The Best Coffee Shops and Cafés in Paris 

Where to Get Your Sip of the Best Coffee in Paris 

French Espresso and Croissants

Overview

An Introduction to French Café CultureSome Things to Know Before You Go 
For a Taste of History: Les Deux Magots, Le Procope, & Café de Flore3 Traditional Cafés for Coffee [History] Lovers 
Holybelly11th Arr., near Canal Saint Martin 
Lomi18th Arr., near Montmartre 
Peloton CaféLe Marais Neighborhood
Ten Belles3 Locations in the 6th, 10th, & 11th Arr. 
République of Coffee10th Arr., near Canal Saint Martin
How to Order Coffee in Paris: Vocab & EtiquetteSome Pro Tips

Things to Know Before You Go 

If you don’t already know it, there’s something you should know about Paris: It doesn’t exactly have a reputation for great coffee. 

We wouldn’t say that unless we knew that wasn’t the case anymore, or of the best places for coffee in Paris. In fact, many coffee shops in France have joined the third wave coffee movement, meaning they carry beans of higher quality and from ethical sources. 

On the other hand, you probably already know that you can’t really describe French culture without discussing Parisian cafés and bistros. 

So, how does a place with historically [just decent] coffee become so famous for its cafés? That lies in the French art of freshly baked pastry and its attitude of slowing down amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life. Simply walk out onto the streets of Paris one morning or afternoon, and I’ll bet you find plenty of this outside the coffee shops: 

Well-dressed locals sipping coffee from a tiny cup, alongside their book, baked pastry, newspaper, and (likely) some friendly company. 

Here’s what you shouldn’t expect: Extravagant latte art, a bunch of coffee bean connoisseurs, and to-go cups. You could expect a hot chocolate, since France does love chocolate, after all. 

In fact, we hope that if you haven’t already done so, you’ll forever ban the ‘X’ from espresso for two reasons: 

  1. “Ex-presso” is not how you say the word for the dark and stout beverage we’re talking about (and we’re not sure if it’s in any lexicon, although it’s a common mistake for English speakers);
  1. And when you come to Paris, you should forget everything the US taught you about express coffee. 

In Paris, one of the world’s busiest cities, coffee and milk might mix sometimes (more on that later), but coffee and rush certainly do not. You’ll encounter lots of espresso, but you won’t— we hope you won’t— down it like a tequila shot. 

[For help ordering, we’ve got a great list of French café vocabulary and some etiquette at the end of this article.]

To understand and appreciate French café culture, it helps to know a little something about its history. 

For Coffee [History] Lovers 

King Louis XIV of France
King Louis XIV

France’s coffee culture actually starts in Venice (or, well, with some Venetian merchants who brought it over into Marseille, France). 

However, it didn’t really take off until King Louis XIV popularized it. A powerful Sultan came to visit him, bearing the dark, bitter elixir. You can think of Louis as a 17th century version of what we call an influencer, since history remembers him as curious and highly influential to the rest of nobility. 

Eventually, the love of— or, perhaps, the addiction to— coffee spread throughout the French kingdom. It stuck around through plagues and revolutions, but it never quite developed like it did in Italy. 

In fact, many French people will look at you confused if you use the words cappuccino and latte. Those are Italian beverages. The art of drinking the coffee itself, however, did develop in France. 

If you’re interested in sipping some history, check out these historical Parisian cafés: 

  1. Les Deux Magots
Les Deux Magots
Les Deux Magots

If you happen to visit Saint Germain-des-Prés, it might be hard to avoid this place. We mean that endearingly, though. 

Les Deux Magots has been there since the 19th century, and it’s historically served as a community for creatives and expats. It’s one of the most iconic coffee shops in all of Paris, and here’s the custom for when you go there: 

Enjoy a coffee beverage and freshly baked goods (perhaps, even a breakfast); however, then, at the end of your meal, order an espresso to slowly sip on and turn your chairs outwards. It’s a Parisian custom to sip espresso and face the busy streets, watching people and the time pass. 

Saint Germain-des-Prés has lots of expats and intellectuals to spot. 

  1. Le Procope
Le Procope
Le Procope

This boasts that it’s the oldest coffee shop in Paris, despite that it did close for 50 years in the late 1800s but opened back up in the 1920s. 

It originally dates all the way back to 1686! Nowadays, it’s technically a brasserie. 

  1. Café de Flore
Café de Flore

The best time to come here is the springtime, since it’s named after the Roman goddess for Spring and flowers. 

This cute coffee shop was the major rival to Les Deux Magots, since it’s just a stone’s throw away. Another fun fact about Café de Flore: There’s a movie about it with the same name (2011)! 

Without further ado, we’re spilling the beans on where to find the best coffee in Paris. 

Holybelly

Holybelly Café
Holybelly Café

Where:
• 5 rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris France, near Canal Saint Martin
When:
• 9:00am—5:00pm
What:
• Their menu.
Why We Love It:
• Three words— All. Day. Breakfast.

Holybelly Café Breakfast
Holybelly Café Breakfast

Holybelly is routinely busy in the mornings, so you want to arrive early and prepare to wait a bit. Paris locals and outsiders alike flock to this cafè for their all day breakfast. 

This café packs high energy, yet feels laid back and simple. You can expect a hip crowd of weekend brunchers, daily regulars, and tourists. People usually order the pancakes with bourbon butter and maple syrup, fried eggs, and bacon. 

To many of us travelers from North America or Britain, especially, we can describe this breakfast as familiar but with a French twist. 

Café Holybelly
Café Holybell

The owners trained the management to have open and kind service (it’s actually warmer than the average service in Paris). 

If you’re feeling indulgent in the afternoon, you can’t go wrong with the bourbon-spiked wine and king cake. You might swear you mixed up your flight and landed in New Orleans. As far as French style coffee, they’re known for their excellent espresso and filter coffee. However, they also serve lattes and fresh juices. 

Overall, Holybelly is great if you want some familiar (and not to mention hearty) food, but also some high quality French-style coffee. Their variety is full of alternatives, though. 

Lomi

Lomi Cafe in Paris

Where:
• 3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris, France
When:
• Tuesday—Friday: 8:00am—6:00pm
• Saturday: 9:30am—6:00pm
What:
• This one is easy— the coffee and lattes!

For something sweet, they have scones,croissants, cookies, parfait, fruitcake, and more, depending on the time of the day. 

If you’re wanting something a bit more savory, try the café fromage (espresso with blue cheese on the side). 

Why We Love It 

Lomi has pulled French cafés into the 21st century, and since 2011, they’ve earned their right to celebrate. 

Lomi Coffee Beverages
Lomi Coffee Beverages

As of 2011, this French cafè is an award-winning café for its latte art. We think it ought to win a passion prize, as it’s probably one of the most passionate coffee businesses we’ve come across in France. 

For one, Lomi is more than a café— it’s its own coffee brand, roaster, and supplier. It’s located pretty high up, in the Montmartre neighborhood. 

If you’re a creative or an intellectual, we think you’ll fit right in at their café. Because of its casual and relaxed atmosphere, you’ll usually find locals and students with their nose in a book, newspaper, or computer. 

Lomi imports and sells organic whole coffee beans, largely from South Americas and African countries. 

They have a signature coffee blend that translates to “I Have Two Loves,” (“J’ai Deux Amours”). The “two loves” refers to the origins of the coffee, and people seem to love this blend. 

“J’ai Deux Amours” has aromas of milk chocolate and fresh hazelnut, with round and fruity flavors.

Lomi Barista
Lomi Barista

Lomi has extensive barista training, within its own coffee “school.” For those wanting to learn more about this coffee-making artform, you can discover more here

It’s no wonder Parisians consider this some of the best coffee in Paris. 

Le Peloton Café

Le Peloton Café
Le Peloton Café

Where:
• 17 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004
When:
• Monday—Friday: 9:00am—5:30pm / Weekends: 9:00am—6:00pm
What:
• Coffee, waffles, and… Bicycling!
• If you’re a banana bread fan, it won’t disappoint, either.
Why We Love It:
• Can you think of anything better than filling up on some of the best coffee in Paris and stacks of Belgian waffles before riding around the Marais in a fleet of bicycling coffee enthusiasts.

Yeah, we can’t either. 

Peloton Café
Peloton Café

You can call this a niche cafe, as people come to such a specific and unique experience. You can rent bicycles and ride alongside a group. 

Don’t worry— they have everything from social rides to heavier, endurance rides. Bicycling is such an integral part of Paris, so this could be a great idea to experience both café and recreational culture on your trip to France. 

At the café, their menu is on the smaller side. It knows its specialties, and it keeps them special. 

Peloton Café Espresso
Peloton Café Espresso

This coffee shop, too, has a blend of traditional French coffee with Italian-style favorites and…not to mention…of the world’s favorite exports from Belgium— Belgian waffles. 

These waffles here are homemade, though. People come and enjoy them with kombucha or juice. 

Then, they follow this sweet, filling meal with a cup of straight espresso, taking their time before a bike ride. 

Ten Belles

Ten Belles
Ten Belles

Where: (3 locations)

  • 10th Arrondissement: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010
  • 11th Arrondissement: 17-19 Rue Breguet, 75011 
  • 6th Arrondissement: 53 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006

When:
• Weekdays: 8:30am—7:00pm; Weekends: 9:00am—5:30pm
What:
• Definitely try the coffee & espresso, bread & baked goods, and lunches!
Why We Love It:

Ten Belles Baked Goods Counter
Ten Belles Baked Goods Counter

Something that goes well with coffee but can be enjoyed at a table— coffee and freshly baked bread. 

Ten Belles is known for its amazing sourdough bread and baked goods. It’s also known for making a statement: 

On it’s blackboard, you’ll read (in French), “Drinking Coffee is sexy.” We can’t disagree. The owner, Thomas Lehoux, started off as a barista before he opened Ten Belles in 2012. 

Now a chain of 3, Parisians have surely loved his homemade sourdough goods and coffee. Adding to its quirkiness, you’ll find English-inspired meals on the savory menu, since the chef is English. 

Here, too, you can buy fresh coffee beans within the shops. 

Not only is this some of the best coffee in Paris, but it’s also some of the best spots for sourdough baked goods. Many folks come for the coffee and return for the bread. 

République of Coffee

Where:
• 2 Bd Saint-Martin, 75010
When:
• Weekdays: 8:30am—7:00pm; Weekends: 9:00am—7:00pm
What:
• Coffee: espresso, long black coffee, hot chocolate, or café crème
• Eats: Mexican cuisine and healthy, vegan-friendly dishes.
Why We Love It:

République of Coffee Breakfast
République of Coffee Breakfast

You can definitely call this a hip and trendy joint. It’s one of Paris’s most well-known coffee shops. You’ll see that it’s more than a coffee shop, though. 

You may not have thought about going all the way to Paris for the Mexican food there, but food and filter coffee attracts many travelers and locals alike. You’ll find Mexican food that’s healthy— and much of it is vegan or vegetarian. 

Chef Mario Flores whips up artisan burritos, quesadillas, and guacamole; however, he also takes care of small details, such as homemade chipotle sauce and something the locals swear by— the California bowl. 

République of Coffee Healthy Entrées
République of Coffee Healthy Entrées

There’s also seasonal organic fruits and veggies everywhere, too. That doesn’t mean everything is light, though. 

Don’t miss the pumpkin bread, cheesecake, and chai lattes! Diners all recommend you follow this grand meal with an espresso. Either way, whether you’re inside or out, this is an ideal café for street and people gazing. 

If you can handle the hustle and bustle, you and your favorite book can join the students and digital nomads who tend to congregate here. 

How to Order at a Coffee Shop in Paris: Some Pro Tips

Essential French Café Vocabulary:

Small espressoCafé, un café espresso, un petit café, un petit noir, un espresso
Espresso with a splash of milkNoisette 
Espresso with water (Americano)Café allongé
Espresso drink with milk (cafe au lait)Café crème
Double espressoGrand espresso 
DécaDecaffeinated 
GlacéCold / iced
S’il vous plaîtPlease 
TabacCigarettes & lottery tickets store

A Few French Coffee Shop Customs

  1. When ordering, always (and we mean always) end your order with a, “S’il vous plaît” (pronounced see-voo-play). You’ll come off rude otherwise. Example: “Un café crème, s’il vous plaît.” 
  2. Don’t treat espresso like vodka. Sip it slowly, and, in fact, use it to follow a breakfast or other afternoon meal while you watch passerbyers.  
  3. Milk coffee beverages (like lattes) are only ever a morning thing in France. Ordering a large cappuccino in the afternoon is considered strange. 
  4. Don’t be surprised if they don’t have takeaway cups. For the French, coffee is meant to be savored. It’s not just some battery to plug into yourself on your way to work. 

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