Inside Steel: Paris’ Premiere Coffee and Cycling Shop

by Lisa Czarina Michaud

We recently rounded up our favorite new coffee addresses in Paris with Kate Robinson and took a closer look inside Honor. Today we continue with the story behind Steel. -ErinHiP Paris blog. Inside Steel. Street view.

Many delight in discovering just how bicycle-friendly Paris is. With a network of over 1,500 bike rental stations and designated bike lanes protected from traffic, the city is not exactly subtle in encouraging this type of eco-transport. In addition, Paris City Hall recently announced their intentions to make Paris the “world capital of cycling” by rolling out a multi-million euro campaign that will stretch out over the next five years, which will include adding fifty miles of new bike lanes throughout the city. With Paris taking the reigns in two-wheel inter-city travel, Steel, a new boutique café located in the 11th arrondissement makes for a clever addition to the concept shop boom.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel.  Cafe side vs store side.

Started as a cycling magazine of the same name, Steel has developed into a full-blown brand with founder Marc “Sich” Schmitt at the helm of its evolution. Born and raised in Paris with half-American roots, he was inspired by the cycling café scene that pervades progressive West Coast American cities like Portland and San Francisco, and was determined to import this urban community culture back to his hometown of Paris.

Located off a discreet side street in Paris’ Oberkampf neighborhood, Steel welcomes bicycle enthusiasts, local residents, and café connoisseurs to its home of two months. The layout of the shop is divided into two parts: to the left is the café offering freshly brewed Belleville Brûlerie coffee and homemade sandwiches and cakes from Broken Biscuits, and to the right is the boutique boasting a curated selection of specialized performance gear that is also available for purchase through the brand’s e-shop. The clean aesthetic of the shop visualized by designer Julie Deglesne keeps the focus on cycling. With its whitewashed details, pale wood tabletops, and geometric tiling, the eye naturally falls on the steel-framed bike that hangs over the café as a tie-in to the concept.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel. Pastries from Broken Biscuits.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel.  Modernly furnished.

Differentiating themselves from the profusion of design- and quality-focused cafés popping up in Paris, Steel proffers fair prices on haute lunchtime fare. Clients are invited to enjoy a generous 10€ formule of a coffee + sandwich + dessert, and à la carte sandwiches are 7€, cake slices are 3.50€, salads are 6.5€, and coffees range from 3-4€.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel. Interior.

With a bike club in the works (tools and pumps are already available for client use) and a newly implemented liquor license where cyclists can enjoy a cold Brooklyn Lager after a long course, Steel —with already a reputation for its innovation by in-the-know Parisians — is destined to be a niche hub for the expanding Paris cycling community.

HiP Paris blog. Inside Steel. Great coffee made by cycling-savvy baristas.

Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop – 58 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011. Tel: +33 (0)6 47 58 32 46

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Written by Lisa Czarina Michaud for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Jean-Marie Heidinger. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Written By

Lisa Czarina Michaud

Lisa Czarina Michaud is a native New Yorker who followed her calling for wine, cheese and beards five years ago when she moved to Paris on a whim. Her work has been published in Marie Claire UK, xoJane, Huffington Post Travel and France Passion Magazine. View Lisa Czarina Michaud's Website
Photos By

Jean-Marie Heidinger

Breton and prone to seasickness, I enjoy finding myself in improbable situations that lead to random encounters. I'm fascinated by the marine environment and our relationship with the sea, but I'm constantly on the look out for new subjects to explore. I studied art history at Rennes II. I currently live in Paris, but I often find myself in Lorient, on Brittany's southern coast. Reportage and portraits are my preferred photographic formats. View Jean-Marie Heidinger's Website

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