10. Shakespeare & Co.
The historic bookstore on the Left Bank finally opened a café this year and as expected, it’s a major hit with both locals and tourists. Fulfilling the dream of the owner, who since the 1960’s negotiated an opening of a café next to his famous bookstore, the café is a long awaited arrival to this Parisian neighborhood. The menu is healthy – vegan protein shakes and gluten free pastries catered by the well-known Bob’s Cakeshop. Snag a cozy seat inside or settle for the picnic tables outside if there’s no empty seating, but make sure you order an espresso or a ‘chocolat chaud’ if you dare brave the chilly air.
Address : 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005.
9. Oberkampf Cafe
A few steps away from Rue Oberkampf lies this Aussie-themed café with an extra oomph to the menu. Step in for a coffee and an avocado toast which is always made fresh, or try their wide variety of cakes which can be salted caramel, fig or chocolate flavored depending on the day. The friendly baristas behind the bar speak perfect English and the coffee beans come from Café Coutume.
Catchy as the Beatles’ song, Ob-la-di is a crowd favorite. With a fun interior design (blue maze-tiled floors, white wooden stools), the space is as attractive as its cold iced lattes. The menu is organic so feel free to munch on a healthy maple oat granola for breakfast or a California kale salad for lunch. If space is not too limited, you can hang your coat on the coat rings on the bookshelf and unwind with a friend for a pleasant afternoon.
Address: 54 Rue de Saintonge, 75003.
7. Broken Arm
Not far from the Marché des Enfants Rouges, Broken Arm is a coffee shop and adjunct concept store with a clear Scandinavian vibe. The pretty white-walled, gray-tiled floor interior is a hipster favorite so expect long lines for coffee and even more during lunchtime with a menu offering exciting dishes like swordfish tartare. However, the quieter hours of the afternoon make it a perfect time to pose your laptop on one of their rectangular tables lined against the windows and start a study session. Opt for their terrace seating and bask in the sunshine during the warmer months. Tip: Try their tarte poire chocolat, it’s a sweet tooth’s dream.
Address: 12 Rue Perrée, 75003.
6.Folks and Sparrows
This rustic venue sells an eclectic selection of imports such BBQ sauce from Kansas City and pickles from Brooklyn along with delicious sandwiches and of course, great coffee. The French owner who spent a decade living in upstate New York has brought the woody mountain vibe of the state to his new café. Think stone walls and beamed ceilings, with a touch of Parisian style in the form of checkered-tiled floors. The café is worth a visit and has an épicerie fine with baguettes of Prince de Paris (the best ham in the city) and a slice of comté cheese to go with it all wrapped in a pretty craft paper and a spring flower for an added “aw” effect.
Address: 14 Rue Saint-Sébastien, 75011.
This cute little button of a coffee shop is housed in what was once a cordonnerie (shoe repair shop), hence the name, Boot Café. Snuggled into a tiny hole in the wall, the café offers take-out coffee for those clients who can’t find a seat – who are very few considering the space. However the so-called coolest coffee in town is popular for a reason, expat baristas, California surfer postcards on the wall and a few perks every once in a while if you rap a song. Their cookies and cakes are freshly baked from Emperor Norton, and delicious coffee comes from the Belleville Brûlerie. If you’re lucky enough, you can snag a color block chair on the teeny-tiny terrace or even a seat inside next to a lovely vase of flowers.
Don’t expect to get a petit-déjeuner here. HolyBelly is doing away with French tradition and out to establish hearty breakfasts into your morning routine. Try their poached eggs, boudin noir (blood sausage) and fluffy pancakes for example, pair it with their filter coffee, and you’ll see why this café offers the best of both worlds – good coffee and good food – as opposed to most places that opt for one or the other. Their servers’ warm welcome and the simple interior décor makes it a homey place to get comfy and enjoy the menu’s diverse flavors.
The era of traditional Belle Epoque cafés may not be over, but there’s a new wave of hip coffee shops sprouting on the East of Paris. Meet Cream – the café smacked down in the gritty streets of Belleville where a boy barista concocts a tasty coffee from a local brewery. A favorite of Instagram bloggers, students and expats, Cream is worth the long hill climb from the Belleville metro. Order a café crème for starters, it comes with a flawlessly sketched heart in a blue cup.
Address : 50 Rue de Belleville, 75020.
Founder Chris Nielson brings his Sydney Mecca Espresso experience to the forefront of this café. Installed in the third arrondissement right off rue de Temple, Fondation’s main focus is specialty coffee – made obvious by spotting their coffee machine –a rare Kees van der Westen Spirit propped up on their bar. The minimalist interior décor draws your eyes directly to it, with such little decoration the founder made sure to draw the spotlight on the star of the house – the coffee. The 15m2 space has few seats inside, but extra tables are available outside on the sunny terrace. Opt for a lemon poppy seed cake or a banana bread – tender and warm to go with an excellent tasting coffee in a green cup.
Address: 16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003.
1 .Ten Belles
With a blackboard reading “Drinking good coffee is sexy”, founder Thomas Lehoux has applied his barista skills to this little gem near Canal Saint-Martin. With a CV experience that encompasses working at La Caféothèque and Eggs&Co, Lehoux’s own coffee shop imports roasted coffee beans from Telescope Café, and the result is promising. The high-ceilinged, two-tier locale also has a quality menu with authentic sausage rolls from English kitchen Le Bal Café, avocado cheddar sandwiches and most importantly, meticulous care for your coffee which is handed to you by cheery baristas. The hotspot is a draw for the bobos from the quartier, but there is enough seating upstairs, on the benches inside or on the tiny color stools out front where you can have a smoke in cool company.
Photo: Karina in the city