Paris: capital of a country whose gastronomy is UNESCO classified, populated by people with palates refined enough to distinguish multiple tasting notes in wines, to appreciate numerous subtleties of cheese… And yet, when it comes to coffee, nuances of taste seem to go out the window: to be necked back at the bar after a meal, its role is as a shot of caffeine to jolt the system awake through the soporific task of digestion.
But, recently, something of a coffee revolution has been slowly but surely taking place in Paris, with serious coffee specialists popping up throughout the capital over the last couple of years. We talked about the inaugural wave of this trend back in 2011 here but the scene continues to go from strength to strength with a new spate of superlative coffee shops having since opened. Here is our roundup of some of the best and latest places to get your coffee fix in Paris.
A year and a half ago, enthusiastic coffee lover Youssef opened the seriously coffee-centric Black Market café in Montmartre. He closed it down to reopen in the Marais in November under the name Fragments. The cozy, exposed-brickwork and beamed-ceiling space hosts a super snazzy Mirage coffee machine and serves blends coming from Coutume Cafe in Paris, as well as farther afield like the Coffee Collective in Denmark, in incarnations of espresso, noisette, cappuccino or filter coffee.
Fragments – 76, rue de Tournelles, 75003
2. Fondation Café
This shoebox-sized espresso bar in the super duper hip Northern Marais, opened by Australian Chris Nielson (formerly of Ten Belles – another great cafe in Paris), serves coffee roasted in Paris by the Belleville Brulerie, alongside cakes and breakfast goodies by Californian caterers to the coffee stars, Emperor Norton (hello, granola!), as well as tea and hot chocolate for the non-converted.
Fondation Café – 16 Rue Dupetit Thouars, 75003
Above cappuccino Fondation Café (Ten days in Paris) – Below – Fragments entry and coffee machine (Kim Laidlaw)
Inspired by their time in coffee mecca Melbourne, Sarah and Nico opened this new café just behind the Canal St Martin, which not only serves serious café but also has a solid breakfast and lunch menu with which to soak up your cup of joe. Seasonal delights such as kale and beetroot salad or a soup of the day feature on the menu alongside the splendor that is eggs, pancakes, bacon and bourbon butter. All of that washed down with top-notch filter coffee, cappuccino, lattes, and more made with blends from coffee holy lands such as Guatemala and Ethiopia.
Holybelly – 19 rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
Londoner Channa Galhenage attracts a coffee connoisseur crowd to this super stylish space (decorated with retro geometric prints by hip interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon) with seasonal roasts from Belgian coffee hotshots Caffènation in espresso, filter, chemex, cappuccino and latte variations. It’s the perfect space for settling in with a laptop for getting down to some caffeine-fuelled work (there is even a “laptop special” available – 3 cups of coffee with 3 mini-cupcakes for just €10, and wifi is free). Yummy lunch and snack options from Emperor Norton and The Kale Project are the icing on the coffee… er, cake.
Loustic – 40 rue Chapon, 75003
Slightly more established than the above selection, the Scandi-cool Telescope café opened in 2012, bringing a breath of fresh – and delicately coffee scented – air to this area in the 1st arrondissement sandwiched between Paris’ Japanese quarter and the exclusive shops of the Palais Royal. Here the concise menu proposes espresso, filter coffee, noisette or crème – and each is prepared with care using excellent ingredients and specialist equipment, including a fancy Marzocco espresso machine. In additional to the excellent coffee, juice, tea, herbal infusions and cakes and snacks are also on the menu.
Télescope – 5 rue Villedo, 75001
Télescope – above and cappuccino (Erica Berman)
Also on the Parisian coffee lovers radar:
Lockwood – which just opened earlier this month – is a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night set up by a Paris trio with serious pedigree (one founder is from Ten Belles, one from Silencio and the other has opened three bars in London and Sydney). This looks set to be hot.
Lockwood – 73 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002
Télescope – (Erica Berman)
Coming soon: Kitsune Café, from preppy cool fashion and record label Kitsuné, is planned to open soon in the Palais Royal, with a concise menu of premium London-roasted coffee, tea, juices and gluten-free cakes from Noglu on offer, and will no doubt be as chic and high quality as everything else from the Kitsuné brand.
Kistune Café – Galerie Montpensier, Jardin du Palais Royal, 75001
Written by Kim Laidlaw for the HiP Paris Blog. All photos by Kim Laidlaw except where noted. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.