect for enjoying a drink and pastry.
54 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France
Named after the Beatles song of the same name, Ob-La-Di is a bright, warmly lit coffeeshop best known for its Insta-famous blue and white tiled floor and on point playlists. The pastries sold here are made on site, with plenty of vegan and gluten free options available. The affogato with cookie dough ice cream, however, is the star of the show.
The Caféothèque of Paris (La Caféothèque de Paris)
52 Rue de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
Founded in 2005, La Caféothéque was one of the first specialty coffeeshops to open in Paris, and it’s still one of the only cafés to roast its own beans, imported from 23 countries around the world. Coffee courses are offered for amateurs and experts alike, offering instruction on various roasting and brewing techniques. The shop is quite large, spanning several rooms, each with a different vibe. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy your coffee, including a gallery full of coffee-related art and a green room with several varieties of coffee plants growing. Whether you want to attend a class or just grab a quick cup, one thing’s for sure – coffee is an art form at La Caféothéque.
53 Av. Trudaine, 75009 Paris, France
If you’re looking for coffee with offbeat, unique flavor profiles, look no further than KB Roasters. Floor to ceiling windows and large wooden tables make for the perfect place to hole up with your laptop and get some work done (except for on weekends – when they cut the wi-fi to encourage conversation). KB’s mission is to make coffee accessible and palatable for all, and the owners only buy and roast beans they absolutely love. Check out the outdoor seating with a view of the Sacré Cœur while you enjoy specialty brews.
47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
Coutume Café is a specialty espresso bar and roastery utilizing a myriad of brewing processes from cold extraction to siphon pot, with beans sourced from all around the world. Situated right by Le Bon Marché department store, the café attracts a wide-ranging clientele amidst the industrial interior that sets it apart from traditional coffeeshops in the city. Coutume is certainly one of the more upscale options, serving artisanal beer and wine along with the coffee. Come for breakfast or lunch to enjoy the organic, locally supplied menu options as well.
3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris, France
Off the beaten path of Parisian coffeeshops, lies Lomi: an eco-conscious roastery with exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and comfortable leather couches. Available brews change based on what they’re roasting at the time, but it’s always 100% arabica. The café has an in-house patisserie chef and a barista known for his exceptional latte art, so you know you’re in for a treat. Lomi might be unassuming in exterior, but the café is an unmissable stop for coffee lovers visiting Paris.
République of Coffee
2 Bd Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris, France
If you didn’t think you could get authentic Mexican food in an ultra-trendy Parisian coffeeshop, you’ll be glad to find out about République of Coffee. This hipster hotspot excels at tacos and lattes, and no, it’s not weird to enjoy them simultaneously. The café itself is a bright, airy space with aesthetically pleasing décor conducive to Insta posts galore. Go for the photo op, stay for the quesadilla and coffee combo.
5 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, France
If an unbeatable brunch experience is what you’re after, look no further than Holybelly. This modern, laidback café is known for its traditional American and British style brunch spreads, with a twist. Holybelly has become somewhat of an expat haven for those missing hearty breakfasts from home. Plan on getting here early if you want to minimize your wait time, as it’s not unusual for there to be a line out the door. You’ll be happy to hear, however, that it’s delicious and well worth the wait. While it’s easy to get distracted by the food, don’t forget about the espresso drinks made to perfection. Plus – it’s the only place in Paris that serves a London fog.
22 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris, France
Café Méricourt is a vegetarian friendly brunch spot in an open, airy space with a friendly green façade. The drink menu is quite comprehensive compared to other coffeeshops in the area, with the cappuccino and dirty chai latte coming highly recommended. There are many designer boutiques nearby, so you can shop and explore after enjoying a drink. Café Méricourt can get pretty busy, but its phenomenal offerings are certainly worth the crowds.
121 Rue du Château, 75014 Paris, France
Hexagone Café is a relaxing refuge from the busy Parisian streets, in a neighborhood not home to many specialty coffeeshops. This seemingly unusual location choice was actually very intentional – the founders have made it their goal to convince locals set in their coffee ways to give new wave a chance. Hexagone wants to bridge the divide between specialty coffee and French culture by bringing it into the sceptics’ own neighborhoods. There’s also plenty of seating inside, where you should certainly take a minute to check out the informational posters throughout, revealing fascinating coffee facts galore.
Part coffee bar, part bakery, Ten Belles is conveniently located right on the Canal St. Martin – perfect for a loaf, a latte, and a leisurely stroll. There’s also a large terrace behind the building, however, if you’d prefer to sit as you sip. Ten Belles puts a lot of effort into sustainability and making a positive impact on the environment by ethically sourcing their coffee beans and being as low waste as possible. Their beans are sold in bulk, and you can even bring your own container to fill up.