Good coffee is easy to find in Paris. Most cafés and restaurants employ world-class baristas who will prepare fresh European coffee to order. And you will not be disappointed.
But if we are talking best coffee shops in Paris it's a different story. Parisians don't frequent coffee shops. They prefer cafés and bistros where they can be found happily sipping their coffee at the sidewalk seating areas, watching the world go by.
Tourists are the main ones who enjoy the coffee shop subculture in Paris. Finding a gap in the market, coffee shops began to spring up all over the city to meet the rising demand for caffeine.
Coffee Shop vs Café vs Restaurant vs Bistro
A quick definition of these terms will help you on your quest for the best in Paris.
A Bistro is a French-style restaurant that serves simple and hearty meals, wine, and coffee in a casual atmosphere.
A Restaurant is a place where a wider range of cuisine is provided. Coffee and beverages are also part of the menu.
A Café is usually a small restaurant that sells light meals, snacks, and drinks. The name is rather ambiguous as "café" literally means "coffee." These days it could be anything from an espresso bar to a full-fledged restaurant. Cafés are generally smaller than restaurants.
The term "Coffee Shop" is even more ambiguous. This is often defined as a small, usually inexpensive, restaurant where refreshments (like cakes and muffins) and light meals (like sandwiches and pastries) are served. They sell coffee, in varying types like cappuccino, latte, espresso and other specialties, as well as tea.
Titles aside, most of these names are interchangeable and when looking for the best coffee in Paris, does it really matter if it’s a café or a bistro? As long as the coffee is good!
Drink Coffee Like a Parisian
Typical French coffee, un café, is a small cup of rich espresso. So, if you want to fit in with the locals you need to know what to expect.
Surprising to some, the French press isn't particularly French. Two Frenchmen designed it in 1852, but it wasn't fashionable until it was patented by two Italians in 1928. Since then, French presses have become increasingly popular around the world, though not particularly in France, where espresso is still the preferred method of coffee preparation.
20 of the Best
To make it easier for fellow coffee lovers, these reviews will be subdivided into smaller groups:
Best Coffee Shops Near the Eiffel Tower
Who can visit Paris, and not want to snap that iconic shot of the Eiffel Tower in all its majesty while sipping on a great cup of coffee? There are numerous coffee shops and restaurants in the area, but here are three where you can find some of the best coffee in Paris.
1. Café Constant
A well-loved and highly recommended establishment by both tourists and locals alike. Great coffee and meals are hearty and well presented with friendly staff, many of whom can speak English. You must try the escargots, and many visitors pay Café Constant more than one visit. It is cozy and has an upstairs area as well as downstairs so take advantage of multiple views in search of that perfect shot.
2. Terres de Café
This is a popular choice for experiencing the best coffee in Paris paired with the most delicious brownies. Service at Terres de Café is fast and efficient, and it is evident that the barista is a coffee lover himself – pulled and poured with care and dedication. Great variety in coffee beans and roasts available, making it one of the best specialty coffee shops in Paris, and so close to the Eiffel Tower. Due to its location, prices may seem inflated but it’s the price you pay.
3. Cairn Coffee Shop and Naturopathy
Catering for all tastes, Cairn Coffee Shop and Naturopathy is renowned for their gluten-free and vegan ranges that include cakes, pastries, and other treats. These paired with really good coffee make it a popular place to visit more than once if you have time while visiting Paris. This is a wonderful break in your day of sightseeing so sit back, relax, and take in the sights and smells.
Best Coffee Roasters in Paris
Even though the quality of coffee in many cafés has been said to have deteriorated in recent years, a fresh generation of coffee connoisseurs and roasteries have arrived from all around the world, bringing delicious freshly roasted brews with them. Here are three of the best coffee roasters in Paris where you are guaranteed to find freshly roasted, high-quality coffee.
4. Mozzo Coffee France
If you are looking for something slightly different, something that sets it apart from the norm, Mozzo Coffee France is a perfect choice. This business was founded and is run by women. Girl power rules! Their coffee is great, and they have a wide variety of drinks to choose from, all served with a smile. They have a large selection of coffee beans and grounds (espresso blends, filter, as well as single-origin specialty coffees), and you will be well advised on which one is ideal for you. The single-origin coffee is fantastic!
5. KB CaféShop
Often called the best place for espresso in Paris – KB CaféShop comes highly recommended. The barista is extremely friendly and helpful and keen to advise you on which beans to buy. You can also stock up on the tools of the trade to allow you to make a great cup of coffee at home. Their breakfast package is reasonable and tasty – a great start to your day. Service is prompt and courteous. The space inside is a little modest but there is plenty of room to relax outside. The post-industrial esthetic of the décor is another attraction aside from the great coffee.
6. Partisan Café Artisanal
Partisan Café Artisanal is perfect for ordering a to-go coffee, or you can sit awhile. The location is fantastic, and the staff is quite pleasant. Coffee is the highlight (with a wide range available from Italian to new wave roasts), but their banana bread comes with its own reputation. Partisan Café Artisanal is frequented by many locals who have called it the best coffee in Paris. The crowd is usually multinational, especially when the weather is perfect, and you can sit outside and enjoy the open-air- atmosphere. The locals are known to bring their dogs along, but there is plenty of space if you would rather avoid the four-legged friends.
Best Coffee Beans in Paris
Paris has always been at the hub of burgeoning European café culture, since the 17th century, when the caffeinated beverage became popular among writers, intellectuals, and philosophers. Despite this wealth of history, the city has had a long-standing reputation for mediocre – or just bad – coffee. Espressos served with a scowl were bitter, burned, gritty, and lukewarm, according to foodies.
However, luckily for coffee lovers and travelers, the city has managed to improve its image, at least in some areas. It appears that Paris has woken up and has begun brewing high-quality coffee and training talented baristas.
7. Café Verlet
Café Verlet came highly recommended by a close friend, so was a must-do on the list. This historic location (established in 1880) is noted for its single-origin and home-roasted coffee. It is known as one of the best places to buy coffee beans in Paris. Not only does it have a great selection but also employees who know their stuff. Coffee is more traditional, yet it tastes great, thanks to the high-quality beans. The food is wonderful, the restaurant is clean, and the prices are reasonable for this neighborhood.
This café is typically Parisian and charming. The service is good, though can be a bit off on certain days in a busy crowd. Although the coffee and tea are a little more expensive, it's still worth it for a relaxing visit where you can even sit back and read a book or catch up on your social media posts.
8. The Caféothèque of Paris
Coffee lovers make a beeline for the Caféothèque of Paris. They use the best coffee beans available in Paris, these are roasted on-site and then brewed using the best techniques. Highly trained baristas, trendy artwork, and the best beans from all over the world are all available at this cozy and rustic coffee shop that does not disappoint. Some customers may not find the self-service appealing, but this just adds to the overall ambiance.
9. Matamata Coffee
Started by two entrepreneurial friends, Matamata Coffee appeals to tourists and locals alike. If you have traveled extensively, and know coffee from different places, you will appreciate Matamata Coffee. The menu is somewhat limited but what they have is high quality. The avocado toast is well-loved – the lemon juice, spices, added honey, and almonds make for a delicious yet unexpected treat.
Best Coffee Shops to Work in Paris
Coffee shops are becoming the new remote workplace as more people take on work from home opportunities and online learning courses. You are even able to pursue your love of travel (and coffee drinking) whilst working. Just be mindful of other patrons as well as the staff and follow the unspoken etiquette rules that come with working in a café.
Remote employees aren't catered to in every cafe. While every area with a table and Wi-Fi could theoretically be suitable for working or studying, certain coffee shops cater to specific groups or consumers who want to grab-and-go. Look for a cafe with comfy seats, good Wi-Fi, plenty of power outlets, and a welcoming atmosphere. It is also a good idea to check with the staff beforehand so as not to cause any upsets.
10. Yellow Tucan
This little gem is nestled away in a side street where you can get some privacy in an area that is usually quite busy and loud. It is, for this reason, probably one of the best coffee shops to do some work in while in Paris. The environment in this small, boutique café is wonderful and warm, the coffee is delectable, and the service is excellent. You will want to visit Yellow Tucan more than once if you find the time!
11. Hubsy Arts et Métiers
This coffee shop is famed to be the best coworking place in the city, if not the entire globe! It is frequented by business people and students alike who take full advantage of the welcoming and tranquil environment, being close to the subway station. You can pay for “work” time by the hour and their customer service interactions are incredible. Excellent coffee is a huge bonus at Hubsy Arts et Métiers and the staff are friendly and accommodating. Everyone here works so hard that it motivates you to work even harder.
12. Nuage Café
Nuage Café becomes crowded quickly as it is one of the best coffee shops to work in Paris. The seats are comfortable and available for use in a variety of configurations depending on the size of your (work) party. The quiet spaces are respected, and the décor is pleasantly quirky. Pay per hour to get unlimited coffee, snacks, and internet access. This cafe's concept is ideal for anyone who wants to do their work in a contemporary environment.
Best Third Wave Coffee in Paris
In case you were not aware, third wave coffee is a coffee marketing movement that emphasizes high quality. Individual farms generally supply beans, which are roasted more lightly to bring out their distinct characteristics. Even though the word was coined in 1999, the approach dates back to the 1970s. Third wave coffee is sometimes coupled with the term "specialty coffee," which can refer to either specialty grades of green (raw and unroasted) coffee beans (as opposed to commercial-grade coffee) or specialty coffee beverages of high quality and craftsmanship.
The following three establishments offer some of the best third wave coffee in Paris.
13. Le Peloton Café
Situated on a peaceful side street, Le Peloton Café (currently closed for renovations until March 2022) is a pleasant third wave coffee shop. The staff are all friendly and the majority are English speakers, so you need not be embarrassed about your limited French. You can also purchase beans to take home, with personal recommendations. It was founded in 2015 by two biking enthusiasts who also run the tour company Bike About. The colorful bike-themed illustrations add a unique feel and atmosphere to the place.
14. Télescope Café
In this cozy coffee shop, the focus is on the coffee which is presented with attention to detail. Many customers order their favorite third wave coffee to go, but despite being small, there is enough place to sit back with a book or chat with a friend while enjoying your brew. Télescope Café boasts friendly and hard-working baristas who are always up for a chat and an offer of advice.
15. Hexagone Café
If it’s the best third wave coffee that you are looking for, then look no further than the Hexagone Café. This has often been called one of the best spots in Paris to get a cup of coffee. If you are looking to get some work, research, or blogging done, choose a different location. They have a no laptop policy (clearly stated on social media and on the door), thus encouraging patrons to concentrate on enjoying the excellent coffee available. The cheesecake is an added bonus! Don’t miss out.
Best Coffee in St Germain, Paris
Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned traveler and know Paris well, St Germain (as English speakers say) is an area well worth a visit. Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of Paris' four administrative districts, situated around the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and its church.
Cafés, bookstores, and publishing houses abound throughout the quarter. It was the epicenter of the existentialist movement in the 1940s and 1950s (associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir). It also houses the École des Beaux-Arts, a fine arts school, the University of Paris' Saints-Pères biomedical university center, the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts (in the former apartment and studio of the painter Eugène Delacroix).
16. Les Deux Magots
The world-renowned Les Deux Magots has a reputation that precedes it. History and location play heavily in this café’s favor so it can prove quite pricey for some. But if you are looking for the best coffee in St Germain, look no further.
Indoor and outdoor dining is available, with a wonderful view of the church. The staff are friendly and efficient, and the quality of the food and beverages served is high-end. It is advisable to book a table online as it can get very crowded.
17. The Smiths Bakery
Another hugely popular café in the area is The Smiths Bakery. It gets very busy at lunchtime so maybe visit for breakfast or an afternoon coffee and pastry.
They boast a cabinet brimming with a wide range of delectable baked products and sandwiches to satisfy both sweet and savory cravings. The palmiers and croissants are worth it – and most customers come back a second time just to have more of these treats. Although the service is not always exceptional, it is usually pleasant enough, and there are plenty of English speakers around.
18. Café Louise
Having heard only rave reviews about Café Louise, the disappointment of bad service can leave a sour taste in the mouth. The menu is varied, the setting is atmospheric and very pleasant, but the experience is not always the best. Understandably, in busy periods with a large influx of tourists, service can slide, so despite this, it may still be worth the visit. A long wait may lead to cold food and coffee which was not what is expected of such an establishment. Perhaps research into its least busy periods to get a better picture of what Café Louise is all about.
Best Specialty Coffee in Paris
Coffee connoisseurs are aware of the label “specialty coffee” but the average coffee lover may not know where this term originates. So, what is the difference between specialty and commercial coffee? Commercial coffee is often roasted and packaged in huge factories under well-known brand names. Specialty coffee is typically roasted in tiny shops or factories utilizing traditional methods and technology, and it is frequently sold right where it is roasted. In essence, specialty coffee comes from distinct flavor profile beans that are perfectly prepared, freshly roasted, and correctly brewed.
19. Café Lomi
Café Lomi holds the title of one of the best, if not THE best place to get specialty coffee in Paris. A visible laboratory, with coffee machines and grinders evaluating their beans from El Salvador and Ethiopia, is housed in this warehouse converted industrial coffee bar. The extensive coffee menu and seriousness of the crowd, which is made up of executives and coffee enthusiasts, can be frightening while ordering, but if you're interested in understanding more about the artistry of coffee, you can consider signing up for a tasting session here.
The vibe is homely and comfortable with helpful employees and charming baristas who all speak English. Apparently, Café Lomi was born out of the need to locate a wonderful site to roast painstakingly sourced beans. Most of its customers are French, but the staff are very friendly and welcoming to outsiders too.
Coutume is the place to go if you enjoy specialty coffee. The service is prompt, professional, and friendly. A new batch of unusual beans from locally sourced coffee plantations is always available. If you're looking for anything with a more traditional heritage, they always have a good selection.
So here you have the top 20 best places for coffee in Paris. Hopefully, you have enough time on your itinerary to sample the ware in most of these top-notch establishments. Bon appétit!