It may have seemed pretty quiet on the coffee front these past weeks since my first run-down of the best places to get a cup in Paris, but believe me, it’s been anything but. Personally trying every recommended spot in the city for an above-average drink has become a complete obsession, and seen me scrambling between metro lines, dashing in late to appointments with coffee breath, and in one particularly embarrassing instance, forgetting my wallet at home in my haste to get to the goods and having to relinquish my iPad as hostage for future payment until I could ride all the multiple trains to return home and back again. Now, without further ado (and this time sorted by neighborhood!) the rest of my discoveries thus far:
The Marais — 3eme:
Loustic, 40 Rue Chapon: I love Loustic. A hole in the wall; I walked past it three times before realizing where it was, but inside the space is bright, funky and charming, the owner super friendly and knowledgable, and my drip coffee was served in it’s own miniature chemex. These people know how to serve coffee in style. Serves a light breakfast, salad and quiche lunches, and brunch on the weekends.
Strada Café, 94 Rue du Temple: Had a delicious noisette (sort of a macchiato) here while waiting out the rain one day, in a plump, cozy armchair. A relaxing, intimate feeling space that’s great to just pop in and out of or set yourself up with a computer or book for a few hours.
The Broken Arm, 12 Rue Perrée: With more of a sit-down feel than a work-space, the Broken Arm serves up delicious coffee and a fuller menu than expected at a coffee shop. And it comes attached to an eclectic concept boutique for your shopping pleasure after having a drink!
Please note, Merce and the Muse, much talked about Marais coffee spot, is NOT open, and shows no evidence that they will reopen at their former spot or any other. Yet another instance of the internet not being quite able to keep up with this ever-moving and changing city.
The Canal Saint Martin — 9eme:
This neighborhood already gets a beautiful canal, several exotic Mexican spots, and one of the highest rated bakeries in Paris; to top off all of that, it’s quickly becoming the densest area of hip coffee shops, with Ten Belles (noted in my previous post) and all the other cafés mentioned below. It’d be hard to chose one out of all the delightful options, but maybe these tips will help you find your way.
Café Craft, 24 Rue des Vinaigriers: While most of the coffee shops I’ve detailed in these two posts feature free wifi (and I’ve noted if they don’t), Craft is really designed for with your office away from the office in mind. Behind the front lounge-worthy room is a quiet area with lots of table space and outlets, where you can sit down and get hours of work done distraction free. They do charge by the hour for wifi, although if you buy something the fee is waved — for example, my cappuccino and muffin bought me two included hours of wifi.
La Chambre aux Oiseaux, 48 Rue Bichat: Most of these spots I’ve highlighted for you are ex-pat owned or managed, and therefore have a global sort of feel to them. La Chambre aux Oiseaux, however, is indulgently French feeling, from the menu to the decor. With sofas, plush arm chairs, vinyl records piled in the corners, and bric-a-bracks everywhere, it feels like you’ve been let into a friend’s salon. And the baked goods are amazing!
Tuck Shop, 13 Rue Lucien Sampaix: cute and cozy, with a delicious vegetarian and vegan menu and the most chocolatey cappuccino’s; you can’t go wrong stopping in this delightful spot for a drink or meal.
Holybelly, 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix: I’m completely obsessed with Paris’s newest gourmet coffee shop — I have absolutely know idea what ‘Holybelly’ means, but I can tell you that this spot is the full package. Piles of pancakes, BACON, delicious coffee, WINE, bourbon butter, KALE, homemade granola, seasonal produce, intimate booths mixed with big family-style worktables, mixed with a comfy couch, and even a pinball machine — Holybelly has it all, including the friendliest staff. If the apartment opened up on the floor above them I would move in in a heartbeat and get fat and happy off pancakes three times a day. Until then, they’re my go-to spot for a hearty breakfast in Paris, although if you’re going on the weekend prepare for a wait if you don’t get there early.
Of note: buzzed about Black Market is no longer open at its Montmartre adjacent location. Rumor has it they’re reopening in the Marais in mid-October, although it’s now November and there’s no evidence of their new address, or a concrete opening date. But I would expect nothing less in Paris. Speaking of which…
BONUS: I first heard about Paris’s first Cat Café while having a drink at Loustic, and was informed by their website that the spot was open, so I set off immediately to investigate. Sure enough, a few blocks away I found the spot, where several women were drinking wine and working on their computers while adorable felines frolicked around them. It looked like paradise. As I tried in vain to find the entrance, the heaviest downpour ever began out of nowhere, but as it turns out, the café wasn’t officially open yet. The occupants ignored my increasingly frantic knocking on the windows as I became soaked through, although the kittens did come over and press their pink noses against the glass curiously. The good news for you, though, is Le Café des Chats is official now, and the cats are as cute as promised. Although a waiting list for the weekend is already filling up, so be sure to contact them in advance!
Anything I’m missing? Opinions of your own on any of the above? Please let me know in the comments!