Because of all the changes in the Paris coffee scene, I’ve updated this post in 2013 substantially since I originally published it. 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, are 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 bitter brew they’ve been doing since time began, a number of places have opened up and expanded the coffee offerings in Paris. Here are some addresses, and farther down below is a list of places that have opened recently, that coffee-lovers will want to check out.
Below you’ll find a list of places where you can get well-prepared coffee in Paris:
13, rue Auber (9th)
Métro: Opéra, RER: Auber
A concept store and café for Illy coffee. Located next to the Opéra Garnier, a machine precisely tamps the coffee into the filter holder with the perfect amount of pressure, assuring you of a real Italian espresso.
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.
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.
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.
Place de la Bourse (2nd)
This mobile cart serves coffee Monday through Fridays and the coffee is prepared by a friendly barista from Scandinavia. If you want your café express serré (tight), be sure to mention it.
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)
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.
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.
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
The delicious coffee served here is shipped in from Rome and pulled by a genial Italian fellow. For a true espresso, specify a caffè ristretto (café serré.) However since I initially wrote about it, this shop has been folded into Coinstot Vino, an adjacent wine bar. Barista Antonio Costanza is still making the coffee.
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.)
Black Market Coffee
27, rue Ramey (18th)
Métro: Château Rouge or Marcadet-Poissonniers
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.
A spate of other coffee bars have recently opened in Paris. Here is a list of them:
9, rue de Saussure (17th)
5, rue Villedo (1st)
6, rue du Forez (3rd)
13, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)
6, Impasse de La Defénse (18th)
47, rue Babylon (7th)
10, rue de la Grange aux Belles (10th)
13, bis rue Henri Monnier (9th)
24, rue des Vinaigriers (10th)
The Broken Arm
12, rue Perrée (3rd)
Related Entries and Links
La Caféothèque de Paris
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)