Where to Find a Good Cup of Coffee in Paris

Telescope coffee in Paris

Because of all the changes in the Paris coffee scene, I’ve been updating this post regularly as a good number of places have opened in the last few years in Paris, that focus on well-crafted, artisan coffees. It’s been a wonderful revolution taking place, as many people – some French, others from Australia and the United States, have been conscientiously been upgrading the quality of the coffee available in Paris.

A number of coffee-lovers, myself included, were disappointed in the coffee served in Paris. In The Sweet Life in Paris, I noted a number of reasons why the coffee tastes the way it does, from using inferior coffee beans to laxadaiscal attitudes toward preparing it. However a lot has changed and while the corner cafés are still stuck brewing and extracting that unfortunate brew they’ve been serving since time began, a number of places have opened up and expanded the coffee offerings in Paris. Here are some addresses. Visit their websites for opening hours.

deux express

Below you’ll find a list of places where you can get well-prepared coffee in Paris:


A spate of other coffee bars have recently opened in Paris. Here is a list of them:

L’Arbre à Café
10, rue de Nil (10th)

Café Lomi
9, rue de Saussure (17th)

Télescope
5, rue Villedo (1st)

Café Pinson
6, rue du Forez (3rd)

Tuck
13, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Le-Bal
6, Impasse de La Defénse (18th)

Coutume Café
47, rue Babylon (7th) – and other addresses

Folks and Sparrows
14, rue Saint-Sebastien (11th)

Ten Belles
10, rue de la Grange aux Belles (10th)

Le Rocketship
13, bis rue Henri Monnier (9th)

Café Craft
24, rue des Vinaigriers (10th)

The Broken Arm
12, rue Perrée (3rd)

Belleville Brûlerie
10, rue Pradier (20th) – check website for hours

Holybelly
19, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Lockwood
73, rue d’Aboukir (2nd)

Fondation Café
16, rue Dupetit-Thouars (3rd)

Fragments
76, rue des Tournelles (3rd)



And here are a few others:



Espressamente Illy
13, rue Auber (9th)
Métro: Opéra, RER: Auber

and

15, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie (6th)
Métro: Odéon

Concept stores and cafés for Illy coffee. A machine precisely tamps the coffee into the filter holder with the perfect amount of pressure, assuring you of a real Italian espresso.



Café Malongo
50, rue Saint-André des Arts (6th)
RER: St. Michel

Café Malongo is one of the better brands of store-bought coffee available in France. In their café near place St. Michel, you can drink a decent cup of coffee, but specify exactly how you want it since they often extract coffee “French-style” (ie: watery) The have a kiosk in the Monoprix, near the gare Montparnasse, but the coffee is disappointing.



Caldo Freddo
34, rue Montorgueil (1st)
Métro: Les Halles

A wonderful little panini place serves really good Italian espresso, which you can enjoying standing at the panini-length counter.



La Briciola
64, rue Charlot (3rd)
Métro: Filles du Calvaire

Pizza from Naples is the specialty here, and the excellent espresso they pour, using Kimbo coffee, is a fine way to finish a meal.



Comme à Lisbonne
37, rue du Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: Hôtel de Ville or St. Paul

Portuguese coffee made with care. Be sure to try one of the delicious pastéis de nata tartlets with your excellent cup. (More at Comme à Lisbon)



La Caféothèque
52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th)
Métro: St. Paul or Hôtel de Ville

This shop is dedicated to roasting their own coffee, and aside from their café, offers courses in coffee-tasting and appreciation. The coffee is adequate, but they get points for making the effort to extract a proper café express. (More at La Caféotheque de Paris.)



Sugarplum Cake Shop
68, rue du Cardinal Lemoine (5th)
Métro: Place Monge or Cardinal Lemoine

Organic and fair-trade coffee, served in a bottomless cup, American-style in this laid-back bakery and café.



Pozzetto
39, rue de Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: St. Paul

Pozzetto is one of my favorite gelato shops in Paris, and one of the few serving the real thing. Ditto for the coffee, which is a true Italian espresso.



Cafés Verlet
256, rue Saint-Honoré (1st)

One of the classic Paris coffeehouses with Parisian-style coffee, although connoisseurs from elsewhere might be disappointed, and it’s not at the top of my list. (But locals seem to like it.)



Gocce di Caffè
25, Passage des Panoramas (2nd)
Métro: Bourse or Grand Boulevards

Wine bar with good coffee.



Kooka Boora
62, rue des Martyrs (9th)
Métro: Saint-Georges or Anvers

This Australian import is one of the latest places to bring good coffee to Paris. There is outdoor seating. (More at Kooka Boora.)



Nespresso
Various locations (click on link for addresses)

Nespresso has its fans and while I’m not as enamored of it as others, the pre-determined machines and capsules ensure the coffee is extracted to their standardized specifications. There are shop and cafés at various places in Paris, including on the Champs-Elysées.



goûtez un café rare





Related Entries and Links

La Caféothèque de Paris

Belleville Brûlerie and Holybelly

Good Coffee in Paris (Paris Coffee Blog)

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Aussie Coffee for Paris (Financial Times)

Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking & Shopping

How not to drink black tar in Paris (ChezPim)

Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris

Making Perfect Espresso at Illy

Espresso granita affogato (Recipe)

Coffee and Espresso Makers For the Home

10 Things I Just Learned About Coffee

New wave hits Paris (The Age)

Chocolate Espresso Mousse Cake (Recipe)

Delving Deeper Into Coffee

Bad Coffee in Paris? (Lonely Planet)

32 comments

  • Based on the recommendation on your website, my wife and I set out to find Pozzetto during our honeymoon last year. It remains our high-water mark for espresso and gelato. We went enough times in one week for the staff to recognize us!

  • Bonjour David – I’ve been lurking and drooling over your blog for some time now. Love the photos, love the posts, love the recipes. As I will probably never live in Paris, I am counting on you to embrace the joie de vivre to the fullest measure, so I may live vicariously through your posts. Had to send you a link to today’s NYT article on the hamburger phenomenon in Paris — c’est vrai? And who in their right mind would pay 35 euro for a burger?

    NYTimes article

    Merci beaucoup!

  • Thanks for the addresses. Though none of them are close to home in the 11th or work in 8th (nor have I found worthwhile coffee near either location), I’m looking forward to a few coffee pilgrimages. Just to pass on two London hints, where good coffee is surprisingly easier to find:
    Flat White–Aussie-run cafe in Soho on Berwick St. Hole in the wall but they take their coffee seriously.
    HR Higgins–between Selfridges and the American Embassy in Mayfair, they’ve been selling coffee for 75 years or so and still measure the beans with copper weights. The Creole Blend is very rich and smooth and apparently used by the Italian Embassy around the corner.

  • The site looks beautiful! Complimenti, ragazzo.

  • Shira: It is odd that folks here aren’t more concerned about the taste of their coffee than they are. I think it’s because they drink coffee not for the taste, but for the social aspects of it and the flavor is really secondary. Or even farther down the list.

  • Excellent advice, David! The coffee at the two most famous Paris cafés (you know the ones!) is reliably terrible, and costs approximately $100, give or take a few centimes.

  • Aaah! This post lets me day dream about spending a lazy afternoon in Paris. Thank you for that small moment!

  • Bah! Move to Vienna for a while and after that any cup of coffee in Paris tastes great. I can count the places in Vienna with coffee I like on one hand.

  • Great post! I’ll keep this bookmarked. :)

    xox Sarah

  • OT but, your posts still aren’t showing up in my google reader. Is the feed fixed yet? Do I need to resubscribe? Or just be patient?

    heehee I like your new verification system

    We’re going to work on it tomorrow & perhaps burn a new feed, which I’ll announce if we do. Thanks for letting me know : ) x-dl

  • David, my favorite cafe was actually from a machine in the Gare du Nord! Why are French not making French coffeee, my last visit to France it was like Italinate coffee, nothing like a real coffee I remembered from old? Am I mistaken?

  • Hi David,
    What a fun post… Cafe creme for me please… It only tastes good in Paris though… How odd :-)

  • Hi David,

    Your link to Bacon Ice Cream on the recipe tab is broken! Oh no!

    It must be a tasteless conspiracy.

    Hi Gigi: Thanks for pointing that out. I had to re-do all the links on that page with the re-design, but it’s back up & working. Merci! – dl

  • Hi David,

    Why haven’t you recommended the Nespresso Boutique on the Champs-Elysee? It looks amazing, makes you feel like you’re buying a Louis Vuitton purse instead of coffee and it tastes good, at least far better than all the sour, watery stuff you get elsewhere. Check it out!

    Ciao,

    Job

  • Hi Job: I’m not a huge fan of Nespresso coffee. There isn’t enough coffee in those little capsules to make a true espresso (each has only 5gr, when there should be 7gr) and the experience feels sort of impersonal. But you’re right, it’s dependable and stylish. Another bonus is they actually make a real, honest-to-goodness iced coffee, with plenty of ice!

    Here’s a link to the Nespresso boutiques in France.

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for this list, I need to print it and carry a copy with me when I’m there. I’ve gotten so desperate in my search for a palatable cafe that I’ve resorted to making my own (quite good) and [ahem] starbucks (embarrassing, I know).

    Now, I’m back in Rome, where no such problem exists (and neither does starbucks!).

    xo-Lani

  • I live right above Caffe Kimbo, and needless to say it’s become a morning hangout. The coffee is great, the only decent cup in the neighborhood, and the two ladies who run it are fantastic. Do let me know when you decide to check it out and I’ll join you for a coffee.

    Also wanted to add that after desperately lamenting the lack of good ice cream in the 17th, you opened my eyes last week to the Pozzetto on rue de Levis. A million thank you’s, what a find!

  • David,

    These are great, thanks for sharing. I will definitely check these out on my next trip. Like my friend Alexa above I am partial to cafe creme and it only tastes good in Paris. Laduree (known for tea) is one of the better places for this.

    –Marc

  • I’ve tried for many years to find good coffee in Paris and have all but given up. The best so far, hands down, is Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, on Place de l’Estrapade (5th). They take their coffee quite seriously and it shows. Very pleasant place for lunch, too.

  • Went to La Caféotheque de Paris this afternoon, on rue de Hôtel de Ville this afternoon, and it’s the best coffee I’ve had here so far. Very friendly. Nice jazz playing in the background. Nice, comfy couches to lounge on. And when I say good coffee, i don’t just mean good coffee. I mean. These people take coffee seriously. They have drawers of samples from different countries. Drawers of beans. You should absolutely check it out.

  • Hi Julia: I went to check them out one day and they were inexplicably closed. And I’ve been meaning to go back, so thanks for the prodding!

    And for anyone else, here’s the info:

    Caféothéque
    (Also known as Café Solunas)
    52, rue de l’Hôtel de la Ville (4th)
    Tél: 01 53 01 83 84

  • Great web site! Informative editorials and beautiful photos.
    I am an advocate for keeping pure and traditional menus.
    If I go to one more American restaurant and see another so called” innovative ingredient” on top of another……what a turn off. Perhaps some chefs should remember the foundation of Nouvelle cuisine with masters like Mark Meneau at L,Esperance in Burgundy!
    Unless I was living in lets say, France or Italy I would certainly eat from time to time cuisine from different nations if available.
    Otherwise why go to a place like France or Italy on vacation and have Asian food, or Italian sweets in Paris. Why don’t we drink California wines with our meal at Biche a Bois.
    Lets face it ,eating in a traditional manner requires knowledge of culture and derivatives of cuisine and wines……that takes attention.

    Bon appétit!

  • JAB: That’s a good point, although many countries now (including France) are composed of various other cultures, so here one can find very good couscous and Vietnamese food. Although all of the good meals I’ve had were made by natives of those countries. French chefs often like to “add their own touch” to certain dishes, and some just shouldn’t be tampered with.

    However we do drink (or at least I do) French rosé with Vietnamese food, and Mexican beer with American hamburgers. Still, your point about some things needing to remain true to their origins rings true for me. And Italian espresso should not be messed with, nor should other things, like cassoulet, risotto, pad thai, pasta carbonara, just to name a few.

    Merci!

  • I was in Paris last month and had the chance to go to the Café Soluna (or Caféothéque). Finally – great coffee in Paris! They roast their beans on site adding a delicious aroma to the experience. One other place we found was Cafe Amazone on rue des Archives. It’s a very small coffee/tea shop (only 1 table) but had superb espresso.

  • David, I wish I’d read your blog when I was in Paris last October. I found the coffee to be uniformly disappointing—the one exception being Cafe Verlet. (See my rather effusive blog post about it here: http://www.hannahmwallace.typepad.com/hannahs_clips/2008/10/paris-gare-du-nord.html)

    thanks! hannah

  • As someone who has lived in Paris many years and knows it well, this advice is great.

    I now live in Italy and when visiting Paris, don’t drink coffee in bars or restaurants. I will pass this on to many friends who are always surprised how bad the coffee is in Paris, let’s not even mention the milk! UKK.
    Thank you

  • Walking near Place de la Bastlle today, we found the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in Paris. (I should say that we live in Portland, Oregon, so our standards are pretty high.) A neat new shop/cafe just opened 10 days ago: Plaisir d’equiThe (12 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 09-81-60-51-57). My husband was looking to buy some coffee to make at the apartment we’ve rented for a couple of weeks, and we went in because the coffees and teas in the window are all fair-trade (hence the name of the shop). We got started talking to the completely delightful woman who is the owner. She used to own a similar shop near Toulouse. Anyhow, as we were leaving, she offered us a couple of coffees on the house — unusual behavior in Paris! — and they were mellow and flavorful espressos, with a tiny square of coffee-bean-studded chocolate on the side. She also does a 15 E lunch menu, all her own cooking and baking. Worth checking out.

  • Which type of coffee sold in Paris that comes under French Roast? I’m going to Paris in four weeks to buy a pack of FR for a friend of mine. I welcome any ideas or suggestions.

  • I never have a problem finding good coffee in Paris. Am I weird?? Maybe I just have bad taste. Alas, I will take your comments! I wish I could remember the best place where I had the best omlette champignon. If you can think of any other places that do omlettes well, I would LOVE to know! A bien tot!

  • Hi david

    I just discovered your blog and love the entry on coffee. I moved to (rural) France five years ago and while I love it here, it is absolutely impossible to find a decent cup of coffee – it’s either bitter and acrid because of cheap beans; or blighted by horrible UHT milk. If ever you get round to compiling a list of places in Paris that serve a good creme or cappuccino using fresh milk as opposed to UHT, I’d love to read that for when I’m next passing through

    best wishes

    mimi
    http://www.toutsweet.net

  • Like Francis, I enjoyed nearly every cup of coffee I drank in Paris, especially in a few cafes near the Louvre. At home in Canada, I find the coffee too harsh and bitter, e.g. Starbucks, and they want to give me way too much even in the ‘small’ size. My preference is for whole milk and no sugar. By contrast, the only cup of coffee I enjoyed on a trip to Ireland was at Ballybunion Golf Club.

  • Hey David,

    There is an Italian place in the 7th where I occasionally have lunch, and their café express is surprisingly compact and quite delicious. Il Pupi, rue Malar in the 7th.