Tuck Shop



[Update: Tuck shop has now closed.]

tuck shop blend coffee

There are so many of these places opening in Paris that it’s making my head spin, in a good way. Way back when, in 2008, when I did a post on where to get good coffee in Paris, there were just a handful of places listed. Now I can’t keep up! So along comes a little place, Tuck Shop, located in the 10th, a slip of a joint where a former café used to be that rented sewing machines for use, on-site, by the hour.

Tuck shop sandwiches espresso in paris

I can’t sew, nor can I knit. But believe it or not, I can spin – and I can eat and drink coffee, too. So there I found myself at Tuck Shop, one of the newest of the coffee places that are brewing and extracting cups in Paris that people are crisscrossing the city to sip.

Tuck shop in paris

A lot of these places are being opened by our mates from Australia, a country known for excellent coffee – and believe me, I learned all about it when I was there! (I had a cup of coffee there that was so good, it really almost made me cry in the restaurant.) The coffee at Tuck Shop is from Coutume, is from a little closer to home. But is still way, way over in the 7th arrondissement.

coutume coffee

Considering I’ve gone all the way to Italy (and Australia) for a good coffee, you’d think I’d have made it over there by now. But I haven’t.

Yet I did make it to the nearby Tuck Shop, which I could get to even without my now-stolen bike, where the charming counterperson extracted a neat little espresso for me, in a mod cup with an Anzac biscuit on the side.

paris coffee tuck shop sandwich

Tuck Shop also has little snacks and sandwiches. But we were just there drinking the coffee, which was hitting just the right spot – and reminding me to tackle the rest of the places on my list. And with enough caffeine, I might be able to do it.

Tuck Shop
13, rue Lucien Sampaix
Tél: 09 80 72 95 40
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent

espresso machine

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  • Dina
    February 28, 2013 2:37pm

    I’ve been dreaming of good coffee, then I found this http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/ristretto-scaling-up-for-the-holidays/#more-237921 and then you write about coffee…. I need some! Now!

    By the way, do you think the scale is a bit much?! I can’t see how it will be practical at 7 am… as much as they say it tries to take the guesswork out of 7 am coffee… Hm….

  • Carol
    February 28, 2013 2:51pm

    I have one of those little waving Queens in my Pilates studio. She was a joke present from my sister. She was damaged in transit when she arrived. Her head was detached from her person! Of course, I kept it and now when people pick her up (and they always do), her head falls off and I get to yell “OFF with her head!”
    On the subject of coffee, I recently had the best one of my life in San Francisco at the original Philz in the Mission.

  • Maggie
    February 28, 2013 3:05pm

    Wait, wait wait wait wait wait waitaminnit. You know how to spin? Like, making yarn? Like, on a drop spindle / spinning wheel?

    I boggle. There are so few of us in the non-fiber-related parts of the internet!

  • February 28, 2013 3:32pm

    To spin or not to spin – my head’s spinning, yes, after your ode to good coffee in Paris!
    I am seriously thinking of looking for new hunting grounds now.

    I took a long road trip from DC down to South Carolina and was pleasantly surprised to find great espresso coffee places even in small towns like Bristol and Jonesborough, Tennessee, and even more so in places like Asheville, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, to mention just a few.

  • February 28, 2013 3:37pm

    I love the queen!

  • ClaireD
    February 28, 2013 3:40pm

    Is that the Queen with her little wavy hand? No matter. I’m not a coffee drinker, which is good because by the time I make it like I like it, with tons of cream and suger, it’s hardly coffee anymore. But the bread in these pictures makes me drool. I love a good hearty bread. So let’s go there. You can drink the coffee and I’ll eat the pretty bread.

  • Sylvia
    February 28, 2013 4:14pm

    But what is atop the baguette? Avocado, mozzarella, and a candied apricot? Can’t be. Can it?

    • Steph
      March 1, 2013 10:51am

      Looks like cherry tomato to me. :)

  • February 28, 2013 4:27pm

    Bonjour David. So happy to see even traditional, old-fashioned Paris moves along with the times… I will have to give Tuck shop a try next time I go home. If coffee is good, and there are comfortable places to sit; if people watching is decent – and, dare I dream? If there is a large bay window overlooking the street – then I will like it there, in the heart of the 10th arrondissement. Merci pour le tuyau! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  • February 28, 2013 4:28pm

    I have to say the sound of a rent-by-the-hour sewing machine shop would be really useful, but maybe good coffee is more important!

    I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Australians and coffee, few places popping up in the UK too.

  • February 28, 2013 4:44pm

    I lived at that metro stop when I was living in Paris. Rue Lucien Sampaix very much intrigued me. Going in one direction on it, you got to the canal, the other way, a big boulevard. It seemed on the cusp of transforming and was already starting to have various fancy food places. Paris is such a tiny city, though, that the whole gentrification thing pushes people out so much. I go back and forth on this in my head. I loved the way the tenth was this mixture of so many different people and there were all these new and interesting restaurants opening up there and in the 11th. But I also realized there were a loto of bobos there, transforming and taking over a part of the city that used to be “undesirable” and left to immigrants.

    Of course, its always nice to have a new coffee place in town, considering McDonalds made better coffee than have the cafes around me. And the little snacks look delicious, along with the perfect espresso. Just me musin on my quartier in Paris.

    • February 28, 2013 5:02pm
      David Lebovitz

      Paris, like most cities, is indeed gentrifying. There are still HLMs (subsidized housing) in the 10th, along the canal and so forth. But it’s a problem in cities that have defined borders. In Paris there is the peripherique, whereas in San Francisco there is the Bay, and in Manhattan, there is the water, too. And the only way to go is up, which is a no-no in places like Paris and San Francisco. One initiative that’s been discussed in Paris was trying to open up the boundaries of the city, including fixing up the RER lines (notably line B, which could use it) to incorporate more people that live outside the boundaries.

      I’m not sure what the solution is, but France does have a pretty good system of social services. Yet housing in Paris is a real challenge. As you mentioned, places like McDonald’s can afford to open anywhere and attract low- (and mid- and high-) income people – but I’d rather have places like this. True, a €2 is a lot more than a €1 cup of coffee, but there are some trade-offs that bring up other issues. When so many people want to live in a small space, there aren’t a lot of solutions.

  • Anna
    February 28, 2013 4:58pm

    It’s a cherry tomato sliced in half.

  • February 28, 2013 5:02pm

    Hooray for proper coffee! Glad it’s is getting easier to find a good cup in Paris. I live in a tiny town of 400 people, but luckily one of then is a passionate coffee roaster and we are blessed with a seriously great coffee shop. That’s a marvelous little flowered cup!

  • Sissy
    February 28, 2013 5:16pm

    I had to do a double take at your last picture. At first glance it looked like a “covered” table at a morgue…

  • February 28, 2013 5:44pm

    I’ve had Australian coffee and it is excellent. Who knew some of the best would come from Australia! Love the name of this little coffee shop, reminds me of our tuck shops in school back home in England.
    Really wish we had more excellent coffee shops like this in the US rather than the obvious ones we do.

  • February 28, 2013 5:47pm

    David I love reading your articles and i love your pictures even more. They just make your words jump off the screen. Your inspiring me to become a better photographer, cook and writer. Keep the scrumptious articles coming, still reflecting on the article you wrote about your trip and that delicious bowl of bouillabaisse.

  • Steve
    February 28, 2013 5:47pm

    Tuck looks wonderful!

    When I stayed in the Marais a few years ago (well, ok, more than a few), there was a great place around the corner, Cafes Amazone. Tiny little place run by an elderly man. After trying this coffee I bought every last bag of Italian roast the owner had on the shelf, prompting him to raise his eyebrows and ask if I was having a soiree. I’ve even begged coworkers traveling to Paris to bring this coffee back for me, it’s that good!

  • Sandtruck
    February 28, 2013 6:24pm

    Oh my. That picture of the bread, yum. What is on that? Cheese and a tomato and what else? Now if they could only do it in gluten free…………….

  • February 28, 2013 6:30pm

    Tuck looks like a proper eatery – coffee that looks as good as it tastes, and sandwiches made with the freshest, chunkiest ingredients. If only all private enterprise would make such an effort!

  • Fran
    February 28, 2013 6:30pm

    I cannot tell you how amazing this looks. Maybe because I’m trapped on a crowded train on my typical morning commute to San Francisco craving my first cup. Wish I was on vacation visiting you in Paris. (Will have to try Philz instead!)

  • Laurn
    February 28, 2013 7:07pm

    Alas, I can’t drink coffee anymore because caffeine gives me massive migraines, but I have discovered herbal teas lately — African Roobibos (Tea Forte’s african solstice — amazing) is wonderful and my new favorite is a white tea sold by Harney & Sons called White Vanilla Grapefruit — it has a small amount of caffeine being a white tea, but it seems I can tolerate that. Too bad there aren’t more places that sell only teas….scones, and muffins….

  • Rick
    February 28, 2013 7:09pm

    Coffee is one of my favorite food groups, and one of my favorite cups is a cafe creme at Le Zinc here in Noe Valley. I’m going to get a moka–thanks for the link–for afternoon espressos. I hear what you’re saying about coffee being too too for a while, but it does seem to have settled down. Now the thing is tea and it is definitely too too.

  • February 28, 2013 7:30pm

    As in NYC, use 2 different kinds of lock on your bike. The bad guys only carry one lock-breaking tool. So, one cable or chain and one Kriptonite. Or use the grey velos. There’s a kiosk finder on line.
    Bonne chance!

    • March 1, 2013 2:46pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve heard that, but thanks for the tip. I do have a card for the Vélib bikes, but they’re not as convenient as having your own bike because you need to be near a stand and often the bikes are all taken, or they are full when you go to return the bike. It’s a great program, though. I still prefer my own bike : (

  • SK
    February 28, 2013 8:45pm

    When I was in Paris for about 24 hours back in October, I randomly happened upon Coutume, which definitely hasn’t been there the last time I was in town. However, I was compelled to stop and it was fantastic. Highly recommend the trek across town.

  • February 28, 2013 8:48pm

    I’m with Maggie – I want to hear about the spinning! Yarn or bicycles? I can do both, though not at the same time. ;)

  • February 28, 2013 8:54pm

    Love this post. I have fond memories of school tuck shops buying buns for little lunch and hot pies for big lunch.

  • Karen Rush
    February 28, 2013 9:37pm

    You all may be wondering about the name ‘Tuck Shop’. When I was a girl going through school in Australia, the school canteens were called tuck shops. I guess one could say they were places where one popped in to buy light food and drink. So pleased Aussies are bringing something of value to Paris. I recall the search for good coffee there in 2011 was fruitless. The food, however, was wonderful and never to be forgotten.

  • February 28, 2013 9:39pm

    Whoa…what happened to your bike? Did I miss something somewhere? Once, someone came right into my garage (I still had the door up) right after I had brought my (then) little boys in from playing. They just rode out of it with my husband’s brand new bike. He had not even really ridden it yet! Grrrrr…

    • March 1, 2013 2:45pm
      David Lebovitz

      I foolishly left it locked on the street here in Paris. Someone did try to steal it once and didn’t make it. But the next group, did. It wasn’t an expensive bike but so many get stolen for the scrap metal – including the locks!

  • Len
    February 28, 2013 9:41pm

    It is nice to see so many Aussies doing coffee in Paris.
    Yes Melbourne where I live does have fantastic coffee.
    I will be in Paris in june and will seek this place out
    Thanks David for you wonderful information!

  • Sarvi
    February 28, 2013 9:52pm

    Also want to know about spinning! I’m hoping it’s yarn, rather than bicycles, although bikes are great too. Spinning fiber is just more uncommon.

    • March 1, 2013 2:49pm
      David Lebovitz

      Unfortunately I took a spinning class (on bikes) once and almost passed out it was so hard. So I keep my spinning to wool. I haven’t done it in years, but I learned how to do it on a traditional wheel.

  • February 28, 2013 9:53pm

    I’m not a coffee drinker per se but Coutume is delicious …I’d love to know where they came up with that name..? The comments here are almost as fun as yr writing.
    What a fun read. Merci Carolg

  • Susan A
    February 28, 2013 9:56pm

    Aussies do coffee really well, but more importantly are the Anzacs chewy or crunchy?

  • margaret
    February 28, 2013 10:05pm

    Regarding the sewing machine rental cafe, I hope you have visited Tenderloin National Park in San Francisco. I think it’s on O’Farrell or near there. Once a week, a nice man brings his sewing machine, sets up and mends clothes free for anyone in need. His is a true social service.

  • Carol
    February 28, 2013 10:48pm

    I wonder if using the distilled water to make coffee, makes a difference?? Or their bottled water?

  • tunie
    February 28, 2013 11:26pm

    Why not open one on your corner, David? ; ) Seriously though, there must be a steady stream of talented kids looking to make a few bucks who could work for you for a few months at a time before or after their prestigious stages in Paris, ensuring stellar offerings at all times! All you’d need is a knowledgeable manager. Think of the joy you’d spread!

    • March 1, 2013 2:43pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve been considering opening something here but then heard from my friends who have, and saw the extensive paperwork and (many) other issues that need to be dealt with, so decided against it.

  • kelly
    February 28, 2013 11:38pm

    I love and so get that a good coffee can almost make you cry. Sounds heavenly. Btw, I also saw the “morgue” photo.

  • Janet
    March 1, 2013 12:34am

    Coutume is great. Their chai is excellent! If you happen to be in the 7th on a Sunday (and everything is closed in this area on Sunday), perhaps after a film at la Pagode or a visit at Musée Rodin, remember Coutume. It’s packed as I’m sure people know it’s about the only place open. Great atmosphere.

  • March 1, 2013 12:51am

    The waving queen made me laugh. My son has one on his window sill and, on the odd occasion that the sun shines here, she waves. Her dress is blue, so good to know she has a change of outfits.

    Now we have the chocolate factory and tuck shop to visit when we come to Paris in 3 weeks. Get all your new tips posted by then please!! Based on your wonderful description of Rue Montorgeuil, we will be staying in an apartment just off that street and so excited to be trawling the neighbourhood in search of culinary pleasure.

  • March 1, 2013 1:28am

    I love a good cup of coffee!! Can’t wait to visit Paris one day :)

  • March 1, 2013 2:02am

    We have pretty great coffee in Sydney so I’m glad to hear of more Aussies spreading their coffee know-how around the word. And it’s sort of almost Anzac Day (25 April) so make sure you get your fill before then.

  • March 1, 2013 2:46am

    Hi David

    This is so interesting!! I hear my fellow Aussies are opening similar cafes in London that are very “Aussie style ” ie good coffee an great cafe food however no idea they were opening up in Paris!!! How exciting currently in Australia we have the French style Patisseries opening up…we Aussies wanna be there lol

  • Laurie
    March 1, 2013 3:06am

    Funny about the spin thing.I was thinking about
    spinning on your heels
    or spinning a tale,
    or spinning ’round and ’round on a soda shop stool,
    and spinning a few discs (shows my age)
    there is even
    spinning out of control.
    As not quite a G.Dead head, I believe that when in doubt, twirl.
    A great cup of coffee will help the situation!

  • Jane
    March 1, 2013 8:33am

    When I was at school the Tuck Shop always had the best lollies etc and so no wonder one can get a great cup of coffee there. I live in Sydney and have also lived in Paris and I agree that this land makes excellent coffee.

  • blu
    March 1, 2013 2:14pm

    I am an italian living in Spain and despite the fact that here they drink a lot of coffee i did not find a place yet that satisfy me. Every time i go back to Italy i realize how the worst coffee is better than the ones i drink in Spain. But i am positive and keep searching . You, that you love italian coffee should understand how i feel ;-) Have a great day :-)

    • March 1, 2013 2:39pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know how the coffee in Italy is uniformly pretty excellent, but perhaps the standards are just higher and people won’t tolerate bad coffee. (When I was learning to make coffee in Italy, one of the instructors said it was getting harder and harder to find good coffee in Italy – I was surprised to hear that, because even at the airport and at train stations, the coffee is so much better than most other places.)

      • blu
        March 1, 2013 4:18pm

        Hi David! All the time i drink a coffee in a place i always say:” if in Italy they would prepare a coffee like that they would close tomorrow” .so, i agree with the high standard. We dont tollerate bad coffee and i would say bad food and my friend dont tollerate me because i always complain ;-). I have to agree that you can find places with bad coffee and bad food more than in the past. Ciao.

  • Susannah Isherwood
    March 1, 2013 2:18pm

    Hello, Mr. Lebovitz. Thank you for your recent newsletter, as true to life and charming as all you write. To clarify one small point, did you mean your candied almonds recipe to call for “1 cups,” as given, or perhaps two? The accompanying photo suggests a quantity of nuts sufficient to fill two bags – but, granted, only one eater less generous than you. Many thanks again from Susannah

    That’s the problem for me, using metric and cups. Grr, it should be 2 cups – the metric is correct, which is what I normally use. Thanks for pointing that out. -dl

  • March 1, 2013 3:41pm

    That looks like a great place indeed.

  • Claire
    March 1, 2013 3:52pm

    David, sorry to be a pest, but I didn’t receive my newsletter today, although I did receive the email correcting the quantity of nuts in the candied almonds. Has the newsletter been sent already?


  • Tania
    March 2, 2013 12:11am

    Yes. We do great coffee here. Especially here in Melbourne. I guessed the tuck shop was Australian when I saw that first pic.

    David, you must order a flat white or late too.

    I have 4 decent coffee shops near me but I’ll venture further out to get that outstanding coffee.

    For food, coffee and sweets – you must come visit us in Melbourne. Buy the best coffee in Melbourne apps and go wild!
    You will love it!!

    Speaking of coffee. Do you like Greek/Turkish coffee? I’ve been wanting to make a Greek coffee ice-cream…

    • March 2, 2013 11:47am
      David Lebovitz

      If you like coffee, you really need to go to Italy – it’s amazing. I’ve had the best coffee of my life there (especially in Trieste.)

  • EK
    March 2, 2013 1:27am

    What? Your bike was stolen?? I’ m so sorry.

    : (

    • March 2, 2013 3:11pm
      David Lebovitz

      So am I, but it happens a lot here. Fortunately the city sponsors used bike sales, where people come and sell (and buy) bikes, and there are techniciens there to verify that the bikes are in good working order. So I’m hitting the next one, once the weather warms up.

  • March 2, 2013 4:19pm

    One of the side benefits of all the new coffee houses is the food. Those sandwiches look amazing!

  • Sylvia
    March 2, 2013 4:59pm

    Ah, of course, it’s a cherry tomato. I think the idea of mozzarella and avocado in Paris scrambled my brain and brought on the candied fruit…

  • poppy
    March 2, 2013 5:17pm

    OMG I can,t believe what i,m seeing there, that coffee mug there, with yellow-brown flowers, is it from that Tuck Shop? where did they get it?? i have one just like that, with green-blue flowers on it and its about 30 years old. My mum bought it when i wasn,t even born yet and it,s very dear to me because of that. Please please any hint where to get those mugs after so many years. And I,m not from Paris, so.. Anyway, thank you so much for all of your wonderful postings and especially for this piece! :)

  • March 2, 2013 7:43pm

    Wait. I am just now finding out it is hard to get a good cup of coffee in Paris? Clearly I have not been paying attention. So thanks for this — making a note for our trip. I love a nice, roasty dark cup of coffee that turns a lovely caramel color when milk is added. Swoon. The sammie looks pretty tasty, too!

  • Christian Barnes
    March 2, 2013 8:34pm

    New to your blog…. Love the pics

  • March 3, 2013 1:02am

    I want some coffee now … Love reading your blog. Have you ever tasted Indian coffee rather coorg coffee ?

  • March 3, 2013 7:30am

    Tuck Shop – what a great name – still called just that here in New Zealand schools Yr 7 and above – all very grown up being allowed to buy your own food and treats. The ANZAC biscuits on the side sound a neat idea too.
    Thanks for a wonderful post – Cheers from Auckland New Zealand

  • Ann
    March 3, 2013 3:15pm

    I have to agree with Tania, Melbourne does do amazing coffee (and I’m from Adelaide!)
    I believe that we in Australia generally use arabica beans as opposed to France which mainly uses robusta beans. This is information from my daughter who lived there for 5 months and is a serious coffee fan,

  • Heather G
    March 12, 2013 7:36am

    Just catching up on your blog and must say now that I know you spin, you’re that much cooler. You really should learn to knit, you can fit in a few rows while your cookies etc are baking. I actually do this, so no laughing!