No city does cafe culture better than Paris. Whether you’re looking for fluffy croissants, a crisp glass of wine, or a simple petit café, when in the French capital, the answer is most likely to be found just around the corner. Though with so many cafes, hitting the city’s in-the-know spots is key to avoid having your experience tainted by crowds. We’ve rounded up eight of Paris’s trendiest cafes, sure to buzz you up and fill your stomach with pastry goodness. Pop in, place your order, and let the magic of Paris do the rest.
Café de la Nouvelle Mairie
Open from 8:00 AM to midnight, there’s really not a bad time to hit Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, located in Paris’s fifth arrondissement. Whether coffee is calling or apéro hour is approaching, the cafe’s coffee and wine menus rotate regularly (and can be seen on the chalkboard inside). Small bites, such as cheese, foie gras, and oysters are also available. Enjoy the quiet charm of this Left Bank location, situated just around the corner from the bustling Place du Pantheon. Note: The cafe is closed on weekends.
Where: 19 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris
Small but fierce, Fondation Café is the perfect spot for a cuppa and a few minutes of solitude. Known for strong espressos, meticulously crafted cafés crème, and a chocolate cake that’s worth every calorie, this tiny local joint is a great spot. Banana bread and freshly squeezed orange juice are also served regularly, alongside a small snack menu featuring avocado or honey ricotta tartines, as well as crunchy granola, cakes, and other pastries. Be advised, the cafe doesn’t have a bathroom, so don’t plan on staying too long.
Where: 16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris
Close to the lively Canal Saint-Martin sits the famous Ten Belles cafe. This stop is known for its delicious brews, small snacks, and above all, great atmosphere. For American visitors yearning for a decent-sized coffee, Ten Belles’ café filtré is your answer. Food is catered by the equally well known Le Bal Café, and you won’t want to miss your chance to taste the scones. Arrive early to snag one of the few seats — Ten Belles opens at 8:00 AM on weekdays and 9:00 AM on weekends.
Where: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris
La Caféothèque is one of the only cafes in Paris to roast beans right on site, also available for take-away purchase. Drinks are meticulously crafted by the cafe’s impeccable team of sommeliers de café, and the location of the joint isn’t so bad, either. Ideally situated on rue de l’Hotel de Ville, just a few steps away from the Seine, the brick wall interior offers an oasis from the craziness of the river, complete with plants and wooden furniture. Snacks are limited to cakes, croissants, and quiches, but that’s plenty delicious.
Where: 52 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris
Le Square Gardette
Restaurant by night, cafe and coworking space by day, Le Square Gardette is located on the corner of the garden at Place Gardette, a quiet residential area set in the heart of the 11th arrondissement. Open at 8:00 AM until midnight daily, Le Square Gardette is the ideal refuge for traveling writers, artists, and designers looking for a place to get some work done while sipping on espresso or a glass of booze. The décor is homey yet chic. Brunch lovers should try to make it for the €30 ($34) special on Sundays.
Where: 24 Rue Saint-Ambroise, 75011 Paris
Le Coutume Café
After long mornings spent sprawled out in the Luxembourg Gardens, head to Le Coutume Café for a light lunch, quick caffeine fix, or even brunch on the weekends. Opened in 2011, this part-café-part-roastery is known for their foamy espresso-based beverages, petit noirs served hot or cold, and an array of vegetarian plates. For a cafe that truly has something for everyone — even those looking to imbibe in a glass of wine — look no further than this Left Bank spot. We recommend grabbing a window seat for prime people watching.
Where: 47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris
Perhaps the city’s most Instagrammable cafe, this stunning breakfast joint/flower shop hybrid is a great place to meet up and share a pot of tea or a cup of coffee with friends. Located on the Rue de la Folie Méricourt in the chic 11th arrondissement, Désirée serves up sweet treats and small bites. We recommend the hearty buckwheat pancakes or savory lentil salad. Grab one of the few seats outdoors to observe Parisians going about their daily business, or simply post up with a book indoors.
Where: 5 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris
“We love people, so we serve coffee” is the mantra at Matamata, located just a few blocks away from the Louvre. Open daily until 5:00 PM, Matamata specializes in artisanal coffee and homemade food, sprawled across a bi-level space in the Montorgueil neighborhood. Known for its avocado toast and flat whites, this cafe is ideal for those looking for a brief gastronomical getaway.
Where: 58 Rue d’Argout, 75002 Paris